When Jacqueline Diaz was laid off from her last full-time job, she made the decision to create her own brand. Armed with a severance package and a dream, she launched Amigapreneur, an online platform dedicated to teaching Latinas how to becoming “sizzling hot entrepreneurs.” Each week, Jacky hosts an Amigapreneur podcast in which she interviews Latina businesswomen and entrepreneurs, and susses out their secrets to career success.
Starting this October, Jacky will join New Latina as our new entrepreneurship columnist! Read Jacky’s incredible story below, and be sure to check out her new biweekly column, premiering on New Latina on October 2, 2013.
What inspired you to start Amigapreneur?
Many things inspired me to start Amigapreneur, but one of the main reasons was that I wasn’t seeing Latinas/os like ourselves represented in business forums. I wanted those great stories to be heard, and so I decided to create a platform, in this case, a podcast show for those women (and men)of color to tell their stories.
Another really important reason why I started Amigapreneur was so that those individuals who were inspired to become an entrepreneur could have a platform where they could get the help, direction, and education (via coaching, the podcast, and the Amigapreneur network) necessary to take action. It’s nice to have a dream, but with no action, a dream will continue to be just that–a dream. Amigapreneur is a place for dream pursuers to become action takers.
How have you seen your work impact others?
I’m so grateful for the women (and men) who come on the show. I feel like they’re doing myself and the listeners a big service for sharing their great stories and knowledge. I’ve found that the guests are just as grateful to have a platform where they have the opportunity to inspire and help others.
When people email me or come up to me to say that they were so inspired that they’ve taken action in pursuit of their passions, now that is real impact.
Who or what inspires you to think big?
First and foremost, my daughter. She represents the next generation of Latinas. I want to be a great example of what a Latina is capable of, especially one that followed her dream in spite of the obstacles and fears she faced. I’m also inspired by single mothers who sometimes feel stuck or hopeless because of their situation and/or circumstances. To them, I say: You are NOT your situation! Where you are today, or where you were in the past, does not represent what your future will hold.
I hope my story, and my guests’ stories, will continue to inspire Latinas to take action.
How do you deal with [the idea of] the “F-word”—failure?
I think of failure as being the equivalent of the other f-word. If I fail, then I’m f*****. But in this case, I’ll use it in a nice way: Freak I could fail. Freak I could possibly not make it!
I’ve learned that failure is just a stepping stone and another lesson. Real failure is when you quit doing something because it became too hard. Failure is when you didn’t even try. Everything else is just life telling you to go back to the drawing board, reformat, and try harder.
What is your advice to aspiring and established Latina entrepreneurs?
One of the best quotes I’ve read and that always resonated with me is: “Prepare, but don’t prepare so long you miss the opportunity.” That goes for aspiring and established mujeres alike. Before you launch a business you prepare and prepare, and continue to prepare, but there comes a point you just have to bite the bullet and JUST DO IT, like Nike.
Established mujeres know that the launch of any business is just the beginning. As their business progresses and continues to grow, they’ll be faced with new challenges and obstacles, and that prepare, prepare and no action syndrome will come up. They’ll also see that the best course of action will be to just take a leap.
That quote has stuck with me from the beginning, and has inspired me to keep pushing. I promise you that if you push you will never be prouder and more fulfilled. It may not bring you instant happiness, but not dong it will definitely bring you unhappiness.
For more information about Amigapreneur or to listen to Jacky’s podcast, go to Amigapreneur.com
You can also follow Amigapreneur on Twitter at @Amigaprener