Hello, dear friends! 👋🏾👋🏼👋
Today, you'll hear more advice from someone who wasn't expected to do big things because she grew up poor.
In Part One, you learned how Evelyn Suero used those survival instincts and skills to her advantage. Now, find out why she says mindset and re-labeling play a huge role in defying the odds and achieving success.
In today's Tip Jar, she tells you the questions you need to ask and the list you need to make to start your business. She also explains why giving away some clients in the beginning is doing yourself a favor now and can pay off in the future.
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Let's now get to Part Two of my conversation with Evelyn Suero, Esq.
HOW YOU VIEW YOURSELF MATTERS; IF NECESSARY, RELABEL YOURSELF
“I love when you underestimate me because, then, I get to wow you.”
Evelyn Suero has never let anyone convince her that, just because she came from poverty, she couldn’t do big things in life.
The Ivy League educated attorney says it all boils down to how you view yourself and label yourself to the world.
THE TIP JAR (tips provided courtesy of Evelyn Suero, Esq.)
STARTING OUT: “I’ve worked with small businesses. I’ve worked with celebrities. They all have a team, especially the celebrities… Maybe you’re not going to have all that in the very beginning. But you’re going to maybe need an attorney for a few contracts… so you can protect your business. You’re investing in your business, so you want to protect it. So educate yourself and get that team.”
STEEPED IN SKILLS (mid-career): “Think of who your customers are. Write a list of who would be your ideal customers and figure out where you need to meet them and start.”
STARTING OVER: “Narrow down what you love, what you can do, and then don’t be afraid to do it. Just because it’s not one of the popular, get-rich quick, big-time businesses, you can make it an amazing business. And, in fact, if it’s not a huge business right now, there’s a lot of space for you to be the monopoly for that business. So I think I would do that one over any other trend.”
I’LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN: In Part One, Suero recommended not taking on clients that aren’t suited to your core strengths. Now, in Part Two, she explains how she maximizes the effectiveness of passing along those clients to others.
“If a client is not a match for me, I send [them] to another attorney. I have no problem [doing that]. I love doing it. I just sent one a few minutes ago.”
The attorney she refers the client to is very appreciative. She says that doing this pays dividends in her business. Here’s how:
“[The work I send to them] is something that I know they can do with their eyes closed. And, so, it’s fast for them. And it’s not a problem. And they send me [work].”
TACKLE ANY CHALLENGE WITH A PROBLEM-SOLVING MINDSET
Even becoming pregnant while in her second year of college didn’t stop her.
“I remember some people telling me… I guess you had your chance. I guess it’s over for you now.”
“I’m a problem solver. It’s kind of like, what do I need to do? Okay, what are the steps I need to do?”
She says, “There is a way. So you just gotta chart that path for yourself.”
RE-LABEL THE SKILLS YOU MAY BE TAKING FOR GRANTED
Suero also gives the example of her cousin in Colombia who sends her fabric to make the clothes.
She told her cousin, “Honey, you’re in global business. And, so, I think it’s really changing the mindset and… re-labeling is really important. And letting people know how powerful they are and can be.”
SHIFT YOUR MINDSET
Suero provides another example of shifting your mindset.
It happened when she was laid off from her job at a law firm. For a moment, she thought about how much she was going to miss the people at the company. She knew it would be scary since she was also a single mom.
But, then, her mind started turning the situation around in her head.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE GOLD NUGGET
She asked herself, “What gold nugget can I find here, even though it looks grim?”
Suddenly, Suero says she felt “liberated” and decided to start her own law practice.
“It’s do or die. Now, I can do it. I can finally take that chance. It’s really, I think, about perspective… I think that’s the best kept secret. I think it starts with how you approach any setback, any opportunity.”
And, really, she realized she’d already planted the seeds early on at her job.
WHEN INTRODUCING YOURSELF, STRESS WHAT "YOU" DO
When they sent her out to networking events, she didn’t introduce herself by saying, “I’m an attorney. I work for this firm.”
