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Neivis Paulino of Galilee Life: “Critique and feedback”

It is no secret that there’s been a rise in women owned businesses, but it is also no secret that male owned businesses are predominantly more susceptible to getting the financial back up that they need from investors. As women owned businesses continue to grow and dominate the online world, they still experience desolation and […]

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It is no secret that there’s been a rise in women owned businesses, but it is also no secret that male owned businesses are predominantly more susceptible to getting the financial back up that they need from investors. As women owned businesses continue to grow and dominate the online world, they still experience desolation and loneliness when trying to build a company. With thousands of new women owned online platforms and businesses trying to gain financial support, it is imperative that VC and Angel Investors reexamine their inclusivity to be true providers of opportunity.


As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Neivis Paulino. Neivis is a Christ believer, a wife, mom of two beautiful girls, daughter, sister and friend. Neivis is a Health Care Administration graduate, and an entrepreneur. She founded Galilee Life in 2018. Founding Galilee Life came with great sacrifice, but she was driven by her love, obedience to God and deep desire to make a positive difference in the lives of many. Despite some troubled times in her own life, she is certain that her relationship with God is where she has found her true strength, deep love for herself, family and others. Trials of all sorts have only intensified her longing for empowering others. Working closely with people in need, she saw the power of personal connection and how something as small as a piece of clothing or handmade item could inspire joy through difficult times.

With Galilee Life, she longs to continue growing an inspiring and unified community of makers, resellers, digital artists and business service owners. Her vision involves serving others with tools that not only lead to a financially free life, but a life of emotional and spiritual wellness, and as cliche as it may sound, helping them make their dreams come true. She has the full understanding that money is one of the key drivers in creating a financially free life, but when there’s a community and a family to help encourage you along the way, there is a greater certainty in the possibility of making that dream come to life.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

My backstory makes me cringe a little and I can’t quite tell you exactly why. I grew up in a Christian home, with loving parents and two beautiful sisters. We grew up in the projects of Brooklyn and though there were a lot of deaths and tragedy all around me, I always felt God’s protection over us. Especially with my dad, as he was a truck driver and to date still is. My dad always left home at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. I believe this was the hardest, to live in fear. Everything that I am doing to date, my business, my household, and my desires of advancement are the evidence of not only my survival, but of God’s mercy and grace over my life, and the life of my family.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

If you want to call this story interesting, I guess, and I chuckle as I say this. My business is based on WordPress and if I tell others that I was never that tech savvy girl, no one will believe me now. I had to learn how to navigate WordPress, and that was not an easy task. Staying up late nights after my 9–5 job and college classes, doing research to help my online platform’s technical issues, was not fun. At times I feel like a WordPress guru with all that I can accomplish now. I’m not saying I don’t need special coding help from a talented developer, but I was able to manage a multi-vendor marketplace business on my own, with God’s help of course, and to this day, I cannot tell you how. I always blame the good things on God. Since I began this business, I have learned to have a lot a confidence in what I can deliver because I am fully aware of what I was unable to deliver before. I say all of this to explain that discipline, passion, drive, love, and mission are exactly what you need to get started, to accomplish your goals, and to take the world by a storm.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Now this is funny for sure, but it surely wasn’t at that time. When I first started my business, I was still working full-time at a company I won’t disclose. You know when you are in the honeymoon stage, all you do is speak about your love, well Galilee Life was and is my love. In a big meeting I had, I made the big mistake of ending off with my company’s name and not the company I worked for. That was not something I feel proud of at all, and can laugh about now, as it was an honest mistake. This goes to show that if as entrepreneurs we decide to build our business while working a 9–5 job, to sustain our business, there still needs to be a wide separation and an absolute level of professionalism. That situation was a quick revelation that in my time at that company, I was to give it my all the hours that I signed up for, and to transition my focus on Galilee Life when my shift was over. When we work for another company, we are helping to build someone else’s dream and that should always be respected.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am grateful to my husband, Waikiki Paulino and my two daughters, for their love, patience and care. It is not easy building a business, while balancing family life. I feel really blessed that I had them to rely on for support. I can say the same for my extended family and a few close friends. I do have to admit that my biggest supporter of all has been God. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to give up, and I’ve been so close to throwing in the towel, but God always reminded me with a bible verse, a sweet whisper or in prayer, that this mission of building Galilee Life, was way bigger than me. God showed me that he was using Galilee Life as the bridge between him and the lost souls needing his love and attention. Those nights that I laid on my computer desk crying and sobbing, so much that it hurt, God lifted me up and gave me the courage to go on. Those are the same nights that I will forever keep in heart to continuously remind myself of his love.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

There are many books that have inspired me through my journey, but there is one that has made the most impact and resonated with me the most, and that is the Bible. I say this because there are so many verses and bible stories that you can read that can comfort and strengthen you all at the same time. I needed verses like,

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9–11

This verse reminded me that I am nothing without Christ and that in this business, all I could so was depend on him and keep him first. When I lose that true focus and try to do things by my strength alone, I know it will not work out. I was given strength to continue, over again, with the Bible, which is why I had to name this as the book that made an impact and resonated with me the most.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

One life lesson quote that is my favorite; “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — ―C. S. Lewis

This quote has transformed my life in remarkable ways. I used to live my life lamenting on my past mistakes and stuck in the, “I don’t deserve this or that”. This quote reminded me over again, that God washed away my sins, and that he washed away my mistakes. I can start where I am and make the changes, I know I need to make now. I started to work looking ahead and no longer staring behind me wishing I could change the past.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I have used my success in everything God has blessed me with to share his love and encouragement with others. To love on others and make myself available when prayers are needed, is the most rewarding. The world is a big place, but where I am, I will always love on others with the grace and love bestowed upon me by God.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

It is no secret that there’s been a rise in women owned businesses, but it is also no secret that male owned businesses are predominantly more susceptible to getting the financial back up that they need from investors. As women owned businesses continue to grow and dominate the online world, they still experience desolation and loneliness when trying to build a company. With thousands of new women owned online platforms and businesses trying to gain financial support, it is imperative that VC and Angel Investors reexamine their inclusivity to be true providers of opportunity.

