What inspired you (Maria Esquivel) to become an entrepreneur?
Maria: When I was young, I always knew I would be my own boss and work for myself. I knew that if I love what I do and commit to it, the rest will follow with financial stability and success.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Maria: Building my team has been very rewarding to me. I love seeing my employees perform well and reach their full potential. It makes me proud to set goals with them, such as establishing an amazing new office space, winning Most Outstanding Specialised Business at our Local Business Awards, and watching them flourish personally and within the workplace. It is also satisfying to see the collaborative relationships they develop with their clients and each other. Their unique approach helps them achieve outstanding results, which adds value to their work.
What was your biggest startup challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Maria: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a business owner is confidence and imposter syndrome. I felt like my goals were huge and overwhelming at times, and I lacked personal confidence. At the start of my career, this was hard for me to overcome, as I always doubted my abilities. Over the last few years, I have tried my best to take a step in the right direction by being kinder to myself and reflecting on what I have achieved so far at 25. I have discovered the importance of setting time aside to engage in mindfulness, business coaching, and daily affirmations. It has helped be a huge deal.
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
Maria: Setting and sticking to a schedule enables me to focus and prioritize what is most important in the day to meet many deadlines and tasks. This has allowed me to effectively delegate roles and responsibilities within my team and provide guidance while measuring productivity. Using a digital calendar ensures time blocking is effective because it can be set up with reminders.
What’s one thing in your routine that you do consistently that has made a huge difference in your personal or business life?
Maria: I have found that having a separate work phone and the personal phone has changed my life completely and made such a difference in ‘switching off’ and having a better work-life balance. My work phone is only on during work hours and silenced after work hours and on the weekends. Another thing that has truly helped is transitioning from a full-time work-from-home environment to our new office space. Much like the phones, I was struggling to differentiate when I was working and when I wasn’t, so having an office coming into work and getting ready for the day has helped me mentally and with my productivity.
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Maria: Gain the confidence and satisfaction of knowing you can achieve anything you desire if you set your mind and are prepared to work very hard. Have a mentor that inspires you and a business coach that can help guide you and answer questions. (You’ll have plenty of them!)
Remember that consistency is key, good things take time, and success doesn’t happen overnight. Have a clear business plan and targets, set high expectations for yourself, and have the right team in your corner.
Understand that failure is a part of the process and an opportunity to grow and learn within your career and business journey.
You can change your life if you’re willing to work every day.