V24. The Collective (of Us): BOLD Broads * Monica Rivera of You Wanna Do What?!

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Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Monica Rivera, the voice behind the You Wanna Do What?! podcast. Let's meet her, shall we? 

1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Do you know what's even harder than starting your own business? Working a job you no longer love or like! At first it's tolerable and then it begins to feel like you're walking around in clothes that no longer fit. 

Oprah, my best friend in my head, says it perfectly, "The Universe speaks to us in whispers...And if you don't pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it's like getting thumped upside the head. If you don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. You don't pay attention to that—the brick wall falls down."

For years, I've wanted a business of my own; the idea was always swimming around in the back of my mind. I chose to start before the brick wall fell down on my head because the days are long but the years fly by. I could no longer delay my calling. 

2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?

I feel most alive when I'm in nature. Wide open spaces surrounded by mountain peaks makes me feel really tiny. It's in those environments, I'm reminded that I'm one person in a vast world of nearly 8 billion people! If we keep looking up, down and across at other people, we miss what's right in front of us. 

My number one piece of practical advice is, "Give your to-do list a makeover." Take everything you've written down (and I know it's a lot) and categorize the list by needs, wants and nice-to-haves. 

Ask yourself, "What would happen if I didn't do this?" and bucket accordingly. Use disciplined discernment.

One last tip: "Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt 

Next time you're compelled to compare yourself to another person, make that your mantra.

3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?

Dreamers//Doers has been an overwhelmingly beautiful and supportive community of women. 

Before I was a podcast producer and consultant, I was a fan. Podcasts are great ways for me to break through creative blocks. 

The "Unmistakeable Creative" is my go-to for when I need to be inspired by the stories of others. 

"Side Hustle School" and "Ask Pat 2.0" spark quick ideas on how to monetize talents, skills and expand your business offerings.

4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?

The most challenging part of running my business is the uncertainty of it all. There will be days you will doubt yourself, your strategy, your plan, your sanity. You will receive rejections that sting. Use them as fuel to return to your why. 

I recently applied to speak at a TEDx event in Watts, an area of Los Angeles. Every part of my soul wanted this to happen. It wasn't just about a TEDx Talk, it was about sharing my story in a place where it could truly be received by those hearing it. I wasn't selected. I was deeply disappointed. I still am. But I also trust in the timing of the Universe. 

You can choose to reframe a NO into a not now or not yet or not this (opportunity).  

5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.

I recently heard someone say, "You can't be, what you can't see." Growing up in the Bronx, I saw hardworking people just trying to make it - to the end of the day, to the end of the week, to the first of the month, when that check arrived in the mail. 

What I didn't see were successful entrepreneurs and healthy relationships and partnerships. 

Put yourself in rooms with people who are where you want to be. Immerse yourself in places, events, and communities where you can learn, ask questions and be inspired. Expand your vision for yourself and then place yourself right in the middle of it until the vision and the reality have merged.

I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...

Choosing to make a hard left in my career after more than fifteen years in Corporate America still feels kinda nuts to me, but it's also exhilarating. The work I do producing my podcast, YOU WANNA DO WHAT?! began as a way to shift my life from neutral to drive. In the past year, I have become more than my day job and through my work consulting others, speaking and producing content, I nudge others to widen their world beyond job titles and career choices. 

As a Latina growing up in the Bronx I was encouraged (um, forced) to take the safe route and that didn't include using my creativity. Now, every single day I use my voice, my words, and my photographs to tell stories. How rich are the possibilities when we refuse to give up on ourselves? 

BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP OR WEBSITE?

 Smarterqueue helps me get my (social media) life straight! I use it to auto-schedule posts to my social platforms and bulk-import from blogs and social feeds. If you're into data (like me), there are weekly reports and tons of insights on which posts are most effective and when.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Monica Rivera live a life full of experiences by shaking up routine and challenging conventional thinking. She is the founder and creator of YOU WANNA DO WHAT?! a NYC-based consultancy and production company. Hear new episodes of her podcast every Wednesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.