From Reporters to Business Owners: Hispanic Entrepreneurs On Joining the Startup Culture

Published in All Digitocracy.

Tania Luviano had been a TV news anchor for 10 years until she was laid off during the 2008 economic crisis. She sent resumes to several media companies but nobody was hiring.

Luviano found herself vlogging about her life as a mother and founded Latina Mom TV.

“You have to stick to what you know, find your niche and think outside the box,” says Luviano, who was among several journalist entrepreneurs at Hispanicize this week sharing success stories.

Journalists attending the annual media event that brings together marketers, journalists, filmmakers and more were encouraged to embrace the one-man show work routine in order to succeed in the evolving media world.

More Hispanic journalists are hanging out their own shingles, becoming their own boss. The second Annual State of Hispanic Journalists survey by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists was released at Hispanicize. The survey showed that 40 percent of hispanic correspondents today are freelancers, an increase from last year’s 33 percent. And 42 percent of correspondents have their own blog or business.

Luviano said her experience as a journalist helped run her new business. And as an entrepreneur, she thinks it’s important to know how much your business costs and what’s the best amount to charge for that work.

“I overcharge, but I always get the money,” says Flor de Maria Rivero, founder of Flor de Maria Fashion.

Rivero created a media kit that helps sell her brand and provides media companies an estimate of what her work is worth.

Lorraine Ladish has been a freelance writer her entire career, and is now the founder of Viva Fifty, a bilingual community that celebrates being 50 years old and over. She said entrepreneurs have to determine the minimum pay that they are willing to work for, and also be able to walk away from certain opportunities because they disagree with the amount being offered.

Having a network of people that want to help you can also factor into determining how much to charge.

“And guess what?” says Ladish. “Nobody has told me, ‘you are too expensive.’ ”

Bill Gato, CEO for Hispanicize Wire, said he thinks entrepreneurs should look for partners instead of trying to go it alone.

No one can be an expert at everything, Gato said. In his own experience, Gato said that he needed to partner with someone who better understood the business aspects of making and managing money. “It’s hard to do everything on your own,” he said.

Luviano, Rivero and Ladish disagreed. They said journalists can wear multiple hats in running their businesses, from single-handedly posting on social media, taking their own photographs and doing their own writing.

Regardless as to whether journalists have partners or go solo, media entrepreneurs say the best way to start is to connect with people and recognize the importance of leadership and self-value.

“Keep learning,” says Rivero. “Reinvent yourself and think of ways to present new things to people.”


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