Category Archives: Business

The Business of LIFE – Not So Elementary


As long as you live keep learning how to live.

I was listening to a podcast of Dave Ramsey Image and Seth Godin Image yesterday.

These are very good podcasts, by the way, to listen to if you want to be INSPIRED to be a better anything, practically, between the two of them. A better speaker, marketer, money manager, person, thinker, motivator, blogger, and I could go on and on. Do you get my point?  They are INSPIRATIONAL human beings put here on earth to INSPIRE us to be better.  Look them up. I think you might like them.


Anyways, I was listening to Seth Godin talk about how he blogs everyday.  Oh my gosh!  Really? Everyday?  I know this is his business but how does a person have something to tell people everyday that will benefit them? Amazingly INSPIRING for me. I can barely blog once a month, but I’m trying and he says that as you do it more and more you will get better.  He used the example of a muscle.  In order for it to get stronger you have to exercise it. I will have to exercise my blogging muscles more.

A few weeks ago, as I was making my bed, I thought about the friends we spent the day with the day before and the stories of life that were shared and I was hit with an overwhelming sense of INSPIRATION. I thought to myself this is INSPIRATION – these, the lives people live and how they go through difficult things that life hands to them and yet they carry on. I wondered how they do it and yet smile, and love, and work, and do anything.

When I started this blog and the group page on Facebook, INSPIRED and INSPIRING, I was thinking about INSPIRATION in terms of personal achievement, business, education and entrepreneurship but INSPIRATION is soooooo much more than these things alone. We can be INSPIRED by the strong and loving people in our everyday lives, and if we stop and think about what it takes to get up every morning, get dressed, go to jobs, talk to people, care for families and still face difficult life situations.  I am humbled and a little scared. I am humbled because I wonder what I would be like going through these kinds of situations. Would I still be kind? Would I still be giving of my time and energy to loved ones and friends? Would I still be able to work and be productive? Would I have the strength to face each day? I hope so. I pray so. 

I can think of three people in my immediate circle of friends and family in particular that INSPIRE me to think of strength, grace, fortitude, love, and devotion. I see what these three people are going through and yet there are people all around us that are going through the same and similar things and you would never know it because they carry on with grace and strength, not complaining but simply acting out of love and devotion. 



How does a wife, my mother, endure seeing her husband go through daily excruciating pain? How does she helplessly watch as her life partner’s body wastes away from the ravages of a deadly disease? How does she not crumble knowing that the next day this once strong, vivacious, giving man will not rise the next morning healed and ready to give her a beautiful new adventure as he has done for all the years of their marriage? But she does. And though there are glimmers of sadness and confusion at what lies ahead still she gives first to her lover in life and then to all those around her, sometimes rememberingthat she needs to give attention to herself too. I am humbled at the thought.

How do two daughters, my two dear friends, who were once taken care of by their mothers, mothers who birthed, loved, nurtured, taught, protected and cared for these women, now find the strength to now care for their mothers in this same manner? It is an amazing display of love and devotion to see two different women from two completely different sets of families care for their mothers as they deal with the ravages of age and Alzheimer’s. It is an INSPIRING display of strength and able mindedness. Though they are tired and tried themselves they continue each day with the daily responsibilities of making and ensuring that their mothers get the best care, all the while never knowing what the next day will hold.


We assume that this is the norm, that this is the way all people and family members will handle life and family situations and tragedies, but is it normal?  Should we simply assume that all people will think and act unselfishly and give of their time, energy and finances, if need be, to ensure that their loved ones will be cared for in the best way possible. I hope so for the sake of all those that need love, attention and understanding when their bodies and minds defy them and they have no control over what is happening to them physically and mentally. They surely do not want to be a burden to their families.  They were the givers, the pleasers, the sacrificers.  Why would they change if they could help it?

I pray to my God that I will be as strong, loving and devoted as my INSPIRATIONAL examples.  Many years ago, I heard someone say, “people are put in our lives to either show us how we want to be and how we don’t want to be.”  I believe this to be true.  If these people have been put in my life and if these life situations have been made known to me, I believe that it has been meant to show me how I want to be and how I want to act in this business of life and love.

I know that there are many of you out there going through difficult life situations. I know that there are many of you that have gone through difficult life situations. I know also that you carry on and many around you do not even know that you do or that you have.  But you do and I hope that you know that for those around you that know you and do know what you have gone through, you are an INSPIRATION and an example for them.  For those that have not gone through a tragedy or life-changing situation look around you for a good example and take to heart and think about what you would like to be like when life throws you a curve ball. I know I will be – watching and praying.  


Until my next life and business adventures of being an INSPIRED Latina.




OH MY!…Mama told me there’d be days like this

OH MY!…Mama told me there’d be days like this

Whoa is Me

Well July started out rough. I was feeling really low and quite like a failure – in life.  I had to take a few days to really figure out what the heck was going on with all my self trash-talking and I figured out that what was really bugging me was that I was not in a position to give or buy my husband and family the things I would like to at this time in my life and their lives. Waa waa waa. Image I know someone out there might be saying, “Is that all? That’s what you are crying  about? Walk in my shoes and then you will have something to cry about.”  I realize that things could be so much worse, but these are my shoes and for me giving to those I love is a really big and difficult thing when I can’t do it.

