Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Aquino-Serrano.
Julia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My entrepreneurial journey began when I was working as an Analyst for MBNA, a credit card company (which was sold to Bank of America). I came home from work one day and I said to my husband “They are stealing my soul”. I left that company and worked for some smaller companies, but quickly realized, my pursuit of success needed to come from a deeper place, a place greater than my desire for a bigger title and more money.
I took some time off, gave birth to my son, and then began the search for myself. Fast forward 6 years, a divorce, and the beginning of my personal journey. I started a consulting practice The How Factor, which helped companies define their “Recipe for Success”. We documented their processes and procedures to ensure their success recipe could be duplicated to help companies scale. I took a 2 year detour into DentalPlans.com as their VP of Strategy and Analytics to assist them through their sale to an Investment Banking firm and then started my renamed consulting practice, which exists today: All Systems Grow, which focuses on strategy, people, and processes, to ensure the operational behaviors of the company support their strategic plan.
As my internal growth continued and I became more clear about my passion and purpose – to live from the inside out and to teach and inspire others, as I continue on my own path of learning, loving, and forgiving, I’ve founded 2 more companies: Tees for Humanity: a company that designs t-shirts with empowering, uplifting messages that remind us of our special gifts and power. And, my most recent company, which is fully launching in February, is SheDefined. SheDefined guides women to define their lives for themselves; to find and use their authentic voice and to live from the inside out. My book SheStrategy will come out in March!
My journey has included a battle with Breast Cancer, a disease that took my sister’s life. Cancer has taken the lives of my mom, both my brothers and my sister. So, I am in gratitude for being 5-years cancer and understand that not everyone has my outcome. I live in gratitude for the lessons I am learning in this lifetime surrounding a word that devastates lives. I am often asked to mentor those newly diagnosed to assist them in navigating the jargon and treatment options, and an understanding of what they are facing – operating from truth and faith instead of fear. To remind them that there is “life” after the diagnosis and mindset is everything in battling any disease.
I’m learning from it all that we can choose to define our lives instead of our lives defining us. That we always have a choice and we always have a voice!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
None of this has been easy – at times the obstacles felt insurmountable. In my pursuit of “me”, there was a divorce, which was, at the time, devastating for us both and our beautiful boy. I have started over many times, since then. There have been failures and disappointments on the path: A gift basket business early on that failed; clients that didn’t pay final bills; navigating the path of being a single parent; balancing business with parenting, a new husband, and cancer. Fighting through a mindset of fear and limiting beliefs about myself and the world.
There have been painful personal losses of close friends and the understanding of the fragility of life, which made me question EVERYTHING. There have been so many times when I wanted to just throw in the towel and give up. Much learning has occurred on this bumpy path!
What are you focusing on now?
I am known for my consulting, coaching and speaking. I specialize in helping companies grow to the next level through developing not only their strategy but also their people. I work with executives and entrepreneurs to align who they are as leaders with the strategic direction of the company. I help leaders see people as people and to achieve goals through a common purpose, focused effort, acknowledging challenges to enable change.
I also known for my workshops and speaking: My topics include: letting go of fear to move forward in a huge way; using your voice to create the life you desire; you always have a choice; never give up, strategic risk-taking and more. I also am a Certified How to Fascinate Advisor, which is an assessment to help individuals, companies and teams better understand “how YOU fascinate” – who you are being when the world stops what they are doing to listen to you. I offer workshops and coaching to help individuals and teamwork from their Advantages and better communicate their value.
What separates me from the others, I believe (and have been told), is my focus on people, my insight and coaching, my ability to make sense out of chaos, and my willingness to hold a space for other’s greatness until they find it for themselves. I am always, always, always learning; looking into myself more deeply for growth; forgiving myself and others, and finding new ways to use my voice to inspire others. As I grow on my path, I can help others grow on theirs.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
We grew up in Hialeah. We were poor, but I had no idea because everyone around me was also struggling in their own way. There were 5 kids in the house. I remember being around 7 years old and all of the kids decided to hold a yard sale, to earn some money. I’m not even sure what we sold. There is a picture of me, holding a “Yard Sale” sign, with my striped socks, non-matching clothing, and not a care in the world. I think we made a couple dollars, but this was the ’70’s – we had so much fun and we were grateful for the money. I’m sure we spent it on some candy and some cavities!
- Address: 7401 Wiles Rd., Suite 325
Coral Springs, FL 33067
- Website: www.TeesForHumanity.com
- Phone: 9545414147
- Email: Julia@TeesForHumanity.com
- Instagram: Tees4Humanity
- Facebook: Tees4Humanity
- Twitter: Julia101