Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Womenpreneurs Project: an up-close and personal view of women creating power by Noèlia Ribó.
“Paradises are only made with our own hands, with our own creativity in harmony with the free creativity if nature.”
When we live in alignment and harmony, things turn out much better. As human beings in freedom, we are in charge of our lives, that means: past, present and future. WE SHOULD NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ALLOW ANYONE DECIDE FOR US: we are the OWNERS of our destiny. Accordingly, we must learn to think thoroughly about what we want to do. Every decision has consequences. So it’s up to all of us to choose wisely.
It’s OK to make decisions and then to have a change of heart. It’s FINE if we are angry or happy. It’s totally perfect whether to say NO or YES. As long as we make up our minds in tune with our heart, it will be all right. What really matters is to have our mind and our soul in consonance and aligned with our needs and energy.
Harmony comes when all the elements line up in peace to complete the cycle of life in the best productive way, and just as it happens in nature, any disturbance ends up in disaster. Nature has its own way of trying to fix whatever is in distress regarding its own elements: Water, Earth, Wood, Fire and Metal. In life it should be the same. Nature is our best teacher, it’s very essential we make the effort to keep the elements of our lives in order: it’s about working on aspects such as our Career, Wisdom, Family, Self-Empowerment, Fame, Relationships, Creativity/Children and People/Help.
Only when we focused on the inside and give it the right care, we will be able to work on the outside.
So ladies, take care of yourselves. Dance in harmony and walk firmly along the beautiful and tricky path of life.
DOLORS ARROYO, age 40
OWNER AND FOUNDER of BCN Feng Shui
FIELD: Interior Designing based on the Feng Shui Philosophy.
Tuesday, February, 2020
Meeting point, Skype (Granollers-Barcelona, Spain )
Dolors Arroyo is the 4th woman we have interviewed for The Womenpreneur Project so far. I must say that each one of them is a new experience and a whole bunch of new entrepreneur tips and life experiences these women are giving us.
She is all about being grounded to a new reality, a very balanced and meaningful reality. She is hardworking and determined to her goals in life, either her professional and personal life. After a tough process of rearranging her own personal values and structures, and after what she claims as “it was a big effort to give up some aspects of the professional life, like for example, not working at the weekends to have quality time with her son and husband”.val She is getting to the exact point she is right know: a woman who is happy with her achievements and happy with the existing balance in her life.
She wants to be present, and for what I can tell, she being present and honest to herself is the way she can help others at her job. Space and people’s attitude toward this same space are the key to having good results. And she is all for good results. While I was interviewing her I could sense the idea of a woman who speaks her truth. She is not only sure about what she says, but you can also really tell that she follows suit.
Shee defends dedication and she knows as a woman and as an entrepreneur, the time you dedicate to your company will end up in more or less immediate results. Dedication and honesty are the key for success, and success has nothing to do with showing off. She has learnt to get along with her own limits and, in order to do that, as women, we must learn that we don’t have to prove a thing to anyone. And for this reason, we DO NOT have to pick up all the fights. It’s much more practical to learn how to choose the ones worth fighting for.
She sure values who she is. And this is what makes her special. High expectations are compensated with much higher experiences. Dolors has a value added, and her words are high and clear. Believe in what she says, because it is what took her to the exact point she is right now, and it is going to take her much further in life. She is good at being conscious and she knows that she has on her shoulders the responsibility of her own clients’ as if it was her own.
Again, that’s being present and responsibly having both her feet on the ground. She is an example and a wonderful Womenpreneur!
Enjoy the interview ladies!
- INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHO are you?
I am Dolors Arroyo, since I was little I have been a leader. I often expressed my opinion and thought that I would do things to change the world and injustices. I am 40 years old. I was born in Barcelona and since I started working at the age of 16 I was aware that I wanted to be a "BOSS". Later on, I realized that what I really wanted was to do things my way.
I am the mother of Leo who is 6 years old (born in 2014) and I am the wife of Adrià (Leo's father) who is 41. Being a mother was the trigger to start the project I have been developing since 2011. From 2007 to 2014, I worked in a company to which I devoted a lot of time and effort. Motherhood gave me the strength to make the difficult decision to leave my job.
For 2 years while raising Leo, which was not a small thing, I have been collaborating with other professionals and training. In 2016 I registered in the Social Security Wealth Fare Service and the project was formalized. I was already self-employed and an entrepreneur!