Instead, she’d say, “I’m Evelyn Suero. I do business and international work. So they knew who I was.”
SHARE THE WEALTH - MAKE ANY SITUATION A WIN-WIN
Suero stresses that she is not suggesting anyone to be disloyal to their employer.
She points out that she brought a lot of business to her former employer and continues to do so.
“We still send each other business - to this day. And I think you can keep building bridges and expanding your own business by helping others realize their dreams - and just grow.”
That’s why she believes employers should encourage their employees to learn while they work.
Changing your mindset is critical, especially when things aren’t going your way.
USE A JOB LOSS OR SETBACK AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON YOURSELF OR SPEND TIME WITH THOSE YOU LOVE
She explained, “In the very beginning, when there would be a slowdown in business, and I know people who would get all desperate about it, and I’m, like, good! Now I get to [take] a break and [can] read… and learn. And I would take those opportunities to hone my craft. So when it got really, really busy, I could handle it. So it’s really just an approach to things – and to stay positive.”
Suero has stayed positive, even through the bad times.
During the recession, instead of practicing law immediately, she helped her son, who is on the autism spectrum.
She shared with me that her mother had recently passed away and that had been difficult for her. But she says, “I read my Bible almost every day. So that keeps me centered.”
FIND THE JOY
She believes her Latino background lends itself to living with positivity in mind and, “no matter what state you’re in, to find the joy. And I think that that’s a huge part of how I approach life.”
This mindset and approach to life transfers to everything she does.
LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP OTHERS
Even with the interview for this article, she said she was thinking about whom she could touch with her life story and experiences. She calls it “the domino effect." She says, "I could die and, you know, someone will continue. Someone will get inspired, and if that’s what… my life can do, I think that’s very powerful.”
NO NEED TO GO IT ALONE
HELP ON THE OUTSIDE...because we can all use a helping hand:
Get a Grant
Grants are great because, unlike loans, you don't pay them back. So how do you find them? Where should you look? And are there any tips or pointers when filling out the application? Find out in this FREE webinar.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
"How to Find Grant Opportunities for your Small Business"
Wednesday, May 31, 2022
1:00 p.m. EDT - 2:00 p.m. EDT
WORKING ON THE INSIDE...because we know our culture has a hard time asking for help:
Did you know that you can volunteer online? Many people are interested in volunteering, but they just need some guidance on how they can do it. In this blog post, you'll learn about 14 ways your small business can do volunteer work. Not only will you feel great about giving of your time or skills but, if you have employees, it will also help your team bond.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
"14 Ways Small Businesses Can Participate in Volunteer Work"
INSPIRATION FOR THIS STORY:
It’s important for me to profile Latinos, who not only share their contributions to the business world, but who also have a story that can resonate with others who may have a harder time seeing themselves as business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs. In some cases, it’s because they don’t know the steps or resources available. In some cases, it’s self-doubt. And in other instances, it could just be because they didn’t have role models to inspire them, or a combination of all of the above.
Evelyn Suero is keenly aware of her purpose as a role model because people are watching what she does. She remembers back to her senior year in high school. That’s when one of her neighbors told her, “'Evie, you know you’re the only one that’s going to college on this block. You’re the only one.'"
Suero says, "I had a responsibility to take it as far as I could take it – and still do.”
She’s right; people are watching. And they’re reading, learning and relabeling themselves about who they are, who they can become and what they can accomplish by learning from others.
After I published Part One of Evelyn Suero’s interview, someone I know texted me, “I read your recent article on that woman who grew up poor on [government] assistance just like me.”
That person added that they were now thinking of going back to school to pursue a law degree. And Evelyn's story inspired them to seriously consider that option.
It’s not cliché.
We do have a higher purpose. And the willingness of people like Evelyn Suero to share not only the successes, but also the difficult and painful parts of their lives, can and does inspire others.
That’s why I thought it showed Evelyn’s foresight; she understood that even one interview can make a difference to someone.
🌴Hopefully, you found inspiration in this story and others in the Generation Si! newsletter. If so, please share it with others (share button is at the top).
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