I do know that it was my decision to be self-employed four and a half years ago and not to work for someone else and draw a paycheck, but man this has been quite an experience in being patient and content and determined.  Yup, if you want to have your own business and be your own boss be ready to take the good with the bad.  Be ready to tough it our and keep your eyes on the ball and continue believing in your vision no matter what comes or doesn’t come your way.  I bought a book years and years ago titled, “Do What You Love and the Money Will Come.” I didn’t even realize at the time what that truly meant but I do now. Don’t do it for the money, do it because you love it and that love and passion for what you do will get you through no matter how tough it gets. (that was my entrepreneur advice : )

Bootstrapping It


I am extremely grateful but I need to remind myself often to be patient and content.  Since we started the business three years ago, everything we make has gone right back into the business. We would like to draw a salary but we intentionally have made the choice to put it all back into the business. The business label for this is Bootstrapping.  So glad it has a label.

We realize that we are both very fortunate not to have to worry about a paycheck at this point but still it wears on me, at least, not to have “my own” mad money like I did when I was not self-employed.  Oh the days, of just walking into any store and making a frivolous expensive buy for myself, my hubby, kids and grandkids just because I could.  I dream of having those days again, and I will have them – of this I am determined.


On the up side, me and mom went to the Access to Capital Business Expo put on by VEDC ,(Valley Economic Development Center) a couple of weekends ago.  This really helped to lift my spirits. We got some good information and learned about FREE resources for business owners. Yes, FREE!!! And we got to meet some great people and make new friends. I highly recommend this Expo, for anyone looking to start a business or looking to grow their business.  If you see it being advertised next year around June take advantage and go! I believe this was the 9th annual and it was held at the Sheraton in L.A.  It will really give you a good idea of the resources available and how to access funding for your business.  For more information on accessing help, counseling and financing info for your business needs check out or SBDC’s (Small Business Development Center) seven office locations through the web or as well as SCORE and the SBA.


Next great thing was going up to my parents in Northern California to see my dad (he’s been VERY ill). It was good to see dad and mom and spend some quality time with them. I was also able to have a few days to strategize and plan with my business partner, my mom, and work on our new projects for Latin Inspired Designs. As the holidays get closer I will talk more about it and make the big reveal. Hope you like what we are making : ).


All I can say is that we are very excitedImage because we have not seen something like what we are creating. Or at least,  If it exists I haven’t found it.  It’s always exciting to create something new.  We will see what people think about it. Hopefully it comes out as nice as we are trying to make it and that people like and buy it. Good goal, don’t you think?


We are busy busy girls and very ambitious, that’s for sure. Also on our list of things to do is to prepare our plan to raise funds so that we can award a student with an educational scholarshipImage to help them pay for their school expenses. This has been a goal since we first started the business.  Being on the CSULA Alumni Scholarship Committee for a number of years now has given me such a bird’s eye view of the struggles students have in paying for their educations.  We have all heard about and might have even experienced how expensive it is to pay for a college education, and it is totally worth the money, but still it’s a beautiful thing when a student can get some help based on their hard work and efforts.  What a boost of confidence to know that someone notices your efforts.

Susana Mariach Face close upMy mom and I are both alum of Cal State LA, and we are passionate about education and we want to give back in some way. For this reason we are so excited to be making a special “Silver” edition Mariachi nutcracker doll to be auctioned off and the funds we raise awarded to a lucky college student in March 2014. I will provide more information about this in the coming weeks and months on how you can purchase a ticket and put your name in a drawing to win this special creation.  I can tell you that this nutcracker doll will be made with real silver accessories and will be a one-of-a-kind edition. This is just a sample of our female Mariachi nutcracker in honor my grandmother and our inspiration for our mariachi nutcrackers.



I will leave you with this tidbit of good info that you might know about already but I have just discovered and am so excited about. Podcasts! Yup, never really knew how great these are.  One in particular that is soooooo INSPIRING is the Eventual Millionaire, by Jaime Tardy.  Sooooo awesome!!!!! I highly recommend  – it is great listening, very INSPIRING, and you will learn tons that you can apply to your business – if you’ve got one. Otherwise there are some great podcasts on leadership, spiritual guidance, health and oh so much more. I’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts.

Well until my next adventures of being an “INSPIRED” Latina entrepreneur.


Susana #inspired_latina

OH NOOOOOOO!!!!! NOT Another Blogger?


ImageAghhhhhh!  Yes another blogger, that’s me. But, I’m also another “Latina entrepreneur/business owner” blogger too. Does that make a difference? ; > 

But seriously folks. I’m sharing a very big decision today. It’s big for me because I consider myself a mostly private person and this is gonna hold me accountable.  I don’t particularly like posting on Facebook (sorry my Facebook friends : – /.  I still do love you, your friendship and love seeing your posts), because I don’t think people want to know what’s going on in my life and how I’m feeling. Actually its pretty embarrassing   Image most of the time and unless I can enlighten or Inspire someone with my words I don’t want to post to FB, Twitter or any other social media outlet.  I heard someone say many years ago, “Unless you have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe that’s why I feel that way.

