This week on our Entrepreneurship Bench is non other than, an entrepreneur, a mom, a herbalist, an adviser, a consultant and a coach. Darlene M. Lopez. She takes everything she is doing as a ministry. She is ready to serve her clienteles globally through the help of internet and social media platforms. This is what she had to say on entrepreneurship
Josh: One thing I admire with you is how you keep people engaged. You are a net-worker for sure and I would like to learn from you.
Lopez: Thank you so kindly, that is very encouraging of you. I enjoy learning and you inspire me to keep pursing my dreams, knowing the outcome will be to fund ministries/work like yours
Josh: You are most welcome. So what are some of the challenges you have met on your way as an entrepreneur and a mom?
Lopez: What a good question, I think the most challenging thing thus far is that in both is being disciplined with time management along with always remaining a humble servant.
Josh: Oh yes that is a tight balance to hit. It is a challenge to me too. How did you come to learn that you are an entrepreneur?
Lopez: I never considered being an Entrepreneur, the concept had always interested me but I never fully pursued it but when people began offering to pay me for doing what I loved I began to entertain the idea but still didn’t pursue it.
I just love helping people in herbalism/natural living and friends and family and friends of family etc. would call me or ask for my advice etc. and I offered it and wrote protocols for them, they would come back with amazing testimonies thanking me over and over some would offer to pay me of which I would decline.
This sometimes would lead our family into small amounts of debt as I would purchase the necessary herbs and supplies for my clients thankfully it was never a burden to us and the debt never accumulated but nevertheless it wasn’t wise.
I still was reluctant to receive monetary compensation for my consulting it was something I loved and enjoyed doing, so I felt a bit guilty to receive money for doing what I loved, after all why charge for something that you can give for free and it is helping others.
I began to look into wholesaling houses and investing as a stay at home mom, I wanted to help contribute to the family income so Id take side jobs like providing childcare for families this helped but the concept of wholesaling and investing interested me but I needed information that only real estate professionals have.
We have some friends who are Real Estate agents, and have been in the business going on 40 years. I called her and began to explain my interest in investing in real estate and my interest in wholesaling, she educated me on the risks involved and the pros and cons.
Without discouraging my adventure she explained how I could get the access I needed in order to succeed, which the only way was to become a professional realtor.
I didn’t want to do that because well, it wasn’t something I had a passion about it was merely a means to make some extra income for our family, so I didn’t want to invest in schooling for this if I wasn’t going to pursue it passionately.
She then suggested I become her virtual assistant and manage her social media marketing for her and in exchange she would give me the access I needed to flip houses etc. I agreed and she paid for my social media for sales and success marketing class.
I became her online virtual assistant and I love marketing and social network, I have a passion and love for it, so I said sure why not. She offered to pay me and yet again I refused compensation because I felt guilty for being paid to do something you love.
This type of thinking some how held me back. I realized that there is nothing wrong with being paid, a worker is worthy of his wages. This led to me launching my own business.
I’m still a new entrepreneur and still learning to market myself as I Have spent so much time marketing and networking for others that doing it for myself on a professional level has been a learning experience.
© Joshua Okello 2014.
Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.