Entrepreneurship? Yes or no? Just do it!

Entrepreneurship? Yes or no? Just do it!

Want to go full-time with your passion, or own a business and want to break through to the next level? We help you create work that you love doing while making a living doing it. In this episode, Lori Gama discusses with Nina Duran-Gutierrez about entrepreneurship and finding the drive to do it. Tap or click the play button below to listen to: “Entrepreneurship? Yes or no? Just do it!”

Entrepreneurship? Yes or no? Just do it! Transcript

Nina Duran Gutierrez: …got started with a insurance company Corporation here in Greeley and I went to an interview and everything looked good on paper. I thought I did all my things I needed to do and they’re like, Okay, we’re gonna hire you going to be an entry level position, and you’re going to start in our Mail room and I was devastated.

Lori Gama: Welcome to the podcast, my friends. I’m Lori Gama. This podcast is for people who want to go full time with their passion, or if you already own a business to break through to the next level, bottom line, create work that you love doing while making a living doing it. And my guest today is Nina Duran Harris. I’m so excited you’re here.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Lori Gama: And Nina, you and your husband John Gutierrez own Can Do Concrete a second generation business here in Greeley, Colorado. You have double bachelor’s degrees. In sports medicine and in the Spanish language from Colorado State University. Following in your family’s entrepreneurial footsteps in construction, you decided you enjoy the challenges of owning your own business. You started out your career as a real estate agent in northern Colorado. Working in the new construction arena. You can build other businesses and sold them. We’re talking to a business Rockstar here today. And so excited you’re here. I started my business when I was 33 years old and I thought I was late to the party. But I read that recently I read that when the average age that most business owners do start a business is 36 years old. So it does take a bit of a journey to get to that point where as we both know, could you share tell me about what started you on your path to starting your first business.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: You know, entrepreneurship, like you said it was kind of in my bloodline. There were three things that were pretty impactful for me to consider being on my entrepreneurial journey. The first being is that’s what I grew up with. was raised by my grandparents and my grandfather, and my uncles have their own excavation company. They just celebrated their 50th year in business. And I saw the benefits of what being in business afforded us as a family. And so I was always inspired by that I loved that. They had the flexibility and the time freedom for the most part. So I was always intrigued by that. The second part would be I did go to Colorado State University had two degrees. My family encouraged me to you know, go to school, get good grades, and then we don’t want you to start a business for yourself. We want you to find a job with good benefits and climb that corporate ladder. And you know, I did that I had the two degrees and right out of college I had no idea what I was going to do and I got started with a insurance company Corporation here in Greeley and I went to an interview and everything looked good on paper. I thought I did all my things I needed to do and they’re like, Okay, we’re gonna hire you gonna be an entry level position. And you’re going to start in our mailroom, and I was devastated. I was like, I bet that’s not how this was supposed to work I thought and I suppose to get into professional grab I have two degrees and nonetheless, I was eager and I was willing to work my way up I said I’ll do whatever I had to do and and that mailroom I had to test myself I have to say okay, how fast can I open these letters and file them and get them out into you know, the office and really had to challenge myself because I was pretty bored with a job. It wasn’t something that you know, I was like, Oh, when I grew up, I want to open mail for a living. But I eventually plugged into the corporation earned a professional job. I think it was one and a half years of being there. And it wasn’t for me. I felt that I was trading my time for money that no matter how hard I worked, I knew every week my paycheck was gonna be the same. I knew that I had x amount of vacation days, and I had to clock in Monday through Friday from eight to five and I am not an eight to five type of person. So against the advice of my grandfather, I said I’m gonna go into business for myself and I’m quitting and I’m gonna get started in real estate and I freaked him out because at that time I had just purchased my condo here in Greeley, I had a mortgage, I had bills, all the things that he was worried that weren’t going to get paid as this business doesn’t go well because he’s they struggled you know. So there there was times in the areas where their business had some hardships and he knew that all too well and he didn’t want me to experience that. Nonetheless, I went against his advice and I just dove in and I have not looked back since then. And it’s been a great ride and like you said, I’ve been involved in different industries real estate’s kind of my old faithful. I’m still very active in it as an investor and currently my husband and I are almost done with the flip here in Greeley but I just, it’s in my blood. I love it. I love the freedom and the flexibility and the ability to work hard and sometimes not work hard and get get the chance to do other things that I like to do.

