193: Why It’s Okay to Fail, As Long As You Try Again

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As first-gens, we all go through moments in our lives when we feel like completely giving up. In times like these, we cannot help but feel like there’s no genuine reason to keep on moving. After all, what’s the point in striving for something when the probability of success is almost zero? What’s meant to happen will happen, right? No, the world doesn’t work like that. The universe often rewards the ones who try and try again. So, don’t be afraid to try again, to love again, to dream again, and to live again. Life’s best lessons are often learned from the worst mistakes and the most heartbreaking moments. And when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong, just don’t stop moving– even if it means moving in another direction. 

Who is Fabio Peña? – 01:58

Want to be successful? Start by changing your mindset. It’s as simple as that. When you change the way you think, you change your actions. And once your actions are impacted, your results change, and so does your life. To most people, this may sound easy, but changing your mindset to a success mindset is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. 

Fabio, for example, was born into an immigrant family, failed to make it into business school, and often found himself lagging as his friends succeeded in life. If Fabio were like most people, he’d give up. He would just let life take its cause and blame his failures on his background. The good news is, Fabio’s not like most people. He was determined to make it. The path didn’t matter as long as he got to his intended destination. And you can be like Fabio, too. If one door closes, another one opens up. You just have to be patient enough and be at the right place when that happens. 

Fabio’s Entrepreneurial Journey – 10:18

We already know that only half of all small businesses in America survive more than five years. And the ones that do make it past the five-year mark are often in danger of being forced out. Why is this the case? Well, they refuse to change or evolve with time.

When Fabio decided to launch his business back in 2020, it was in the middle of a 7-month layoff. COVID was still with us and so getting another job was a little bit tricky. So, when he decided to pursue entrepreneurship, he primarily wanted to provide consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. However, after several months of creating content online, he noticed something interesting, most of his audience were first-gens. And since he was all for niching down, that’s how he evolved from a consulting business into serving first-gens. If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, we have to lead businesses that are ready to adapt, change, and evolve. And sometimes, that means a complete overhaul of the entire business structure.

The Highs and Lows of Starting a Business – 13:37

Once you start your business, there are days when you feel like everything you touch turns to gold. New customers are enquiring about your products or services, your online campaigns are on fire, recommendations and positive reviews are streaming in, and it just feels like everything’s working out. Then there are days when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Nothing seems to work, yet, you feel like you’ve been doing everything right. You’re not alone; every other business person has had both of these days. The thing you need to remember is that the highs and lows are all part of the journey, especially in the first few days of business. So, don’t get distracted. Just keep showing up, and once you gain some consistency, the lows will be a thing of the past.

Reasons Why Mentors are Important – 16:35

Do you have someone you trust that can come through for you in your professional life? If not, you may want to think about finding a mentor. A lot has been written about why having a mentor is essential, but the benefits of having that experienced person in your corner cannot be stressed enough. For example, we live in the internet age where anyone can simply Google something and get a result. However, deciphering the right information and setting up a practical action plan is always tricky. You need someone who’s already been there that can help you avoid the common pitfalls in that journey. As a first-gen, mentoring is necessary in today’s professional world. Your career success depends on it, and simply having a college degree is not enough. 

With that, Fabio decided to start a mentorship program that connects first-gen students with other successful first-gen college graduates. The program aims to guide mentees through a time-tested path, so they don’t experience as much pain in the learning process.

Fabio Shares the Best Advice a Mentor Has Ever Given Him – 19:41

We already know that anyone serious about getting ahead in business should understand the value of a mentor. Mentors will pour random bits of knowledge that stick with you forever. For Fabio, one such piece of advice was about networking. Right now, the quote, “it’s not about what you know, but who you know,” is almost a cliche. It’s been overused to some extent, but it makes sense. It doesn’t matter whether you are a student or an entrepreneur; networking is one of the most important things you can do to advance your career. It’s the one thing you’ll essentially implement throughout all stages of your professional journey. However, networking is not about connecting with as many people as possible. It’s about meeting people who recognize your skill sets, show you new opportunities and introduce you to other, well-connected people.

Fabio was raised in Yakima, WA and is a proud first-generation Mexican graduate from the University of Washington. Fabio is currently an MBA candidate at Seattle University and is currently working as a Financial Controller for an international manufacturing company. Reflecting on his undergraduate career, Fabio realized that pursuing his desired career as a first-generation college student came with numerous obstacles. This year, Fabio has started his own company that is dedicated to uplifting first-generation students and professionals across the country to light their paths to success through individualized mentorship. When he is not working, you will most likely find Fabio enjoying spending time with his wife enjoying the outdoors, long-boarding, dancing, cooking, and planning his next travel destination. Connect with Fabio through LinkedIn.