One of the most amazing parts about being a Millennial is the access we have. We may not be digital natives in the same way Gen Z (I think they are called the Globals?) is, but we are lucky enough to have been born in a time right before the digital transition that has created tools like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and of course Email.
These tools have created an open world. One where a simple guy living in NYC can earn himself a voice that reaches all across the country and attracts the attention of incredible people doing incredible things.
One of these people is a young woman named Erika De La Cruz.
Erika De La Cruz is a Media Personality, Speaker, Coach, Author, and Entrepreneur. That’s a lot of commas, but, in my opinion, her most valuable title is that of an insanely positive person who wants nothing more than to help those around her.
This was made incredibly obvious to me a few weeks ago when she immediately invited my girlfriend and I to visit California and crash in her new home. Naturally, this caught me a bit off-guard so I wanted to know why she would be so open.
Who was this person? Why did she care so much about people she didn’t know? How much was a flight to California?
In this one-on-one, we dive into some of these questions and learn a bit more about Erika, her background, and what she’s trying to do next.
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G: So let’s start here...what is it that you are trying to do?
E: What’s important to me is to inspire and move people towards pursuing their dreams through my own story. This has led to my ultimate goal of helping other women get their voices and messages heard on platforms that are accessible to the audiences they need to reach.
G: You mentioned specifically that you want to help women share their stories...why this specific group?
E: Well, I am one. I’ve watched people who are exactly like me get stopped by things that seem like obstacles but really should have been viewed as opportunities.
G: Do you have some personal experience with that?
Your story matters, and really it’s the only thing that matters
G: How did this affect you right after finishing college?
E: So the positive side to everything was that I really felt a need to be great. Ultimately I feel like it expedited my maturity level to know that I needed to pursue more. Two days after I graduated college I was offered a full-time position as the youngest marketing director at Entercom Broadcasting, the correlation was right there between my experience and saying yes to that job.
[The impostor syndrome] was so prominent in my transition from college to corporate life and in developing this personal brand as a media personality. Because I had this “ugly past” it made me feel like I was hiding something and that someone was going to figure out my flaws.
I thought there would be markers that signified those accomplishments, a card or a credential, or a badge or something, but meanwhile it just kept me feeling like a fake.
G: I’m seeing a trend here. It seems like you really value the power of sharing your story and what that can do for people. What is it that you are doing right now to help encourage other people to start sharing their stories?
E: Yeah, I’m doing three separate endeavors to make sure that people’s stories get shared. Obviously, I have my career in entertainment which consists of interviews with different figures, authorities, celebrities, red carpet interviews, Q&A for film festivals. It’s how I found this love for getting people’s stories out there.
I’m the co-founder and author of Passionistas: Tips, Tales, and Tweetables from Women Pursuing Their Dreams. It’s up-and-coming young women who are pursuing their passions as their careers.
I’ve developed something called the Spotlight Method which is a program for individuals with a story to tell. It’s a seven-week method that I’ve now condensed for anyone to be able to formulate their stories, pick the headlines and highlights around their lives, and start connecting with people in their own way.
G: What does the world look like when more women start stepping into their throne?
E: The world looks blissful. If every woman assumed their throne and stepped into who they were meant to be I see a world of authenticity. I see a world of no more hiding.
I think everyone would see that pain is beauty in disguise. The things you have been through have shaped where you are.
G: I love what I’m hearing here because it sounds to me that there’s a very clear mission behind it. This isn’t something you need to do to make a buck, it’s something you care about. For a female audience, it’s so incredibly needed because unfortunately, we live in an environment that tends to push young women towards not thinking this way. What you are doing can definitely help to ensure we do have more young women stepping into roles that they deserve.
To close out, what is your #1 piece of advice that, if taken, can help someone start making real changes?
E: The advice would come from something that I call “who do I think I am” mentality. So many young women and boss babes and girl bosses and all women find themselves in this trap of their little voice saying “who do I think I am?”
I think moving past the “who do I think I am” and realizing that who you think you are is going to determine the level at which you pursue your dreams is a game changer.
So there you have it. I want to take a moment to thank Erika for giving me 40 minutes of her time and sharing her story with me. I also want to publicly invite her to join me on my podcast, Tiny Leaps, Big Changes for an audience Q&A session.
Interested in asking Erika a question? Reach out to me on Twitter @greggclunis with your question and I’ll make sure it gets asked on the show.