Choose a business that combines what you like and develop it professionally, keeping an eye on risks and the financials.

 

Ivanna Villanueva is a professional chef, small business owner, marketing content manager, and a social worker in Miami, Florida. She is all set to open a restaurant “Bread Cycle” in Miami along with her husband and professional chef Nelson Fernandez.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The idea came from my fascination with cooking and food, working with people and my partnership with my husband, who is also a chef. If I put together what I like the most and the example of entrepreneurship I have at home, it was easy for me to plan a business in a professional manner and hopefully it will be a success story.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A good day always starts off with a great morning routine. I love to stay active and turn my thoughts into actions in order to be productive, with a mindset to take on whatever comes my way to the best of my ability. I plan on the small steps I need to take to accomplish what I want in short and long term. I believe great things are accomplished by perseverance and dedication.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have always believed that an idea is an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Turning a vision into reality, is both a challenge and a goal. It’s important to see an idea all the way through, in the sense that you constantly envision the end result. Keeping the end result in mind, guides me through the steps it takes to get there and prevents me from losing focus or detouring from the common goal. I also believe in listening to people with experience, knowing that many times others have taken similar steps.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am excited by the willingness in customers to try new things, especially in the food industry. The growth in new types of concepts and restaurants, new cuisines and ways to prepare food, together with a better economy, open opportunities to all of us in the food industry. It is amazing to travel in the country and see what is available now to “foodies”. I love these trends

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My daily planner is my go to and I always keep it with me. I always work better when I write things down and make a list of the tasks I have to do for the day.

My list always starts off the most important tasks, in order to take care of them right away. As I cross each task off, it gears me to continue working my way down to the end of my list.

I steer clear from things that distract me from getting things done. Disconnecting is what makes me work best. No phone, no media.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Take things a day at a time. What hasn’t come or can’t be done, will come and will be done.

I also remind myself to listen to others and do not overestimate my own thinking. For young people that is something easy to forget and sometimes there is a high price to pay when it happens.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That’s a tough one. Maybe I’d say that watching TV shows on Bravo is a way to totally decompress after a long work day (my husband thinks that watching the shows produces more anxiety).

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Turn your mistakes/failures into a lesson. When something goes wrong, I always take a moment to analyze what I did and what happened, in order to learn from those actions.

Once I have done that, I always look for ways to do better and take a new approach, with the mindset to learn and do it right. Always keep trying.

Pay attention to the financials in your business. It is all about a healthy business, keeping an eye on risks.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Turn your mistakes/failures into a lesson. When something goes wrong, I always take a moment to analyze what I did and what happened, in order to learn from those actions.

Once I have done that, I always look for ways to do better and take a new approach, with the mindset to learn and do it right. Always keep trying.

Pay attention to the financials in your business. It is all about a healthy business, keeping an eye on risks.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Time management for me has always been a struggle. With so many ideas in mind, I often times found myself trying to take on everything at once.

Writing things down for me is key. Making a task list has helped me visualize and structure a realistic time frame. When I write down my ideas, I use colors to determine their urgency so that I take each task at a time. This way, I centralize my energy on what is at hand and avoid scattering my thoughts onto later/other tasks.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

My best $100 recently spent was in golf balls. I am an avid player and I consider it a great investment since one has to be able to balance work and fun. A balanced life is the key to happiness and being able to relax and enjoy yourself, whatever you choose to do, should be an integral part of your life.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I love Open Table and I know I am not the only one. Best tool to grow a restaurant business. I use it to see what customers value and also to make reservations, find restaurants, etc.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would recommend “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Walters, a book that teaches in an easy way to improve your dishes in a simple way. Better cooking, with moderation and no guilt. Great for young readers.

What is your favorite quote?

God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers”
“If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
“Be who you are, and way what you feel; because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Key Learnings:

  • Choose a business that combines what you like and develop it professionally, keeping an eye on risks and the financials
  • Balance work and fun. A balanced life is important for happiness.
  • Perseverance, organization and focus are key for success in business
  • Listen to others. Learn from everybody’s experience.

Connect:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivanna-villanueva-bba768165/
https://twitter.com/ivannavillanu?lang=en
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx9Y_b00Gg0ycWtAYI4KZCw