Being a young emerging Latinapreneur is not an easy task, in fact you are faced with a very common challenge: not knowing your self-worth. But is this really a challenge or is this an opportunity to excel?
As a young entrepreneur I have experienced a lot of uncomfortable moments in my career. Aside from walking on unknown grounds, I had to learn something way more important; I learned to value and respect myself, my work and knowledge. Knowing who you are is key.
You cannot expect others to respect you if you don’t respect yourself. If for any reason, this is not learned, you can find yourself running a business feeling very unhappy and unsatisfied.
For a new person in business, it can be very easy to say yes to everything. When you are new to this world it feels like you are only looking to please everyone around you to avoid any confrontations or simply to fit in. Do you think this really helps? Or is it creating more stress in your life? It is important to learn to create a balance, not only for you, but for the sake of your business or career. Being a leader and saying yes to everything is not the same. Don’t be afraid to say no, it actually feels really good. Saying no when you know you are not being valued is the best thing you can do. You are showing respect and self-love.
As Latinas we are taught to respect each other, but in reality, in the business world respect has a different meaning. To really respect someone means to respect them as a person and as a professional, to value their work and efforts. That’s the reason why you are not supposed to please everyone around you. You are supposed to be able to freely express your thoughts and ideas with respect rather than with fear to be wrong or undervalued. When you begin to value and respect who you are, things will change. You will no longer be afraid to turn someone down, this applies on both your personal or professional life. As a young professional being assertive and feeling secure of how much you and your opinions are worth is essential.
Not long ago I was still fighting this battle, I was not valuing who I was, nor my time, nor my work. I would say YES to everything, until one day it just hit me. I had to say NO. The kind of no that would turn into a maybe and then a yes. It has to be a straight up NO. It took some guts to say it. I took a deep breath and decided to explain why not. At that moment I was dying from the inside, but as I kept saying to myself why I should say No the easier it became. I had a clear reason. At that moment I felt empowered and valued! Even though I said no, I could see how I was being valued and respected.
Everything you do and everyone you meet is an opportunity to learn. Pleasing someone else or not expressing your opinions is staying trapped in your old beliefs. As Latinas, we need to empower each other, but more importantly realize that our opinion and ideas could change the route of our businesses or careers for good! So speak up and demand respect. The responsibilities to be heard and to be respected is on you.