The MNY Spotlight

"Starting a business is hard. Growing a business is harder..."


"Starting a business is hard. Growing a business is harder. Sustaining that business for a long time, at or above the standards you set for it at the beginning, for many founders seems hardest of all."

- Guy Raz

When we started Mestiza, my sister Rosanna suggested I listen to the NPR podcast with Guy Raz called How I Built This, and after hearing the first one with Spanx’s Sarah Blakely, I was hooked. I loved listening to stories of other people’s entrepreneurial journeys, specifically about the failures that lead to their eventual success. One question Guy always asks in these interviews is “How much of your success is luck, and how much of it is hard work?” Over the years I find that my own answer has changed, because in the beginning I would have absolutely said dumb luck. But now I see that its the years of repeated failures that forced us to tactfully navigate this industry. I attribute all success to simply learning from those mistakes.

Like watching my own child grow up, I have watched Mestiza grow up. But one thing I have never really thought about is how I myself have grown up too. I was talking to Louisa yesterday about how in the beginning it was all a game, I’ve said many times before that we had no idea what we were doing. At that point we were tossing anything and everything at the wall to see what stuck. Most things didn’t, some things did, but there was no rhyme or reason to it. I think that is how I approached being a mother in the very beginning. But, I can honestly say that the love and understanding have for my son Carlos and Mestiza has grown exponentially every single day, something I didn’t know was even possible.

The overly used adage “mother knows best” comes to mind. I know I can helm Mestiza better with Lou because we have lived through so much. And with the same logic I know I am a better mother to Carlos. All things considered, they are both still young and need an extraordinary amount of my time and attention, and I am sure that 5 years from now I will look back at today and think, “wow I had no idea what I was doing!”. But that is all part of this journey, and who knows, maybe at that point we will have experienced something completely different and go back to saying it was all dumb luck. I would like to think that five years from now Mestiza will have reached the level of success that makes us worthy of an actual How I Built This feature. And should that ever happen, I wonder how I will answer Guy Raz’s age old question with another 5 years of wisdom and experience. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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