Ep. 12 - Boosting Business Value Through Heart, Sensible Funding, And Life Balance

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Often, the best businesses that can withstand changes are those driven from the hearts of the people within it. In this episode, we have a fascinating discussion with bicultural consultant and thought leader, Victoria Garcia, about leading with an open heart and an open mind. She also dives deep into the capital options young businesses need to know about, especially coming from the perspective of those in the Hispanic community. Through it all, Victoria reminds us to take care of ourselves as she talks about nourishing your personal life even when professional work gets really busy. Join Victoria in this conversation, where she shares more on leadership, business culture, and business value—all of these moving from the heart.


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Boosting Business Value Through Heart, Sensible Funding, And Life Balance

An Interview With Special Guest, Victoria Garcia  

It’s our very first interview episode with my dear friend and an all-around amazing lady, Victoria Garcia. Victoria, it’s great to have you on board.

Thank you so much for having me here, Jason. It is a pleasure.

I was going to lead you in with an introduction bio, but it sounds so much better coming from you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for asking. Once again, thank you, Jason and David, for having me here. I’m genuinely excited for this conversation. I am a Colorado native. I was born in Mexico City but raised in Colorado. I’m a first-generation Mexican-American entrepreneur. I dove into the world of entrepreneurship in 2016. I loved it and have been in that world ever since.

I’m also in bilingual leadership and business consulting. I do a lot of consulting in Spanish for American companies that have Hispanic employees who prefer to receive leadership and business training in Spanish. They hire someone like me to do that. I also do translations, interpretations, and speaking engagements from time to time. I am a workshop facilitator. I am your typical average definition of an entrepreneur. I do a lot of different things, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You’re a multipreneur.

I am, probably.

One of the couple things that you didn’t give yourself enough credit for that I’d like to highlight that is not only do you do work multilingually, but you help with cultural assimilation in the workplace as well, correct? Tell us a little bit about that.

Yes. I fully believe that there needs to be heart in what you’re doing. Jason and I previously talked about this during one of our lunch meetings. Stimulating culture in the workplace to me is so important because that allows people to be involved on a deeper level, not just on an intellectual level. Heart-centered leadership is something that I am developing and value.

I realized it was this massive gap in business, in general, where there were a lot of intelligent, present, and very articulate people in the room, but what I noticed was missing was this heart energy. To me, showing up in the world with an open mind and an open heart became my philosophy and my way of existing since 2019 moving forward. When I’m coaching or leading workshops or events, I lead with that mindset because that adds that special touch to business.

That’s beautiful. Articulated as mindset, heartset, and spiritset. I love that. I’m saying that because I want you to know that I’m going to ask you a question now, and you’re going to be preaching to the choir with your answer. When you bring the heartset into business or the businesses that you work with, how does that translate into them being able to boost their value?

I’ll speak from a client experience I had in 2022. I worked with this woman for nine months. It was very clear that I couldn’t begin with coaching. There were deeper levels there that I needed to explore and she needed to explore. We both needed to be vulnerable enough to figure out what was going on beneath the surface. The beneath-the-surface part can be very scary and intimidating. However, we needed to explore that before we could start doing higher-level coaching, the business, and leadership stuff, and that came eventually.

To answer your question, the way that it helped this particular business was as soon as this woman was able to unearth what was happening beneath the surface, she then started showing up basically as the best version of herself and was able to lead the team that she was leading. She needed to assume that position for herself first. That took at least three months of deep-dive work. It’s getting my hands dirty and herself too, she had to get her hands dirty. That’s the work that some people aren’t willing to do and it’s okay. As she chose to do that work, she and the owners were able to see results in their business and the performance of their team as a whole.

What a great return on a three-month investment, right?

We worked together for 9 months total, but those 3 months needed to happen. It proceeded with the inevitable growth. Yes, it was a great investment.

