Lessons From the Immigrant Hustle: Juan Palacio

What’s your name, company name, and title?

Juan Palacio, BloomsyBox.com, founder and CEO.

Which country did you emigrate from?

Colombia

Why did you or your family decide to immigrate?

Back in the late 1990s/early 2000s, the political and security situation of the country was very unstable. There were not many opportunities for young people. It was basically a decision to try something new and to bet for a brighter future. The country was submerged in an internal war with drug cartels and the guerrilla groups, and the economy was suffering from it.

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you arrived in the US?

The uncertainty of it all. Not knowing if I would be able to build a future here, not having a clear path towards a permanent solution to my immigration status, and of course not knowing anyone.

Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? (c.f. What triggered you?).

In general, the idea of building a vision to do something meaningful. My first entrepreneurship was more the result of necessity than anything else, but I learned I wanted to build something that wasn’t controlled by anybody else. I love the idea of exploring things without the typical boundaries that a 9–5 can have. The passion for not having a limit (and I’m not talking about money) on what you can do drives me every single day. The status quo is simply not an option for me.

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you first started your business?

Time management, and lack thereof. I was doing everything and knew that I needed to do something about it but couldn’t at the time. I was spending a lot of hours at the office doing things that I knew were not going to add anything to the top line but someone had to do them. I was that someone.

Why do you think you have been successful?

Because our users are happy with our concept and product. It’s all about the user experience and I think we’ve managed to provide our customers with a quality product, a very convenient service (flowers on a regular basis), and competitive pricing.

What advice do you have for newly arrived immigrants that want to pursue the path of entrepreneurship?

The most important thing is to keep chasing the vision because entrepreneurship is very hard. If you don’t have a clear understanding that the path is not an easy one, you can easily throw the towel in and look for a regular job. Entrepreneurship has to be rewarding in multiple ways…all aside from money. And by the way, forget about the money, especially during the first years.