My name is Alicia Lozano. I’m an operations consultant and the passionate creator of Zero to Entrepreneur, a free online community membership where you can find operations, education, resources and tools that help you create the time, freedom, and mental space you need to fulfill your mission. We promise to help you untangle that brain and leverage the right systems and tech that will make your business POP, LOCK, & DROP it!
We’re on a mission to help cause-driven, minority/women owned small businesses keep growing through simplifying the right business tasks at the right time in order to help their businesses fund the causes, passions, and dreams that change the world. Our values are to do heart-connected work, simplify the tasks, and then persevere through the messy middle.
So to cause-driven minority women owned small businesses, our products are the operations resources and tools as well as the services that provide business operations training, templates, and done-with-you systems & services that helps increase efficiency and effectiveness, and ensure or improve the quality of our customer’s customer experience. In addition, we help simplify the right business task at the right time, because burning out is burning down businesses and our clients deserve to persevere in the messy middle and keep their life’s missions, causes, and multi-dreams fully-funded in order to change the world.
My Zero to Entrepreneur Story
When I started my business, I was in the corporate world and working as an HR professional. I was playing the game and chasing the high of “climbing the ladder” and trying to get promoted.
But, I was obviously unhappy.
And the frustrating thing was… I just didn’t know exactly WHY or WHAT was making me unhappy. So I embarked on a mission to figure it out
This journey actually started with me just picking up a book… specifically You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. And it was that book that opened my mind to this world of personal development and the concept of intentionally improving yourself for better fulfillment. I had never known that there was a whole industry out there dedicated to helping you improve your life!
That first step propelled me down a path that lead to me really exploring what it would mean for me to become an entrepreneur.
I sat in the thinking space for a really long time, because while I knew I wanted to work for myself, I didn’t know what type of business to start. I was at a loss for how to connect my skills to what people needed, and had no entrepreneurial people around me to look to for how-to advice.
Finally, I came across a podcast that really changed everything. I was listening to Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn, and one episode he had Noah Kagan on the podcast. I remember Noah saying something along the lines of “If you’re struggling to find a business idea, then just go to your Facebook and post this question. ‘What has been on your to do list for over two weeks?'”
When I posted that question, I got responses from friends, family, people from high school… everyone. and so many people’s responses centered around one thing… organization. Organizing their garage, cleaning up their kids room, organizing their closets, etc.
I started to think I should become a professional organizer, but this was before the whole Marie Kondo phenomenon, so I didn’t even know if that was a thing, and how it would work!
Of course, I went on a Google spree, and spent the weekend diving into searches on what it means to be a professional organizer and how I could start this business.
When I finally decided to launch the business, I initially launched it around Christmas, and my first big push was organizing people’s Christmas stuff.
I didn’t book anybody… sigh.
So, I took a look at my offer and where it aligned with my skills, and lightning struck. I relaunched as a digital organizing company.
I signed my first client almost immediately. Her projects took me like 3 months, and I’m pretty sure I only charged her $100.
I could have kicked myself for what a time-suck that project was, but I was slow because I had never done digital organizing before and I was having to learn a whole new system, plus create my own systems as I went.
Ready for a pivot? (You’ll find this story is full of them) I kinda hated organizing peoples files and photos.
So I jumped back into home organizing, and I booked a few clients, mostly friends. And then found myself right back in that space of uncertainty…
“What do I actually want to do?”
I knew the digital work appealed to me because it offered me the flexibility to travel and work my own hours, but when I tried it before I found myself disenchanted.
I went back to basics. Back to self-discovery and personal development.
At the time I was really into Rachel Hollis (please don’t cancel me, haha)! I ended up attending one of her business conferences in Charlotte, and I realized that when I broke it down to the fundamentals, what I really wanted was to help people get on new life paths and design their lives from passion. I wanted to share the awesomeness of the personal development space with others.
I set all of these big goals. I started training for a marathon. I was on my journey to losing 100 pounds, which I would eventually do. And I would eventually run a marathon during that period.
It felt like how people describe finding religion for the first time. My connection with personal development and all the good feelings that came with it, and how your life could really improve lit me with passion and I just wanted to share it.
So I started to pick up the camera.
And at the time, I just thought I was building my brand. I was making content and sharing the personal development message in any way I felt would inspire others. As I went, the fulfillment I got from it, and the response to it from others, led me to consider starting to coach others.
So here and there, I would reach out to friends and ask them if I could coach them, and did a little of that. And then I was like, “You know what… I’m just going to be a speaker!” I booked a few speaking opportunities that I wasn’t paid for.
If you’re sensing the theme so far… it was just PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT.
I took action on whatever was lighting me up at the time. And I loved it, because I was able to follow the path that I felt lead to and just see where it went. I was still being paid from my corporate job, so I could jump into just testing and trying and doing all of these things.
And then I got serious about wanting to become a coach.
I was super against getting certified because I felt like certification was just another award that I was going to chase that didn’t really matter. And so instead, I started to read a lot, watch YouTube videos, and Google (my whole M.O.) my way to figuring it out.
I ended up hiring a coach, who promised to 6x my income. I mean… 6x from zero? I’ll take it! I invested $6,000 (which I barely had at the time) and she assured me that she’d help me make a minimum of $36,000 in six months. Throughout that process, I did get a good bit of “Business 101” knowledge, but five months into my six month time with her, I still wasn’t making any money.