I’m thinking about something that a colleague of mine is fond of saying, which is about going fast slowly. What you are illuminating for me and for our readers is that when we’re trying to go fast, fast, we’re likely to miss necessary pieces, and then wonder why the things that we’re focusing on aren’t bearing the fruit that we were hoping that they would bear.

In your example, you are describing the necessity of laying the right foundation in order for the more obvious things that go into executive development to take hold and bear fruit. This heartset foundation and going deeper into not just heartset, but you were also indirectly talking about limiting beliefs too that those things need to be unearthed and addressed so that whatever skills development gets to happen can bear fruit.

Yes, 100%. I hosted a money and wealth seminar back in January 2023 for the Hispanic community based on what you said. I realized that the Hispanic community, Latinos, in general, have the biggest wage gap. I’m a very big advocate for not only educating and informing Latinos about the wage gap, but what you’re going to do about it.

Based on what you said, I realized that there still are many limiting beliefs that are not only holding women back but especially, Latinos and women like myself who are first-generation. We weren’t raised by parents who knew the ropes in this country. We had to figure it out on our own. I realized, “Women are not going to achieve financial independence and a sense of financial security if there are all these limiting beliefs holding them back in their careers.”

All this stuff is subconscious and the whole getting your hands dirty stuff. The subconscious has to become conscious in order to have that breakthrough. Ideally, someone needs to guide you through that. It’s very difficult to do it by yourself. You can. I’m not saying you can’t, but it’s so much easier when someone is there guiding you and navigating that process with you.

There’s an old saying, “Even though we can’t do it by ourselves, we have to do it for ourselves.” That’s what you’re speaking. The work is our own to do, and we can’t do all of it without a docent, guide, midwife, facilitator, or catalyst.

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Anytime you’re doing any hard work, it’s always easier when you have a coach there challenging you to keep going when the going is difficult and challenging you not to cut corners on yourself. This is great work that translates to just about everything.

The other thing that I want to get from you before we start going into the Q&A portion is I’d love for you to talk more about your other business, the cacao business. This is fascinating. It’s an extension of this heart-centric and holistic approach that you have to everything else. Please tell us about that a little bit.

This is a fun story. I went to Costa Rica back in 2019. I was going through a quarter-life crisis in a nutshell. I went to Costa Rica on a two-week sabbatical and I’m on my own. That two-week trip completely changed my life, and I would say was the birth of my now business, Apapacho Cacao. In Costa Rica, in the eco-village I stayed at, they were only serving healthy organic vegan meals.

I went to the cafe in the center of the eco-village, and I was about to order something healthy like a smoothie bowl or turmeric shot. I noticed that on the menu, it said cacao shot. I immediately thought, “Cacao? Isn’t that chocolate? Why are they serving candy in the rainforest? Why are they serving candy in a healthy place like this? This doesn’t make sense.”

I’m someone who loves going down the path, at least traveled, so out of sheer curiosity, I was like, “Now, I want to order this. I want to see what this is.” I ordered it and they served it to me chilled. It was blended cacao paste, cacao butter, cayenne dates, coconut water, and some other ingredient. They blended it up and served it to me chilled. I drank it and within 7 to 10 minutes max, I felt euphoric. I like to say I feel blissed out. I went back to the woman who prepared my cacao shot and I was like, “What did you put in here? This is chocolate, but I’ve never felt this way before. What’s happening to me? What did you do?”

She’s like, “No, that’s just cacao.” She then started talking about the health benefits in addition to more of the esoteric spiritual benefits of cacao. At that time, I had no idea that cacao is considered a plant medicine and a powerful heart opener. Energetically, I immediately connected with my energy as a person. After that day, I went back to this place called Wild Treats every single day and ordered another cacao shot naturally so that I could continue experiencing this magic. I come back to Colorado and I told my husband all about this magical cacao drink I had in the rainforest. I was like, “Can you please help me recreate this? I want to continue drinking this in Colorado.”

