Maricielo Solis is an entrepreneur whose passion for storytelling has sparked a movement.
Through her company, BLENDtw, she is creating a safe space for young people to speak up and connect through their experienced anxieties and strategies of overcoming them.
Solis is an immigrant woman of color, empowering others to take control of their success in the business world. Solis understood ever since she was very young, the sacrifices her parents had to make to give her the best possible life.
“It instilled in me a huge sense of responsibility,” said Solis. This major effort put forward by her parents encouraged Solis to work hard, dream big, and to never let her circumstances define who she is.
Solis’ passion for creating positive human experience inspired her to create BLENDtw as a derivation of positivity and understanding made available to people across all walks of life.
Post-college graduation, Solis left her home in Miami and used her one-way ticket to New York City. She was overwhelmed by her many dreams and soon found herself rocking a job at Rockefeller Plaza as an NBC page and working with well-known television shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, The Late Night Show, and many more.
The emerging entrepreneur’s experience in New York was surreal, and Solis experienced comprehensive training in media through the page program, which provided her with a keenness for whatever challenges she would face in the future.
Solis’ dreams came true when she landed a job at CNN.
“It was the one thing that I really wanted since I was 8 years old when I first saw Christiane Amanpour reporting live from Kuwait on TV from my native Peru,” said Solis.
After the fairytale faded and Solis was reminded of the lack of positive support on social media, she developed an idea for a platform that could connect people by their human anxieties through raw stories of past experiences.
Today, BLENDtw is more than an online support platform. It is leading a movement with a network of more than 1000 college contributors from 30+ schools across America. Its mission is to empower young people to speak up and tell their story on issues ranging from mental health to body image issues.
The BLENDtw community keeps growing every day, but its introduction was tentative and full of obstacles.
Solis credits the three following principles as the leading factors leading to her success.
It is so easy these days to get caught up in a job that pays the bills, but we have no interest in. As a result, we lose the spark of curiosity and stop challenging ourselves to keep growing.
Solis credits curiosity as one of the main reasons why she was able to quit her 9-5 job and embark on a new project.
“Being curious is what allowed me to see opportunities where no one else did. It put new ideas on my head. It nurtured my creativity and it pushed me to challenge the status quo,” affirmed Solis.
Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You
Fear is an innate feeling of human beings. We cannot control it but we can choose how we react to it. Solis fiercely believed in what she was building that she never let her fears become an obstacle to her dreams.
“Insecurities are normal in every human being. We should learn to acknowledge them instead of trying to push them away. When you acknowledge your fears, it opens up a space for you to understand the root cause of your anxiety. That way, it becomes easier to control your emotions,” said Solis.
In a world full of distractions, it seems almost impossible to remain focused these days.
Distraction is the biggest killer of creativity and productivity. It hinders us doing our best work and from mastering our craft. For Solis, success doesn’t come from talent, it comes from developing the discipline to focus wholeheartedly in a specific task every day.
“Divide your tasks into micro-tasks and work on them without interruptions. You will be surprised how small steps every day lead to successful results. You can be the most talented person in the world but if you don’t have the discipline to stay focused, you aren’t going anywhere,” declared Solis.
Perhaps the biggest lesson, for which Solis can provide advice to young people is, to take the initiative in never letting their circumstances define them.
Though there are terrifying setbacks in life, Solis stands as an example of navigating through fear to reach achievements. It is important to be honest about challenges in order to continue striving for more.