Silvia Marquez is a graphic designer right now but can count a whole decade of entrepreneurial experience that brought her to this point.
Silvia’s story starts in her home country of Panama. Now living in Spain as a full-time freelancer, she has done almost everything you can imagine in between.
She had a hotel, a pizzeria, a restaurant, and at one point even moved to the middle of the jungle.
At first, I had no idea what I was doing.
I was in the process of creating my brand a couple of months before I took the plunge to move to Spain, but still, I cannot tell you honestly that I was sure about it at all.
If you know me, you’ll know that I tend to be a positive thinker. It took me from Panama and pizzas to Spain and success.
Yes, it’s been tough but here’s the thing that kept me going: “There’s nothing to lose, and really, what’s the worst that could happen?”
My work is my therapy.
One thing that I love to do is to draw mandalas. I draw a lot because that’s something that helps me to think, to analyze. It’s like therapy to me.
Suddenly, people were asking me to share my art and I thought OK, if you want it, just send me your email and I will send it to you.
Later, there were so many people asking for my mandalas that it became obvious I needed a better solution.
I started on Etsy.
All my life, I’ve tried to go with the flow and it’s always been step by step, like one thing.
First, the Mandalas brought me to Etsy, but I didn’t always want to sell all the time. When I was building my brand I wanted to be able to give something to my clients.
I needed something that people could just download. It was one of those moments when you are trying to get to sleep and all you can think about is work.
Then I opened my eyes, and I knew that I needed a website and I needed to do this for myself. That’s when I found Zyro and that’s the moment that I started to build my community.
You have to jump in.
In life, there are things that you know that you want to do and that’s one thing, but most of the time you have absolutely no idea how you’re supposed to do it.
How do you start? How do you make it? You don’t have to have to know those answers straight away as long as you know that you will do it some way or another. That’s how I think, and that’s part of being an entrepreneur.
It’s always been clear to me that I will be working in creative branding in one way or another, but it’s such a huge field that it can feel impossible to know where to start.
That’s exactly why you have to jump right in and follow the flow. Sure, first you have to fix some things and make a few things happen but you can’t let every decision stand in your way.
If you work like that then you will have way too much information to deal with and as a small business owner, you become totally overwhelmed.
You just need to do the first step. Complete the task that will prepare you for tomorrow and so on, and so on. You don’t always need a grand plan, you just need a flow, a dream, and not to let the risk stop you from taking your opportunities.
Managing the switch to freelance is about passion.
When you’re making that switch you’re going to have to work until 1, 2, 3 A.M and get up for work the next morning.
And sadly, that’s just how it goes when you are working for whatever you want to do in your dreams.
How can I explain it? It was something inside me that I knew I had to do.
Giving up the first regular pay check is the hardest thing, especially when you have responsibilities in your life. That’s why I wanted to start with a platform that was as risk-free as possible.
I want to help other women in business.
What’s special about my business? What is special about any business, it is the person behind it and the energy that they give.
When I was making pizzas, I wasn’t the only pizza restaurant in the world. I know what I do is competitive.
There’s space for everyone because building your business and building your personal brand starts with you.
Personally, I work with a lot of other entrepreneurs that are women or moms, or people who are often underrepresented in the business world.
My community is ninety six percent women and when it comes to the question of how they can make their business grow the most common theme is this imposter syndrome.
When you start a business, you are always comparing your progress to your competitors.
It’s natural but it is not helpful, you have to go back to the basics and remember what drove you to start your business in the first place because that’s the thing that will help you take it forwards.
Zyro is the most logical solution for a new business owner.
Honestly, I’ve tried all the website builders out there. I had WIX, I had Squarespace, I even had Foursquare.
And do you know what happened? I always go back to Zyro because it is just so easy to use. The way that you can always communicate with someone, no matter what time and no matter what the problem might be.
It’s also that whenever you take a chance and whenever you step up to start something, that is usually the moment where you have the least resources.
Starting a business with Zyro is not just a good option because it’s affordable. It’s a safe bet because you know that you will be able to achieve the website you have in your mind.
Zyro is a different kind of website builder.
In life, there is such a thing as having too much choice and I like Zyro because it gives you just enough to motivate you to learn, but never so much that you become overwhelmed.
It is almost as if it is designed to help you achieve small successes, one by one, until suddenly you have made the exact website you were looking for all along.
Since day one, I have made so many changes to my website, but I think the main bulk of the work was completed in less than a week.
Sure, I have tweaked it since then in terms of design, but the functionality was there on day one.
It’s so easy, and you can really move fast with Zyro. If you’re a freelancer, part-timer, or just an amateur, you’ll know that you time is everything.
You have many hats. You are the producer. You are the designer. You are the one who will make this website from scratch. You need it to be fast, but you also need to make something that looks nice. For me, that something is Zyro.
A website gives you so much more than social media.
Without a website, I couldn’t be where I am right now. It’s not just Instagram. It’s not just Facebook or social media. You need your website.
It is you. It is your life. It is your business, and it is your success all in just one place.
Growth happens when you start giving. That means giving in every way that you have inside of you.
Okay, so maybe I can make a giveaway on my website? Yes, that brings people to my website, but once you are there you start to understand a little bit more about who I am and what I do.
Those parts of me also grow alongside my business – sure you can like my portfolio but I think the thing that inspires people the most, the thing that makes a client want to say, I want this for myself, is to feel the energy of the person behind the business.
I want to build the complete branding solution.
eCommerce masterclasses are at the top of my list right now. I want to be able to create and sell digital products for downloads.
That’s something I can do with minimal resources and it would be successful, of course, for that I absolutely must have a website.
Why? Well, here’s the thing with Instagram, and social media generally, you can promote your brand, but that’s about all you can do.
I need a complete solution, somewhere that I can tell my story but also have the opportunity to sell abstract products like e-books or masterclasses.
So, yeah. That’s my plan for next month. Where it gets exciting is where I’m going to be in 5 years time.
Ask yourself this: what is stopping you?
The first thing I would ask first is this: What is stopping you? What could it be? What is so big to stop you from trying to do the thing that you love.
Let me tell you, the very worst thing that could happen is that you fail. We need to analyze that thought and try to work out why failure is such a big problem in our lives.
Always believe in yourself and dream, when I was running a pizza place all those years ago on the other side of the world do you think I thought that I would ever be a full time freelance graphic designer?
I never thought it would happen, but somehow, I knew it would happen at the same time. You just need to believe and learn how to listen when that voice inside you tells you that it’s time. That you will do it in and start and just start that, and there’s always something inside of you telling you it’s time.
There have been many times in my life that I wanted to do something, but all the doors were closed. I had to accept that at that particular moment, I wasn’t really ready because I was trying too hard to force them open.
You can believe this though, as soon as one of those doors did open, I took my chance. I moved from Panama to Spain, I met my husband, I started my business, and I changed my life.