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Evelyn Suero's story is sure to inspire you and make you look at how you approach difficulties in life. Her advice is sprinkled throughout the newsletter. Specifically, in today's Tip Jar, check out her advice on which clients to take on and her rationale for it.
Now, allow me to present to you, Evelyn Suero.
USE WHAT HELPED YOU SURVIVE TO YOUR BENEFIT
Evelyn Suero knows what survival mode is. She says, as a child, she grew up in poverty, on government assistance and in an environment in New York where “you’re around people who barter to survive.”
Believe it or not, it has its positives. She describes it in figurative, but blunt, terms.
“It’s helped me in different ways now that I am an entrepreneur to understand that… I don’t need to eat what I kill.”
THE TIP JAR (tips provided courtesy of Evelyn Suero, Esq.)
STARTING OUT: “Meet with people who are in that industry so that you can understand the costs involved.”
STEEPED IN SKILLS (mid-career): She gives the example of starting a law practice.
“I would network in places where there weren’t necessarily attorneys, but there [were] professionals that I knew would need my services or that they worked with others who would need my services.”
STARTING OVER: “Don’t decide on a business just because you think it’s going to make a lot of money for you. Don’t choose that, especially when you’re in that second chapter of your life and you want meaningfulness and you want to have fulfillment in your business.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: “What are your skills? What do people go to you for?”
“If you’re the go-to person for translating, if you’re the go-to person for consulting on taxes… or, oh, she knows everything about selling a house. If that’s it, then maybe that’s in your future. Maybe you wouldn’t only be a regular real estate agent. You could be an amazing real estate agent because you know everything about the neighborhood.”
I’LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN: “Taking on clients just because you need them - or business - because you need it.”
“It’s not going to be something you look forward to working on. It’ll take you longer. And that just means that [you’ll] need to work harder to get the clients that you do want. Because you’ll make more money from the clients you want – because you’ll be that much more effective and they’ll pay you more for your effectiveness and your productivity.”
BEST ADVICE FROM “LA CASA”/BEST “HOUSE” ADVICE: “My mom would say, ‘La basura no se recoge.’”
TRANSLATION: Don’t pick up the trash.
“You don’t pick up garbage that you threw out… If something didn’t work for you in the past, I don’t care if it was a relationship… it doesn’t mean that people don’t deserve second chances… If it didn’t serve you well, don’t go back and pick that up. It doesn’t make a person garbage. But it makes a situation garbage for you. So, definitely only look towards things that inspire you and make you your best person.”
TEACH YOURSELF, IF RESOURCES AREN'T AVAILABLE
The Ivy League educated lawyer now has a business and entertainment law practice that helps entrepreneurs. She says survival mode served as her roadmap in the beginning.
It forced her to become independent and to become self-taught.
Suero says, “I think that’s something that slows a lot of people of color or people who don’t have other role models. So we have to teach ourselves.”
Coming from that rough background taught her negotiation skills. Suero says, as a child, she “knew how to escape very difficult or very threatening situations.”
THINK WIN-WIN WHEN NEGOTIATING
Now, she teaches negotiation. And you better believe it helps her with her law practice.
“You gotta deal with the person you’re dealing with. You gotta understand where they’re coming from, what they want, what they’re not saying…"
She adds that you have to understand, "what experiences they’re bringing to the table and [how] to make the deal happen, how to make it a win-win.”
Suero is very clear about help she got along the way.
“The story of Evelyn is not just about me pushing through. I had a lot of help.”
She talks about an organization that helped her study for specialized exams and the SAT. She says the organization’s volunteers provided her with a computer – because there’s no way she could have afforded one on her own.
“They were funded by big corporations, [including] Chase Bank. I’ll never forget it. We would go into these beautiful ceremonies, and we would get dressed up. And, you know, we felt important…. I didn’t want people to ever have to say, we put all this into this girl, and she did nothing with it.”
Well, Suero definitely did do something with it. She started her own law firm and realized, while she used strategies and tactics that served her well growing up in survival mode, it’s actually ideal to have an entrepreneurial mindset of thrive mode.
STRIVE FOR A MINDSET OF THRIVE MODE
“In the beginning of a business, you’re [in] survival mode. But I don’t recommend staying in that mode because it’s not a good place to be. And, in fact, if you can avoid it altogether by doing the things you said you’d do before you start the business, you will never be in that survival mode.”