We went to all the health foods stores you could possibly imagine like Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Trader Joe’s, and all the places to purchase whatever cacao products they had on their shelves, which honestly wasn’t that many and we couldn’t quite recreate it. Finally, after months of experimenting during the pandemic, because we had all this extra time, we finally figured it out. In May 2021 is when we launched our three cacao elixirs.

That’s how Apapacho Cacao came to be. The three cacao elixirs are meant to be a healthy alternative to drinking chocolates. Drinking chocolate is not something super common here in the United States. I’m from Mexico, so we drink chocolate caliente all the time. There are places called Churrerias where they serve churros and chocolate caliente. It’s something I drank my whole life. However, here in the US, we prefer to like eat chocolate bars. That is going to be one of our product line expansions eventually.

Going back to May 2021, we had an official formal launch party here in Colorado and then ever since then, it’s been so well-received. I was very nervous about launching this product because it’s so out there and different. Drinking chocolate is something that people associate with the holidays or they associate with skiing in Vail. They don’t associate it with having your cup of cacao every day.

As I started educating people on the benefits, mostly the heart-opening and heart-healing benefits of cacao, it was this situation like, “Don’t take my word for it. Drink it and experience it for yourself.” Eventually, the product started selling itself because people started experiencing those powerful benefits. They were able to show up in their lives as a full version of themselves as opposed to showing up 50% of who they are

I love that story and the company. It’s so great to know all of that. For the readers, I’ve been blessed to know Victoria for several years now and I do not ever walk away from an experience with Victoria having not learned something and grown as a person. I’m excited to be with you on this show. When we were talking about planning this episode, there were two topics that you were interested in talking about. We’re going to kick off into those now. It’s the meat of our conversation. Dr. Gruder, would you start this off?

I would love to. I already started down the path of one of the questions, which is wanting to know more about the things that you have observed that prevent people from being able to function in their executive roles in businesses in a way that boosts the business’s value. You told a wonderful story about that toward the beginning of this episode and that had to do with laying the necessary foundation in terms of feeling set and clearing away limiting beliefs, and things along those lines. What other things have you noticed are important for executives to be aware of that they need to be working on in themselves or their business culture in order to boost their business value?

There are many different things, but the first thing that came to mind was leadership. Truthfully, I didn’t dive into the world of leadership until 2018 when I was nominated to be a part of a leadership program here in Colorado. To be completely honest, I didn’t understand why. “Why am I investing my time? Why should I care? Why should anyone care? How is this going to help me as a person?”

I sat through twelve weeks of this leadership program. In the end, I was like, “Why aren’t taught this in high school or elementary school?” This is incredible because when you are able to remove yourself from thinking, “How is this going to help me?” You’re able to be like, “How can I help and serve others by helping them extract their best version?” In a nutshell, what I learned is that leadership is identifying the strengths in other people, helping them to see their strengths, and extracting the strengths out of them.

Leadership is identifying the strengths in other people, helping them see their strengths, and extracting the strengths out of them.

If you’re an owner, it’s being very strategic about where you put these people within your business so that the business as a whole can thrive. You need to be able to take a step back and almost take a step out of yourself in order for you to see who is around me and how can I extract the best out of them. After I finish this leadership program, I then understood the purpose of leadership. Every executive, person, entrepreneur, or not needs to invest time into learning the value of leadership, implementing it, and then observing the results. If you just learn it but don’t implement it, then it doesn’t help anyone.

Leadership was one of the first things that came to mind and it’s something that I often notice, unfortunately, in the Hispanic community that is in service-oriented positions. It’s sometimes difficult to see past survival or see past the desire to survive, get by, and pay bills. It’s almost helping people move past that state so that they can enter the thriving state. It is in the thriving state that you’re able to support and facilitate the development of the people around you.

That’s a great distinction between being in a survival state and being in a thrival state. The skillsets and the habits that are necessary for survival are not the ones that are necessary for thrival. That’s good.