Lori Gama: Right, right. So you’ve done something that I have a magnet on my refrigerator, it says create a life that you don’t have to take a vacation from and yes, you’re very blessed and I’m very blessed to because I’ve managed to do that myself as well and and hopefully we’re going to keep inspire others to do the same. What were your initial goals when you first became a business owner and whether that be your first business second, third, or the current business that you have on with your husband?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yeah, I want to be really honest with you. When I got started in business, it was all about making money. I wanted to make as much money as possible. I was intrigued by that lifestyle. I grew up in when I was in high school. I lived with my mom and my stepfather so I grew up in a household that money was an issue that they lived paycheck to paycheck. My stepfather was a alcoholic and there were a lot of hard times in that home where money was going to his addiction. Whether rather than you know, getting the bills paid, and it was very uncomfortable. And I just knew that that wasn’t the lifestyle. I didn’t want money to be a problem for me to be a stressor for me. And that was my only way out is to say hey, I I’m going to be I’m gonna be the master of this my plan, you know, and I always I used to tell people a lot that my intention was to live life by design and not by default. And I am also a control freak. I like to be in control of things so I like to be able to predict my outcome as much as possible.

Lori Gama: I love that to be in control of your fate and live life by design and not by default. I love that. Chat what what have been some of the biggest challenges as a business owner? There’s like I can think of so many myself but what comes to mind when I asked you that what are some of the bigger challenges that people who are not yet owning their own business yet? Or they’re in their business? And maybe they’re young in their business? What are some of the challenges that you’ve gone through that maybe they can keep an eye out for or relate?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yeah, I would say I was a young entrepreneur. So I think my very first entrepreneur opportunity happened when I was 10. So for me, as I grew older and wanted to for sure set on this journey, I was an introvert I am an introvert I am not and it’s funny when I tell people this to look at me like you’re kidding, but no, I’m very quiet. I am not as outgoing as may come across and I was terrified of rejection. I was worried that I was going to like feel vulnerable and people are gonna like what I was gonna do and that was a huge obstacle I had to overcome in the early years is having that confidence and knowing that when you set out to be in business for yourself, there are people that are going to say no, and the more you can get through the nose, you’ll get through the yeses and the yeses start to stick eventually, but that was a hard time for me. Just really putting myself out there and getting in front of people. I felt like I was on display or something but I feel that when people are starting out in their journey that could be a typical that’d be something that they would prevent them from doing that.

Lori Gama: Right. I can totally relate to that because to this day, I continually amaze my mom. Hi mom. Because I was really shy in high school especially and she’s just amazed every time she sees like the video I’ve done or that I’ve spoken somewhere and but my secret is I’ve read books so I read a book that showed me how to prepare for speaking engagements. 90% of it is just the preparation and rehearsal and people are in the audience there to greet you on so they’re on your side so it’s going to be okay. So books have really helped me and reading just things online as well. How how do you measure success?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Nina pre kids are Nina posts.

Lori Gama: Pre kids and post kids.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Okay, so pre kids, my measure of success was building wealth. I got started into real estate because I wanted to be an investor. My family has owned property and I felt that that would have been a great avenue for me in the long term. So for me it was okay, how many properties can I buy? And can I hold and like how can I build my generational wealth? That was my success. So I think that was stemmed from the reason why I got started in business was I wanted to make money I wanted to be able to have money to help me but then maybe help myself help my mom. They went through foreclosure and bankruptcy so I felt like I wanted to help them. Get through some of those hard times. The drawback on that as I think that I became a workaholic, I spent a lot of my time working. I couldn’t turn it off. I didn’t know how to turn it off. And it led to an eventual burnout. So now we’re talking post kids. And you know, running a business is hard. Anyways, it’s not it’s not easy. I never say it’s easy. You just want to make it worth it. But when you add raising children in the next because they don’t come with manuals, so it’s like kind of you’re running a business that way because you’re trying to figure out how to grow these children. My now my I think my measure of success is Am I doing the things that fill my cup like am I able to spend majority of my time with my kids at their activities? Am I able to structure my work around their life like when they come home? Am I able to feed them a home cooked meal most of the emails we read it read out but my goal is 80% of the meals are going to be cooked at home. And am I happy with how I’m living my life? I think that’s how I measure it now. Money can come and go but I feel like your happiness. You can’t buy that

