Brittney Castro fuels financial empowerment
Running a business

Brittney Castro fuels financial empowerment

Name: Brittney Castro

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Business: Brittney Castro, Inc. 

Describe yourself in three words: 

Fun, feminine, spicy

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

I wanted the freedom to execute my own ideas and create a financial planning company that also incorporated education courses, speaking, and brand partnerships. I started in 2013 after working at a broker/dealer and learning the ropes of what it takes to be a financial advisor. 

I took the leap of faith to start my own company (Registered Investment Advisory) after the recession of 2008-2009, as I knew I wanted more freedom and equity in the financial planning practice I was building. 

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

Managing cash flow is the hardest part of running a business. I thought I was the only one experiencing this, but once I talked to all my business owner friends, I realized that every business has to overcome this and find ways to manage cash flow month after month, year after year. 

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner? 

You truly can create whatever it is you want. I have learned to trust my intuition and launch services and products I know my ideal clients and customers need and want. Listening to mentors and getting advice is great, but at the end of the day, if you want something bad enough, you will do what it takes to succeed. It takes a lot of persistence, tenacity, and hard work, but it is so worth it to reach your goals and keep creating new ones. A business, just like life, constantly changes. The challenges never go away; you just get better at handling them. 

How does running your own business make you feel? 

I love it! I feel empowered to create my own life and schedule as I see fit. All the decisions are my own, which is a responsibility, but since I have been in the game for almost 10 years, I have learned that it is so fun too. I have the power to make things happen and create the amount of money I want and need with the right work. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome or are working to overcome? 

There are always challenges. I have overcome cash flow challenges by creating multiple streams of income in my business. I have also learned to trust my own work style. I take breaks and time away from my business, and usually, it is during that time when things come to fruition for me. 

I think of my business as gardening. You plant seeds, water, and nurture and let nature take its course. You continue to adapt to what is needed to keep your garden thriving. That could mean letting people go, changing systems to make things more efficient, cutting costs, launching new products and services, or revamping your marketing strategy. Whatever it is, when you are tapped into what is going on, you can listen to what is needed and make it happen. 

What challenges do you feel are unique to Latino or Latina small business owners? 

The lack of funding is the hardest part for Latina small business owners. I self-funded my business which was not easy, but I did not qualify for small business loans in the beginning. I was determined, so I decided to use my own money to start. Not everyone has that ability, which is unfortunate because Latina business owners are super smart, wise, and tenacious when it comes to business. Having the ability to get funded could help a lot of them get started or grow their business to more profitable margins.

What do you like the most about the small business community you’re a part of? 

I have the freedom to create my life through my business. I can prioritize my spiritual community and retreats, family time, etc, and make my business work for me that way. It requires really good time management skills and discipline. When I work, I work. Then I leave work and go live my life. 

How do you engage with the community/how do they engage with or help your business?

I always feel so loved and supported by the Latina/Latino community. I know financial literacy is huge for these demographics—I saw how having or not having financial education affected my father and his side of the family (the Mexican side). My father did so well for himself to create a life for his family that he did not have growing up, and he instilled a good work ethic in all of us. 

What are your proudest moments? 

My proudest moments are when my clients or companies I work with are happy with my services and the work I do. Making a difference in people’s lives is truly what makes it meaningful work for me and keeps me excited to keep creating content, services, and products to help people.

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

To launch a life insurance side of my company to help families get the right protection. I no longer do financial planning as I focus my time on speaking and brand partnerships, but offering life insurance seems like a great way to get back to serving clients—leveraging all my experience and credentials as a CFP without taking away too much time from my other services. 

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

My spiritual community and remembering that my business is only a part of my life and a way to help me grow as a person. Talking to my loved ones and getting out of the business always helps to keep me refreshed and inspired to continue to take the actions needed to run the business.

What advice would you give to other business owners just starting out? 

It will take time, and it will be difficult, but the journey will be worth it. Be consistent with your work, stay inspired and disciplined, and keep going no matter how many times you get knocked down, told no, or run out of money. Talk to other business owners often, so you know you are not alone, and have mentors who can help you when things get really difficult. That will make all the difference—to know you are not alone. 

What’s your “power song” and why? 

Any good salsa song as I love to dance salsa!

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