The mental energy that it takes to survive hinders your critical thinking capabilities as well.

You can’t even learn if you’re in a survival state because you’re thinking of fulfilling the basic necessities of the people that are under your care. When you’re able to rise above or move beyond that state, then you can make room in your mind to learn. Leadership is something everyone needs to learn.

To tie in with what you were saying about heart set, this is also another key distinguisher between survival mode and thrival mode. When we’re in survival mode, we have to hide our hearts. That’s part of surviving and it’s not part of thriving.

It’s interesting that you said that. A lot of conversations that go on with many Hispanic business professional groups is how so many Hispanics felt the need to hide their Hispanic heart to increase their odds of being successful in the workforce or being accepted as a whole. They felt they needed to assimilate and integrate. Now women or men who are Hispanic are starting to say, “I don’t need to hide my Hispanic heart anymore. In fact, I’m super proud of it. I am happy to share it with the world. There’s nothing threatening about showing up exactly as I am.”

Corazon matters.

Corazon matters a lot.

I love that. It does take us into the next step of your growth journey. Once you got through that leadership program and started being in thrival mode yourself, then you got busy. Your life is blowing up. Talk about the next piece of that journey for you and your lessons in navigation.

As soon as I made the decision to show up as my full self with an open mind and heart, then I had the courage to launch Apapacho Cacao and show up authentically. As Jason said, I had this wave of support not only for Apapacho but a lot of speaking engagements. I noticed that as I was able to show up with an open heart, it was so much easier to speak from a place of having an open heart, and then opportunities to facilitate workshops started popping up.

The consulting opportunity fell into my lap. It snowballed from there. Momentum is this beautiful energy that as soon as you create it, it’s up to you to keep it going. That’s why as soon as I discovered that the secret sauce to business and life is to open your heart as wide as your mind, I was like, “I’m never going back to having a closed heart. This is great.”

You’re reminding me of a wonderful book by a colleague and friend of mine named Steve Farber called Love is Just Damn Good Business.

It’s true. I want that on a t-shirt. I love that. As humans, we’re very intelligent and sensitive. We can feel someone’s intentions from a mile away. Even through a screen, you can feel someone’s intentions. “Is this person being genuine? Is this person being authentic or not?” Love is amazing for business because when you are authentic, that’s exactly who people want to do business with. That’s exactly who people want on their stages, podiums, teams, boards, and sales teams. No one wants to do business with someone who comes off as inauthentic.

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When your life blew up and started getting all these new opportunities and everything, how do you keep yourself sane and how do you keep that momentum going?

To be honest, some days it’s easier than other days. I’m a busy mom and wife. I have different hats that I wear. On some days, I’m like, “I got this,” waking up at 5:00 AM and getting my whole routine down perfectly. On other days, it’s a hot mess. It depends. When Jason and I met for lunch, he showed me this wonderful Excel sheet.

It’s everything I do.

I loved it. I told him that one area where I struggle. It’s me identifying my area of opportunity in creating this structured plan for myself. I do notice that there are some weeks where I’m on it and there are other weeks where I need to take a step back. For me, I have this wonderful planner. I’ve had this planner for multiple years and this is my 4th or 5th year investing in this planner. It was $55, but I love it.

I love it because it’s similar to Jason’s very thorough Excel sheet, but it’s also very pretty and feminine. I’m a very feminine person. I buy a one-year planner and at the beginning of the planner, there are twenty pages dedicated to crafting out not just your year vision, but your life vision. Every single year, I usually do that either at the end of December or the beginning of January. It’s taking me 3, 4, or 5 days for me to fill out all those pages and it gives me guidance and focus for my year.

It allows me to be like, “What activities truly matter to me?” Being able to decide what you want is a skillset that a lot of people don’t have. When you’re able to figure out what decisions you want to make in your personal life and business life, then you’re able to create a roadmap before the year starts. Having a planner, for me, has been great.