Lori Gama: Right, right. That’s so true. I really really love that. I took a peek at your Instagram in your bio says I am a wife, a mom, a business owner sometimes I have superhuman powers most the time I don’t. These are glimpses of what makes me happy. I really liked that part. Sometimes I have superpowers most of the time. I don’t. Yeah, I can totally relate to that. What are your thoughts about that like, keepin it real being human?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yeah, it’s it’s sometimes hard. There are times when you’re in the trenches and it is hard to get your work done hard to be everything your children need you to be. And I for me, yeah, there’s times where I feel like okay, I’m in my group. Things are getting done. I’m very systematic, like I have a schedule. So everything in my household schedule, like from the workout that I’m going to do that day to what the area of the house that gets cleaned to what needs to be done that day for my work, and then what needs the kids need. And yeah, there’s times where I’m crushing it and then there’s times where I feel like it’s crushing me and it’s just, I think you can relate to this. It’s a balancing act. You know, there’s gonna be days when you’re in business. There’s gonna be days where your business needs you and you’re gonna miss some kids activities. So your business is going to get the best of your time, but then there’s going to be the times where my kids get the best of my time. And I know that seasons will change and things will adjust and you’ve got to be able to just flow with that at the best you can.

Lori Gama: Right, right. When I was young in owning my business, in the early years, my son grew up with my business, so they were kind of both born in the same year. And so you’re right that that balance of you know your kids come first of course, but it really is like growing two gardens and balancing nurturing one garden and the other garden because the business part is going to take care of things that will eventually take care of them, hopefully the rest of their lives. And then of course, you know being there for your kids is the most important. And I think that’s where values come in values when you know your values and you’ve taken time to write them down. Then when you feel conflicted about things not just about kids work, but other things in life and we’re those values really come into play. So it took me years before I even knew that I should know what that my values are formally. I mean, I had them like raw in my head and heart but I actually took time to finally write them down and that has helped me a lot. What are your thoughts about having values did you think they’re like guiding lights?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: I definitely think they’re guiding lights. I think that they’re principles that will help you live the life that you want. I think it’s important that you know, my children and your son are able to be witness of females that yes, they can be in business for themselves. But my mom can also make sure that things are handled in the household, like it’s good for them to see. You do all sorts of things. I think as they get older and my children are still really young. I think they’ll learn to appreciate that and hopefully be inspired by that. To follow their dreams and their passions and then when they can watch me do you know my work and see, you know, I love community involvement. I love being in business for myself, but then they they get to be able to take part in those values. They see those values. So it’s not the value that I’m telling them. They watch it by doing it. And I think that’s invaluable.

Lori Gama: Right, right. You’re creating this like organic blueprint for them to follow or model if they want to. Yeah, yeah, it’s really it’s really good to chat and switch gears for a second to help our viewers possibly figure out like, how did you manage the financial aspects, especially when your business or other businesses were really young? We know that early on in my business I you know it was a struggle financially for a while because you’re figuring things out. Not all about wealth right away or freedom of time right away. but you are at least doing the work you love doing. so. What are your thoughts about how can business owners achieve more success with figuring out the financial aspects of business.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yeah, I feel your numbers tell your whole story, when you’re in business so it’s. And you run your business as conservative as you can because you will have hard times you will come upon times where money gets tight, budgets get tight and you have to prepare for them. I was in real estate in 2008 with the big crash. And that was incredibly hard because I have here I’ve been in business for myself for years and never had a couple of good years where things were good but if you don’t set your money aside, so when you make money, you have your gross income that comes in. You have to be mindful that Uncle Sam is gonna come for you at the end of the year. So you’ve got to be prepared for that and he’s not letting you off the hook. But then there are times where things are going to happen, markets will crash. The business scales of economy will change, and you have to prepare for them. My husband always says he’s, he’s, we’ve owned our own business for recovery. We just started our third year. So but he’s been a part of the family business for me since he was young and out of college. And he always tells us like in good times, you’ll find more companies that will be popping up and you’ll be able to see the companies that survive when times get tough, because you got to prepare for those you know, feast or famine and you got to be ready for that.

Lori Gama: Right right. So true in so many companies have been born during tough times and one of my clients he has been in business like 35 years and he’s survived every like recession and presidential election year and all the ups and downs and he says always be marketing and never stopped because when your competitors stop marketing during tough times you have a greater market share. Okay, so yeah, just do great because it’s gonna be feast or famine sometimes and be prepared for this famine times is really critical, right?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Absolutely.

Lori Gama: And I do have some resources I wanted to share with our viewers and I’m not sure if you’ve heard of these you probably probably have. So a couple of resources, such as the Small Business Development Center, they thought counselors, advisors that have free services to business owners so they don’t charge at all so start there if you’re thinking of starting your business or even if you are in business and have had a plateau. Also having a good relationship with your bank or lender. What do you think about that?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: It’s imperative that you have to have a team I’m a big Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of my best books if you haven’t read it, that is one of the dumbest if you’re getting in business for yourself, and yeah, you need a team. You need a banker. You need a good CPA.They’re imperative to your business health.

