Ex-Corporate Ad Pro Kaitlin Villatoro Highlights her Decisions and Insights around Diving into a New Entrepreneurial Path
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m an ex-corporate ad pro, with 11 years of working with top Fortune 500 brands like Apple, Disney, and Corona. Motivated by the desire to be more present for my family and a demanding IVF journey, I left my corporate career to start my own social media advertising agency, Kaitlin Villatoro Ads, to help online business owners and small businesses increase their visibility, impact & revenue through Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok ads.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
Building a strong network and forming genuine business friendships! As a corporate girl for most of my career, it’s a priority of mine to create new circles of influence around other self-made, entrepreneurial women!
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Looking back, I can see that I was always meant to be an entrepreneur, but not coming from an entrepreneurial household, I didn’t realize it was an option! Then a string of sudden health challenges, including an IVF journey really illuminated the aspects of my life that weren’t aligned anymore. With 11 years of corporate advertising experience working with the top Fortune 500 brands in Los Angeles, I knew I had valuable expertise to offer, and I found helping small businesses grow felt much more fulfilling to me… so Kaitlin Villatoro Ads, my social media advertising agency was born!
What was your background before starting your own business?
I worked for 11 years in Los Angeles in the digital media and advertising industry, providing digital advertising and data solutions to major Fortune 500 brands such as Apple, Disney, Corona, Hewlett-Packard, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and Topgolf.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Looking back on my corporate career and the aspects that never quite felt right, I realize now that what didn’t feel right was clocking in and going to work for someone else in a capacity that wasn’t quite my passion. However, it took me time to gain this clarity because I don’t come from an entrepreneurial household or friend group, so the decision to shift and become an entrepreneur finally came from hitting almost a rock bottom realizing corporate just wasn’t working for me or my health anymore and so it was worth leaping into the unknown!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
I initially eased my way into starting a business Instagram account, so I could practice creating reels and getting used to
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Honestly, so far it’s been mindset. After building up a comfortable, senior-level salary from my 11-year corporate career, it was extremely uncomfortable to start over at $0. I am still in my first year of business, so this disparity still triggers fear, but I always come back to my why (my family, my health) and remember that I’m building something now to create an entire lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of. (Not just a bi-weekly paycheck)
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
Starting this business! It took guts and being extremely honest with myself and what I want out of life.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I do. But I don’t believe we should pressure ourselves to be in total balance 100% of the time – in anything: business, health, relationships… That only fuels a perfectionistic mindset, which isn’t attainable. I do however believe that we can create a lifestyle that feels “balanced” overall for us. For example, family and health is my priority. So if work starts to cut into that and I’m prioritizing work over my wellbeing, that is not in balance for me and not something I tolerate because I did not start this business to recreate a corporate environment. So for me, I feel at balance in my work/life when I get clear on my priorities in both areas and honor them as much as I can, knowing some days may swing more heavily to one side.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
I’ve just joined so no advice just yet!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
A personal win is that I am newly pregnant through IVF, which has been a long journey so far and is a huge motivator for me in business!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I’m planning an expansion! Taking on more TikTok clients as the opportunity on that platform continues to grow, growing my own team – but my intention is to always remain a smaller, boutique agency so that I can focus on deep relationships and high-level service for each of my clients.