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I do the same thing. Mine is Excel because I’m a boy, but it works. At the end of the year, I sit down, review my annual strategic plan and update it for the coming year. I do a 10, 3, and 1-year plan and then work on the quarters. That’s great advice. I love that.

It’s whatever works for you. You love Excel sheets. I love pretty planners. It doesn’t matter. The point is we have a system that works for us. It’s one of those like if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. If it works for you, keep it going for as long as you can.

As you mentioned, one of the hats that you wear is you work with the Latino community, mentoring them on wealth creation and moving their businesses from that survival stage to the thrival stage. One of the things that are important to you is capital. You had mentioned a question to me, “Is it even possible to raise capital without acquiring debt?” I’d love to get your thoughts on the whole capital situation, and what you’re seeing out there, and then we can talk about some of those other options.

Finance, debt, and money are hot topics, in general, especially now for women and women of color because it’s topics that weren’t explored forever and ever. Now that they are beginning to be explored, there’s a lot of interest. What I’ve observed is the Hispanic community, myself included, is very resilient. We come from very resilient backgrounds and don’t mind getting our hands dirty. I am cautious with the term hardworking or working hard because there’s this desire to change that narrative. We’re not mules and horses, although we can and have the capacity to work very hard. What’s more important to note is that we have the capacity to be very resilient and work in a very intelligent and strategic manner utilizing the resources that we have at our disposal.

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We’re a very resourceful community. We lean heavily on one another. When it comes to money, what ends up happening and it’s what happened with me is we bootstrap our entire way through. The Hispanic community is often averse to acquiring debt. I’ve noticed my aversion to acquiring debt as well. That’s how my father raised me. He was someone who paid off everything all the time and never liked having debt. My father was a pilot for United Airlines. Although he was very organized with his finances, he never taught me anything about it.

Again, coming from a traditional Mexican background or culture, men are the ones who are assumed to take the reins or take a hold of the finances but I can’t speak for all cultures. Women just wash their hands and be like, “No, my husband takes care of that.” My dad being raised in Mexico, and he didn’t think to teach me, but I would observe from behind the scenes what he would do. I noticed that he never took out any loans of any type and paid everything off.

When I launched my business, I had $5,500 set aside from doing marketing consulting work. That money is what I used to launch Apapacho. As most entrepreneurs do, as I make money, I reinvest it back into the business. In 2023, I’m coming up on my second year running Apapacho. That’s why I asked Jason that question. Sometimes I get frustrated. I want to do all these things. I see the vision for where Apapacho has the potential to go. I have all these ideas for product lines, but we need capital for those expansions, rebranding, and all these things. It got me thinking, “Is there another way? Is crowdfunding the answer? What is the best way to help entrepreneurs like myself who are averse to taking out loans?” This is my I-don’t-know zone which is why I asked Jason.

We are in an exciting time for entrepreneurs because there is so much access and there are so many different avenues. You mentioned crowdfunding, which for a lot of product-based companies is not a bad way to go because essentially what most crowdfunding sites do is allow people to pre-order. If you can get enough pre-orders and hit that capital mark, then they release the money to you.

In a product-centric business, that could be a great way to raise capital without losing equity, but the other side of the coin is remembering that there’s value in your ideas, intellectual property, and vision for growth. All that value is your equity. If you’re willing to share some of that equity with others, there are a lot of avenues to sell some of that equity, bring on a partner, or bring on silent shareholders to raise the capital as well.

I want to add for the sake of our readers that there are two varieties of crowdfunding. There is the version of crowdfunding where people are pre-ordering and then there is equity crowdfunding. Equity crowdfunding is regulated by the SEC. The other version of crowdfunding is not regulated in the United States by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If you’re looking at a crowdfunding approach, it’s important to know that there are two very different versions of crowdfunding. To get good advising on which of those would be your better avenue for your needs or if there’s an even better way of raising the funds that you want to raise than either of those two versions of crowdfunding.