But I didn't imagine things would be that difficult.
Before long, I realized that I was a very good professional, but I had no idea how a company worked and I lacked the capacity to achieve what I wanted.
I started a mentoring program in Barcelona Activa (Lidera) and trained in a business school for 2 years. I learned that by myself I would not reach my goals.
A freelancer changes time for money and my results did not allow me to have time for my family, not enough money to live the way I wanted.
The change was very positive, I realized that in order to grow, I had to lead a team and take over the management of the company.
1.COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR PROJECT? WHAT MADE YOU BECOME AND ENTREPRENEUR?
BCN Feng Shui is a design studio that designs projects based on the Feng Shui philosophy.
Feng Shui is the earthly energy or the energy of the earth that has to do with everything around us, objects, shapes, nature, location, orientation. We have 3 types of spaces: The space that supports people, the space that neither favors nor disadvantages you, it could be said that they are neutral and the spaces that do not support and make people very cozy. Feng Shui acts on the person, but detects neither the energy of the person nor the energy of space, that is, it has nothing to do with the more spiritual part. These other energies correspond to the energy of the person (Attitude to life) and the energy of Heaven, what is given to us at the time and place where we are born. The benefits you get from Feng Shui are Health, Good Relationships and Prosperity.
The emotions and experiences we have are permeated in the space, whether positive or negative, and if it is not cleaned, they will be repeated again and again. That Feng Shui does not detect, so if we have very good Feng Shui, but we have very bad energy in a space or vice versa the result is very bad for the person. We need to both be positive for it to benefit us.
We have two main branches: individuals and business. Now, for about 6 months or so, we have changed the way we do projects. First we visit the space to see what Feng Shui and how much energy the space and people have. The energy part is done in collaboration with another person who has a sixth sense to analyze it. From this visit, we really detect what the person needs, because over time, we realized that due to the ignorance of this sector people were asking us for services that really was not what they wanted or what they needed. For us, it is NOT all worth it and we have learnt that each one of us needs different things and our mission is to detect and discover it in order to be able to help the individual as much as possible.
Customers who go to this type of service usually have problems. They can be vulnerable and can be influenced by the situation they are living, so we are very responsible for what we say and offer, I repeat myself saying that NOT ALL is worth to do and we are in a moment in society where people take advantage of these situations.
Then, we see if it is necessary to make a change of space (business or home) or if it really is the ideal space for people and from there we develop a fully adapted service. For example, if a person does not have the resources, what we do is to give them the guidelines to make the energy and Feng Shui for their space easier to obtain so that later they can make the changes they need. In this case yes, that person will have to do personal work to make the improvements and reach their goal. We never force anyone to do anything they do not want to do or are not ready to do. We recommend and say that what we see, but always out of respect. We don't like scary speeches. Fear causes people to be free and that is not the case with our philosophy.
There are three basic keys to having a space work, order, cleanliness and a positive attitude, and with this I assure you that if people became more aware of them, they would be much better off than they were. It is true that other times cases can be more complicated and require other actions. The client, in any case, decides how far he wants us to go.
In cases where a change of space is needed, what we do is look for the space ourselves so that the client can find what is really favorable for them and then we can design study or project in agreement with Feng Shui, the energy and the execution of it either with a final remodeling or the decoration of the space. In cases where space is favorable, we work to improve it, whether from Feng Shui or energy, and it can become a design project after which comes its execution.
Generally, the relationships with our client are usually very long, we can be accompanying them between 8 months and 3 years of each person's pen. There are clients who start the house and then do the business and vice versa.
Which led me to entrepreneur
After school, I trained as a draftwoman, then as an interior designer, later as a lighting designer, completed a Master's Degree in commercial space design, and the next was to take professional Feng Shui studies.
I have always been linked to the world of design, first from homes with architects and interior designers for many years, after ephemeral spaces and permanent exhibitions, and later from retail spaces.
Generally, for the whole time I had the feeling that I had chosen a very common profession, but it was clear that I wanted to be a reference in my field work and stand out from the rest.
In 2010, Oscar, a friend of mine told me that he was taking Feng Shui studies, and he explained me a little bit about the benefits it could have on people and how it was done. I immediately realized that combining Interior Design with Feng Shui added value to people.
In no time we started developing what we wanted the business to be and started the project together. Oscar as a Feng Shui consultant and me as an interior designer.
