Marie Mancero is a kind, sensitive and empathetic woman.
She tells us that, “I am fun, giggly, and mostly enjoy life as it is. I look for moments of “euphoria” and find it hard to come down to earth sometimes because I am constantly trying to see the positive side of life. Who am I as a professional and human being? The adjectives nurturer, innate carer, and listener describe me.
Just as I take great care of myself, I take great care of others whenever I can. In my empathic way of being, I want to give people a listening ear so that they can get through their good and difficult moments in the best way possible; I do it because it is my nature, not because it is my profession. I also do it because it was something that I needed a lot and only got it at the age of 24. I chose my profession as a Coach because guiding, helping, and containing is what I have liked since I was a child and today, as an adult, I think it is the right thing to do. Through my career I like to connect with the beauty of personal development. For this I learn from my Coachees, and also through my associations, courses, books, audiobooks, podcasts, etc. This keeps me connected to Coaching furthermore than just selling a service.”
Tell us about your life before the venture/ leading up to your venture?
I had a difficult childhood and adolescence. I had a hard time learning to express and manage my emotions in a healthy way, therefore, I was very reactive and angry. In addition, at some stages I was bullied and moved to 5 countries in 25 years. This led me to be constantly in “survival mode“, with a lot of anxiety and cortisol for many years (without me being aware of this, I just felt many constant crises). In early adulthood the same thing happened, I didn’t know how to act on an emotional level only on an operational level. Work, cook, clean, earn money, go out from time to time and go back to the routine. From 2016 to 2019 I worked in the advertising world and that’s when I suffered a very big burnout actually leading to a depression. Working 15 hours a day, under constant pressure, and not feeling aligned with the values of the companies that were my clients. I was selling products I didn’t believe in and through Influencers that didn’t resonate with me. I felt very fragile and vulnerable. I didn’t know myself inside (What are my values? What do I like? How do I identify myself? What do I need?),and didn’t know how to enjoy life as an adult. So in February 2019 I quit the corporate world full time and started to get into the coaching life while freelancing in marketing and advertising (even though I didn’t like it, I still needed to be realistic and earn money). My life started to slow down a lot and to feel peace when I opened myself to the study of coaching, to personal development and also when I started to cross paths with people very different from my circle. There I learned that there are people, who are not necessarily your direct family or best friends, who can also be your life mentors. For three years I tried to start projects, which eventually were left aside, and in early 2022 I started Workfulness Crew and it is the company to which I am fully dedicated now.
Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?
In the Workfulness Crew we co-create fulfilling professional lives. We support professionals in the experience and mastery of soft skills. These are pillars of any healthy professional life and fundamental bases for personal maturity, professional advancement and corporate growth. We address personal wellness as a common thread to professional wellbeing through the use of Coaching, Emotional Intelligence and Neurolinguistic Programming tools. Our service is delivered through personalized sessions, group sessions, workshops, webinars and conferences. It helps people because they take away life lessons, personal growth and not only professional courses. At the corporate level our services offer the following benefits: healthy professional retention, formation of leadership, healthy corporate climate, profit and market share increase. The Workfulness Crew is formed by two personas: my dad and me. He acts as my emotional support, and is the Commercial Director (looking for opportunities in Ecuador, my country of origin). I am a professional Coach, and also carry out a commercial role in Spain and Argentina. Moreover, we are associated with Blue Thinking International, which is a Coaching company that has 17 years in the market. This for us has been really good as we got to accelerate the learning curve as well as the process of closing businesses.
What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?
The answer is 90% positive. This is because through Coaching we provide an ear, support, words of encouragement, so if you do it professionally well, it is difficult to go wrong. Professionals are very grateful to take away new ways of looking at life, new tools to have in their most difficult moments. Moreover, when selling our services people listen to us respectfully, and are interested. We are in an year were 👉 77% of professionals are not engaged, 👉 44% experience a lot of stress (repeating the record high in 2021🤯), 👉 51% are watching for or actively seeking a new Jobs, 👉 The highest percentage of engagement (34%) comes from working hybridly, 👉 41% would change Engagement or Culture to make their workplace better. (Gallup 2023 study) The hard part is finding the niche of people and companies who are consciously willing to admit they need help and have the money to start the process. We all go through phases of self-recognition and many of us stay in the resistance phase.
How has your life changed because of your venture?
First of all, I am a new person. No longer stressed in a toxic way, no longer medically depressed. I am a person who is finally doing and living from what I love, whose heart is grateful that I am finally following my authenticity and essence. Second, I changed my life because I always wanted to work helping people. Since I was little I heard voices that said I would have to work for free in an NGO, but I took the time to find my career, to listen to my stubborn heart who said it was possible to work and earn money from this. Third, I changed my beliefs that you can only be successful by working in a company and with a fixed salary. This also made me change my priorities and my values. And like any change, it also comes with CONS. My life changed to having to fight against the sense of insecurity, the impostor syndrome, criticism and envy from family and friends (who are supposed to love you), then it also changed to understanding that not everyone is a support forever. As much as you gain, you also lose a lot. But this too, is part of self development. My marriage changed too. From being the other 50% to our house income, I became maybe a 10-20%. This has made us grow so much as a couple because we practice trust, empathy, motivation, and lots of patience. Of course we also have fights around entrepreneurship adventure, yet the important thing for me is not giving up despite any fear or limitation that may come across. I will look for alternative solutions, while I continue at the same time with the business.
Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.
It is not easy, yet it is SO worth it! Fake it till you make it. Like all entrepreneurs, I am not exempt from being the person who has fears at a career level; I grew up with the definition of success based on the amount of money I have in my bank account. It is a chip that I still have a hard time changing. With most problems (except work/financial ones) I am decisive, operative and I know how to act in the moment, without giving it too much thought. By visualizing the solutions and putting them into action I feel better. However, on the work and financial side I can get my mind into a big confusion. Luckily I am vulnerable and rely on my mentor, my psychologist, my coach and my family to keep me on track when I get stuck. It’s not easy either because owning a business means finding a client, and selling myself is hard for me.
In fact since 2019, until today 2023, it is something with which I have a hard time starting to do. I sit at the computer or go to networking meetings and I already have a lump in my throat. However, my stolen saying from the internet is: fake it till you make it. And when the day is over I realize that it wasn’t that hard to sell myself (but at night I forget about it and start again the next day with the same fear). And today I live with that fear, and I sell every day with that fear. I don’t know if one day it will go away, but at least it doesn’t paralyze me completely. So do not let fear (or any other emotion) stop you, just keep carrying it with you while you move forward.