What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Make sure you are passionate about your future business and you’re ready to commit long-term. Keep your finances in check because nothing makes you quit faster than having financial hardships. Passion can take you far but, if you’re not clear about your finances, things can go south fairly quickly. As an entrepreneur, you need to have a strong backbone to support negative comments, rejections, and be open to hear everyone’s opinion about your “business idea”. Also, you need to be strong mentally because you will fail in certain things but, you’ll have to get up and start again. Even if you don’t fail, you’ll trip on many efforts and getting up to continue on the entrepreneur path will sometimes be the most difficult decision to make.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I always wanted to have my own business but I never knew what type of business. I studied Business Management and worked in the finance world for a while. I was even a teacher for a year and a half in Colombia. Being exposed to different types of environments has shaped me into the person I am today, so I don’t think I would change anything. I’m also a late bloomer because most people nowadays start their businesses in their 20’s and 30’s. I started Lovacado at 42, so my perspective as to what a business should be and what it should do was something I learned from working in different types of environments. I worked for big corporations, for a government entity (the New York City Finance Department), and also for a few tech startups. All of these environments exposed me to different types of people and scenarios that have truly taught me the difficulties of running a business.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Emotional Intelligence, Good Listener, and Flexible.
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
- Being alone (in silence) helps me focus and be more productive.
- Writing a to-do list every day works wonders.
- Breaking down goals into daily and or weekly items makes life easier.
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs invest their time in?
- Reading more and less time on social media
- As an entrepreneur you can’t do it all but, it does help to know about all areas of your business. Accounting, marketing, legal, production, HR, and fulfillment (and all others depending on your type of business). If anything goes wrong in these areas you should know the basics because it will affect your business profitability.
Tell us a little about your long-term goals for Lovacado:
Lovacado is a Canadian company that started as a side hustle in 2013. However, with Covid-19 and the changes that have taken place in the last 18 months, I was forced to evaluate my life and business model. As a result, I decided to launch the company in the USA and began production in Houston, Texas. Lovacado is focused on establishing brand awareness and also, it’s making sure that most products sold in the USA are made in the USA. Most products sold in Canada are made in Canada. The company’s goal is to minimize its carbon footprint and by localizing manufacturing we are working hard to be able to achieve this. We’re a small company but we have big dreams! We are working on setting up “pop-up” locations in several cities and want to bring Lovacado products to consumers nationwide. Lovacado wants to add value and glow to consumer beauty rituals.
In Association With: Artistic Initiative Agency.