Since we had no experience, we drew people from our immediate environment and offered them free services so that we could experiment and see what the customer's response was.
After a year or so we shaped the web, created a brand and started charging for our services. The way we spread Feng Shui, which no one knew at the time, was to give free talks on the subject. At first we were insecure, it took us a long time to do the service, and differences began to arise between us in the way of doing things: one by excess of perfectionism and the other by excess of practicality. Since we were both clear on what we wanted, we parted ways without any hard feelings. Oscar wanted to head to the world of bioconstruction and healthy houses and myself to the world of entrepreneurs and traders.
I kept the brand and the web to continue with what I already had and modify some parts, but I found that I lacked the practical part and the proper training to be able to carry out the projects on my own.
At that time, I had a fairly important budget request, a warehouse of 750 m² and 4 floors. It was a complex project because the company was practically broke and the client had a lot of problems.
I immediately searched for someone who could execute the project and after sending them the budget, it was not accepted. I couldn't go on with my business without the proper professional Feng Shui consultancy training so I called the school the same day. There was one vacant left and the course was about to start the next day. It was clear to me. Life was putting me right where I was.
2 WHAT IS THE BIGGEST HURDLE YOU HAVE FACED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AND AS A WOMENPRENEUR? HOW DID YOU SORT IT OUT?
The biggest difficulty initially was being able to get the job done. The entrepreneur who is alone usually does a business part but then has to carry out the projects. While you produce you do not come therefore when you finish the work you are again standing. Even if you are organized you may find yourself in a wheel that is difficult to get out of. Immediately I realized and decided to look for a team of collaborators and this is another great challenge. Finding the right people is aligned with the way you think and work. At the moment I consider myself lucky because I have done well, although I am constantly looking for people because in the world of Freelance one day they have a lot of work and you cannot give them anything and the other is they who are looking for you because they are standing.
So the solution I think is to grow to make a business profitable, if you do not end up changing time for money and this is better done by a company, always comes out much more carefully and you do not take risks, but this is not my objective.
As a woman and an entrepreneur, I think there is not much to be said. Every entrepreneur has a problem with family reconciliation, be it a man or a woman, it all depends on what you prioritize.
I personally give priority to enjoying family today and I am well aware that this is making my path lengthen in time, so I have to look for resources such as little sleep in order to reduce this time to a minimum.
Yes, I have found myself in situations where I wanted to be more present at work and more present with my family, but I think that, as an entrepreneur, you have to be clear about what you give up. I continue to look for a way to free up my time without having to give up my professional success, which requires growing as a company, time, perseverance and effort. I am aware that this is a path I have to walk through.
3. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT AS AN ENTREPRENEUR? WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS CONSIDERING BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Be sure of yourself and never give up, when you feel that you can no longer go on, then seek for more strength in you and move on. Every now and then look back and see what you've accomplished, memory lane will help you feel better.
If you do not like what you do, you better not even start, you will not be able to transmit anything.
Do not do it for the money but instead, to add value to society, money will come after.
Relate with others and always keep your project in mind, share what you do with everyone, this is the best marketing you can do.
Think that a customer is a great opportunity for them to talk well about you and offer them nothing you would not buy in their situation.
Listen to the opinion of others and learn, your opinion is completely irrelevant.
Surround yourself with people you share similar concerns with, who have a good attitude and energy in dealing with life, and forget about those who always complain and talk about their problems only. Positive attitude.
Look at accountability from curiosity, not from frustration.
Targets. Think about where you want to go and how you want to feel when you get there.
4. DO YOU CONSIDER CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION AS BEING ESSENTIAL IN CREATING YOUR OWN COMPANY/PROJECT? HOW DO YOU MAKE A USE OF THEM?
They are a must. I think you should have the ability to change quickly. I do my best to spend 4 hours each week thinking and analyzing how to improve my own processes, how to make them more effective, how to reduce costs, analyze profits...
5. COULD YOU MENTION A ROLE MODEL OF YOURS? IF ANY, ARE THEY STILL A ROLE MODEL AND AN INSPIRATION FOR YOU?
Yes, two: Francesca Valero (https://studimesdos.com), interior designer and mentor and Núria Fernández Sala, currently mentor and collaborator
Thanks Dolors for a full bunch of awesome and useful pieces of advice. You’re definitively committed to what you do in spirit and in balance.
Written by @noeliaribo_makingworldmemories
Pic by @lolaarroyo and @bcnfengshui
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