Gabriela Guzman on becoming an intuitive coach that helps women to reach their full potential
Gabriela sits down with us to chat about her unexpected path to entrepreneurship, her commitment to having employees create what they love, and the fluidity of being an entrepreneur.
Describe your business in a few words?
I am an intuitive coach, strategist, and madrina – helping women become who they really are so they can be free. We do it through soul work, strategy, and community.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I knew I had so much creativity in me, and I would never be able to fully express it under some company’s rules. I also realized I was spending most of my days managing up, and would rather work on my own terms, and be home to pick up my son at school and hang out with him in the afternoons.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I worked in Consulting, Human Resources, non-profit communications and Advertising.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Not at all! My decision to become an entrepreneur happened within a few (very stressful) days. I was deeply distraught when I realized I had accepted a new job that was completely wrong for me. I quit in less than two weeks, and intuitively knew that the only real next step for me would be starting my own business.
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?
When I launched my business it was a social media agency. I quickly realized I was good at teaching, and started hosting free branding workshops around town at various events for entrepreneurs. I partnered with brands and locations who were values aligned with me, and the people I met at these spots became my first clients. It was a very organic and connected way to start my business.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
My biggest mistake was not giving myself the grace of a learning curve when I started something new. In the Fall of 2018 I launched a membership community for womxn entrepreneurs, Las Comadres. It has been a source of joy and impact to hundreds of women. And running a startup was completely outside of my comfort zone. There have been many challenges and lessons along the way, and I have been so hard on myself most of the time. I wish I would have recognized that I didn’t need to be amazing at it on day one.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Every day in our community that I see a woman who was insecure and doubtful suddenly be the first to speak up, go Live, share her business wins proudly and confidently – that is my proudest moment. It never gets old.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
What is your zone of genius and what do you hate doing? It’s critical to understand what people naturally excel at and love, and what they absolutely do not want to – from the beginning. We have a commitment to hiring experts and supporting them so they can excel and contribute in ways that they love.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Absolutely. Both of my businesses were primarily in-person, local events-based. The pandemic has shifted my businesses online in a way that will largely remain permanent.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I am looking forward to writing a book by the end of the year, and continuing to grow our membership community with members from all over.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
In 2020 I learned to ask for help. When we saw our entire business model shift from one day to the other, we realized that recognizing where we needed help, asking for it, and receiving it would be an essential part of how we would survive 2020. This help included – outsourcing and teaching us online marketing, support with spreading the word about our community, and partnering with other organizations to support one another.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I wish I realized how fluid my entrepreneurship journey would be. I have shifted from agency director to coach to startup CEO and continue to dance between roles. I wish I would have been less attached to each step and recognized these changes were a reflection of a deeper lived authenticity within me.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Lots of Shadow work, journaling, early breakfasts with close friends in our backyard in South Florida. Also letting myself cry when I feel it and working on cultivating deeper trust that things will work out.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I believe in striving to live a harmonious life, and not expecting things to be “even” in any way. My son is homeschooling this year, and we take breaks to make lunch together, and take walks around the neighborhood several times a week. I’ve recognized it’s a choice to prioritize time with him – and I’m getting better at pausing work to do so.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a proud feminist who daydreams about carpools and PTA meetings. I long for ease and domestication and caring for the people I love in this next phase of my life – ALONG with running my business. Being 40 and having nothing to prove is deeply liberating.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1) Plan the top 3 big things to accomplish before you start your day.
2) Time block these things.
3) Make time for self care a priority.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
That we are not alone in this journey, and our natural state is to be in deep support of one another.