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Trista Croce | Arizona | Don't Quit, Instead Push Through

Girl Boss | Entrepreneur | Owner/Founder of BTS Event Management

I was in college when I had my first daughter. I was determined to stay in school, I've seen other ladies who get pregnant at a young age, take “time off” from school, with the intent to return and never end up making it back, so I refused to take time off after having her. I was a single mom and struggled to finish classes and work in order to support myself and my baby girl. I bartended and cocktail waitressed at night and went to school during the day. I finally managed to graduate from the University of Arizona, and knew I needed to make big moves in order to support us. I knew that if I got a job in corporate America, I’d start off low on the totem pole with next to no freedom to be with my daughter, so I decided to become an entrepreneur. I knew this wouldn’t be an overnight success and would take a lot of time to really grind and make a name for myself, but I knew that seemed more appealing to be then working under someone else. I continued to work as a bartender at night while I worked on my business during the day. I studied weddings and events like I was taking classes and I went to just about every networking event or gathering that I heard about. Slowly but surely the pieces of the puzzle began coming together and my business, BTS Event Management, was finally going somewhere. I’ve put in way more hours than I ever would have working in a corporate setting, but I had the flexibility to do it on my terms. I was still able to pick up and drop off my daughter, I was able to attend basketball games and plan birthday parties. I was able to be present when I wanted to be and that was what was most important to me as my daughter was growing up.

What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them?

My biggest initial hurdles were trying to figure out how to make ends meet, while growing a business from nothing. Growing a business is a full-time job, which does not generate revenue initially. So how do you make time to make money while you are growing a business? The only secret I figured out was to sacrifice sleep!

What advice do you have for young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions?

My biggest advice for young people is, get clear on your vision. You have to understand exactly what you want in order to put a plan in place to achieve that. I would also say, make connections, you have to get really sharp on identifying who people are and how they can help you and think about any possible way you may be able to make yourself an asset to them as well. Lastly, do not stray away from hard work. One of the biggest problems I see with some of the younger adults I interact with is as soon as things get hard...I mean really hard, they quit. You can't do this when you want to be successful.

When things get really hard, that usually means you are right at the turning point, meaning you have to push through just a little harder and then you've got it!!!

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