Marii, Author at Pink Studios
I Quit My 9-5 Job 365 Days Ago: Lessons Learned

I Quit My 9-5 Job 365 Days Ago: Lessons Learned

Three-hundred and sixty five days ago I decided it was time to slap the “what if’s” in the face and start walking my own path.

It was a hard decision, I remember the day clearly. After much debating and going back and forth on the pros and cons of moving forward with this decision and the possible consequences; at 5:46pm on July 15th 2016 I hit the “send” button on my corporate computer.

After quitting my 9-5, I took a well-deserved vacation. I’m not going to lie, it was nothing fancy, just doing absolutely nothing – and it felt AMAZING and oh, so weird. I didn’t spend any time on my computer, I rarely cooked and I binge-watched “Drop Dead Diva” on Netflix. πŸ™‚

Going back to my decision of quitting my 9-5, the questions I often get asked are: “Did you have any clients lined up?” and “why did you quit?“. The answers are pretty simple: no, I did not have any clients lined up. At the moment, I hadn’t even reach out to my former clients to let them know I was available. The reason why? Disappointing others was the hardest part of this journey, however, after thoroughly analyzing the pros and cons and what my life could be if I went ahead with this decision, the amount of trust I had in myself and my abilities were just much greater.

What would I say to the 9-5 version of me?

I would say the same thing I would have told myself after graduating college and that I shared with ambinity: here. If you never take risks you will never know if your dreams could become your lifestyle. Better an “oops” than a “what if”.




 

What have I accomplished and learned these past 365 days as a full-time business owner?
    1. Took a well-deserved break. Burn-out is a serious deal; and in order to recharge I needed to work less, relax more and do nothing for a while. It felt amazing and it was exactly what I needed right then and there.
    2. Reconnected with myself. Creativity was running low as life had evolved into routines that did not promote creativity.
    3. Reconnected with my family and friends. Old routines had me 100% focused on one thing and were making me distance myself from loved ones. Although I cannot say that I am the best at this right now; I am able to admit that I am making conscious efforts to correct this and I only hope that these people understand.
    4. Redesigned our website to look how you are enjoying it now. This was long overdue. As a business owner, one of the things that I had to reconsider was my digital image. For the longest time, I had focused on making others shine through their digital presence and I had abandoned mine. This time around was my time to shine and I had to take matters into my own hands.
    5. Changed my Instagram strategy. Clearly, our feed needed a grid strategy that matched our taste and we’re slowly getting there.
    6. I love you Mondays. For an unknown reason, Mondays have become my favorite day of the week. Reason being, it feels like a fresh start, creativity is on high, and I feel like I can easily conquer the world with a well-planned week and substantial amounts of coffee in place.
    7. Put systems in place. In order to be successful, Pink Studios needed organization and systems; therefore, I came up with a few several processes and discovered useful apps to help me run my business. Best thing about it? I am sharing all of those secrets on a blog series. Starting with: Accounting Apps that will Rock Your Small Business and Social Media Apps that will Rock Your Small Business.
    8. Time is money and you have to work hard to earn it. Say good-bye to splurging on shopping or eating out and hello to being a boss; a responsible boss. If your business model is on a per-hour basis; every minute you waste is money that you lose. Maybe I’m a little over-dramatic here, but this is what has allowed me to better structure my time.
    9. Slowly but surely, made my dream office closer to a reality. If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with pretty office spaces. Ever since I signed up for Pinterest, my #officegoals boards was one of the first boards I made. Now that I needed an office, I made sure to follow my dream. There are still a few things that I’d love to incorporate into my office; however, I am very happy with how it looks and the compliments we always receive when people arrive. If you want to steal some of my office products and decor, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites below.

