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business profile

I Run This: Mariette Martinez, MasterYourBooks

Name: Mariette Martinez

Location: Southern California

What is the name of your business and what do you do? 

MasterYourBooks is a learning center that serves bookkeeping professionals that are ready to build their financial confidence, knowledge and value from the inside out!

Describe yourself in three words. 

Educator, mentor, motivator

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

My mother was an entrepreneur who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico with 12 siblings in the 1950s. All 12 of my aunts and uncles chose entrepreneurship as their path to build generational wealth. So in essence, that’s all I knew and was raised with.

My mother owned a restaurant chain for over 30 years and opened over 40 restaurants during that time. But after 30 years in the business, my mother closed her doors due to financial hardship. She didn’t have a financial team that would provide her the support and knowledge she needed to survive.

I was only 19 when this occurred but the lifetime impact of reaching your entrepreneurial dreams had been implanted in me. However, I envisioned this dream to be built on the fundamental principle that no business should be left behind due to the lack of financial support and literacy. In other words, I did not want my mom’s story to be repeated again. That’s where my fire was lit and it’s been going for over 20 years now.

In college, I worked at a boutique accounting firm. It was there that I learned the importance of reaching entrepreneurial success alongside the support and knowledge of heart-centered financial professionals. In 2009, I became an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) and opened my own practice that focused on helping microbusinesses by empowering them with the financial and tax literacy, and operational support they require to continue building their dream business.

After 20+ years of working with small businesses, my journey has evolved from practitioner to educator. My current passion is to create massive awareness around the importance of financial

and business literacy to support long-term business success and generational wealth. I have chosen to focus my education and mentorship on the New Age Bookkeeper community. This is the bookkeeping professional community that is ready to become more confident, knowledgeable, and connected with themselves and the small business clients they serve.

What was the biggest lesson you learned in the first year? 

To be fair, I had already been serving small businesses in a corporate environment for almost a decade before I opened my own business and I was raised in an entrepreneurial home. So this wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew that I was definitely not going to attempt this journey alone. So the first thing I did was rent a space that I could sublease alongside another growing business. We ended up being office roomies for over 11 years.

How does running your own business make you feel? 

I love this question! Entrepreneurship is truly a feeling. I think we forget about that a few years in because we get so overwhelmed in all the “to dos’ but it’s so important to go back to how owning a business makes us feel.

For me, I feel liberated, I feel grateful, and I feel incredibly empowered knowing that I have control to grow as big and impactful as I choose to be. Don’t get me wrong, I also feel strong, tired, and fearful many times…but I try not to sit in these feelings too long. When they do come back, I pause, take a deep breath and remember the reasons I truly chose entrepreneurship and that refuels me to fight the good fight for another day!

What are some of the hurdles or roadblocks you’ve faced? 

I would not consider it a hurdle per se, but it’s definitely one of the challenges I have chosen and that is to be a “mompreneur.” I knew first-hand what I was signing up for as I was the daughter of a mompreneur with six kids. So I have been on a 15 year journey as a mother of three consistently revisiting my priorities as a mother and mission-driven entrepreneur.

What are some challenges that Hispanic/LatinX small business owners face that others may not?

I think the most fascinating challenge the LatinX entrepreneur community faces is that they are multi-generational. What I mean is that you may have a first generation Spanish-speaking parent that wants to continue doing business “the old way” and a new generation child that wants to implement technology, next-level thinking, and structure to the business. I have been working alongside my strategic partners to figure out a way that we can serve both for the good and prosperity of the business.

What are some of your major wins or accomplishments? What are your proudest moments? 

I have had some amazing experiences with my strongest strategic partner, Intuit. A few of my milestones include spending two years on the Accountant Advisory Council, winning Top 20 Firm of the Future in 2015 (the first year this campaign was created), and participating in a full “Follow Me Home” video series with Intuit.

Also, in 2018, I was on a mission to make a deeper impact in the Latino Small Business Community. I participated in a main stage panel at Scaling New Heights about the impact of the fastest growing entrepreneur sector, LSBOs (LatinX Small Business Owners). I was joined onstage by four LatinX business advocates including award-winning author Dawn Fotopulos and three strategic LatinX education partners that I have now partnered with to provide bilingual education opportunities to our shared community.

One of my more recent proudest moments was helping hundreds of my bookkeeping community members accelerate their learning and financial literacy awareness through volunteer and joint partner efforts during the pandemic so they could assist their clients in obtaining the much-needed funding they needed.

What are the next big plans you have for your business? 

This is another question I love! In 2020, I launched MasterYourBooks—my learning center. It has been a completely new adventure for me. My transformation from 20-year practitioner to content creator and educator took me six years but I am now on this journey full-time and loving every minute of it!

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going? 

That’s easy. My mom. She and her mother (my grandmother was also an entrepreneur) have stories of perseverance that I return to every time I am feeling drained. I think back to what they faced and how they pushed through those challenges and then I get back to my mission and true north. If they did it, I can do it.

How can Hispanic/LatinX small businesses give back to their community?

I think the best way for this community to give back is to start at home. There is still a big financial and educational gap in the Hispanic community even though Latina women are actually both the fastest growing entrepreneurial sector and college graduates. But what we need is more of a focus on #culturalprosperity and growth mindset. We need to teach our next generation to think back to our families, communities and also to other minority communities as well.

What’s your “power song” and why? 

This is an easy one! “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. I am a dreamer by heart. I daydream all the time and truly believe with my entire soul that humans are capable of anything. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

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