Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur“ we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Pati Perez.
Pazit Perez is an LOA Leading Expert and the Founder of the I Have A Dream Academy. She was featured by StarCentral Magazine as one of the world’s most prominent game-changers and entrepreneurs and was awarded “Most Prominent Personal Development Specialist 2020: by New World Report. She is the creator of the Award-Winning Vision Portraits, Published Author, and Coach-On-Demand.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Pazit Perez: In 2014, my career changed when I came into my greatest discovery as an Award-Winning Portrait Photographer. I came into the awareness that we can use photography to create your futures, not only memories. Allow me to get candid with you. I started capturing people for who they wanted to become, not who they are. In essence, I captured their vision that they saw of themselves in their mind as a tangible photograph they can see with their eyes. What was fascinating is that this image would create an emotional connection and within 2 weeks to a year, I witnessed many of my clients become their portraits. One night, I awakened from my sleep and was lead to write a book about the process, and publish it into the world. Since then, this process has become my lifestyle. In 2019, I felt a strong pull to get out of my studio and into the world to help more people discover the creative process to create their life the way they picture it to be.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Pazit Perez: Last Year, 2020, while the world went through it’s own re-invention, I started thinking of how I could serve more people and be more accessible. One night as I was researching some ideas on the internet, I noticed an add for a psychic hotline. As soon as I saw the add, I had my AHA moment. I felt exhilarated instantly and started researching pay per call services. The next morning, I called and landed on the owner of the company. We spoke for an hour and hit it off, by the end of our conversation, Coach on Demand was birthed. The COACH-ON-DEMAND is a phone line you can CALL or TEXT when you need in-the-moment breakthrough coaching techniques to overcome a problem you’re facing immediately in areas of finances, business, and personal success. It’s Basically a Coaching Hotline.
In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?
Pazit Perez: I believe I was a natural-born Entrepreneur who only discovered my talent in my teen years. I didn’t come from an Entrepreneurial family, and most of my friends’ parents were employed. At The beginning of my photography career, I remember working as an assistant photographer for top photographers in my city. I would always give photographers creative ideas and eventually got promoted to capture my own shoots. The only catch was that I would not get credit for the work I created and all the photographs belonged to them. As an Artist, the idea that someone else taking credit for my work did not sit well with me. I didn’t know “how” at the time but I always knew that I would own my own business.
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
Pazit Perez: I was very fortunate in life. I worked as a photographer for an advertising agency. I loved working there and the owner was amazing. I really loved his business style and felt so privileged to be working as a creative photographer. The owner became my business mentor and made me partner within 2 years. He taught me everything about running a successful business, dealing with clients, employees, meeting deadlines, invoicing, going for press approvals. Literally the A-Z of running a company. He then got a contract in the USA and left me in charge or running the Montreal company. Since then I’ve owned all my Companies and never worked for anyone again.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Pazit Perez: I think what makes a company stand out is when they have an “EDGE”, something unique about them, that attracts people to want to do business with them and only them. When I decided to become a portrait photographer, most of the photographers at that time, we’re offering very cookie-cutter and cheesy style portraits. Most were undercharging as the competition was fierce, except for this one studio that stood out and charged a very high price for their signature style photographs. I decided to base my business on that second model, and create my own signature style portraits by capturing people’s personalities, not “fake smiles”. I was also inspired by Andy Warhol and wanted to give it a distinctive style that no other photographer can reproduce, but that everyone would know by looking at it that it was a “Pazit Perez Photograph”. This Vision put me in a league of my own when I mixed my graphic art, film and photography skills together, all into one edgy photograph. It was so unique, I was able to command a higher price, attract clients who wanted pictures that stand out and created a very successful Award Winning business.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I believe this is at the core of my success, every solution comes to me through creative thinking, not logical thinking. Last Year, 2020, while the world went through it’s own re-invention, I started thinking of how I could serve more people and be more accessible and the idea of Coach on Demand was birthed.
I grew up in a family were I was criticized constantly, more than I was praised. Over the years that took a toll me and created dysfunctional beliefs, such as that I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve success, and although I would achieve tremendous success, I became an expert at self sabotaging it. On my 3rd bottom, I started working inside out. I started listening to Marissa Peer “I am enough” meditations and followed Les Brown advice to repeat everyday “It’s possible” , Its possible for me to achieve and keep the success I dream of in my heart. After applying it for about 30 days, I tipped the scale in my favor and started feeling very powerful and believed in myself and my abilities to create and maintain my success.