Lori Gama: Yes, exactly. Also joining your local chamber of commerce and also just seeking out networking groups that they have a good vibe for you because really, it’s not about handing out your business card. It’s about having conversations and listening to others and you know, asking them about their their challenges and their successes and just making friends and deepening relationships and as you get to see them at the same events over and over or have coffee with them. Pretty soon you’ve got this really great circle of friends and you’re all sharing resources. They’re just sharing life and it’s wonderful.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: I had a mentor that would always say your net worth is going to equal your network. And that’s so true. Like those people are the ones and they’re like minded, like you said so like, they’re gonna be the ones that will encourage you and maybe go out there when things feel scary. If you don’t want to go by yourself. You’ll have somebody out there that can help you go do that work.

Lori Gama: Absolutely. Yeah. So I do have a long checklist of resources that I’m posting in my description down below at the link so it’s free list. So please, be sure you download that and that will help you. Nina, what has been the most significant accomplishment as a business owner.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: For me, it’s to live life accordingly to what makes me feel good. Like I said, I had a moment when I burnt out and I wasn’t you know I was running my business but it really was running me I wasn’t eating right. I didn’t have healthy lifestyle though the healthy lifestyle habits, have you. So now for me, it’s it’s to be able to have that to really take care of making sure that I’m eating great I’m able to get my exercise and get my work in. I feel like I’m more productive when I get those things done early and more focused. Yeah, that’s that’s it and it’s designed around my children because that’s my actually that’s my number one business opportunity right now is to raise children and make sure I don’t mess that up

Lori Gama: I’m sure they’d say oh, yes, best mom in the world. I like to start my day, and it’s taken me years to learn this again. You know, we’re seasoned business owners and we’ve been there done that and learned a lot of things the hard way, but I’ve learned that to do a few minutes of meditation and like, you’d be proud of me. I’ve worked my way up from 30 seconds to one minutes and now seven minutes.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: That’s so good. That’s so good.

Lori Gama: Coming from you does 30 Min 30 minutes a day. Yeah. And also reflecting on my life in my journal every morning and you know, do I do this every single day? No, but I find that on the days that I do. And I’ve just recently gotten back to yoga, doing my own yoga at home next. And when I do all three of these things at the beginning of the day, the rest of my day just goes better. So on the days that I forget to do it or just you know, somehow made an early appointment and didn’t do those things. I just swear okay, I’m not going to do that. Again. I’m going to start my day this way because it’s very grounding. So I encourage people who are listening to do the same sorts of things built that into your day, because all of them are all the things that I do to ground myself are related to creating a good life for myself, my family, and my community. Speaking of community, you are a great volunteer and philanthropist in our global community. Tell me about the things that you’ve done. We got to both serve on the board of directors of United Way of Weld County. You served for many years and just recently retired off the board because you put in many good years there and thank you for doing that.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Oh, thank you and I feel like you know, it was a blessing because I get to meet people like you and build that connection and, you know, get to connect with people that are me. I think we’re a lot a lot like very like minded driven and our values, kind of our alignment with that. But yeah, I community involvement has always been my thing. Ever since I was young. My so my grandfather has apartments, if you live in Greeley in our community, by the darkening center, and so he’s had those and when I was little I remember a family moving in to his apartments and I remembers around this time a year and they didn’t have anything but the clothes off their backs. They had no furniture, no Christmas tree. And that, like affected me in a huge way. And you know, I think when you’re little you think everybody you know sometimes lives the way you do and I grew up in a middle class. income family and I you know, we my grandfather provided a great life. So when you see that people might not necessarily have the same things that you do in life and you get impacted and you kind of are compelled to be of service and I think that’s the one thing that I loved about being in business is that you can connect with people where I can serve because that’s where I truly feel. My passion is that is where I can just be of help and and whether that’s learning that community service opportunities in our community and being able to advocate for them. I’m a huge early early childhood development advocate. Like I think early childhood education is so important in our community. So anything that stems from that, like I want to be a part of that I actually Lori just accepted and was voted in on the board of directors for North range behavioral health here, which I’m really excited about. I’ve been very public on my social media platform about my own experience with I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and suffered many panic attacks at early age and 18. And so I’m excited to be able to be in the community and maybe share my story because I think a lot of times people looking in when you have a business to like and had somebody say You seem like you have it all together. Like your family looks happy and you know, your kids are doing great, you’re traveling your business is good. And I’m like whoa, hold on. Don’t believe everything you see on social media because that’s not always the truth. And that compelled me to really kind of share my story with my anxiety disorder and be vulnerable. So you know, maybe there’s somebody out there that is going through that and kind of the reason why you decided to do this podcast you wanted to build that bridge and inspire other people or connect with other people that would love to embark on, you know, maybe the business journey or for me, you know, mental health journey.

