Latinas are the hottest commodity in the entrepreneurial landscape because we represent the most sought after demographic. While people often talk about MBAs or business portfolios when assessing the capabilities of an entrepreneur, many Latinas are sitting on a gold mine of bankable skills – but they may not know it.
With over 1.5 million Latina-owned businesses in the United States (and that’s only those who register their business), the Latina hustle is clearly not a passing fad. Many are equipped with the very core skills that make for a powerful and successful entrepreneur.
So if you’re preparing to go out on your own or take your business to the next level, here are five bankable skills you can guarantee will set yourself apart from the competition and will help transform any side hustle into a successful business.
Bankable Skill #1: Being Powerful Communicators.
Growing up with several generations, often under the same roof, gives you the ability to cultivate the kind of communication skills that rivals those in the hostage negotiation scenes we see in the movies. By the time you’re ready to graduate high school your communication skills are impeccable because of all the mediating and translating you’ve done between abuela, your cousins, siblings, aunts, and uncles.
Effective communication is less about speaking and more about listening. It’s being able to read between the lines and learning how to speak to someone’s emotional triggers. As an entrepreneur, communication skills are vital when marketing to your target audience, enticing a potential investor, or negotiating with a vendor.
Bankable Skill #2: Being Natural Collaborators.
Everywhere you look, there are organizations and groups dedicated to bridging the divide within entrepreneurship and leadership. Communities like Latinas Think Big, We All Grow and the Latinistas serve as the mold for how to embrace the spirit of sisterhood and collaboration. Growing up Latina, this kind of collaborative energy is cultural.
Bankable Skill #3: Being Faith Driven.
We have a unique relationship with our faith, however we choose to identify it. We believe in many things which are bigger than ourselves. Some of us may light a candle when someone is sick or celebrate loved ones who have passed away. We have our secret “spiritual advisors” that we talk to on the DL.
Channeling that strong sense of faith toward ourselves goes a long way when navigating the entrepreneurial journey. Being comfortable with not following the proven track and having faith in ourselves makes all the difference when it comes to having a successful side hustle or business.
Bankable Skill #4: Being Eternal Hustlers.
“Work smarter, not harder” sounds good on a t-shirt but it’s not the best ethos for establishing a strong work ethic. In the Latina culture, we have high standards when it comes to work and we’re not afraid to put in the hours.
When you’re a natural born hustler, you see every opportunity as a chance to get closer to where you want to be. This is a skill that’s vital in sustaining a long-term business or staying relevant in your climb up the corporate ladder.
Bankable Skill #5: Being Passionate.
Passion is our default setting and this is the most important bankable skill that we can leverage for success and profit.
Whether you’re pitching a new startup, speaking at a global conference or leading a live webinar, it is your passion that resonates with people. Success as an entrepreneur comes down to the “know, like, and trust” factor which is contingent on how much passion you exude with authenticity.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d become an entrepreneur. Not even the local brujas could have predicted my professional trajectory. Growing up in the projects and to a teen Latina mom, the odds were not in my favor. In hindsight, I can trace back to my entire childhood and realize that my upbringing prepared me more than any collegiate program ever could have.
In life we learn teachable moments. In school we learn what the rules of the game are. However, when it comes to being Latina, I’ve learned that my bankable skills are the direct result of being closely connected to my culture.