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Female Founders: Maclovia Nunez of Seduiré Studio On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Success is 75% who you’re being and 25% what you’re doing. There is always more to do in entrepreneurship. A never-ending task list is standard and will likely never change. By considering the task at hand and asking how you can bring in more aliveness and joy, you will find yourself feeling not as drained and more intentional. The invitation here is to find ways to make your work more enjoyable, and while not everything can be, it doesn’t mean we don’t try. We did not start our own companies to end up in the same position or even worse position than where we started in corporate.

As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maclovia Nunez.

Seduiré Studio is a business strategy and embodiment studio helping ambitious thought leaders reignite their passion, pleasure, and purpose in business and life. Our offerings blend five-star business operations and experiential luxury with feminine desires to help women create wildly successful businesses that feel aligned from the inside out. Through our done-for-you business strategy and embodiment coaching, we’re dedicated to helping women stop playing small and step into the leader we know they’re destined to be.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

My backstory is similar to most entrepreneurs. I took the traditional path of attending college where I earned my master’s in digital media audience strategy and a minor in business management. I spent six years working with different companies ranging from non-profits to start-ups to multi-million dollar companies. However, as time went on, I felt unfulfilled by my roles and desired to create something of my own that would give me the freedom I was looking for. As a mom, this is especially important to me because being around for the special moments is what matters most to me. I started building my brand in my free time while I was working my 9–5. Once my husband received orders to Japan, I put my two week notice in and never looked back.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

There is not a single most interesting story, however, it’s a collection of tiny ones. As I began leading my company and growing, I realized that my time in college and corporate did little to prepare me for the wild ride that is entrepreneurship. I soon figured out that knowing how to do the work of a business has nothing to do with building a business that works. I truly thought with my degree and background that I could take that experience of what I was doing for someone else and replicate it for myself, but the reality was something entirely different. I had to learn how to do everything by myself which meant focusing my attention on what was necessary and important. Honestly, it gave me a much deeper appreciation for the CEOs I worked with in the past. Running your own business is no joke!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I would not necessarily call it a mistake, but it was definitely a learning opportunity that gives me a few giggles to this day. The first iteration of my brand was something that was quickly thrown together and put out into the world. There was no depth of strategy or intention behind it and it definitely shows! Anytime I need a reminder to see how far I’ve come, I go back and look at the old website and photos. I learned there is nothing wrong with slowing down and pulling back to slingshot forward.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I like to think of my brand as a beautiful, collective effort that would not be successful today without the help of the consultants, brand designers, and copywriters I have worked with who helped bring my vision to life. However, if I have to name one person, it would be my mom. As a kid, she use to tell me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. I wholeheartedly believed this and wanted to be the first woman president of the United States. She believed in me even when I went through tough years as a teenager and young adult. She truly taught me what it means to genuinely love other people as they are and not as we wish them to be. She lived with me and supported my biggest dreams up until she passed in 2019.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

In my experience, I would say the multiple barriers faced by women today are a result of our culture and systems in place. Women founders face biases, fear of failing, financial insecurity, and the narrative around work/life balance. For instance, young boys and men are given specific narratives around risk-taking, entrepreneurship, and failing that young girls and women are not. In college, the majority of my business classes were made up of a large percentage of men. I don’t say this to belittle men because their perspective is valuable. However, when it is the only perspective taken into consideration because it’s the overwhelming majority, that’s when the narrative becomes skewed. Lastly, many women are desiring to create their own definition of what it looks like to build a successful company. These new ideals and ways of doing things can make it difficult to operate in a world that values being linear over cyclical, especially when it comes to funding initiatives. As women, it is important we realize we don’t have to create companies in the way that’s been done before. We can create something new.

Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?

As a society, we need to start redefining what success looks like and realize that everyone is entitled to their own definition. On a societal level, we need to encourage young girls to develop entrepreneurial skills, showcase more women founders, and provide affordable and easy access to resources and information on how to start a company. On an individual level, we can start by recognizing any biases we may have around what a woman founded company looks like and shift our internal narrative to one of curiosity versus accusing or shutting down. By sharing knowledge and different perspectives and voices, we create a society that is more open to innovation. Can you imagine what could be created if we allowed those with new ideas and ways of doings thing to be who they desire to be? As individuals, we should always be questioning and asking why and be brave enough to face the answer. I believe as more individuals start to reflect, this will create an impact on society and government as a whole.