But, going back to today’s decision, I decided today that as we, we meaning me and my mom who is my business partner, enter the 3rd year of our business – Latin Inspired Designs – actually selling our unique Latin-style Maderas™ Nutcrackers and upon entering my 55th year on this earth (Happy Birthday to me!) I am giving myself this challenge to be more open, if it means helping someone else.  Image (Drats!! Now everyone knows my age), by posting on this blog, “Inspired Latina”, what it is that this particular Latina entrepreneur goes through as an entrepreneur and business owner (not to mention being a wife, mother, grandmother of eight and volunteer at a couple non-profits.)

I guess it doesn’t make a difference that I’m a Latina because the struggles and triumphs, confusion and growth, the question and answers, the tears and laughter, the profits and losses that are part of being an entrepreneur and business owner are not color blind. So please disregard the Latina part of it if you want to. All entrepreneurs go through these things while starting, growing, and sustaining a business.  How do I know this?  Because I have listened to countless experts and seasoned entrepreneurs say so and share their experiences on countless videos, CDs, podcasts, TED Talks, and audio books. I have read, a gazillion books and business magazines it seems, and gone to lots of wonderful workshops and conferences where entrepreneurs have all shared the same struggles and triumphs, doubts and passions, wins and losses, questions and answers, setbacks and growth. And I know because I have gone through many of these things – some good, some I would rather have avoided, but hey I learned some valuable stuff. Surprise, surprise – I’m not special. It’s a part of the game!  And if anyone tells you different they are not telling you the whole truth. I’m telling you the truth – It’s hard work!!!

If I haven’t bored you to tears yet or scared you away read on.

So this is what this blog will not be:

  • Perfect – I am not a perfect writer. I can spell most of the time but my punctuation will not get me a English teacher’s position.

This is what this blog will be:

  • Truthful
  • Sincere
  • Sometimes emotional
  • Sometimes very short – maybe one word will sum it up
  • Confidential – I will also not divulge any names (mums the word)
  • I will share my stories, my INSPIRATIONS, experiences, lessons learned, books read, tools that help, good quotes that have helped me, advice, and feelings as I go through the days and weeks ahead.

What I hope this blog will be:

  • Enlightening
  • Inspiring
  • Entertaining (hopefully ; >)

If you hate it and have no interest in reading about what I as a “Latina entrepreneur” go through, I totally understand. Just don’t read it. That simple.  Please don’t be cruel. Although I am trying to develop a tough skin for business, I can have a soft underbelly that’s vulnerable and sensitive at times. My husband tells me, “there’s no crying in business”,Image and so I am learning to be less sensitive. I’m still a toughy though – I’ve had to be to get this far in the game. Image

If on the other hand you agree or feel like it helped you, you can tell me it did and that will make my day, but you don’t have to. I am not writing this to get high-fives or kudos.

I am simply writing this because I really hope that any little tid-bit of information I give helps someone, a fellow entrepreneur or a future entrepreneur, not feel like they are weird or alone in their thoughts and feelings, and hopefully helps a new business owner keep on going in their business when they feel a little out of it or under-enthused.

I will write about my mishaps, ah-hah moments, times when I have spent too much time doing things not pertaining to my business and feeling guilty about it, when I don’t feel good or nice. I am a believer so I will share things about how my faith helps me and other times when I have to ask for forgiveness. (I promise I will not impose my beliefs on you 0: ).

If you know me personally you will be able to look at me when I am all dressed up and trying to look like I have it all together and say, ah Hah!, I know you don’t always feel like a winner or successful.


So now you know the reasoning and next you’ll know the silly truths. Why I am putting myself through this I still don’t know. Maybe I just want to see myself squirm, but mostly I just want to be a help to someone know that it’s all a part of life and starting a business a and survival and putting one foot in front of the other, even when you don’t feel like it (and sometimes I don’t cause I don’t feel like it). Share with you soon – but probably not as long as this first introduction.


Susana – Inspired Latina


Wishing you an INSPIRED life!


The definition of “inspired” is to be:

1.aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence.
It seems that there is rarely a day that I am not inspired by something or someone. Inspiration is all around me and when I am inspired I often do things that make me want to step out of my ordinary and do something extra-ordinary.  Is that the way it is with you?
What is it that inspires you?  I’ll bet you a glass of wine that you can think of something right now that really inspired you to do something that you did not plan to do when you woke up that morning. Do you remember how you felt?  Good huh.  It made you fearless and selfless.
That’s the way inspiration is.  It comes at you from out of no where.  Bam!  All of a sudden you are inspired to help someone, give to a cause, go out of your way to help, volunteer, visit someone, go the extra mile, take a class, start a business, create something, etc., etc.  The list goes on and on.
Inspiration is a beautiful thing when you experience it.  It makes you happy and excited because you go into a state of anticipation – anticipation of some great outcome.
That’s what this blog is about. I will write about things that inspire me and that I hope will inspire you. Let’s be inspired together. Tell me about things that inspire you.  I would love to hear about them and so would others that read this blog and your comments. I look forward to your comments and inspirational stories.