Not only is Vianessa an incredible actor, she’s also a badass business owner, copywriter, and video producer. Today on Paperbeau, we’re sharing her inspiring career trajectory — and the super motivational advice and wisdom she has to share.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
I created a website called ‘Hustle Juice‘ as a resource for existing and aspiring freelancers and location independent workers – people who want to have the freedom to travel and want to achieve the coveted work-life balance. We are building out free content on topics ranging from how to get clients, to what cities and countries offer up good wifi and how to remain productive while travelling. We’re also creating a series of skill-building courses that will either be offered for free or at a low cost so that access to tools and information on how to build a location independent career aren’t limited only to people with a certain income.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
It wasn’t until I took my first solo international trip in May 2017 that I was struck with the idea to start Hustle Juice. I travelled to Spain to do the Camino de Santiago and met some incredible people with whom I shared deep conversations. More importantly, I had time to myself to think of what I wanted to do next. There was a moment when I knew that I had to start my own business upon my return to the US. Once I got back, I spoke extensively with a friend who is a freelance journalist and another who worked as a social media manager about the woes of working as a freelancer and the desire to run a business and travel. Within a week, I had purchased a domain and structured a business plan for Hustle Juice, figuring that there were others out there who had the same questions and desires that I did and who could benefit from such a resource.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
Prior to launching Hustle Juice, I was a professional actor and I also worked as a freelance copywriter and video producer. Working as a freelancer is kind of like running your own business, but this is the first time that I’ve started a ‘real’ business with a real strategy and legitimacy.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Manage your expectations and your time. It could take a year, sometimes longer, to get your idea fully fleshed out and off the ground and that can mean juggling another job while putting in endless hours into your own business. It’s an endurance race, not a sprint.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:
My greatest obstacle has been getting funding and monetizing the site. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve had to get over a mental hurdle and actually talk to people and pitch the idea of partnering; I’ve met a lot of people in my freelance career which means I have a vast network of people with knowledge and connections that I can tap into – I just had to have the conversations!
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
I’m very proud of Hustle Juice and how much it’s grown in just a few months. It excites me to see the site’s potential and whenever new opportunities come up, but it makes me all the more happy to hear positive feedback from the people it’s helping.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
I’m fortunate that working as a freelancer allowed me to be location independent and travel, which in turn has allowed me to integrate what I’ve discovered into content for the website. I’ve always wanted to be a travel journalist, and since creating Hustle Juice I feel like I finally have the tools and experience to seriously start that transition.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
My little sister. She’s still in school, but she’s poised to do great things.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
Creative freedom. And freedom in general.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
I make it a point to learn from my failures. I’m very confident in my work, but there have been a few misses in my past – and I’m okay admitting that certain things are not my forte. I’m not afraid to mess up, and ultimately that has prepared me to succeed.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Yes, I did write a business plan. I have it broken down into quarters – usually a series of smaller goals that I want to achieve by a certain date which in turn feed into a set of goals somewhere down the line. I find that it’s helped a lot, but sometimes adjustments need to be made to reflect milestones and developments.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
I wouldn’t attribute it to being a woman, but when you’re a business owner you need to push through the fear of the unknown and just go for it.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
I am a big fan of the And.co app. I still maintain freelance marketing clients so contracts and invoicing are a regular thing. And.co has easy to customize contract templates and an invoicing system that makes it easy to track and follow up on payments. I can’t recommend it enough.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
When I was a student at Florida State University, an adviser once told me that the subject in which I got my degree didn’t matter as much as where I put my efforts. She opened my eyes to the idea that your degree or established career path doesn’t necessarily define you or your potential, you can always pursue new interests – something I still believe in til this day.