Lori Gama: Thank you for doing that and sharing that because so many people I mean, I know myself, I think everybody feels, feels the vulnerabilities and the stress from day to day and to have somebody who I think you have it all together to just speak to that that hey, wait a minute. We don’t always have it all together. for me, you know, mental health journey. It’s really helpful to people because we’re not perfect. We’re human beings.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: We are human becoming we’re becoming and I think that’s just said as you just work hard and continue to try to be a better version of yourself each year as long as you can do that. You’re winning.

Lori Gama: So the Nina of today if you could get in a time machine and go back in time to when you were 20 years old or so. What would you tell yourself?

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yes. Oh, gosh, so many things. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Keep going. I think for me, if I went back to my 19 year old self, I would say keep going. You’re doing great. Just do it. I think when I wanted to get in business for myself, I had a lot of moments of inspiration. Like I feel like we’ve had this conversation before like I feel like God’s whispering and like he’s putting something in my belly stirring something that to tell me to take the next step. And there was a lot of times where that step was hard to take and it was heartbreaking to take and I would just tell her, just take it, follow it because you’re eventually you’re going to end up where you’re supposed to be right nothing that told myself you know, what’s for you will be for you. It won’t be taken from you know, and you just just go do it.

Lori Gama: Yeah. And I would tell my 20 year old So be brave Yeah. Fear. Yeah, you’re afraid but just step through it. Which is easy for me to tell my 20 year old self now. No, no, but that’s what I would tell my 20 year old.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Yeah. Do it.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: Do it. Just do it. So many times we haven’t hon you know, analysis paralysis kicks in. And it’s just the hardest part of anything is just getting started. Right, right. And you’re not going to have everything figured out right away. It’s just you’re going to figure it out as you go. But if you don’t get started, you won’t be able to do that.

Lori Gama: So, right. Yes. Thank you so much for doing this. this has been really great, really incredible. feel so honored to have you as my guest today. I wanted to just thank you for doing this and I I hope that you’ll continue on your journey with your creative endeavors too. and I’m excited to see well what it’ll become.

Nina Duran Gutierrez: I gotta get out of the analysis paralysis and follow my advice to my 19 year old self and just do it. Yes, yeah. I always admire your strength and you know your leadership here in this community. So I look up to you and I’m grateful that you have here, too.

Lori Gama: You know, this is a great community we live in. It’s I agree people like you great. Thank you.

Lori Gama: So thank you for watching today. Please like and subscribe. And feel free to suggest topics in the comments below of subjects you’d love for me to cover in future videos. I’m Lori Gama, I own DaGama Digital Marketing, you can find me on all the social platforms. I help you learn how to go full time with your passion, or if you’re already in business, take it to the next level. And remember, you have amazing gifts to share. And the world is waiting for you to shine your light. So come on and shine that light. Thank you!

Entrepreneurship? Yes or no? Just do it! The Path Finder Podcast with Lori Gama is inspiring heart-centered, purpose-driven people to go full-time with their passion or take their business to the next level if you already own one. Lori Gama interviews Greeley business owner and three-time entrepreneur, Nina Duran-Guiterrez about the challenges and triumphs of being a business owner in Greeley, Colorado.

If you own a business and want to take it to the next level, this YouTube Podcast episode will inspire you, too.

Download my FREE Business Resources & Tips Checklist: https://mailchi.mp/fa11807d45a6/business-resources-and-networking-tips

About the Author: Lori Gama

Lori Gama

Lori Gama is a digital marketing pioneer who founded her company: DaGama Web Studio (now called: DaGama Digital Marketing Agency) in 1995. Growing from a one-woman web studio to a 14-person digital marketing team that manages SEO, social media and Google ads for locally-owned businesses, Lori Gama innovates and increases growth for her clients, some of whom have been with her from 8 years to 27 years. Located in Greeley, Colorado, serving companies across the U.S., this Greeley marketing company gets results quickly; communicates with clients regularly and evolves marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve.