Advice, guidance, and wellness inspiration for anyone who owns their own business or is thinking of starting one.
This October was National Women’s Small Business Month, and coming up on the 15th of November is National Entrepreneur’s Day. In that spirit, this month we are taking a deep dive into Women’s Entrepreneurship.
You’ll hear from Margaret Juvelier, Owner of Sotheby’s International Realty, Puerto Rico about her entrepreneurial journey, advice for the next generation of business owners, and lifting others as you rise.
We are also sharing some information and inspiration that can help you unlock your full potential at work, whether you’re an entrepreneur right now, or aim to be one someday soon.
Women-Owned Business Is a Growth Industry
Women’s Entrepreneurship is an economic driver of our communities and our country. Today, successful women in real estate represent the majority of the industry and many are advancing to leadership positions across the nation.
The most recent American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. is a great place to chart the progress of women-owned businesses, and to see how they are performing. The last report, from 2019, had much to smile about. Here are some excerpts:
“Between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400). Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion.”
“Over the past five years, the annual growth rate in the number of women-owned firms has been more than double that of all businesses.”
“While the number of women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by women of color grew at double that rate (43%).”
At the 50,000-foot level, the Amex study shows that things are certainly trending in the right direction. But statistics only tell part of the story.
Building the Work Habits That Work Best For You
It’s become a cliché to say that success is a byproduct of hard work. And though it’s undoubtedly true, working smart is often just as important as working hard. That means creating work habits that enable you to be at your best when it matters most.
Looking for inspiration? The Well + Good blog published an interesting feature on 9 Habits from Wellness Entrepreneurs That They Owe Their Success To.
Some of the best practices they recommend include:
• Tackle the Tough Stuff First
It’s never been easier to get distracted. From social media, to texting, to time-wasting mobile games, staying focused on what needs to get done can be a real challenge—especially when working from home. That’s why Brittany Carbone, founder of CBD brand TONIC, recommends starting each day tackling what she calls The Big One…the most pressing issue of the day.
“Jumping on the most harrowing and confronting issue as soon as it came up has allowed me to solve problems with more ease, instead of overthinking and overanalyzing. It helps me avoid the inevitable decision fatigue.”
• Put Down the Phone
Latham Thomas, founder of Mama Glow, describes the freedom she feels when she’s not staring at her phone all day. “I’ve learned that I am at my best when I’m not rushing or distracted. If you get used to stepping away from your phone for a few hours a day, it really makes an impact on your work and life.”
• Work with Your Natural Energy Cycles
Sara Panton, co-founder of essential oil brand Vitruvi, found that by learning when she works best, she’s been able to keep her mind clear. “I try to have all my calls scheduled after 3pm because that’s when my energy starts to change. I get my creative juices flowing in the afternoon and evening, even though all the ‘successful people’ are morning people.”
The key is to determine when you’re at your best—not when you think you should be at your best. If you’re a morning person, schedule your big tasks early. If you’re a night owl, take care of them in the evening. By working with your natural energy cycles, you’ll stay at your most productive.
These steps are designed to help you get in the right mind frame for entrepreneurial success. But how do you actually become an entrepreneur? What are the steps that people take in our industry?
Let Those That Came Before You Lead You To Your Success
We spoke with Margaret Juvelier, Owner of Sotheby’s International Realty, Puerto Rico about the rewards of becoming an entrepreneur, what inspired her to take the great leap, and advice she’s learned along the way.
Please tell us about your personal journey as woman entrepreneur. What has been most rewarding so far?
Margaret: Being able to share the journey with my daughter, Oriana.
What inspired you to lead your own brokerage and how did you know when it was the right time to take this pivotal step?
Margaret: I knew after 25+ years in the business that I was ready for the next step, and sometimes, timing is everything. As both my parents were born and raised in Puerto Rico, I began exploring the opportunities in Puerto Rico, and while looking at these opportunities, I learned that Sotheby’s International Realty was seeking to find the perfect brokerage or individual to raise their flag in Puerto Rico. And, who better than an individual that began her real estate career at Sotheby’s International Realty’s flagship brokerage in New York City to lead it.