Mindset. Coming out of my bottommed out period, I understood that the root cause of the effects in my life came from the thoughts I was entertaining. I wasn’t aware of it at time but I definitely inherited a failure mindset growing up. I was constantly repeated messages that I wouldn’t amount to anything and that I was a zero and secretly believed that about myself. I remember hearing Les Brown in one of his lectures say “You can’t read the label when you’re inside the box” and that hit me. The inner talk that goes on in a successful mind is very different of the inner self talk that goes into a mind that is programmed for failure. One mindset brings you up while the other brings you down. Once it clicked, like really clicked that our thoughts create our reality , I started shifting my mindset to match who I was becoming to be, a successful business woman who’s contributions empowers everyone she meets to live their life the way they picture it to be.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Pazit Perez: Play safe and conservative. I was making 6 figures in my 20’s and my mentor advised me to hire a wealth advisor so that I can start young to grow my wealth. This advisor was very conservative and would always advise me to make safe conservative moves. I didn’t understand much about investing, stocks and charts at the time so I took the backseat and let him drive my finances. On occasion, I would get Inspired intuition on stocks to invest in and when I would tell my my advisor to buy it, he would say it’s too risky, play safe. I always listened to his advice but then I would see the stock I suggested rise and realized I could have had much more success. Now this pattern happened so many times over a period of 5 years, where I would recommend a stock and miss out on the opportunity by playing small and safe. One day, I got an intuition to buy the Netflix stock when it first came out, and decided that I’m putting an order in no matter what my advisor’s recommendation. Again, he said it’s too risky but this time I stood my ground and said buy it. It payed off big time and since then I always buy stocks based on my intuition, and take risks I feel confident in, so far it works very well for me. My motto now has become “It’s more risky not to take the risk”.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
Pazit Perez: Work less hours and always make creative time everyday to play and have fun. I learned this from Bob Proctor, I manage activities, not time. I write down six things I need to accomplish everyday to bring me closer to my vision. Once those are done, I allow myself to have play time by going on nice drive, going to the beach, listening to music, playing tennis, catching up with friends, taking a walk, basically anything but work. This allows me to be creative and relaxed which enables me to come up with some my best creative ideas and I feel renewed.
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
Pazit Perez: It’s essential to be up to date, because new people are searching you everyday and if they see that your last update or you last facebook post was in 1999, they will perceive you as someone whose outdated. Business today, no longer has borders, anyone in the world has access to you, so consider your social media like your business passport, keep it updated.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Pazit Perez: I’ve witnessed many founders lack a clear Vision for their company. The lack of clarity causes them to make choices that are not aligned with their vision of success and leads them to make “poor” business decisions and all those errors can sometime result in putting themselves out of business. I highly suggest to have a clear picture for your business, it’s literally your roadmap, your compass and keeps you focused in one direction. Your picture is your powerhouse, it’s your point of attraction. Without it, It’s easy to get distracted, and lost in the noise of everyday challenges and other peoples opinions. Every decision I make is based on this question “Will this decision bring me closer to my vision or further away?” When you get your answer, make your move.
Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
Pazit Perez: Emotional Highs and lows are a natural cycle of life, so whether you are a successful entrepreneur running your company or an employee fulfilling a “regular” job, you will experience both. It’s never about the high or low, it’s more about your attitude, how will you respond to the situation being presented to you. It’s been my experience to never allow the lows to define me, I tell myself “this too shall pass”. I understand that it’s not here forever, this is only a moment in time. I remind myself that I’ve thrived past many lows in my life and this time is no different. I also remind myself that everything in life is cyclical, it’s just part of the process so enjoy it while you’re in it. I’ve trained myself to create a distraction by taking a break, sometimes I even take the whole day off and go do something I love, i’ll even binge watch some comedy and laugh my heart out. Basically i’ll do anything that makes me feel high and lighthearted. By doing these fun things, it instantly shifts my energy and helps me put life into perspective realizing my situation is not as low as my mind makes it to be. Now that I’m feeling high again, I’m ready to take on the world and conquer it.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Pazit Perez: I always feel an unusual high when I birth my ideas into the world. I get such a high when I’m able to see an idea that I conceptualized in mind and materialized in the world. Like for example when I had the inspired idea to write a book and now I see it on Amazon. When I had the idea to create my Coach on Demand Hotline and now I see a whole website I created around this product, that feels exhilarating to me.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Pazit Perez: When I shifted my business from Award-winning photographer to becoming an Award-Winning Coach, I went through a whole lifestyle change. I made a lot of bold moves that were very disruptive to my former life. I left a very successful career behind me, I left a city that no longer fit me, I separated my family, because I felt strongly pulled into living fully this new chapter of my life. I believe my biggest low is not having the support from my own family during this “messy” transformational stage. Although I could see clearly the potential of what I was creating and accepted my new conditions knowing that they will change, my entourage did not. When I would have a low day, and needed to be lifted, their lack of support and words they would speak was not easy to hear. I trained myself to “shut out all that noise” and thanked them in my heart for helping me become even more resilient to succeed.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
Pazit Perez: Although I couldn’t see my success in the physical world yet, I could see it very clearly in mind and knew in my heart that this new business will become to be huge success. That belief always helped me bounce back. All the companies I’ve had in the past became very successful so I didn’t doubt my ability, nor my talent. I also know that when I’m creating something new, I’m not alone, God is with me and that gives me peace of mind. I also believe that no matter what challenges I am going through, they are only temporary, not permanent. I love to read many biographies of very successful people like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and remind myself that they all walked this path before me and now they are reaping the rewards of their labour. If it was possible for them to achieve big success despite their adversities, It’s possible fo me. I just have to keep going. High days would motivate me to continue and low days helped me strengthen my trust and belief in myself, that I can do it. Both were necessary in the accomplishment towards achieving my success.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Pazit Perez: I define resilience as our ability to stay in the game of life until we win it. You refuse to be denied the success, you believe and know you deserve, which makes you resilient and relentless in the pursuit of it. The highs and lows are all part of the game, but you focus on the HIGH of the experience. Giving up does not exist in my vocabulary, I expect to win because I have already pictured the win in my mind.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
Pazit Perez: I would say my family greatly contributed to building my resiliency. My parents never believed that I would amount to anything big in life, so I believe I used that as my force and drive to succeed. Although it wasn’t always easy, and I struggled with low self-worth and self-esteem, in my heart I always knew that I was destined for big success in life and that my work would have a lasting impact and impression for generations to come.
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
Pazit Perez: Absolutely, A positive mindset sees opportunity in the “difficult” situation”. The first question I always ask myself is what is good about this situation? What’s the gift in it? I learned from Louise Hay that nothing is either bad or good, it’s just our thinking that makes it so. In simpler terms, everything just “is”. I’ve trained myself to rise above a” difficult” situation by affirming calmly that all is well, everything always happens for my highest good and only good will come out of this. Since It’s been my experience that our words create our reality, only good come out of this.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
Pazit Perez: A Leader is a person that people follow and learn by their example, so whatever attitude he/she brings to the table is passed on to the environment, the team and the clients. When I started working in the advertising agency as a lead photographer, my boss whom I became a partner with, was very positive and praised me which gave me confidence, especially being a newbie in my professional career. When I would make “rookie” mistakes, he wouldn’t get upset. Quite the contrary, he encouraged me by teaching me how to correct it and was very patient, calm and respectful. He was also very generous and I felt so valued and appreciated. His attitude motivated me to go above and beyond for the company. He was like that with everyone and I remember thinking at the time, even though I was only 20 years old, that he was exactly the type of leader I aspire to become.
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
Pazit Perez: “It’s not over until you win” by Les Brown. When I was working on achieving my vision of becoming a Coach On Demand, I experienced many setbacks, defeats, and disappointments just like anyone else. I would constantly affirm to myself “It’s not over until I Win”, this quote helped me keep my eyes on my vision of success, not my setbacks. I refused to be defined by my defeats and knew that just because I didn’t succeed this time, did not mean that I will never succeed. So anytime I fell down, I bounced back up and gave my vision another shot!
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This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with
this. We wish you continued success and good health!