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Bonnie Rodríguez | Venezuela | Don't Wait!!!

I discovered photgraphy when I was 13, and I haven't stopped taking photos since. After I finished my Master's in photography, I opened my own studio. Working with clients, I found the need for tips on how to look and feel more comfortable in photos. That led me to start a new chapter of my journey. I started my personal brand blog, sharing tips to empower people through photography. With poses, lighting and editing techniques to achieve a better result. All this expanded my business to photographing international celebrities, project managing campaigns with companies like Miss USA, Atlantic Records, creating online courses, and partnerships with brands like Google, Urban Decay and much more. All I did was: listening to my community and how I could help them. I'm originally from Venezuela, and I didn't know anyone in the United States when I first arrive. It was not only building a new business but a personal transition too. No connections, no leads and being a freelancer with no community that was very difficult. I was patient and never gave up. I started doing collaborations, working on social media, trying to develop new ideas every day. I took the risk by contacting companies with just my photo portfolio in hands. With time, I move from New York to LA and then Miami, this enabled me to build connections. Social media has been crucial to my company.

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

My family was and still is very supportive. They never doubt my work ethic. In my family we believe that discipline is 95%, then talent and of course a 1% of luck. I think I saw a more negative approach from other entrepreneurs instead - over thinking, demonstrating an attitude of the struggling artist, or blaming others for their bad luck. Yes, it is hard, but you can't surrender before your race. If you love what you do there is no excuse to stop doing it. Create and don't get stuck in what others create, be positive, listen and stop talking so much, you can discover wonderful things that are just in front of you when you are not talking. Sometimes the idea you have just needs an extra grain of salt to be fantastic and you can find it by listening.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

Consistency and social media.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

I would tell my younger self to stop being shy and build her personal brand sooner.

What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Find one thing you love. I like movies, I like cooking, I like a lot of things. But you need to become an expert in ONE THING. Later you can expand, but first, find something you are really good at and start sharing it with the world NOW. Don't wait until you have enough money saved up to start, or getting approval from your parents, or the day you decide you have time. The time is NOW.


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