The biggest realization I came to, though, was that I didn’t have the capacity or desire to coach.
I wanted to teach. To implement and show people how, but not necessarily hold the space while they figured it out.
I didn’t have the patience and skills required to be a coach. Shoutout to coaches! I don’t have the capacity to hold other people’s dreams and visions, ushering them to realization and true transformation.
What I could do was action plans. Goal setting. Motivation. Systems.
I ended the relationship with that coach, and I finally felt I was on the road to finding that purpose and direction.
The truth is that our purpose evolves and changes with us, but it’s always been there.
It shows up in different ways at different times, but if we allow ourselves to be guided by intuition, we usually get closer to it.
I learned that discovering yourself and your gifts is an ever growing process (hence the endless pivots). And I began to accept that my gifts would reveal themselves when I accepted that it was okay to just be.
Soon after, a friend reached out to me and asked me to help her with building SOPs in her business.
My mouth said “YES”, but my brain said “What the f*** are SOPs?!”
I took the weekend and literally watched every YouTube video I could, read every article, and went down the rabbit hole of how to create an SOP.
New business interest unlocked… operations. I had little idea what working in the business operations sphere would entail, but I let my intuition guide me. My friend was doing a couple of test projects with a few people, and she ended up giving me the job.
I’ll just never forget sitting down and writing that SOP for her. I had this energetic shift… like this physical energetic shift that I felt in my body
“Oh, shit, this is it. I am in business.”
What’s important to note here is that I didn’t feel like I suddenly found my passion. There was no “scream it from the rooftops” moment. But it did feel like a step down the road toward purpose. Intuition was leading and I knew I needed to follow.
I’d been having the conversation about leaving my corporate job with my husband for at least two years at this point. He already knew what my goal was. How will I bring in money? I mean, I had this client… and she was paying me! It was definitely less than what I was making, but I just knew that this was the right time.
And so, I told him to trust me. That I needed him to trust me.
That I needed to trust me.
I didn’t have a plan. I just had this feeling. I knew in my bones that if I leapt, the net would appear.
And then the fun started.
When people would say that entrepreneur is hard, don’t believe them. Because it’s harder.
For me, it was a struggle going from 2 incomes in our house to 1, while I built my business.
The journey in the messy middle looks very, very, very different for everyone.
There were months I made $0. I was scared and questioning everything. I think that so many people give up at that moment, because they can’t see the way out.
There were months that the money flowed easily, and I felt on top of the world. But I gave too much of myself… my energy and my time, and was left feeling like I had nothing left.
What I found in going from Zero to Entrepreneur, is that your success and stability lies in the practices you commit to and the support you allow. For me, I learned that I need a community to bounce ideas off of. I needed a commitment to learning new skills and educating myself further in my field. I needed accountability.
I developed Zero to Entrepreneur using these pillars, and then expanding them.
Community, continued learning, accountability… what else do you need for entrepreneurial success?
You need mentors, people that are ahead of you that have been there, done that, to look back and hold your hand when you need it.
You need clarity, about yourself and what you want to offer.
You need get-it-done support.
And when you’re trying to get all of those things together, and you’re trying to fix your branding, and you’re trying to fix your marketing, and you’re trying to fix your operations and get things streamlined, and you’re manage your finances…
It gets fucking heavy.
That is the messy middle… when you are trying so hard to reach a goal or the next level, and trying to keep everything else going at the same time.
That’s the messy middle, and that’s going from Zero to Entrepreneur.
You do things that help you stay afloat, keep going through the messy middle, you grow, find your zones of genius, and you allow your intuition to guide you. Sometimes you take risks. Sometimes you PIVOT.
Zero to Entrepreneur is my pivot.
For a while my business was The Motivated Co. But I had this dream of one day writing a book and doing all of these things (merch, community, etc) under this ‘Zero to Anything’ brand, because my whole message is that you can go from zero to anything that you want in your life.
That’s my vision.
I feel like I can be a great contributor is spreading this message of zero to anything. A speaker and writer. A motivator.
If we know one thing about me so far, I’m not afraid of a pivot!
This is an incredible part of the story, because I think that other people might be in this same boat.
If you waved a magic wand and asked me what I wanted, it would be to launch ‘Zero to Anything’, build the brand, etc! But I gotta make money now.
So I asked myself… “What skills do I have right now that will bring me closer… and fund me… until I can get to the point of this brand being front and center?
With Zero to Entrepreneur, I can address the people that I already love selling to, and I can fund my life and my mission.
All along, through all of the pivots, I yearned to find something that would match my skill set and would still connect to my heart.
Even in the messy middle, when I had no idea what I wanted or where the money would come from, I look back and realize that heart-centered work was what I wanted all along. People are motivated by all sorts of different things, but when I sell something, I have to be connected and my heart has to be in it.
In my journey from Zero to Entrepreneur, every pivot that felt like a misdirection was a lesson.
Every fork in the road was a choice and an opportunity to learn what the voice of my intuition sounded like.
Every failure was a chance to learn and get support.
What could your Zero to Entrepreneur story look like?