“I want to be remembered as the woman who could see inside of people and knew what they were capable of, even when they had forgotten” With Tyler Gallagher &Adriana Monique Alvarez

I want to be remembered as the woman who believed in dreams. The one who could see inside of people and knew what they were capable of, even when they had forgotten. I want to be remembered for creating books that inspired everyone who read them. As part of my series about the leadership lessons […]

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I want to be remembered as the woman who believed in dreams. The one who could see inside of people and knew what they were capable of, even when they had forgotten. I want to be remembered for creating books that inspired everyone who read them.

As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adriana Monique Alvarez the founder of AMA Publishing & Business Consulting. She turns accomplished and powerful women into best-selling authors, speakers, and media magnets with the intention of attracting high-end clients. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband and two toddlers.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Becoming a mother inspired my career as it currently is. I had two babies in twelve months, and I could no longer run my business in the same way. At the time it felt scary and chaotic, but it ended up being a wonderful change. I decided the best way for me to continue in business was to transition from being a “local” business to working online. I dedicated a couple hours every day to finding the most leveraged and efficient way to work. After having a stillbirth two years ago, I was deeply compelled to leave a legacy for my children. I knew I wanted to not only assist entrepreneurs in their business, but also give them opportunities to write their story in a way that attracted their best clients

Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company?

The real estate market crash of 2007 was still being felt when my husband and I started our business. At networking events and client meetings, the fear was palpable. The future felt uncertain and many were hesitant about investing in their business. Instead of focusing on the economy, I made the decision to build relationships, one meal and coffee at a time. This trust is what led to us having a highly profitable year when most were going through extremely challenging times.

What lesson did you learn from that?

I learned relationships are what matter most in business.

What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?

I believe there are two major factors that have led to my success. The first is my relationship with my husband. We were newlyweds when we started our business and most people thought we were crazy, but we stuck together. Day in and day out we worked harmoniously. We went on dates and celebrated every single success. Even when we didn’t have any money, we believed we could find our way.

The second one is that my parents taught me how to network and sell. My Dad is a natural connector and people person. He modeled how to network and build long-term relationships. My Mom is a master saleswoman. She showed me how to listen and provide solutions to people’s problems.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.

The 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO

1. Being a people-pleaser doesn’t work well in business.

Starting a business immediately began to highlight the areas of myself that required attention. One of those was my people-pleasing tendencies. Every single time I bent over backwards to get a client and threw in extras in an attempt to make them happy, it backfired. Once I agreed to going to a client’s store to record marketing videos. The only time she was available was during a holiday week. I spent two days recording videos and she never paid the balance on her account.

2. Make sure you have a life outside your business.

In 2011 we were living in downtown San Diego, making great money, and had more clients then we knew what to do with. The only problem was we didn’t have a life. My husband was working 12- to 14-hour days, I was attending every networking event in town. and one day I realized this was not the life we wanted. Before the year was over, we ended up selling everything we owned and moved to Europe to travel for a year.

3. Your success affects your circle of friends.

When we started out all I wanted was to be successful. I wanted it to work. I wanted to make money and have a beautiful life. I wanted to travel and see the world with those who mattered most to me. What I didn’t realize is that most people are much more comfortable with your struggle than they are with your success. I’ll never forget the first time someone wrote a social media post demonizing my success, saying that I must be neglecting my marriage and children to achieve what I had. Money is a charged subject that most don’t have a healthy relationship with and at the end of the day, loyal friends are worth their weight in gold.

4. Nothing has a greater impact on you than your own thoughts.

We built our business in the middle of an economic downturn; we navigated becoming parents, losing a baby, and traveling full time; but on my worst day, my worst enemy is myself. I remember a day right after the one-year anniversary of losing my daughter and a few fair weather friends had made an exit from my life. It was the middle of winter and I couldn’t see any sunshine. I had lost the light at the end of the tunnel. And then one early morning I heard, “Change your thoughts about your loss, about those friends, about this weather.” As soon as I did that everything shifted inside and out.

5. It takes tremendous faith to be successful.

What most people watching on the sidelines don’t know is that it takes faith to make it work. There are no guarantees in business and life. There’s no secret formula that everyone else knows and you don’t. It all comes down to this one question: Can you believe in something you cannot yet see? I remember when we moved to San Diego with four thousand dollars. Our monthly expenses had tripled and I had no idea how I was going to increase sales to accommodate that. I remember walking up Banker’s Hill telling myself, I choose peace, I choose faith. Within a couple weeks I landed a huge client who ended up working with us for five years. Have faith in yourself, in life, and know it’s always working out for you.

What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

After being in business for ten years I believe burnout is really the result of losing sight of the basics. Getting good sleep, eating well, having fun, laughing, having quality time with friends and family, and the big one… taking a day off. Entrepreneurs by nature are driven and ambitious and we have to create accountability and support that reminds us of what matters most.

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?

Oh my goodness! So many people helped us get where we are today. I remember we were three months into our business, and we had a negative balance in our bank account. I was distraught and embarrassed. I called my Dad and told him what was going on and I asked him for help. He sent us a gift and then I immediately landed our first client. I’ll never forget picking up the check and driving straight to the bank.

What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?

One big goal I’m working on professionally is creating amazing in-person events for my clients to meet each other at. I also have an idea to create a series of books for parents to share the stories of the children they have lost. Personally, I have the goal of getting to yoga every week and volunteering at a retirement home in our neighborhood.

What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?

I want to be remembered as the woman who believed in dreams. The one who could see inside of people and knew what they were capable of, even when they had forgotten. I want to be remembered for creating books that inspired everyone who read them.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

I would love to start a movement where stillness and silence are celebrated. Try it, lay on your back and do nothing for 15 minutes a day. Stare at the clouds or the stars. No podcast in your ear, no phone dinging, no mediation necessary. Be. There.

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