This week, we’re featuring passionpreneur Maria Melendez. On the heels of the release of Mendez’s book, “Take the Limits Off Your Legacy: A Woman’s Guide to Unlock Purpose and Vision,” the Brooklyn, New York native spoke with Ain’t I Latina? about self-love, living your legacy and why her mama is her inspiration.
Ain’t I Latina?: You’re the founder of Embrace Her Legacy, a company that empowers women and girls to live in their purpose, give birth to their dreams and define their legacy. What inspired you to start your empowerment-focused company?
Melendez: I believe that I have been called to empower and inspire others. That’s essentially what inspired me to start my own empowerment-focused company and I know that I am living in my purpose by doing so. Growing up I had to overcome a lot of challenges when it came to self-worth, so, once I learned from all of my mistakes, I always knew I wanted to help other women and girls overcome their challenges in order to achieve a life and legacy they want, not one they feel like they have to settle for. I also had someone take the time to invest in to me. She became my first mentor and, because of her, I always felt that it was my priority to invest in the lives of other women and girls.
I’d identify you as a passionpreneur. You’ve been very candid about your journey and how you’ve overcome personal roadblocks, even deciding to step out on faith to leave your job working in the music industry. When did you decide it was the right time to resign and live out your dream of starting Embrace Her Legacy?
In all transparency, I was becoming someone I did not know or like when I was an employee at the record label. I had become miserable and it was because I knew I had other desires and that was very difficult to accept. My career in the music business was a dream, one that I wanted since I was a teenager. However, I also always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The transition to go from employee to entrepreneur came much sooner than I expected but I knew that I was being called to do greater things, so I faithfully answered my call and quit my job. I could have continued on in my career in the music business, but I was at a point where I was fed up and I wanted a change, so in April of 2012 I walked away and never looked back, which was the best decision I have ever made.
What are your three tips to conquering one’s fear?
This is a personal question for me, I walk by faith and believe in God and His almighty power. So, the first tip is to live in faith by trusting God’s plan and love for you. God can do what you cannot and trust that what He has called you for, He has gifted you for.
The second tip is to change your thinking. Many of our fears are internal fears, which are imagined fears that play out in our mind. Once the fear is planted in the mind, we begin to speak words of fear and those words lead to actions rooted in fear. Those actions can lead to our destiny. If you have thoughts that are rooted in fear, change the channel on your thoughts and refuse to meditate on fearful thoughts because what you make room for in your life, you empower to grow. Be conscious of your thoughts and switch thoughts of fear to thoughts of victory and faith.
My third tip is to live in expectancy and gratitude. You will attract what you believe, so expect to succeed, expect to accomplish your goals, expect to attract opportunities. Give thanks for things happening before you can actually see them manifesting. Also be thankful for how far you have come. Gratitude goes such a far way and we have to learn to give gratitude where we can.
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