    10. Met MarΓ­a Elena from ambinity. Our similarities and work-ethics are too alike not to like each other. Fun fact: we both followed each other’s work on social media before meeting and actually realizing it. As she says, “tribes” are about inspiring, bringing positive energy and collaborating with each other.
    11. Media buying. Ran Facebook, Google AdWords and YouTube ads for several big clients. Went back to spending big bucks here.
    12. Built two and a half (one is not finished yet) websites. This one and this one.
    13. Female empowerment is the new black. Lately, I have become more aware of females starting their own businesses and my friend Janette is the best at promoting this. Recently she also quit her 9-5 to pursue her business Belleza Tropical full time and I couldn’t be prouder. Bottom line, if you are going to be an entrepreneur you need to surround yourself with positive people that also empower you.
    14. Began working out. Going from being an active person to gaining weight and feeling as tired as I was feeling; was without a doubt a new feeling to me. A few months ago I decided to do something and joined a gym and although I have not been as committed as I should be; the feeling that I am doing something for myself and my health is indescribable.
    15. Travel. For the longest time, vacations consisted of weekend getaways; now this year we were able to go back to my beautiful California and was also able to squeeze in Las Vegas, Nevada. #westsidegoals
    16. Took a course and passed! Today, I am proud to announce that I am an Evernote Certified Consultant. And, as far as I know, I might be the first one in Puerto Rico (still double-checking that fact). Pretty awesome, huh? If you need Evernote assistance or if you are interested in it, feel free to drop me a line. I’m your girl!
    17. Replace the 9-5ish for 24/7. Yes, being your own boss and working from home has its own perks; but if you want to be successful you need to hustle, work hard, weekends and late at night. Don’t get me wrong, it all depends on your industry and what you do; but don’t mistake the glamour of working-from home and being your own boss for slacking.
    18. Binge-watched #girlboss on Netflix and although I expected something different I enjoyed it. Next, I’d like to read the book.
    19. My story was featured as a Career profile on ambinity. #goals πŸ™ŒπŸΎ
    20. I hate to break it to you, but, i feel as happy as a person could be. I feel 100% in control of my life, my business, my decisions, my finances and it feels amazing. Lesson learned here? Don’t ever compromise your happiness, health or your success. You can go as far as you set your mind to.

Mari Nieves - I'm happy

What do I want to accomplish in the next 365 days?
  1. Since I was young, I enjoyed reading; however as life became more complicated this is something I stopped doing. Now, it is on my priority list to start doing this. Disconnect a bit and focus my energy on reading. Let me know if you have any recommendations.
  2. Increase projected revenue for next year by 30%.
  3. Bring two part-time team member on board.
  4. Become a digital marketing resources for small and medium-sized business owners.
  5. Increase local brand awareness for Pink Studios.

These past 365 days have truly been a roller-coaster of lessons learned; adapting to the pace, learning how to financially run my business, juggling multiple clients at the same time, setting up processes, among other things.

What are 3 things you have accomplished this year?
Have you considered quitting your 9-5 but need encouragement or advice to do so? Chat me, I’d love to talk more about it.



 
Let’s Flamingle [FREEBIE Wallpaper]

Let’s Flamingle [FREEBIE Wallpaper]

Born and raised in sunny Puerto Rico, I can surely tell you that it feels like summer all-year-long. However, there’s something about the actual summer, the beach, getting together with friends and most recently: sipping my favorite drink while on a flamingo floatie that makes me feel soooo good.

If you search Instagram for #flamingo – you’ll be prompted with 1.6M photos using that hashtag and 26,700+ photos with #flamingofloat – see a trend here?

Grab it now!

It wouldn’t be summer without a cute wallpaper to match your mood. It is safe to say that we all are loving the #flamingo trend and to help you dress up your technology, we designed a new free wallpaper: “Let’s Flamingle!” since you are loving our freebie wallpapers so much!

let's flamingle freebie wallpaper

As usual we would love love love to see it 😍. Please tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share this post with your friend and followers, would you? πŸ˜‰

 




Be like a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown. [FREEBIE Wallpaper]

Be like a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown. [FREEBIE Wallpaper]

“Stand tall, wear a crown πŸ‘‘.” This has got to be my favorite quote I’ve recently read.

As you all know, we’re all about small businesses and empowering others by providing the right digital tools for these businesses to excel in their industry.

When we first decided to quit our “nine-to-five” and pursue our business 24/7; we were scared, but after a while we could not believe we hadn’t make this decision any sooner. Nowadays, every time we learn about new entrepreneurs following suit, we get extremely excited.

The most recent full time entrepreneur we know is Janette PΓ©rez from Belleza Tropical Company. For a while, she’s had her online boutique and has been an advocate of empowering women to success in their business and in life in general. Last month, Janette took the same chance we did and quit her nine-to-five to pursue her business full time. This decision made her go full force at a pace where we decided to also open a store for her online boutique. How amazing!

This week, is the opening of Belleza Tropical Clothing Lounge in Humacao, Puerto Rico and we are super excited to see everything that Janette has put together. We are sure that it will be an immediate success.

Grab it now!

Therefore, to celebrate the opening of Belleza Tropical, the soon ending of spring and beginning of summer, we have put together an amazing wallpaper for you guys: Be like a pineapple 🍍: Stand tall, wear a crown.
Grab it now!


