IAM1046- Entrepreneur Helps Women Think Entrepreneurially

Podcast Interview with Isabella Silverio

Isabella Silverio is a Cuban-American and Miami native entrepreneur, leader, and Cuban millionaire. Her passion lies in helping women think entrepreneurially in their careers and daily lives. She grew up believing anything is possible and has always helped others do the same. After being involved in over 10+ technology global startups, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa where she helped disadvantaged entrepreneurs optimize and scale their businesses so they can provide for their families. During these experiences, Isabella learned the true tenacity and spirit of entrepreneurship. Isabella founded Guava Empowerment to create programs, tools, and courses to help women fully embody their CEO.

  • CEO Hack: Using Google Features
  • CEO Nugget: (i) Flexibility (ii) Asking the questions- “What do you hate doing?
  • CEO Defined: Being inspirational for the right reasons

Website: http://isabellasilverio.com/

Instagram: @isabella.guava

Full Interview:

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00:23 – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

00:50 – Gresham Harkless

Hello, Hello, Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Isabella Silverio of Guava Empowerment. Isabella, it's great to have you on the show.

01:01 – Isabella Silverio

Thank you so much for having me.

01:03 – Gresham Harkless

Definitely super excited to have you on. Before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Isabella so you could hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Isabella is a Cuban American and Miami native entrepreneur, leader, and Cuban millenarian. Her passion lies in helping women think entrepreneurial in their careers and daily lives. She grew up believing anything is possible and has always helped others do the same.

After being involved in over 10 technology global startups, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, where she helped disadvantaged entrepreneurs optimize and scale their businesses so that they could provide for their families. During these experiences, Isabella learned the true tenacity and spirit of entrepreneurship. Isabella founded Guava Empowerment to create programs, tools, and courses to help women fully embody their CEO. Isabella, it's great to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:54 – Isabella Silverio

Absolutely. Thank you so much for introducing me.

01:57 – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Yeah, no, thank you for all the awesome things that you're doing, it's definitely you. So I wanted to kick everything off over 01:00 here, a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

02:09 – Isabella Silverio

Yeah. So before I actually filed for my own company in the business, I was 21 years old at the time, a senior in college, getting my business administration degree. I was really on a track to, really attracted to kind of like Silicon Valley startup community culture. I had a lot of entrepreneur-like crushes like Mara Cuban and Rihanna and I'm like, wow, like there's a spotting innovation from a mile away. I guess that's kind of 1 of my talents now after 4 years of doing this. I can just spot how the world is changing and how entrepreneurship is like the solution to the changes. But yeah, I guess my CEO story started, I can go back, you know, I used to sell avocados and mangoes on Coral Way, Miami, Florida with a sign and just to have some cash.

And then after that, I sold bracelets in high school and I worked as a barista for a small business and for a family business. And I was like in that kind of structure. And I learned just how to, you know, make connections and how to be professional and that stuff. And I guess it wasn't until I did really see a lot of opportunity for women like me in startup culture because, at the time, I don't know if you remember, but when like Uber was really under fire for how their company culture was very associate like a parallel to like fraternity kind of stuff.

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And when I would vocalize about that, I would receive backlash or criticism. So I was like, man, can't deal with any of you guys, I'm going to try to do my own little social media consulting business and believed in myself to do it, still doing it 4 years later. We'll see what happens in the next 4 years, I guess, or 40 years. It's a livelihood thing, you know? Entrepreneurship is like a livelihood.

04:17 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I love that you use that word, livelihood. It's so funny. I also have, I got my parents to take me to MJ Design so I can sell bracelets and everything too. So I have that kinship and being able to kind of do that. But that's why I love that livelihood word. But it's so funny, like I'll say this phrase often and you kind of reminded me of it is where I say entrepreneurship equals hope. And I think a lot of times when you have the world as you see that it shouldn't be, there's something that may be not correct. A lot of times creating those solutions is a way that to do that. So I love that you've been able to do that in so many steps of your life and still are helping many people to do that as well.

04:55 – Isabella Silverio

Yeah, thank you. I love everything you just said. I'm like, I know you have more questions, but entrepreneurship is solving problems. And I have felt hopeless a few times, just, but I had to say to myself, you are not hopeless. There's opportunity out there, especially for others. You have to believe it's there for yourself too.

05:17 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. When you lean into that, that definitely is when you start to see that come to fruition. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper, hear a little bit more about Guava Empowerment and all the awesome things you're doing to help support people.

05:29 – Isabella Silverio

Yeah, So Guava Empowerment started as a female-focused entrepreneurship, business consulting firm. I don't like really using exact semantics because what matters to me is how can I make the client happy. What's their problem? It's 1 thing or the other. And just make them feel empowered, Guava empowerment to navigate all of the difficulties that come with being an entrepreneur, pressure from your customers or from your family or from your team. We can be very kind of guarded about, you know, like secretive about how we run our business because we just want to be correct all the time, I guess. And having a consultant is a very humbling process.

And it really just has someone tell you like, hey, this isn't working the way that you are thinking it's working in your head, you're really putting yourself down a hole that's going to be harder to get out of. So big advocate for consulting, any type of educational resources, you know, when you're teaching social media, I was teaching Instagram very early on, so I would teach women of all ages and backgrounds about hashtags and caption writing, and I would say like, it's like when you put a thing on Craigslist, you have to be very appealing, and then you have to have the right pictures.

