Leadership + Influence

Influence and Leadership aren’t things you turn on and off…it’s a muscle you have to move all the time.
While being “on” all the time sounds exhausting, know that the key to leadership is being consistent.
Leadership + influence is something you practice every. day.

Finalmente, BELLA Latina Llega a tus Manos

Editora-en-jefe Vanessa Coppes agradece su apoyo, anuncia nuevo rol de Jonathan Claixto cómo Sub-editor y de Yolanda Borbón cómo Directora editorial de BELLA Latina 🥂

Hoy celebramos este gran paso: nuestra primera edición de BELLA Latina Mag impresa que viene 🔥


Raw. Personal. Faithful.

4:30 am… writing my EIC letter for what is a very personal Mind, Body + Spirit issue of BELLA Magazine to kick off 2022.
I woke up with the concept of this issue on my heart a few months ago. In it, I’m sharing my vulnerability. My weaknesses. Some difficult + hard moments. My real. I know It’ll either scare away every inauthentic person in my life or it will inspire others to also let go of the mirage of perfection.
Having done this for myself years ago has opened the doors to the most important relationships I’ve ever been a part of -especially with God- that is priceless. I hope you receive it with all the love poured into it 💛 can’t wait 🙌🏽

Don’t forget to strike a pose.

If just for a moment, take in what’s happening around you. Bask in your unseen efforts + sacrifices. Stand in the power of the fabulous creation you are. Because you are.
At whatever “level” you find yourself in, know that it’s where you are supposed to be. Keep pushing. Keep believing in your dreams, you may just surprise yourself.
All things are working for your good. Believe that. Hold on to that.
Thank you Robi Ludwig for the 📸

The Calm Before the Storm

Today is our last event of 2021 + it feels surreal ✨ so grateful for everything + everyone (good + not so good) that have carried my team + I to this very moment 🙌🏽 it couldn’t have happened any other way 🤟🏽 stay tuned for after pics 💋 thank you. Yes. More, please.


Meet Your Customers Where They Are

Creating the best products and services based on their skills and knowledge is the focus for many small business owners.
The second thing they focus on is going out and finding people who need or want what they have to offer. Sometimes this works… and they build a successful business around it.
But more often, especially, with small business owners in service or product based businesses, it doesn’t work. They create services/products, that they would want or that they believe other people would need. They also build some structure around these ideas, come up with a marketing message, get a website and then they are off (feeling like they’re going to conquer the world).
Reality then bites. Less people visit their website. And even less contact them about what they have to offer (and, if they don’t get discouraged and give up, they look for a business coach, or take courses in marketing and copy writing). They get sold the idea that if they were just clearer in their marketing message, people would flock to their business.
Now that’s true, in part. The the clearer your messaging and the better your copy writing, the better your overall marketing can be. So it’s not a bad idea to use a coach, or focus on your copy writing. What I mean is that that doesn’t necessarily  mean you’re going to sell more of your services/products and make more money.
What you need to know is your audience.
When taking a good marketing or copy writing course, you should get plenty about identifying the demographics and psychographics of your audience – and that’s excellent. You also get plenty of customer-focused writing – and that’s certainly even better. But the truth is both are premature.
Very few small business owners ask themselves this very important question – what does  my target audience know they need? And again, what do they know they need? 
That my friends, is the key to successful marketing – finding out what they know they need. Not just what they need, but what they know they need (purposely repeated).
So, are you developing your services/products around what your audience knows they need?
How would meeting your audience where they are change your business?

15 Habits That Can Ruin A First Impression

The business world has become much more relaxed over the years -and that’s  a fabulous thing!

However -in some instances- it might not be as accepting as you think. While I am very much about being authentic, other people still make judgments on the basis of first impressions.

I am most definitely more about being the kind of person YOU want to do business with. It’s a karmic synergy and you’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.

People looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you if they are looking to engage and do business with you.

It’s what I like to call and am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).

The deeper the engagement or commitment at hand, the more they will want to know. It may not be fair (or even conscious), but some of our habits can trigger an adverse reaction.

