Finding your voice doesn’t get easier the older you get, it just becomes more and more necessary. The lessons you teach yourself about taking up space and voicing your opinions (or not taking up space and voicing your thoughts) are ones that you’ll either have to unlearn as you grow older or hold on to tighter.
We asked four Latina entrepreneurs to tell us what they thought about the process of finding your own voice. These businesswomen have built careers in championing causes or brands that are grounded in diverse, unique storytelling and in wanting others to feel like they belong wholeheartedly.
For instance, Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is the founder and CEO of Dreamers’ Roadmap, a free mobile app that helps undocumented students find scholarship opportunities. To build her startup, Espinoza Salamanca tapped into her own lived experience as an undocumented student and used her voice to help others in the same situation she was once in.
Below are thoughts that Espinoza Salamanca and three other entrepreneurs shared about the key role finding your voice plays in how your career (and life) unfold.
Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, Founder and CEO of Dreamers’ Roadmap
“As a Latinx community, it’s crucial to find our voice! Over and over society tries to imply/impose onto us how we should act and what to say,” shares Espinoza Salamanca. “It’s important to know our history, our background, our roots and in that find our voice to be our most authentic selves to be able to do different and make the necessary changes that will make our country and this world better for our communities. Only we can solve our own issues because only we have lived our struggles. Let’s use our struggles as a voice to solve problems in our communities.”
For Espinoza Salamanca activating on a grassroots level and thoroughly embracing your personal story go hand in hand.
Rebecca Story, Founder of The Bloomi
“When you find your voice it means you are unapologetically yourself. We need more authentic, diverse voices so don’t be afraid to speak up,” shares Story.
Story leads a startup focused on destigmatizing women’s general and sexual health by way of a marketplace for clean, intimate care products. For her, the ability to speak openly about women’s health issues was key to building a career she loved.
Dannie Lynn Fountain, Co-Host of Side Hustle Gal Podcast
“Your voice and your passion are inseparable. One is shallow and lost without the other,” shares Fountain.
In addition to working at Google, Fountain runs her own consulting business and is the co-host of a podcast. She’s navigated finding her voice and embracing her Latinidad and through that process has acquired a clearer idea of how essential finding your voice is to sparking growth with your passion.
Geraldine Ridaura Schumacher, Founder and CEO of Holy Matcha
“In this era we live in, finding your voice is optimal to truly carrying [out] your passion,” adds Ridaura Schumacher.
Ridaura Schumacher echoes many of the feelings that all the entrepreneurs listed above. Finding and pursuing your passion is a journey that’s easier to stay true to once you’ve agreed to stay true to your own voice in that process.
It’s not always easy to find your voice (or hear it), but like any muscle, with time and practice it will get easier.