Would love love love to see it 😍. Please tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share this post with your friend and followers, would you? πŸ˜‰

4 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Listen To

4 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Listen To

In this fast-paced environment that we are all currently living; finding time to watch TV, binge-watch the newest series on Netflix, or just read a book seems like a luxury. Our time is often so limited and compromised. However, we have found a way to maintain ourselves entertained while we work, on car rides or even before going to sleep: podcasts. If you want to feel super inspired, motivated and learn more about other rock-star female entrepreneurs doing fantastic things, you need to start listening to these 4 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Listen To that we are about to share. We cannot enjoy these alone and wanted to share them with you.Please take a few minutes from your week to enjoy one or all of these. You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

 

All Up In Your Lady Business

This is currently one of our favorite podcasts at the moment and a recent find for us that we cannot get enough of. They share their experiences as business owners and interview other rockstar females who are making it. As they once said on an episode: we’ll listen to “conversations with inspiring ladies who have designed a life they love by doing a like they love.” Their name, slogan, awesome content and bubbly personality episode after episode makes us love this one a lot. You can also join the Facebook Group here.

🎧 Listen to the All Up In Your Lady Business podcast here.
πŸ’»Visit their website

 

Being Boss

Being Boss is a podcast by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. Each episodes speaks about topics we are all, at some point, curious about when having our own businesses. From Leaving the Day Job, to Working from Home, Client Management, and Behaving Like a Boss! I mean, if these titles don’t float your boat I don’t know what will. Emily and Kathleen do a fantastic job sharing tips, advice and interviews that’ll help you be a boss at work and in your life.

🎧 Listen to the Being Boss podcast here.
πŸ’»Visit their website

 

She Means Business

She Means Business is a podcast hosted by Carrie Green, founder of The Female Entrepreneur Association and brings us short weekly episodes about turning your ideas into reality by having your own business and how to be successful at it. Some of our favorite episodes are: Building Your Dream Business while Living your Dream Life, From Extreme Burn out to the Business of Your Dreams, and Condition Yourself for Success.

🎧 Listen to the She Means Business podcast here.
πŸ’»Visit their website

 

She Did It Her Way

This is another fantastic weekly podcast hosted by Amanda Boleyn, that’ll most definitely inspire you if you are creating or running your own business. This podcast is packed with advice and stories to help you succeed in the business world. If you are considering subscribing to this podcast, check out some of our favorite episodes: Startup to Success, CEO with a Side of Chic, and Bringing Your Vision to Life.

🎧 Listen to the She Did It Her Way podcast here.
πŸ’»Visit their website

 

Do you listen to any other great podcast from females who are rocking the business world? Please do share with us in the comments section below. We’d love to enjoy them with you and add them to our list of 4 Podcasts Every Female Entrepreneur Should Listen To. 🎧

 

Instagram Grid: Why Should You Care

Instagram Grid: Why Should You Care

Blog post article? Check. Facebook post? Check. Schedule Tweets? Check. Pinterest pin? Check.Β  Instagram post? Check.
But, how much attention do you actually pay to your Instagram grid? Do you have a defined strategy?

Let’s deep-dive into this. If you are actually scratching your head with this term, let me tell you that you are not alone. A great amount of people have no idea what this means, although they interact with it several times per week.

Your Instagram grid accounts for the first 6 photos that appear on your Instagram profile. Fascinating, huh?

How often do you post on Instagram? Have you determined the type of content that goes into your Instagram account? Would you like to increase your following by double in a few months? – Well, I can’t really guarantee that; however i can assure you that a well-thought out Instagram grid could be beneficial.

Quick test: Without looking at your Instagram account, can you point out what’s currently on your grid? Type it now in the comments section below and come back here to continue reading… πŸ˜‰

All done? Alright.

So, you ask: “Why are you talking so much about the Instagram grid and why should I care?” Look at your Instagram grid as your business card, credentials presentation or your own outdoor billboard. It is people’s first impression about you and you need to make it spectacular!

With 500 million monthly active users and counting, Instagram users have proven their love and loyalty for this platform and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. With more and more users joining this platform per day, the competition gets tougher and tougher.

 

So let’s talk about how to improve your Instagram grid.

  1. Relax: being on top of all of your social media plus taking care of your business can be stressful at times; hire a professional if you are feeling like it is taking away from the real important things towards your success.
  2. Plan: social media is all about being spontaneous, however if you plan ahead your posts and content, you’ll have enough time to put together your graphics and make sure they are on point.
  3. Pick: pick a filter or color scheme and stick to it. There are various applications that you can use and will ease this process.
  4. Inspiration: with over 500 millions monthly users, we’re sure you can find inspiration on some other accounts. hey, we’re not telling you to go copy them, but finding inspiration sources is always a great start!

We’ve put together a quick list of some of our current favorite grids.


1. Lauren Conrad | 2. Grey Likes | 3. MoΓ«t Chandon | 4. Passion Planner | 5. Starbucks | 6. Nomadic Newlyweds | 7. Bash_Studio | 8. Teaspressa | 9. Chachamatcha

Digging the Instagram data? Want to know more about its growth and potential? Here’s some additional data that is always helpful to have around:

 

Know other Instagram accounts that are a great inspiration source? Feel free to comment below and we’ll check it out and include it.