Beatriz Guevara 
Merimbula, Australia
Advocate and Mentor

Tell us a bit about the business that you are creating?
COLABORA’s mission is to provide collaborative solutions and educate small business and entrepreneurs about the importance of business collaboration to create more customer­focused and sustainable businesses.

What are your three core values in your working life right now?
Collaboration, Integrity a, d Respect.

What’s the hardest part of running a business from home?
Isolation and switching off.

What’s the most rewarding part of running a business from home?
Flexibility to accommodate my hours of work – Freedom to drop everything if my family needs me – Flexibility to work from anywhere

What fears did you have about starting your business?
Is this really going to work? – Am I doing it right? – Are people going to buy/do business with me?

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running your home­ based business?
If we want to work more effectively, create a sustainable business that we love and survive/overcome the challenges of the entrepreneurial journey, we have to learn how to collaborate.

How do you find the right balance between being a partner, wife or mother and running your business?
I am not going to lie, it is hard. Sometimes I feel I am working too much, other times not so much. I sometimes even feel that I am not doing anything right trying to do so many things at once. However, when I pause to look back and realise how far I have come with my business (even when I am not yet paying myself) and how fortunate I am to be able to stay at home with my kid when he needs me or to travel with my family if my husband has to work interstate, I realise that is balance.

On a scale of 1­-10 how much does your business light you up?
I love what I do so much and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do something I enjoy but at this stage, I would give it a 7. When I get to see a more stable and recurrent income, I would definitely say a 10.

What do you wish you had in your business that you are still seeking?
Stable and recurrent income. But I know building a business takes time so I  trust it is a matter of time to start seeing the ROI when it comes to the time I invest in my business and what I get in return. In the meantime, I am learning so many things and enjoining every stage of this journey

In moments of doubt, how do you overcome it and lift yourself back up?
I try to listen to my heart. I strongly believe that when we do things from the heart and with a genuine intention to help others, solve their problems and add value, amazing things happen. I also try to stop and disconnect, take a break and spend time with my family. I usually do something outdoors with them so I am not tempted to go back to work. I need to get better at self­care though, I know this is extremely important to be successful in business.

Who is your support crew if you have one?
My husband, my boy (even though he is not going to give any advice as he is just 16 months old, he always makes me smile) and my mum.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Not so much a business advice specifically, but my mum has always said to me: be you, be genuine and people will like you and love you for who you are. Do not be someone you are not just to fit in. This piece of advice has been very helpful in all aspects of my life, even throughout my business journey and during my migration process to Australia. Learning the importance of being myself even when society pushes us to follow certain patterns, has helped me follow my dreams and get so many important things in my life.

What’s a brief summary of the pathway it took to get to where you are now?
I think everything comes to my passion for helping others and making a difference in people’s life. That is why I studied Human Resources, thought that was a good way to make a living by helping others succeed, find a good job, build a career.

After +10 years working in corporate in different HR roles, I realised the corporate world as it is today was not for me. I was becoming someone that I was not and I knew I could do much more for others if I really focused on finding my purpose and playing with my strengths. I was also having my first baby and I really wanted to have the flexibility to continue my career without needing to leave my boy in childcare 5 days a week.
I have always been good at connecting people and very passionate about seeing them succeed. If I needed to do it for FREE I would do it and that is why I was always involved in different volunteering initiatives. So I figured that if I loved connecting and helping people so much, I should find something that allowed to get an income from connecting and helping others.
So I decided to market for a Melbourne based manufacturing company and educate people about the benefits of removing chemicals from home and helping other parents like myself to create different income streams working from home.
That was a great opportunity for me to explore the entrepreneurial world. I learned lots of things about business (the good and the bad), gained skills and met people that helped me switch my mindset and transition from being an employee to be an entrepreneur. All these things I learned allowed me to discover my call, find my purpose, build my resilience and gave me the confidence to create a business in line with my values and what I think was needed in the entrepreneurial world, our communities and our society: more customer­focused, heart­centred and sustainable businesses.
That is how Colabora was born.

How important is grit, determination and persistence to you in growing your business?
Extremely important. In my opinion, success in business highly depends on the strength, courage, determination and persistence. Things won’t go as planned most of the time and seeing tangible results may take a little bit of time. If we are not determined, persistent and resilient enough, it is easier to give up.

Which of your personal traits are you most proud of?
My compassionate and warm personality + my positive (yet realistic) mindset and spirit. Well, maybe not that realistic sometimes haha

What is the hardest thing about being your own boss?
Making all the decisions. I ask for feedback and get other people’s thoughts about things but at the end of the day, it is my decision.

What sacrifices have you made starting a business?
I think I have sacrificed time with my family/friends or time to do things for myself (like exercising, reading a book, etc.). But I know this has an end and it is just a matter of time to find the right balance.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
When I am at the beach and (believe it or not) when I am in the shower Lol.

Who’s a woman you deeply admire?
There is 2: my mum and my Grandma

What do you still want to achieve on a personal level?
A sustainable business that fits our family lifestyle and allows us to have the time and financial freedom we need to help more people. But I am working on it.

What do you find most frustrating about your home workspace?
The view. I live close to the beach but do not have a beach view from my desk.

What is your favourite thing about your workspace?
That it is my space to create and make things happen.

Name one thing you can’t live without each day.
My family. They are my pillars.

 Find out more about Beatriz Guevara and her services here. 

Until next time

Love your home and those within it,

Carmen x