My career as an office manager started five years ago I had one year of experience as a scheduling coordinator before I became an office manager. When I started in the dental field six years ago I right away knew this is exactly what I was missing in my life. I had graduated from cosmetology school, and had also gone to school to be a preschool teacher; it didn’t take long for me to know those careers were not for me.
”You know how everyone says when you know, you just know. That’s exactly the feeling I had when I started my first day as a scheduling coordinator and all it took was one office manager to give me the opportunity and here I am 6 years later.” Tatiana Sousa
As an office manager, no two days are ever the same and I feel that’s exactly the reason I enjoy this profession so much, I lead a team all day but also make sure the financial part of the office is handled properly. My job description is honestly impossible because as a manager you wear many hats. These skills have helped me as I have applied them to my business, the customer service and the financial experience have helped me tremendously along with my multitasking skills. See the photography and what I do as a manager are not as different as you might think they are, they both revolve around making sure the patient/ client are satisfied with their services and experience. Obviously, the job itself is very different but both careers, both help people in different ways, one helps them have a healthy and happy smile the other, helps capture that smile.
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
There are way too many but my number one is keeping women empowered. From a young age, I felt I was born to be an entrepreneur, when I was in high school I started my own YouTube channel to empower other young women and teach them about the beauty industry, the rest was history for me. I am a mom of two young children and the biggest misconception is that you can’t do it all, the truth is that you can do anything you want to do and be anyone you want to be. When I became a mom is when I became more empowered to want better to do better and to make sure other women knew they could do the same thing. There are no instructions on how to be successful and being successful means different things to different people. The biggest thing I’ve had to learn as young entrepreneur is that you don’t have to be good at just one thing, as long as you stay motivated and work hard.
What inspired you to start working for yourself?
I was very motivated by my employer and his upper management’s work ethic that’s what made me want to do it for myself. If you’re going to put in eight to ten-hour days and give it all you got to be the best employee for someone else why can’t you do that for yourself? There are twenty-four hours in a day to apply that same work ethic to your business when you get home! My children of course always keep me motivated, I want to make them proud but I also want them to see how hard I work and understand that hard work has its rewards but it does not come easy.
Share with us some tips on how to become a happier and healthier person.
For me it’s always about self-love, setting boundaries, having goals and understanding that life is not a competition because being happy has different meanings to everyone. I think finding things your truly passionate about can help you find happiness and most importantly peace. When I had my son, I was faced with a life and death situation that for me was a huge eye-opener and made it a lot easier to understand what happiness meant to me. I enjoy working out and preparing healthy meals for my family this not only helps me be a healthier person on the inside but also for my own mental health, this is the kind of healthy I think we need to focus on without mental health we cannot be the best versions of ourselves.
What is your next big goal? How do you think you can achieve this one?
I actually have a few goals; one of them is to continue to grow within my company: I have amazing upper management who inspires me every day, I take a lot of mental notes and empowered women, empower women! My next goal within my dental company is to become a regional manager, I currently learn a lot from my regional manager and she is the definition of you can do it all. I know that with a lot of hard work and dedication that goal is easily reachable in the future. I’ve always been a leader and this is something that comes easy to me. With my photography business, it is to find my dream studio, I currently work out of my home studio and can’t wait to find a place to welcome my new and existing clients. I think this will be a huge milestone in my photography career. This is something I plan on working on in the next six to nine months.
What is the one piece of advice that has impacted you the most?
Someone once told me, “learn to balance life.” This advice was given to me at the beginning of my management career by my boss himself. I was taking on a big role at the age of twenty-one, but all it took was one person to believe in me and then I learned to believe in myself. I think learning work-life balance is important. Keep your home life at home and your work life at work, and I think this had helped me with both my careers.
How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?
Hold yourself accountable, stop making excuses for why you can’t do it, and start putting that energy into how you’re going to do it. I think we need to stop labeling women, we need to stop assuming hard-working moms are bad moms because they spend their day providing for their families, and we need to stop judging stay-at-home moms for not helping their families financially. The truth is there is no correct way how to be fulfilled modern woman because my definition might be different to yours however it is up to you to choose your definition of what makes you fulfilled.
Do you have any tips for mothers on work-life balance?
It is not going to be easy, but it’s possible. I think setting a schedule is important. For example Tuesday – Friday I spend my day at the office, when I get home I try to incorporate my children into my mom’s duties. I make sure to give them all the attention they did not get from me while I was at work. Saturday thru Monday my schedule varies, usually, I am photographing most of the day on Saturday and Sunday I schedule light and around my family plans, on Monday is my day off I don’t schedule any bookings, I spend that day with my husband and children we do morning breakfast and usually plan something fun for the kids. I usually put my children down for bed and that is the time I use to edit my client’s sessions. I try doing those Tuesday- Friday. If I didn’t have a schedule I would not be able to manage it all, having structure is my biggest piece of advice.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
Stop doubting yourself, In the beginning, I used to doubt myself all the time, now I laugh at the taught! Imagine if I started when I wanted to instead of doubting myself? The thing is I was so afraid of failure now I understand that failure is sometimes needed for growth! I have learned so much from my mistakes in both careers, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to take advice and don’t be afraid when someone corrects you, it’s called growth and you can’t do any growth without being told what you’re doing wrong, it’s only going to help set you up for success.
What was the hardest part about working for yourself?
The hardest part was to understand that I was my own boss and all the decisions I made would either cause my business to float or sink, the way I controlled that was to not let sink be an option. Learning from other women in the photography business has been crucial for me, understand that there is plenty of business for everyone and also that you can compare yourself to other people, especially those who have been doing this for years and you started only six months ago. There are a lot of things to learn and they can’t be learned overnight that’s the beauty of life, you will keep learning forever