So what do you do? Conscious reframing by doing your best to avoid them or correct them. Your success may depend on it.

Here are 15 Habits That Can Ruin a First Impression:

1. A weak handshake.

Handshakes in American society are still very telling. A solid handshake may go unnoticed or it may even send a jolt of positive energy. But a weak handshake may leave the receiver questioning your confidence and energy.

2. Inappropriate Attire.

So halter tops look great on you…AWESOME! But clothing that’s too revealing will get you attention, but quite possibly not the kind you want. Boring doesn’t equate to appropriate, neither does wearing a date night outfit. Choose a style that fits your industry and make it your own within reason. Few industries will welcome you in yoga pants.

3. Chewing gum.

You may like the taste and the motion, but chewing gum while meeting someone gives an impression of immaturity.

4. Arrogance.

The great speaker Walter Bond said: “Confidence is arrogance under control.” Learn the difference and people won’t think you are a jerk when they meet you.

5. Sloppy clothing.

Shabby chic does not mean dirty. Your clothes should be clean and neat. You can tell the difference between intentional business casual style versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.

6. Bad breath.

This one is tough because you may halitosis and not even know it. And the truth is, no one really wants to tell you. Most bad breath issues come from food or poor dental hygiene. The good news is that you can remedy both. Keep fresh mints handy for after meals and take care of your teeth and gums.

7. Excessive texting.

When meeting people, if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal that you find no one more important than yourself. You seriously CAN last 15 to 30 minutes without knowing what your kids are up to. Be present in the moment, that has more value than you believe.

8. Body odor.

Like bad breath, you may be unaware, and people struggle with telling you. Solution? Take showers, use deodorant, and wash your clothes. Also, lay off the perfume. Aromizing BO only makes it worse.

9. Being intolerant.

The PC police is overrated at times but in truth, most people really don’t want to offend others. When you engage in the business world, you make a conscious choice to deal with people of all types. When you show people you are intolerant, it makes them wonder what’s wrong with you. By all means, create conversations, but be prepared to handle difference of opinions with grace. It can be done.

10. Sexism.

Men and women will likely never completely understand each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to be disrespectful. There are natural and distinctive masculine and feminine traits that can appear in either sex. Learn to deal with people as individuals and professionals, not based on their gender.

11. Complaining.

If you are always seeing the glass half empty, you are projecting that you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being. No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Decide to change the way you see things, because happiness IS a  choice.

12. Self Rambling.

A good story about how and why you got started in business can always be entertaining. But when it turns into a continual droning about nothing but you, it will send others running for the door as soon as they can.

13. Eye-rolling.

This habit can be entertaining among your friends, but in a first meeting it comes off as rude. Show people you are open and eager. You can eye-roll together once you have an established relationship.

14. Unkempt hair.

Hair is a highly noticeable way to show people how you see yourself. Styles that are modern and well kept will signal that you know who you are and care about detail. Dirty hair says you don’t care enough about yourself to bother.

15. Not listening.

Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.

Treat your new relationships kindly. No one needs to know about your bowel movements or relationship woes at the first encounter. Leave others wanting more; be the type of person you want to meet!

Any pointers on how you handle first encounters? Were these tips helpful? Please share if so. Would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below!


Delegating + 7 Ways To Call Yourself Out on Your Own Bull$#!t

So much work goes into planning a project, specially one where your delivery depends on the delivery from other people, when your actions or results depend on the actions of of others.

That’s why delegating can become grueling and quite frankly as an entrepreneur, one of the biggest struggles you may find yourself in.

Truth: You have to let others do what they do, so that you can do what you do.

It is impossible to be in 3 places at 3 different times and some interactions with others -positive or not- are what fuel this thing called life. In short, you have to be willing to roll with the punches.

You have to let others do what they do, so that you can do what you do.

There is a lesson in EVERYTHING. Believe me Chica when I tell you, in absolutely EVERYTHING you experience and you have to be open and willing to catch yourself when you begin to BS yourself. You are not the be all end all. You are not the only person capable of doing that task. BS’ing ourselves into think we are all things holy in our lives and business is the first thing we do when we let our EGO control us.

