I'm a Latina serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of 30Seconds.com, a vibrant digital media platform where women (and men) come to inspire and be inspired. Our growing community of writers shares awesome articles, tips, recipes, videos and more – making life happier and healthier in about 30 seconds. I previously founded iParenting, a “Best of the Web” dotcom that I sold to The Walt Disney Company, where I served as Director and Executive Editor of the Disney Interactive Media Group. I've been a newspaper columnist, magazine editor, radio and video host, and have created content and marketing programs for various Fortune 500 companies. I have a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which awarded me its Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, and an MSJ in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where I'm on the Board of NUvention Media Entrepreneurship program.
I always dreamed of having my own company, especially after watching my grandparents’ example. With three young boys and not much more than the clothes on their backs, they arrived in the United States in 1949. Using their old-world woodworking skills, my grandparents started a custom cabinet shop that turned into a thriving Midwest business. Then there was my mom’s mother in Puerto Rico. She managed the family farm and ran a side business of making clothes for people in their pequeño pueblo, all the while raising 13 kids mostly on her own. Long before the word "entrepreneur" was sexy – or even really a thing – I figured if my dad’s parents could do it as immigrants with three young kids, and my mom’s mother could do it on her own in a remote island village with 13 kids, I could do it, too.
I know so many things now that I didn’t understand when I started out in my career, and one of the most important is that I know our societal narrative about success is wrong. I have met many women who, like me, have had lives filled with friction or who are different in some way, yet who are wildly successful. We are living proof that success doesn’t just come to insiders who have a smooth path through life. Success is something that you make yourself, and if we can do it, other outsiders can, too.
You may not believe you can, not yet anyway, because we others have been told – either directly or indirectly – that success is not for us. We’ve been told that success is for those who are born to it; that success is for those who have the best looks or the best grades or the best connections; that success is for those with the “right” skin color or sexual preference or religion or socioeconomic status.
This is simply not true. We have been lied to. Because success is not necessarily something that you are born into or that is handed to you. Success is something that you make yourself, and I’m living proof that you can do it. In fact, anyone can become the fire, and I’ll show you how.
Become the Fire is based on the idea that being an outsider often surrounded by chaos is not a weakness or a limitation. Rather, it’s a massive strength. I succeeded not despite my challenges, but because of them – and this is true of so many high-achieving outsider women I have met on my journey. It’s a best-kept secret – that the very things you fear might hold you back are the superpowers you need to succeed and move forward.
I'm passionate about inspiring more women to succeed in their careers and in life, no matter their circumstances. It can be done. We'll tell you how. Become part of our growing community of those who are passionate about achieving success in career and life – all while doing good and making a difference.
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Becoming the fire doesn’t mean you won’t have embers in your life. In fact, they will likely always be there. Rather, it’s about viewing the flames as opportunities to grow stronger, wiser, braver and more resilient. It’s about seeing the fire as fuel to propel your success, because it can.
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