I don’t feel comfortable with equity crowdfunding, and that’s why I left it off my radar. It harkens back to junk bonds and penny stocks. It’s a type of trading that’s SEC-regulated and there are certain cases where it makes good sense, but as Dr. Gruder said, if you’re going to go that route, have good representation and make sure you’re doing all your homework. What you’re going to end up with is a multitude of low-value shareholders that feel like they have a stake and a voice in your company, and could derail things quickly.

If you ever look at businesses that go the IPO route and what happens in the first capital call or first earnings call where all these new shareholders have an opinion about how the company has to run, think about that type of pressure on a very small business. I shouldn’t neglect it out of hand, but that to me is among the scariest ways to raise capital.

I agree. I’ve seen that happen as well both at the micro and the macro level where if you do a reg A crowdsourcing for equity crowdfunding, you’re dealing with all of these unsophisticated investors who are wanting to have a voice in the company. At the macro level where you’re doing something like an initial public offering where you move from being a private corporation to a publicly owned corporation, the very thing that made the company succeed can easily get lost.

I will briefly point out a classic example of that, which was Whole Foods. Whole Foods built its reputation and customer loyalty based on an approach to grocery stores that had never been done before. Whole Foods made the error of going through an IPO in their case. I’m not making a blanket statement because IPOs do make sense for certain companies. I’m bringing that up because we were talking about cacao and healthy food. When Whole Foods went public, the shareholders became far more interested in maximizing profits than in staying true to Whole Foods’ mission which had built its customer loyalty base in the first place.

Whole Foods was nicknamed Whole Paycheck because they had higher prices. After the IPO, I renamed Whole Foods Whole Fraud because they sacrificed the very mission that had made them popular and profitable, and generated huge customer loyalty and employee loyalty. They sacrificed all of that for a single part of the triple bottom line, which was profitability. They lost their soul and they lost their customer base.

What do you think causes that desire to lose your soul as a company? Is it literally just money?

It’s exactly that. What we’re talking about here without naming it is something that has been called in the field of corporate social responsibility, the triple bottom line of profitability. The TBL or Triple Bottom Line is profit, people, and planet where you gauge profitability based on fiscal responsibility and financial profit because that’s what businesses are supposed to do. However, you’re no longer generating profit at the expense of your personnel or the people you serve, nor are you generating profit at the expense of social responsibility and planetary wellbeing. Insisting on that triple bottom line is the formula for corporate social responsibility and sustained profitability in a business.

We can bring this conversation full circle back to its all matter of leadership. When a leader creates a business, they are manifesting a vision. They have all the passion, excitement, and enthusiasm that it takes to make a dream a reality. As there are more voices in that leadership pool, if you’re not careful, those extra voices aren’t adopting the vision and embracing the passion, then they’re diluting the vision. They’re having a voice that isn’t in line with their passion.

That’s a big reason why IPOs are difficult because people can buy stock. There’s no vetting process. When you’re offered on the public market, it doesn’t matter. If you have money, you can get a vote in a company. There’s no threshold for embracing the vision and taking on the passion behind equity. That’s always going to be a tricky thing.

If you’re talking about exiting, raising capital, building an executive team, keeping what you started this whole conversation with, an open heart and mind, and making sure that you’re not hiring for just skills, but for skills that bring the passion with it. You’re not selling just for money. If you’re selling part of your business, you need to sell that to somebody that you can trust that will help you move the business forward. To round out this conversation about raising capital without raising debt, there are a lot of different options. We’ve talked about a couple of them, but even if you’re going to sell equity, there are different ways to sell equity.

My favorite for early companies are convertible notes. A convertible note is like a bond that can be turned into stock. Either they give you the money and you give them the promise that at the end of a term, you pay back a set amount which is what they gave you plus a set well-defined interest or during the course of them carrying that note, they can turn it into stock. Depending on how long they wait, there are separate thresholds that are defined in this project. Depending on how long they wait to convert it into stock will determine how much stock they get because you’re using that money the whole time to build the value of the equity and the business.