This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

More women should become founders because of our excellent ability to lead with emotional intelligence, collaboration, and intuition. These are excellent skills for founders because they are needed to effectively lead a team, create jobs, increase revenue, pioneer innovation, and so much more. The ‘soft’ skills that women innately have are exactly what make us exceptional at founding and running a company.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?

The biggest myth I would like to dispel is that of hustle culture and the ‘you can have it all’ narrative. The women I’ve worked with, myself included, have created success in our lives and businesses by choosing to prioritize intention over massive to-do lists and burn out. The common advice is that you must constantly sacrifice and work to create success. While dedication and consistency are important, those traits are not synonymous with burn out and overwhelm. You get to create success on your own terms if you are bold enough to define and pursue what that looks like for you. As a founder, you are the leader who must embody what it is you desire your culture to look like. What are you embodying? Intention and focus or burn out and overwhelm? Lastly, the ‘you can have it all’ narrative. I find this narrative can do more harm than good without context. I do believe you can live a richly satisfying life of your creation. However, you are always saying no to something and sometimes you will have to choose. You get to have it all, but it may not be all at once especially at the beginning.

Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?

No, not everyone is cut out to be a founder. The specific traits that increase the likelihood that you will be a successful founder is the ability to lead yourself, devotion, dedication, and willingness to put one foot in front of the other even when it looks like everything is crumbling around you. The way you embrace your failure will say more about you than how you embrace your success. I often find that intrapreneurs have these same qualities, however, they choose to be under the umbrella of a successful company. If you have no desire to lead a team, strategize, make the difficult decisions, or fail then being a founder may not be for you. As a founder, it is our job to lead a movement around a vision and that takes devotion and dedication that not every person cares to have.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. When it becomes less about me, it becomes more about you. When I first started out, I was in a space of wanting to quickly sign clients and make money. The focus was primarily on myself which led to me feeling unfulfilled regardless of how many clients I worked with or revenue goals I hit. I began to realize that what I do has absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with who I’m here to serve and the mark I’m meant to leave on this world. When we remove ourselves from the pedestal and give our company over to the vision, you will find the people you’re meant to serve and who will rally your cause.
  2. Build out your systems as you go and before you’re ready. Your systems are what makes you money. Ideally you’ll want to set up your company to be run by systems and then have the team run the system. The best time to start building them is before you’re booked out and ready to bring on a team. You do not need to be at a certain revenue number before implementing systems.
  3. Sales informs marketing. As someone who has worked extensively in marketing, I am sad to admit that when I started my business I had no clue that sales informed marketing which is all too common in companies that operate in silos. To create an effective marketing strategy, you must first know your sales forecast and strategy.
  4. Business is cyclical. Not linear. We hear the common narrative that business should always be expanding and growing. However, business will ebb and flow as all things do. There will be times you experience exponential growth and be in a state of creative flow, and there will be times where you need to let things go and re-evaluate. As in life, there’s a season for everything.
  5. Success is 75% who you’re being and 25% what you’re doing. There is always more to do in entrepreneurship. A never-ending task list is standard and will likely never change. By considering the task at hand and asking how you can bring in more aliveness and joy, you will find yourself feeling not as drained and more intentional. The invitation here is to find ways to make your work more enjoyable, and while not everything can be, it doesn’t mean we don’t try. We did not start our own companies to end up in the same position or even worse position than where we started in corporate.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

We recently started a new initiative to donate 10% of each contract to a non-profit of our choice. I firmly believe in women empowerment, diversity and inclusion, the health of the environment, and ending generational cycles of poverty. I do my best to incorporate these values throughout my offerings in different ways and look forward to adding in new initiatives in the future, such as scholarships, free educational resources, and more.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

A movement I believe would bring the most good is providing free and quality education on how to create wealth to those in poverty stricken communities. It is the birth-right of every individual to live a life of safety, love, and empowerment. When we stop trying to build ourselves up on the backs of others and instead invite others up to join us and give them the means and ability to do so, I believe we will build a much happier world.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Shonda Rhimes. I love the work she has created and her dedication to working with those in underrepresented communities all while being a mother.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

Female Founders: Maclovia Nunez of Seduiré Studio On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.