Featured ShEO: Espree Devora from We Are LA Tech

Love podcasts? Our ShEO this week, Espree Devora hosts WeAreLATech-the 1st Podcast Focused on LA Startups.

Learn more at this top destination for tech and innovation as they feature LA startups, investors and LA Tech influencers on their weekly podcast. 

1. What motivated you to take on entrepreneurship?

I was born an entrepreneur. I remember when I was a little girl dreaming of what businesses I would put into the empty offices I passed by as I walked into Westwood Village with my father.

2. What is the number one thing preventing women from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and technology?

I like to focus on solutions rather than challenges. I think the one thing that holds us all back is not believing something is possible. Each and every one of our dreams starts with a belief that it can become a reality.

3. If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? - Where do you start?

Commit to pushing one thing forward every single day. Even if the one thing isn't perfect like maybe a design being shared with friends and not knowing the best URL. Most things can be updated and changed, but striving for perfection creates stagnant and ongoing pause.

4. What was the worst piece of advice you have gotten?

Hmmm. This is a hard one. Never thought about it before. I'd say the worst advice I've ever gotten is... to hustle harder rather than prioritize my health.

5. Who has always been your mentor?

I look up to my Mom a lot. Her tenacity is inspiring. And author Montserrat Fontes, who was my high school journalism teacher, for not letting me quit and pushing me to give life my all. She believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.

6. Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?

For me it was innate. I think defining who we are as entrepreneurs is something we all need to explore and discover innate or otherwise. Do you want to own Google and have that life or be a nomad with as little responsibility and liability as possible. I think, as new founders, we become entranced with ego and status, but those things don't actually equate to happiness and fulfillment.

7. What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?

That's a great question. Building a business is for sure tiring and at times we do, at least I do, feel defeated, but then the sun shines again and a new customer signs up and testimonials ding my inbox. I'm proud of what I've built and believe in my purpose so I just keep pushing forward and will continue to do so unless one day I feel I'm no longer on the right track.

 

8. Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?

I like to be open and listen. I work on not seeming defensive when I hear suggestions that are strategies I've already tried. At the end of the day my intuition is my oracle. Everyone will have their own point of view and when listening I like to focus on how grateful I feel that they care enough about me to share their insights and time.

9. What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?

I JUST discovered "Win Streak" app thanks to my friend and powerful super woman behind Passionista  Erika De La Cruz.  It is an app where you can track your daily wins. She and her boyfriend both track and share theirs with one another. I thought that was super cool. So I asked my girlfriend and fellow founder Lisa Magill of Equity Directory to be my share buddy. My absolute can’t live without apps though, Evernote to take organized meeting notes on the go and FancyHands to delegate takes.

10. At what point did you know you would be successful?

Every day that I take action I know I'm being successful. "Success" isn't something tangible you achieve in the future... success is a state of mind and lifestyle you have in the Now.

11. If you could give your former self one piece of advice that could have saved you many mistakes what would it be?

Just because someone is older and seems "seasoned" doesn't mean they'll do the job better than you. Believe in yourself and give the task your all before you decide you're not good enough at that specific thing

12. What is the key to building your own voice and brand?

I have a very vulnerable brand. Not all agree with my approach. They say it may compromise my ability for business partners to trust me, but I think the opposite. You know when working with me you’ll be guaranteed trust, communication, integrity and transparency. I have a yearning to over deliver. So when building a brand it's key to identify who you are at the core as a person, what are your values, and build a brand to magnify that.

13. What are you most proud of?

Consistently challenging myself to become smarter, have more confidence, take risks and being vulnerable no matter what society tells me I should be as a 'perfect business person'.

Share something special: 

We create our own journey. There are many paths. There's no need nor is it realistic to think if we copy someone else’s life path (like Richard Branson’s or Oprah’s) we'll achieve what they have because we all have our own story to create.

And one last thing... My Mom says 'every No is one step closer to a Yes'. So I say just keep opening doors rather than not knocking at all.


Follow Espree: 

Twitter: @espreedevora  @wearelatech  @womenintechshow

Instagram: @wearelatech

Snapchat: @wearelatech