And then if you make a lot of parallels, people really can, that's how you teach people. And business is always changing too. So I don't think there's like 1 right answer. I think it's very client-to-client. I try to just make them happy and do the best I can and also give opportunities away to others whether that's within my team or just meeting another business owner. We just talked about livelihood and huge things about being a business owner and I was very in the startup community. It's about respect, right?

You can't just assume someone's going to help you on Instagram because they're good at it because that's their livelihood like it was mine. And you have to respect every business owner, any tiny startup because you never know who's gonna emerge. And if you're kind of like operating under of like, I already know what I'm doing, or like they just started and whatever that, no 1 likes that person. So I think respect is huge in business and social media is a tool. That's it. It's just a tool. We have our feelings in it all the time, but I try to just keep that objectivity.

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08:15 – Gresham Harkless

Nice. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit more and hear a little bit more about what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself personally, or the business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

08:29 – Isabella Silverio

So I think I'm really good at making people feel good. I don't know if it's in my bio, but it's the one you mentioned, I was, and I grew up to believe that anything was possible. If my story, my story is very much painful and kind of like my mother instilled a lot of confidence in me. She believed in me a lot. And so I was raised to kind of be liberated and be like that dreamer. And so it's very easy for me to network, you know, I'm a great networker. I can just get right to the bottom of what someone's passion is and give them some type of like, Oh, well, you know, this is kind of booming right now. Why don't you implement that? And then boom, their face just lights up. They feel like, oh, my next step is revealed. Like, who are you?

And I'm like, Isabella. I read the businesses every day. I love the trends, policy changes, and technology. You know, everything affects the next thing. And you kind of need to know where, in the movie, Finding Nemo, there are all those currents, which current you want to go into. And you don't have to enter a current right now. You can wait and you should actually scan the environment and do your research. Otherwise, you're gonna be going in and replicating other people and you're not gonna have that leg up because you didn't take that initiative and figure out like, okay, like what's going on in the world, you know, what's happening today, like, like raw materials are very scarce.

And so prices of building houses are going up. And that can tell you something about where interest rates are going to go. And yeah, it's fun to make those connections in my head. So I guess that's my secret sauce, just being an entrepreneur and having that meltaway lack of confidence. Cause anyone could be an entrepreneur. Like Elon Musk doesn't even have any social skills and he's like Elon Musk, you know? And so anyone could fit in. You just gotta know who your customer is. That's huge. Know who your customer is. I know who my customers are really well.

10:54 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

11:05 – Isabella Silverio

I'm a bit of a features person. I think if you're using like I love Google, right? So I'm not gonna I've been trying to use all of Google's features And something I'm loving right now is Google Keep. We actually don't even have any project management anymore. We just have Google Keep. And it's really easy. And even with Slack, using the features within Slack so you don't have to add anything and saving money that way and even Instagram's new features.

I mean that's like always a popular topic but I think allowing yourself to give yourself a few days to audit the way that you're kind of operating in a technology aspect because there's this book called Digital Minimalism and it's very much, well, it's very minimal. I just took away that you kind of need to scan through and that's gonna help you as a CEO. I think things are meant to fall away, especially with just so many like it moves so fast that we can get really anxious about letting things go. I think it's just better to let it go so that way you can find the features and tools that are created for you to do better and perform better.

12:16 – Gresham Harkless

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Absolutely, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. Well, this could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

12:28 – Isabella Silverio

I think what I would love to just speak on is, so in a startup background, you kind of are trying to accumulate a team of different skills and everyone brings something good to the table and you try to get those roles pretty established but pretty soon you figure out that people aren't like super about their role, that they're confused about their role. So I really like to ask the question of like, what do you hate doing? So I make sure you're not doing that. And I'm also, I also try to be really flexible. Like I know that my business, even though it's had this level of success, I always know that someone is kind of, it's an opportunity for someone that they're gonna use to have another opportunity. And I think that's a beautiful thing that I've been able to do.

13:21 – Gresham Harkless

Exactly. Yeah, definitely. That's definitely part of the secret sauce as well too, if you have it, you can definitely use it. And so I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping our different quote-unquote CEOs are on the show. So Isabella, what does being a CEO mean to you?

13:39 – Isabella Silverio

Well, again, I'm like, I want to take forever and speak on this. I think to be a CEO is to be inspirational for the right reasons, you know, it's not just to have accolades or accomplishments or recognitions, unless they are really warranted right like people who deserve things should get them. But I think to be aspirational and inspirational and do good is the new age CEO. But a CEO really is the person who sets the vision for the company and his only job is to make sure the company can continue being a company.

14:22 – Gresham Harkless

Isabella truly appreciates that example and that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic so to speak just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best I can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

14:37 – Isabella Silverio

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. This is a great conversation. And we definitely should do Office Part 2 on my show.

14:44 – Gresham Harkless


14:47 – Isabella Silverio

Yeah, if you'd like to connect with me, the best place to reach me is LinkedIn, actually. Just updated it, got some new connections, and it would be great to just connect with other business owners. And if you're looking for more, you know, I have Instagram Isabella D'Acquava, but LinkedIn is my preferred social media right now. I really like what's going on over there.

15:11 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes and definitely looking forward to part 2 as well. So I appreciate, you know, you taking some time out and really dropping some knowledge and information, you know, on us and letting us know how we can be better CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. So appreciate you for all you do and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

15:30 – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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