6 Survival Lessons for Entrepreneurs


Photo credit: @QueridaAgenda

In a recent episode, Bricia and Paulina sat down with designer Veronica M to talk about how she started her own business. Aside from creating super cute wearable designs, hers is an inspirational story about how a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and hard work pays off. 20 years into her fashion career that she started from the ground up, Veronica M dropped plenty of great advice and entrepreneurial gems on us, here are the 6 that stood out to us the most.

Work On Having A Positive Attitude

Everything is perception! Veronica reminds us that starting a business is hard and full of obstacles but that she’s learned from it and built on it in order to be successful. One of the key elements of having a positive attitude is the way we frame challenges and the various types of situations that will inevitable arise. Something that can help anyone have a more positive outlook is something as simple as their word choice. You can also refer back to our previous article about positive affirmation for more on how to use the power of your words. There will always be “ugly parts” but it’s how you get through them that makes you stronger and that much closer to reaching your business goals.

Invest In The Growth Of Your Business

From the beginning Veronica re-invested in her business. This can mean getting better supplies, networking, or learning a new skill.  Her mom was coming home from work tired and still helping her sew, so Veronica asked her Mom to teach her how to sew and construct garments. That’s investing in her craft, but she also invested in her equipment, “during my swap meet sales I always give [my mom] half and I saved half. Every penny I made I invested in scissors, in lights in my garage, cutting tables, in machines. So I just kept investing and investing and investing.” Whatever it is you need to do in order to compete at a higher level, get creative, get it moving, and get it done.

Doing Something Differently Doesn’t Mean You’re Doing It Wrong

It’s important to know what’s going on in your industry and knowing your community is key. Like Veronica said in her interview she learned to “follow the trends, but still keep it my thing.” But she also reminds us that being aware of your industry doesn’t mean you should be constantly comparing or trying to match what other people are doing. Veronica reiterated so many times that she noted other peoples work but didn’t let it influence her personal style or the way she intuitively vibes with certain prints and patterns. BUT that she did have to be aware of the business side of things, like following trends but still staying true to who she is as a designer.

Do Your Taxes!

Paying taxes as an LLC or a corporate entity is NOT the same as filing as an individual. Running a business usually means filing taxes quarterly. So you’ll also need to stay on top of the financial changes your business goes through with your bookkeeping since that generally means different forms and varying payments. Not being diligent about this can land you in hot water aka Tax Fraud! So while we’re not all tax experts you definitely need to find someone who is to make sure your finances are in order. You should also pay attention to what is being done and learn as much as you can about the process and proceedings.

Watch out for shady people who want to make a buck

This means making sure things like contracts and insurance are a part of your life, because you never know what someone is really up to and it’s better to be safe than sorry. After 20 years in the fashion industry Veronica has seen it all and now has the proper protections, “you have to do your business right if you want to be here for a long time. I’ve been through many tears but it made me stronger.” According to Entrepreneur.com you should stay abreast of financial laws, labor and employment laws, intellectual property laws, as well as marketing and advertising laws. You should also back up all business agreements with contracts, and back up your intellectual property with IP trademarks.

Make Sure Your Circle Is Willing To Support Your Dreams

Support system is key! Whether it’s your partner, your family, or your team members, we must remember to lean on the people who have our backs. Veronica tells us about how her mom always supported her and how her husband stepped up when she was barely building her business, “my husband stayed home he was like ‘I’ll watch the kids’ keep doing what you’re doing” she said. One of the biggest barriers women starting businesses will face on top of everything else is a lack of support from their partners and families. Without it, it’s very difficult to move forward. A partner that won’t prioritize your career might not be one worth investing in.

Want the full story? Tune into Episode 155 with Veronica M for more on her incredible journey!