I like that mechanism because it puts the lender and the owner on equal risk footing, and it’s not a guarantee that you’re giving away all of your equity. When you start out and you need money, your equity is less valuable when you need the most money. Without a good strategic capital raising plan, you could be in a position very quickly where all of a sudden you lost control of your business because the money that you needed costs more than 50% of your company’s value. Those are things that we don’t want to see happen either.

Ideally, I like to see business owners sequestering 10% to 20% of their equity value to sell, but selling in measured doses along the growth stage so that they’re only bringing in money when they need it, but they’re also selling as little of their equity as possible. Those are things where having a good advisor, a good team, and creating a thoughtful plan before going out and trying to raise the money is going to be your best protection.

Thank you, Jason, for explaining that. It reminded me of when I started watching some Shark Tank episodes with my family so that I could familiarize myself with terms and questions. As I’ve been participating in some pitch competitions both in person and online, and I’ve won two of them. It’s good because I’m getting my feet wet. The stakes are low. They’re not super high.

I did win money in one of the pitch competitions, but I’m learning what does it mean to give away a chunk of your business? How do you do that? What are the risks? It’s all these questions that I didn’t know. Again, like your average entrepreneur, I’m learning as I go and grow. As the business grows, I’m growing alongside it. Everything you said completely makes sense. Can you repeat the name of that bond something?

As the business grows, the entrepreneur is growing alongside it.

It’s a type of Private Placement Memo or a PPM. It’s specifically a PPM in the form of a convertible note.

Convertible note. That’s what it was. Thank you.

The last I heard $1.3 trillion in venture capital and early-stage investment money right now looking to be put to work. There’s access to capital as we’ve never seen in the history of the world. With that type of money comes bad actors, moral hazards, and many threats. The one caution that I will always give is this is a great time to start a business and an extraordinary time to seek capital, but have good counsel and guidance, and make sure that you’re protected. Not everybody is a bad actor. There are a lot of amazing investors that want to see businesses thrive.

There are also well-intended investors who think they know more than they do.

Build a good team, create a good plan, and then work that plan so that you’re protected every step of the way.

For newish entrepreneurs like myself, how do we distinguish, know, or when that Blue Sky comes in?

That is one of the things what that Blue Sky is especially skilled at. The most important thing is to make sure that these people are licensed with FINRA. At least, if your advisor is licensed and registered through FINRA, then they’ve taken a rigorous set of courses and extremely detailed examinations to ensure that they know the ins and outs of the law. I spent hours and hours studying SEC law and all of the legal structure around proper trading of equity and stocks.

FINRA and someone with that FINRA certification who is also very well-versed in the triple bottom line of profitability.

That’s a great point, David, because there are a lot of very skilled capital-raising representatives who will strictly bring you money, but that is where their focus is. If you’re going to have somebody like that, make sure that there’s somebody next to them that is protecting your passion and other elements of the triple bottom line. Either find a team that can do that all in-house, or make sure that there’s the go-get-it capital raiser and the ethical Jiminy Cricket that keeps you focused on what really matters.

That’s why I love dancing with Jason because Jason’s got all of that FINRA background that I have some of, but not at a certified level and I get to be the Jiminy Cricket.

I love it. What a wonderful team.

We are blessed. Victoria, we could talk all day long and I love spending time with you. I’m always learning something, but it is getting a little bit longer. Let’s wrap this up. The way that we should wrap this up is let’s get the key takeaway and let’s start with you. What are you going to take from this conversation and share with your community?

There were a lot of key takeaways. What I would share with my community is to find a team, a group of people, or even one person who genuinely truly cares and can advise you from a place of earned knowledge. I’ve learned so much in this episode that I didn’t know prior to us being in this conversation together. Being able to find people who are just as invested in your growth as you are in your own is crucial and fundamental. It’s a gift for anyone in my community who is looking for mentorship, help, and people who are going to advocate for them and their dreams too.

