“Develop Mentors in Your Life” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicky Llerena , co-founder of Social Vibes Media, a digital marketing agency to help brand’s build online credibility. Vicky was recently named Top 25 Brand Builder by Leading Women Entrepreneur, she was featured on NJ Biz as a highlighted woman and minority marketing agency, and excerpts of her work have appeared on HuffingtonPost and CEO Blog Nation.

Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?

I found-her that how I became a founder. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I was sick of an 8–5 job and I knew that the fidgeting at my desk was a sure symptom of entrepreneurship fever. I itched for more, I craved for more, I desired for work that created value in my life. I was working for PRNewswire before I started the business . PRN is a corporate wire distribution service .During my time at PRN, I learned about multimedia marketing and how technology helped connect people to a company’s message. This is where I really took off on my idea to start my own marketing agency — but still, it was a mess at the initial stages. Glad I’m not there anymore.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We like to identify ourselves as content creators. We create content that tells a story. Oh yea, at PRN , I learned about the art of storytelling. Preachers tells a great story and they connect , Sales people tell a great story and they sell, Directors tell a great story and they create blockbuster hits, speakers tell a great story and they sell out arenas, con artist tell a great story and they become millionaires. You get me , now? It’s all in the art of storytelling. This is exactly what I wanted to do for other brands and small businesses : teach them how to tell a great story.

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

Not allowed to say. BUT we are getting ready to partner with several organizations.

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Hands down, one of the best books to read is Dr. Wayne Dyer “Wishes Fulfilled” . This is a must read of any entrepreneur. The book is more than just a skill of manifestation — the book focuses on mind set. We are so cluttered with negative , regressive mindset that we do not focus on the goals. Dr. Dyer asserts that we must visualize our goals or desires and become that desire. But more than that, he shows you how. I’m obsessed with the psychology of the mind and how we make decisions; after all, I am a marketing strategist. But I am even more obsessed with Dr. Dyer’s forward thinking mindset. Don’t hold yourself back — dreams die if you let them, but a shift in mindset can transform you into a limitless entrepreneur.

Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Always take breaks. I can’t seem to sit still. I fidget and toss and turn. My legs itch, my head begins to twitch, and I feel uneasy if I sit for too long. This is the problem I had working in corporate. I almost felt forced to sit still. When I ventured into my own business, I felt an ease in taking breaks. Step away from your laptop for 15 min, walk outside, and allow your muscles to relax.

2. Connect with others. I often found that the most interesting conversations happened during the most unexpected situations: on a train ride, at a coffee shop, in line at supermarket, etc. We love to connect with others; it’s part of our inherent human nature. Allow yourself to genuinely connect with strangers (of course, with precautions) because some of these folks might be potential prospects, business partners, or angel investors.

3. Develop mentors in your life. I never claim to know it all nor do I ever want to know it all. My goal is to absorb as much information as possible from my much wiser group of friends. I can attribute mentorship to my growth and success. My mentors have helped me develop habits, open resources, and create a strategy that otherwise would be difficult to figure out.

4. Mindful Meditation. Mediate when you are alone or even while typing on your laptop. Writing has been a therapeutic process for me as well. Allow your thoughts to flow in a stream of consciousness style (think James Joyce). Pray or mindful meditation reminds us that there is more to life than a lucrative business plan.

5. HUSSLE HARD

Jean: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

Let me just tell you that I’ve been obsessing over two smart-ass influential artists : Jordan Belfort and Chris Voss . Jordan Belfort is the author and creator of the Straight Line Theory and Chris Voss authored the book “Never Split the Difference”. These two individuals are masters at the art of negotiation. They nail the art of psychological manipulation. I learned tremendous amount of knowledge from these two men. The art of business and sales has everything to do with psychological strategies. I would love to sit down with either of these two experts.

— Published on June 27, 2018