That is when the inspiration came. Everyone that I had spoken with encouraged me to move forward. They would say things such as, “You are the natural fit for Sotheby’s.” “You know the brand.” “You live and breathe the brand.” “They would be crazy not to give you the franchise.”
That was enough inspiration for me to move forward. The rest is history.
What is your biggest piece of advice for those new to real estate or women looking to open their own brokerage?
Margaret: Trust yourself and take the leap of faith and align yourself with what you consider to be the best brand in the world. Do not re-invent the wheel. Let those that came before you lead you to your success.
So many businesses and innovations are born from challenging times. Why do you think entrepreneurs should jump into real estate in today’s market?
Margaret: When you are ready, that is the time when you should “jump” into real estate. The thing is someone’s misfortune is someone else’s good fortune. There are only two markets in real estate – a buyer’s market and a seller’s market.
For those of us that have been in the industry for so many years, we have experienced all types of changes, from working without an MLS to new technologies and platforms for performance. Not to mentioned financial crisis, earthquakes, hurricanes, pandemics. An entrepreneur jumping into real estate today has so many advantages, from learning from our experiences, triumphs, and mistakes.
This generation grew up with technology; thus, the challenges that we find within our older agent population do not exist with them. It gives them an advantage to quickly use these resources to grow their companies and profits. However, they need to be humble and learn from those that came before them. There is no substitute for time and experience in all we do day after day, every day. If they can embrace and diversify their talent pool, they will have a winning combination!
Can you please share a few examples of how you and your team worked together successfully to solve a problem or overcome a particular challenge?
Margaret: Two recent stories come to mind:
We were two days from a closing and the seller decided that he wanted to sell his business (which included the property our buyer was purchasing). Our notary in Puerto Rico was able to quickly inform us that the quickest and most efficient way to close this deal on time was to create a new entity to satisfy the seller’s request. We closed on time, and everyone walked away happy. This shows the importance of aligning yourself with the right team, in this case our notary.
Another story that comes to mind is when a closing was delayed, and the hotel where the clients were staying was completely sold-out. They needed to move out. Our agent immediately contacted someone she knew, high up on the food chain at the hotel, and within an hour was able to get her clients’ an extension on their hotel stay, removing the additional stress this had created just before the closing
I share these two stories to show that sometimes the challenges are beyond the property and the brokerage expertise or knowledge. This is a business of relationships, and one never knows when that relationship is going to come to the rescue.
What are the core values and mission of your organization? How do you uphold a positive and ethical company culture for your employees?
Margaret: Our core values and mission are to maintain the highest level of integrity, authenticity and empathy throughout the transactions and never forgetting that we are dealing with peoples’ lives and places where they will create memories.
Our company’s culture is the reason for our success. We have created an environment where the sales team and employees alike share one common value – Family!
To us Puerto Rico Sotheby’s International Realty is where we celebrate each other’s successes. We are there for each other during trying personal and professional challenges. In today’s brokerage offices people can work remotely and do not need to come into their offices to be successful, it is wonderful when I hear an agent say, “I come to the office to socialize with my colleagues. They are my family.”
At What Moves Her, we celebrate the idea of ‘lift others as you rise,’ what are your tips on celebrating your fellow entrepreneurs?
Margaret: One of the most successful practices in our office is how we celebrate each closing with the entire team, including staff. We circulate a congratulatory email, where everyone gets the opportunity to congratulate the individual. We have been doing this since the opening of our offices in 2012 and to this day, I love reading the comments and accolades they give to each other. Never stop celebrating each other!
Last question – what is an interesting piece of advice that you would tell your younger self?
Margaret: Who or what we become as adults is a collective group of experiences.
I certainly have made mistakes and have a few regrets; however, because of them, I became the person I am today; thus, I would say to myself – Congratulations Margaret! You did it and throughout it all, you remained true to your values.
Now it’s your turn
When you think about it, every real estate agent is both an entrepreneur and small business owner. That’s why we want to hear your stories. What piece of advice would you give the next generation of talent? What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were starting out?