When you live with that shift in mindset, it’s actually incredible the many things you will be able to accomplish. I promise you!

So whether you’re on a personal or an entrepreneurial journey, I hope these 7 Ways to Call Yourself Out on Your Own Bull$#!t serve you as they have me:

  1. Listen to your gut. Even if it’s a tiny nudge or subtle whisper. It is God’s way of directing your ship and it is never wrong. The more you listen, the sharper you will become at weeding out the things and people in your life that do not serve you.
  2. When you’re feeling drained…unplug. Yes that means not checking your mobile device every 5 minutes. Reconnect with your spouse, your children, go for a walk, pray. Take at least 5 minutes to center yourself. If you do this every day, I promise you it will remind you of your why. And your why is what matters.
  3. Try and I mean really try to not take falling outs personally. Like Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Nothing others do is because of you.” NOTHING.
  4. Get over yourself. Not much more to say about that.
  5. Surround yourself with like minded people, specially those who aren’t afraid to call you out on your bullshit. Sometimes the path gets foggy and we need windshield wipers to help us see what’s ahead. Don’t be afraid to hear the truth from someone other than yourself. My business partner Lynette Barbieri and I help each other see things from a different perspective. Doing this actually helps you get over yourself (lesson #4) very quickly. When you’re too invested in any situation, it can be difficult to make objective decisions. So, don’t go to people who will tell you what you want to hear, rather go to those that will help you see the lesson.
  6. A written contract holds invested parties accountable, but  at the end of the day your word supersedes. People will always remember the integrity in which you handled any given situation.
  7. Don’t be afraid to call other people out on their bullshit. Be that person others go to for clarity. The reality is that there is no gray area when it comes to the truth so, don’t be the one to dress it up for others. Nip it in the bud, throw the pity party and MOVE ON. There’s another opportunity waiting for them right around the corner which they might miss and you can help them see that.

Delegating doesn’t mean passing off work you don’t enjoy, it means giving others the opportunity to shine.

Let others do what they do, so that you can do what you do!


#Confession: Why I got a Part-Time Job and How It Helped Me Grow My Business

Confessions are truths about ourselves that heal wounds when spoken.

I moved to NJ from NY on April 21st, 2012.

Finally, my husband and I were moving to our new home! A home we had talked about, envisioned (literally on my vision board) and saved for for years. It was the start of a beautiful new chapter in our lives. Ready to raise our children in a community, with an actual backyard our kids and dogs could run and play in, a pool club only 1 minute away, blue ribbon schools: The American Dream.

We closed on the house 2 weeks after having Samuel -the baby. My store in Staten Island had finally found it’s groove after building it for 2 years and here I was in a state of shock, numb and in utter disbelief.

I had suffered from postpartum with my first son, I was doing everything in my power to not go through or put my family through that roller coaster again. Also, I was focused on the move, the new baby, my oldest son’s smooth transition -yet, I was in total limbo with my store. I had taken care of everything and everyone else, but I had not prepared my business for this move.

So you understand, when I started my business in 2009, it had literally become my lifeline. I was practically alone in Staten Island, my husband still works long hours and I had allowed overwhelm and insecurity, alienate myself from the world. My business had given me all that back, it forced me to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people, connect with women, etc. (my story is an interesting one, you can read more here).

This move, while anticipated and amazing, well, it was cramping my business. WTH was I going to do now?

I was back to square one here in NJ. With the exception of a few ladies I had met through networking, I knew nobody. For someone who is so “connected”, I remember sitting in my new workshop thinking: Fuck, I got nothin’!

Thinking about how long and how much work it had taken me to get my business to where it was and that I had to do that all over gain, pissed me off. So much that I shut it down. I would still go to networking meetings, I continued to foster my virtual relationships, but other than that…I was doing N.A.D.A.

