NextGen Collective spotlights BLENDtw Founder and CEO Maricielo Solis. Read on about her work, her morning routine, the key ingredients to her success, and more.
Where are you from?
What do you do today?
I’m the CEO and founder of BLENDtw.
Who inspired you the most in your life growing up?
My parents inspired me the most growing up. They sacrificed a lot to provide a better life for me, immigrating to the US when I was only thirteen years old. I have always admired their determination to keep going no matter how hard things get and also their positive attitude in the face of adversity.
Whose career really inspires you?
I have been following Ava Duvernay’s career for many years. She is a role model for me. I love the way she uses her platform in Hollywood to shed light on important social issues and how she is making storytelling more inclusive and diverse through her distribution film company ARRAY. As a storyteller, that is exactly what I strive to do. It would be an honor to connect with her, and find ways to collaborate together.
What lesson did you learn early in your career that still serves you today?
Consistency is better than greatness. Talent is not enough to be successful. Success is the result of small steps taken consistently over time. It does not matter how smart or gifted you are. If you are not willing to invest the time, effort, and energy to be the best at what you do, then you will never be successful.
What are some of the biggest challenges you see for Latino professionals early in their careers?
Access to funding and resources to grow their businesses is a huge challenge for Latino professionals. Latinos start more businesses per capita than any other racial group in America, yet they receive less than two percent of venture capital funding.
It is pivotal for venture capital firms to make investing in diverse entrepreneurs a top priority so they can stop overlooking the opportunity to invest in multicultural-led businesses.
How can Latinx professionals better advocate for themselves?
It is very important for Latino professionals in powerful positions to be advocates for their own people. I am part of a couple of mastermind groups where elite entrepreneurs making over seven-figures meet and I have realized that the number one reason why Latinos are not part of those conversations and do not belong to those groups is because of the lack of knowledge and limited resources. It is important for Latinos that are thriving to give back and support other professionals through mentorship. It could make a big difference in the life of Latino professionals that are just starting their careers.
What is part of your daily routine that you look forward to every day?
I look forward to my morning routine. Before starting my work day, I love to work out for forty minutes and then meditate for twenty minutes. Having that one hour for myself increases my productivity and also helps me stay motivated throughout the day.
When you get a new idea, what’s the first thing you do with it?
Every time I get a new idea, I need to write it down immediately in my journal because I am afraid to forget it.
What behavior or personality trait do you attribute to your success?
The first is patience. When I first started BLENDtw, I was not making a penny and working almost ten hours a day. It was not easy as there was a lot that I had to sacrifice in my personal life to make my business grow. Success takes time and you need to be very patient with the process.
The second trait is showing up no matter what. When I look back at the early stages of my business, I realize there were so many times I wanted to quit and run because I was exhausted and not seeing the results I wanted. However, I never did and that is really the key to success. Success to me is the result of small steps taken over time. Even in my worst days, I always showed up no matter what and kept working to grow my business.
Finally, I attribute my success to being flexible and pivoting according to the needs of my business. When you are first starting out, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with everything you need to do in a given day because you are literally a one-person show. That is why people give up easily. It is so important to laser focus on the one aspect of the business that is working and make it grow so you can take it to the next level. Once you start making money and have the resources to hire someone to work for you, then you can start branching out and expanding your business.