Iran Ortiz knows a lot about the hustle life. The Dominican-born entrepreneur bred in the Bronx spends her days navigating through two businesses – her jewelry line Endless Noise NYC and her clothing store Le Suite Boutique – a bartender job and a gig as co-host of Uptown Girls NYC, a podcast that aims to empower women of the uptown Manhattan community and beyond.
“An entrepreneur to me is someone who does their own thing, makes their own money, has control of how much money they make and, by control, meaning they set their own goals so they can reach them and it’s all up to them to reach them or not,” Ortiz said. “Also, someone who works on their own time.”
In 2012, U.S.-based Hispanic women owned 1,469,991 businesses, according to a National Women’s Business Council analysis of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners.
Despite the reported increase in businesses by Latina entrepreneurs, many challenges continue to face them and other women entrepreneurs of color, such as lack of access to financial capital and the absence of mentors.
Though Ortiz’s entrepreneurial journey has not been a smooth ride, the hardworking dominicana continues pushing forward with the support of her family and her tribe – the women in her life.
In the spirit of inspiring other Latinas, we caught up with Ortiz, who shared her top ten go-getting tips on hustling to your dream.
1. Do not join Team “No Sleep.” You will burn out. Listen to your body when it needs rest and time off.
2. Try bullet journaling. I just started using a bullet journal this year, and it definitely helps to keep me organized with so much going on.
3. Organize your space and clothes. You are able to do more with your time when you are not busy looking for a shirt or your keys when they are out of place.
4. Let them sit with you. It’s always good to meet new people. Take a few days out of the month to attend networking events or start your own.
5. Podcast. Take time during the week to listen to a few motivational podcasts while washing your hair, cooking or even doing work.
6. Pick up a gig. Find a part-time gig at a place where you meet new people every day. Tell five people during your shift about any one of your projects.
7. Surround yourself with people that support you. Sometimes, as human, we have doubts about what we’re capable of. I mention the things that scare me to my friends, cousins and sisters, telling them, “Yo, I’m scared to do this thing. Do you think I should do it? They tell me ‘Do it. You’d be so good at it.’”
8. Keep your head up. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t happen right away. Everything happens at the right time for you.
9. Change your environment. When feeling stuck, it’s OK to get up and work somewhere else – whether it’s the coffee shop across town or a hotel room in another state.
10. Give back. Be an inspiration to others who are interested in your craft. Lift other people up with you.