I sat and thought long and hard about how to get myself out of this rut…I had to get new clients, I had to meet more women. My usual networking events were far away, the local ones S.U.C.K.E.D. (that’s a topic for another post) and this time I wanted to continue to build my brand, but I wanted it to have a strong impact in my community. Why? Because entrepreneurship and motherhood can both be very lonely and I knew that I could not be the only woman who was feeling as isolated as I did in this area.

So I did what any entrepreneur would do, and this is my confession: I got a J.O.B. (gasp). It was the kind of job that allowed me to meet women, everyday, with disposable income who wanted to look and feel their best. What’s that? Yeah, my target market. On top of that, I got a SICK employee discount, to good to pass up.

I had previous retail experience coupled with the years of networking and my makeup mastery (thanks Má for making me take that class) from day 1, I did really well! Customers where happy and having phenomenal sales allowed me to meet some pretty phenomenal people (buyers, brand managers, etc.). As time passed and although I was only there for 2 1/2 months (I wasn’t thrilled about a set schedule…entrepreneurship will do that to you), as an innate connector, I became friendly with those phenomenal people. They have since become huge supporters of ETTWomen’s mission.

I had of course prayed for direction and my gut told me this was something I had to do. In that 2 1/2 month period I met Lynette, my ETTWomen business partner, and  if you’ve been following us, you know how much ETTWomen has grown and the impact we’ve made in our community. Most importantly, it has become a hub for connecting women entrepreneurs to each other, it has given women a much needed breathing space to grow and learn.

While getting a job felt like I had failed my business and myself, looking back on it today confirms ETTWomen’s mantra: Everything happens for a reason.

Do you have a #confession to make? Try releasing it. Not only does it feel really good 😉 you may just be helping someone else have a breakthrough in their life or business.


The Fabric of A Great Leader

The Pope, Oprah, Steve Jobs, and so many more. I’m sure you’ve got a fab list of great leaders too!

Great leadership however, can be difficult to understand. Even great leaders have a difficult time explaining what makes their leadership so infectious and effective. But whether they can explain themselves or not, it is their actions and words that undoubtedly make their great leadership noticeable.

I’m fascinated by what makes people tick and wanted to know what behaviors or traits others thought were in the fabric of a great leader. Members of ETTWomen weighed in with amazing qualities they feel make up a great leader:

  1. “I think that Optimism is what makes a leader great. It is imperative that a leader have a positive mindset that they share to inspire others on their team and those they work with.” Valerie Ryan, IDLife
  2. “Great leaders always look to empower others, be it by education, guidance, or praise.” Mayra Betances, d&e Papel
  3. “I have been captain of cheerleading 3 times in my life, and coached for 10. For me it’s always about leading from example. You have to be what your subordinates aspire to be.” Janice Martinez Woerner, Jersey Girl Health and Wealth
  4. “Great leaders don’t make their family their excuse, they make them their reason to…succeed.” Renee Marshall-McKinley, Keep Yourself Smelling Sweet
  5. “A great leader listens to the individual and shares with them what they need to move ahead.” Susan Best Jones, S. Best Designs
  6. “A great leader is also a humble servant. When we can also be a humble servant, we show the art of support and team work through example.” Joanne Malley,
  7. “A leader is someone who can easily communicate and delegate without feeling they have to be in control of everything. They help guide their employees and are happy to see their employees succeed.” Evy Havlik, Efficient Socially Savvy Media
  8. “A great leader motivates, inspires, empowers and encourages. A great leader does not run away from obstacles, passes blame or dwells on setbacks – but will say: let’s figure it out. A great leader is smart, resilient and energetic. A great leader is someone others are proud to work for and with!” Fran MacConnel, The Balanced Owl

Through the years, I’ve learned that great leaders foster an environment of symbiotic growth. They ‘get’ that ‘Team work, makes the dream work!” and most importantly, that another person’s success is their success too.

Great leaders welcome challenges, criticism, and different perspectives other than their own. They ‘get’ that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insights, and ask good questions is more likely than not to be destined for disaster.

Great leaders aren’t born, they are made.