Can you share with our readers what you are doing to help empower women to become founders?

I am a woman founder and I know the struggles very well. As the founder of the world’s first “Christian Online Marketplace”, we have helped hundreds of small women-owned businesses from across the world showcase their products, while also providing encouragement to help their everyday struggles. I have seen first-hand how providing a platform where a woman can begin to work on something for herself by either selling her handmade creations, retail products, or digital work, can provide a sense of hope and inspiration that allows them to break through the barriers and misconceptions of being a mom and an entrepreneur. Women never seek to have the victimization status, but for some reason, we are always left in this small business space deserted and unless we know someone “important” that can pave the way, we must be overly creative to be able to pave the way for ourselves. I believe that every woman trying to achieve their dreams should be given the open opportunity to do so, not just the open platform. What I mean is that the platforms are wide open to create and work, and for that, I am sure many of us are grateful for, but the opportunities are scarce. There are many women that have amazing ideas, and great products, but often lack the financial and moral support they need to grow and scale their business.

This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

As women battle the hardships of finance and moral support, amongst many others, there is also the known factor that having women founders means an overall benefit for the entire population. According to the article “Everyone Benefits from More Women in Power — Our World (unu.edu)”, women are decision makers that carry out policies that not only benefit their lives, but also their families, and all other families they come across with, and affect it in a positive way. More women founders mean:

  1. Women Founders in charge that not only act rationally, but also with their hearts. Women can connect with people’s emotions in a way that is not known to man.
  2. More Women Founders mean, change for the better, refresh, a new start and innovation.
  3. Women are radical movers and when they decide that something needs to change for things to work differently, they do something about it.
  4. With women in control, you get more than what you bargain for.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share 5 things that can be done or should be done to help empower more women to become founders? If you can, please share an example or story for each.

A few things that can be done to help empower more women to become founders are the following:

  1. Women need to be backed up, funded, and not left alone to figure things out. -There is so much information on the internet and as much as we read and try to be our own developers, we unable to do it all alone. Many women do not even have an open line of credit because they’ve been housewives for so long. Their lives have only revolved around their children, husbands and home. The requisites to owning a line of credit are huge, and getting into debt in order to realize a dream is just inconceivable.
  2. Support from family and those closest. -When a woman decides to think outside of her home and decides to go after her life-long dreams and new aspirations, they are constantly met with reasons why they shouldn’t go for it, then the reasons why they should. Women need reassurance and not mental beat downs for trying something that will not only help their family’s financial situation, but others around them too. Women are wired to think outside of themselves and being a business owner is no exception.
  3. Lack of support and transparency. -Women need responses, truth, and to know that the time they invest in filling out applications online is appreciated. There’s a huge lack of support and transparency when it comes to why some women are not eligible for funds, and more specifically for grants. I’ve personally applied to so many and never receive an answer as to why I was denied or not accepted. My question is: How can I learn from possible mistakes that I am making if I have no idea why I was rejected or not responded back to?
  4. Critique and feedback. -Women need adequate feedback when they ask for it. Women are not always taken seriously when starting a business. They are often times met with “how’s that project, or hobby going?”. Meaning that unless they are generating a decent amount of money in business, it is not a “business”.
  5. Experts in their field. -There’s this misconception that if a woman is not a “expert” in her field, she is not an expert at all. That if she doesn’t have a higher education, like some, she should not be in business. Women are constantly pulled from one direction to the next, driven by the examples of how other women have made it. The overload of information about what a “true leader” entails, and the qualities of a “good entrepreneur”, are vast. There could never be too much learning, but women have the power to do anything that they put their minds too, regardless of how “high” or “low” their education level is. A woman is an expert of her life, and her experiences, and that alone can pave the way into a successful business venture or career. If a woman needs reassurance and doesn’t have anyone that she can speak to because of all of these levels she now needs to surpass be a “leader or expert in her field”, the reassurance often times comes from oneself. If she’s a believer of Christ, then it’s her and God. Women need more words that empower them to be their authentic selves. They are built to do so much more than they know.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would most definitely inspire a movement that would get every child off the streets and into safe homes, while providing them with the education and resources they need to thrive. I’ve heard of movements that involve school aged kids and younger, some until the age of 18, but I would dare say that there are some individuals that at the age of 25, are still extremely lost and need someone to walk with them hand in hand.

Another movement would be, to help Christian women founders gain the confidence they need to be great. We tend to show faith in God’s words as a healer and helper in our homes, but we can feel guilty about our success and the money that comes along with having a business. Women strive to be seen, understood, and we do want success, but there are also some of us that are dreadful of being too successful, as that might be looked down upon by the church population.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I would have to say Donald Miller, Ceo of Story Brand. I would love to have a talk with him one day. He is extremely insightful. If you’re a business owner and need a podcast or book to read, look up Donald Miller. He’s the best in the industry teaching small businesses how to clarify their message to gain more customers with a simple and easy to follow marketing plan.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

We can be reached via email at: [email protected]

Online Marketplace website: https://galilee-life.com

Blog / Devotional website: https://inspiredbygalilee.com

Galilee Life Instagram URL: https://www.instagram.com/galileelife/

Neivis Paulino Instagram URL: https://www.instagram.com/neivispaulino

Neivis Paulino Linked in URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neivis-paulino-51b0b868/

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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