Creative CEO Founder Vanessa Farino on the Intersection of Business Mentorship and Her Life Passion
Hi Vanessa! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
My name is Vanessa Farino and I am a Business & Energy Mentor and Founder of Creative CEO. Our mission is to Ignite and empower female founders to transform their businesses to create generational wealth and impact their communities. We offer business mentorship and consulting, host experiences, business retreats, and a summit in Boston, NYC, Miami & Puerto Rico. I’m an award-winning multi-passionate entrepreneur named by Boston Business Journal “40 under 40”, El Mundo Boston “30 under 30”. I am featured in the documentary called “Still Working 9 to 5” based on the movie “Working 9 to 5.” The film examines the 40-year evolution of gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace since the 1980s.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I am a people person and truly thrilled about the opportunity to connect with other members and be part of this community!
So Vanessa, what made you take the leap to start Creative CEO?
I’ve launched a total of 6 different businesses and have a depth of knowledge from each one (brick and mortar, service and product based), but also humbled by the community impact that I created with each business. Creative CEO was born when I fully aligned with my North Star, my life’s purpose. I realized that the depth of knowledge that I had for business was uncommon and could be put for greater purpose to mentor other female founders to achieve and define success on their own terms. Being a women of color, I realized that women from different walks of life don’t have access to business mentorship and that infuriated me. I am here to change that and the reason why I embarked on this journey.
What was your background prior to starting Creative CEO?
I co-founded my first company at age 15. I grew up around entrepreneurs and realized at an early age that I was passionate about business. Throughout multiple endeavors, I also held a career working directly with C-Suite Executives in Boston at startup company for 14 years now.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entreprenista?
No, although I grew up around entrepreneurs, I didn’t realize it would be my most joyful path in life. I did realize in my teenage years that I was very passionate and excited about business and a curious creative.
Marketing a new business can be difficult when first getting started. Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out?
When I launched this business, I hired a business coach, and I took on their advice on how to approach a marketing strategy and it flopped terribly. I was so focused on doing as I was told (by the book) and forgot about my power and intuition. It taught me (once again) to trust my intuition and remember that only I hold the power of my success. I relaunched 30 days later using my intuition and what I learned and fully sold out my accelerator program.
Entreprenistas must be resilient as we overcome daily roadblocks. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way so far?
The biggest challenge I have encountered along the way in business was dealing with sales. It was just uncomfortable for me and not for the lack of confidence it was something un-explainable. I set off to dig deeper to have a better understanding of the root of where that was coming from. I soon realized that there was much to learn, understand and heal about my money and wealth relationship I had as a human. Today, this is something that I also support my clients with. It’s important for me to show them the root of their money and wealth relationship before we talk about pricing and sales strategy. It’s all connected and there is so much more peace that comes from a healing perspective.
So Vanessa, can you share about your experience hosting The PWR of WMN Business Summit?
This year, I hosted The PWR of WMN in Business Summit in Boston and during the process I approached 80 corporate sponsorships to help us bring the vision to life and was unsuccessful. I decided to be my own sponsor and bet on myself and had a sold out event two weeks prior to the date with over 100 attendees. We will now be bringing the summit this year to Boston, NYC and Miami.
Work life balance sounds nice in theory, but do you actually believe in work life balance? If so, what are some of your best tips?
I invented this methodology called “Magic 112” and it is basically 24×7 (168 hours in a week) and if we are sleeping 8 hours in a day to provide gratitude to our bodies for all that we ask of it to do (56 hours sleeping) we are now left with 112 waking hours. All of the people you admire and aspire to be also have this “Magic 112” and it is up to each and every single one of us to decide on how we best spend our time and use it responsibly. I do believe there is a balance for each and every one of us but it is only in our power to enforce that balance and set those boundaries. One of my favorite boundaries is that I don’t work on the weekends.
So Vanessa, what’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Learn to be selfish with your time; it’s the best underrated quality and looked at negatively. If you become selfish with your time, you will be a more present, loving and caring person because your cup will most likely always be filled. Also, heal that money and wealth relationship your bank account and clients will thank you.
Vanessa, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
Our 2nd Annual Creativa Business Retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico is happening this April. Every year we host the opportunity for female founders to come rest and recharge but also participate in insightful workshops, mastermind sessions and meet new business friends. To support the island we also only work with local women-owned business vendors. This year our retreat is almost sold out.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We look forward to bringing our summit to life this year to Boston, NYC & Miami as well as our quarterly CEO Dinners in those cities. Creative CEO’s work is a movement. We are here to redefine what small business success looks like and how it can be accessible and possible for anyone. As a result, women-owned businesses are going to show even more power in our economy which will lead us to more resources and opportunities.