Graphics - Caption 3 - BBV 12 Victoria Garcia

I learned the term convertible note. I will do a lot more research on that. I learned, again, the importance of due diligence, don’t take the first thing that’s offered to you, do your research, and why it’s important. I also learned that there are wonderful people like yourselves who genuinely care and want to see you win and succeed. That is a belief that I am walking away with in this episode, so thank you.

This is a package of takeaways that all tie to each other. The first is that purpose, passion, and alignment is good business. Your authentic focus is thrival rather than survival. Love is good business. Resilience is necessary. As a leader, if you leave your heart behind you, leave your people behind like your personnel, customers, and public reputation. Learn the difference between good debt and bad debt because there is such a thing as good debt. Also, the difference between good investors and bad investors.

I wanted to point something out that you said. When you were talking about the resilience of the Latino community and how you’re trying to break away from that idea of hardworking, you said, “We are not mules and horses. We are human beings.” I love that. One of the reasons that it resonates so much with me is because in my last business, when I moved to the Netherlands to start working, I worked like an American. I had the mindset of an American.

My colleagues and my partners would pull me aside frequently, very upset, and they would say, “Jason, you must remember, we are not animals. I’m not going to work thirteen hours with you because you feel like you need to put in that day. I have a family and things to do.” They were extremely productive. They were great people. I loved every minute of living there, but learning the lesson that we are not animals and we need to be respected for our personality, our lives, and who we are. It ties me back to my big takeaway, which is your concept of heart-centered leadership and the idea that you learn to be a great leader by self-actualizing through supporting others.

I love every single piece of that. I see that in everything that you do. It’s so heartening and exciting to see that type of authenticness, servant leadership, passion for others, and also genuine passion and care for yourself as well. It’s making such a tremendous impact on the community around you. I want to be more like that.

Jason, that was incredibly kind of you. Thank you so much. Those are beautiful words. I’m honored to be here.

I echo that. I’m going to put one sentence PS on a slice of what you were saying about what you learned in Europe. Equating being an entrepreneur with being a grinder is a mistake. That’s a mistaken thought process or belief process that too many entrepreneurs, especially in the United States end up buying into.

Yes, agreed. The hustle culture doesn’t work. It doesn’t serve your purpose, vision, and mission. It just ends up burning you out. All that effort, energy, and heart that you put into birthing this dream business were all for nothing because the hustle culture burnt you out. You need to slowly fan that flame until it turns into a big blaze. That process is gradual. I love that you said that. Thanks for the reminder too, David.

The hustle culture doesn't work. It doesn't serve your purpose, vision, and mission. It just ends up burning you out.

Thank you both so much.

It was a pleasure having you, Victoria.

This has been so much fun. On behalf of David and myself, we want to thank you so much for sharing yourself with us and our readers. We’re very excited to have readers comment and provide feedback or thoughts. We’ll look forward to having you subscribe so that you can get more of this fun juicy content.

Thank you so much, Jason. Thank you, David. It was a pleasure and honor, and a lot of fun to be on this episode with you. My gratitude. Muchas gracias.

De nada.

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About Victoria Garcia

BBV 12 | Business ValueBorn in Mexico City and raised in the mountains of Colorado, Victoria Garcia combines being bilingual and bicultural with a rare combination of empathy, understanding, and expertise, to support the success of Hispanic-American working professionals. In the 15 years since she graduated with a B.A. in Speech Communication and an emphasis in Broadcasting, Victoria has established herself as a leading bilingual public speaker, leader, and workshop facilitator. As a woman who is passionate about helping Latinas close the salary gap and gain financial independence, Victoria founded a community called Latinas Who Dare, whose mission to help Latinas close their wage gap through starting a business that can supplement their income and help build wealth. An entrepreneur herself, Victoria also co-founded and owns Apapacho Cacao.


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