It’s difficult to have enough courage to go out on your own and start your own business. It’s time consuming, it’s draining, and it can definitely be a financial burden. Valerie Navarro works for PopChips but is also starting her own business which is tentatively called ‘Bake it Better’. Valerie is a perfect example of how your passion and drive can be just the push you need to start something incredibly fulfilling.
AO: How would you define passion?
VN: Passion is something that inspires you, being able to work in or around something your passionate about is the greatest gift anyone can ask for. It allows you to be fully engaged and present in your project or craft, making for a more fulfilled experience overall. Passion is pure bliss and happiness.
AO: How did you come up with the idea for your business and how do you balance it with working for PopChips?
VN: I started thinking about what were the moments where I lost myself in something that I loved noticed a pattern. Ever since I was young, baking has been my go to remedy for any stressful day. I would get lost in creating something beautiful and delicious from scratch and then watch people enjoy it. I knew in my heart, this is what I wanted to do. Also, on the weekends I work on testing different recipes and I never show up to a party without baked goods in hand.
AO: When you created your own business, what was the most important aspect of the corporate world that you didn’t want to bring to your own business?
VN: I'm currently still working on creating a business model for my baking company but I think the hardest part of the corporate world is how everything feels so extremely urgent all the time. It's like there are no breathers, you're just going, going, going. The pressure gets to be very overwhelming, especially when you're doing something that doesn't fully align with your values.
AO: It has to be difficult to balance between the two businesses, and things don’t always work out easily. When this happens, what is it that gets you through the day and reassures you that everything is going to turn around?
VN: It’s tough working on two things at a time, especially when you want to excel at both. You have to set up goals during the week and prioritize. 9-5pm corporate work then the rest of the night and weekends you dedicate to doing what you enjoy.
AO: What advice would you give to someone that is starting a business of their own but is a bit hesitant about it?
VN: Starting your own business or even having the desire to do so is wonderful. It’s always a learning experience but it's very gratifying. It’s important not to neglect your full time job because believe it or not, it does teach you very important skills that can translate into your personal business. More entrepreneurs make for happier people, it means more jobs, and more jobs are good for our economy.
- Arielle Ozery