That means to stay focused on your path, your plan and your purpose. How?
KEEP GOING BACK TO YOUR PURPOSE
“Tap into anything that reminds you of your purpose.”
She says, “I think the way you approach your business and the way you present yourself to the community is what’s going to attract more success your way, bigger clients [and] better business.”
In the end, though, Suero doesn’t dismiss that it’s the difficulties of survival mode that got her where she is today.
It fueled her and others who grew up in a challenging environment to be able to attend Ivy League schools and then to pursue successful careers or business ownership.
She says, “That’s why they became successful. Not because they went to those schools, but because of what drove them to get to even that level – that drive.”
INDUSTRY: Law (Business and Entertainment)
STARTED BUSINESS: 2016
LATINO/HISPANIC CONNECTION: Maternal grandparents were born in Puerto Rico
Father was born in the Dominican Republic
University of Pennsylvania - Juris Doctor of Law
Swarthmore College – Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology
DREAM JOB AS A KID: “When you were in the inner city, you know, it was just doctor or lawyer because there’s just not that many of us in [those] fields… so they would push [those careers]. And it was well-intentioned. So I didn’t like dealing with bodies or biology. That wasn’t my thing. So I just said, alright. I’ll be a lawyer. I like to read. And I was cool with that.”
“I had a little picture of a lawyer. And, so, that was, you know what guided me. And, so, that was a good thing because, in a way, I sort of had a path.”
BIGGEST GOAL YET: “I would like to dip my toe in entrepreneurship. My son is a budding entrepreneur, as well, and we’ve bounced a few ideas, particularly because I am exposed to a lot of different types of business owners, and I see what their needs are.”
“I do have an aspiration to have an international business, a multinational business, that would help business owners around the world… I would like it to be multilingual and as big as I can make it. I mean, I’ve already proposed it to a couple of people. So, we’re in the process of preparing the business plan and things like that. So who knows what’s next?”
NO NEED TO GO IT ALONE
HELP ON THE OUTSIDE...because we can all use a helping hand:
CONTENT MARKETING – ON THE CHEAP
How do you provide potential customers with info that may not only turn them into customers but also helps establish you as an expert in your industry? This FREE webinar will share how to provide content, whether it’s through a blog, a newsletter, a podcast or something else, that connects with prospects and aligns with your sales strategy.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
“Content Marketing: Moving Your Prospects & Customers Through Your Sales Funnel”
Thursday, May 19, 2022
10:00 a.m. EDT – 11:00 a.m. EDT
WORKING ON THE INSIDE...because we know our culture has a hard time asking for help:
Finding the Time For Yourself: The Power of Delegation
It's so easy to let your company's demands crowd out all your personal time. The solution? Delegate. Mark your calendar for this FREE webinar which will teach you the five stages of delegation (I had no idea there were five stages). You'll learn how to delegate effectively and efficiently. The class description claims you'll get at least one hour of your day back. Sounds good to me!
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
"The 5 Stages of Delegation to Energize Your Business Growth"
Thursday, June 16, 2022
INSPIRATION FOR THIS ISSUE:
“You’re only as hungry as you have to be.”
Do you believe in that premise?
I heard it from a boyfriend I had many years ago. He came from a wealthy family. He explained his statement by saying that he, sometimes, thought that coming from money and privilege hindered him. I know; cry me a river.
He believed that people who have to struggle financially, because of their situation, are more determined and ambitious - because they have no other choice.
Obviously, people who come from money are afforded opportunities in life that others are not.
So when Evelyn Suero was sharing with me how growing up with a survival mentality ended up helping her, it immediately reminded me of what that former boyfriend said.
People who grow up in poverty, surrounded by danger and a lack of resources frequently have a hard time climbing out of that environment.
That made me interested in how Evelyn was able to go from a place where expectations were low to a mental space where entrepreneurship was not only within her reach, but actually became her reality.
I love how she was able to use survival skills she developed growing up and apply them to any educational and career-related challenge or opportunity she faced.
If you’ve had something devastating happen or grew up being told, for whatever reason, you wouldn’t succeed, I hope Evelyn’s story shows you that you can find a way out or a way forward to success.
Be sure to read the next issue of Generation Si! I’ll share even more of Evelyn’s advice on how to transform your life and career.
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