An Instagrammer once asked a question on a post ‘’Fill in the blank the age you knew you wanted to become an entrepreneur’’. Mirel Barcelo had that urge right after she had her daughter at 25. Here she was, 25 years old with a Master’s degree wanting to call the shots with a brand newborn but she couldn’t.
This was way before the age of Instagram, and influencers, and overnight celebrities. What can Mirel possibly come up with that can give her creative and financial freedom?
Mirel was married at the time and she and her ex-husband created an event planning company. There has always been an artistic, creative side of Mirel and what a wonderful way to explore it by making someone else’s dream come true. They called it “Le Reve” or the dream. Being that kind of person she is, of course, Mirel started to make relationships fairly quickly. Mirel made friends with linen suppliers, DJs, florists, and caterers. She even got herself featured in a bridal show and thanks to her charm (modesty aside) she got bumped up to the first row of the exhibition… FOR FREE! She met with brides, threw little kids parties, even designed invitations! Unfortunately, work took a toll on Mirel and she had to let the dream of “Le Reve” go.
Mirel’s second chance came 5 years later when she had just turned 30. During her years at the big accounting firms, Mirel always held a little side gig prepping taxes in her house. People begged her to take it bigger. They offered her spaces in their offices for cheap rent and the promise of financial freedom, but the thought of leaving a job with benefits, pension, and insurance was daunting. Mirel kept saying to herself, ‘’if I ever get fired I would have no other choice but to do it and make it.’’ And guess what? During 2014, in a firm restructuring, Mirel got fired.. Yep!
‘’What in the world would I do now?’’ She must say at this time, she was divorced with a 5-year-old and a mortgage. Well, everything pointed in the direction of opening her own tax practice and she sure did.
Corp1 Financial Services
CorpOne Financial Services was born in November 2014. From a handful of clients, she would do taxes at home, word of mouth, and lots of Facebook marketing; Mirel created a business. That year was not easy for Mirel she had to get a part-time job at her local Macys to make ends meet. At the end of the first year; Mirel had 200 clients paying approximately $100 each. She also decided to actually sit for her CPA license and stop letting that be a roadblock in her career. And yes she did it! By the end of 2016, Mirel had passed all four parts of that gruesome exam and she was a proud licensee! Pop the champagne and throw the confetti..:). By the end of 2018, Mirel had close to 800 clients paying close to 200k in revenue annually all by herself.
During her years in CorpOne, and completely on the personal level, she met a wonderful soul. They were an instant hit and the stars and constellations out there all pointed for them to be together. By the end of 2018, they organized a trucking and logistics company which was an overnight wonder. Due to our success, and time limitations, she decided to put all her focus on this new company and found a gentleman ready to buy her CorpOne book of business. The transition was smooth and by May 2019 Mirel was dedicated solely to the logistics world.
In August 2019, Mirel decided she missed her career. She wanted to stay in touch and give back some of the knowledge that she had gathered throughout these years. CorpOne Financial Services is now Corp1 and is gathered to mentoring and empowering professionals. Mirel has designed a vision for it of several workshops to stay current and offer the advancement young and seasoned professionals need. Mirel wants to partner with professionals and offer our expertise and industry edge to better the future of the profession.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to have complete financial freedom in 10 years. I would like to grow my investments and business portfolio to the extent that it requires very minimal presence from me. I want to use this free time to travel and make sure I support my daughter in whatever road she chooses.
To what do you attribute your success?
I think I have been successful because I am very consistent. My work ethic is impeccable. I prioritize work accordingly and I am extremely reliable. I believe that, if you show up every day, take your best attitude, and always try to learn from every experience you will succeed no matter what you attempt in life.
What is your next big goal? How do you think you can achieve this one?
My next big goal is to grow a tax preparation firm that educates and employs individuals starting out in this business. I want to provide the structure for future entrepreneurs to have an opportunity at this business. I want to educate people and make different courses accessible to people around the country and hopefully the world.
What sacrifices have you had to make during life?
I’ve made numerous sacrifices during life. When I was young I sacrificed my freedom and my youth and decided to go to college and work at the same time (didn’t really have a choice). As an entrepreneur, I have sacrificed my time and money building a brand. This includes late nights, weekends, and personal time. I had to get a second job when I started my firm 5 years ago to make ends meet while I was building the clientele.
At what point did you know it was the right time to work for yourself?
For me, that urge started right after I had my daughter at 25. I wanted a job that gave me financial and creative freedom. I wanted to make my own decisions and spend more time with my daughter.
What do you advise for people who are looking for a CPA?
Do your research. Make sure it is a qualified individual and make sure you can understand each other. Client and CPA work cultures must be compatible to have a long-lasting relationship. CPAs are like doctors. Not everyone works the exact same way and the rules are very ambiguous so no two processes will be the same. Make sure you go with the one that will help you grow.
If you could go back by ten years, what would be some of the top tips you would give our audience?
Be patient. Everything works itself out.
Don’t stress. That will only give you wrinkles.
Trust your gut feeling. It will take you to the right place.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
This past week I actually decided to step down from the logistics company I run with my boyfriend. I wanted to be dedicated to growing my vision of having a tax practice that gives an opportunity to those willing to start their business. This was extremely tough because this is my financial stability but I am strong with my vision and I know this was the right move to make.
Do you believe in destiny or do you think you can control your fate?
I believe in both. I think that we are put on this earth with a specific deck of cards being dealt with. Our families, initial financial status, country where we are born etc. Those are things that we were destined to go through. However, I think that in spite of all those difficulties, we shape our fate based on the decisions we make. And, I believe that at any point, we can change directions. No matter how old we are.
Share us some tips for women who are in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting their own business.
Don’t be scared. Truth is if you have a strong vision do it. If you can’t leave your job, maybe reduce hours. This only means you need to work double on your project.
Trust yourself. You have all the equipment to make it happen. You’re going to be fine.
Take the first step. Sometimes once we take that first baby step and see that we can in fact stand on our own, all of our fears go away. Just one small step in the right direction can set off a domino effect that will fuel you the rest of the way.