MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community

From Latina Single Mom to CEO : Rising Above the Challenges with Monica Balderas

November 23, 2023 Violeta Sandoval Episode 31
From Latina Single Mom to CEO : Rising Above the Challenges with Monica Balderas
MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community
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MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community
From Latina Single Mom to CEO : Rising Above the Challenges with Monica Balderas
Nov 23, 2023 Episode 31
Violeta Sandoval

This week we dive into Monica Balderas' entrepreneurship journey. She shares her story from struggling single mom to becoming the CEO of her own Real Estate Developer & Builder Company. Monica's inspiring journey from battling family dysfunction and mental health issues to CEO of a company,  is a testament to the power of determination and perseverance. She shares the challenges she faced as a single mother, her motivation stemming from her children, and her courage in overcoming mental illness.

In the latter part of our conversation, we shift gears to explore the world of Instagram marketing and the astounding success story of a business owner who built a $1.5 million company from scratch. Our guest takes us through her entrepreneurial journey, discussing the ups and downs she faced, her savvy use of social media, and how she managed to triple her income in just one year. She candidly talks about the importance of action over perfection and the crucial role of networking and strategic research in client acquisition. We conclude with an insightful and motivating discussion on the importance of taking baby steps towards our goals, the reality of failure, and the significance of resilience. So, join us for this inspiring episode as we uncover the journey to success.

About Monica Balderas:
Monica Balderas is the founder and CEO of DFW Longhorn Contractors, a real estate developing and building company. Her company specializes in new construction and full rehab of single family homes, multi-family homes, and commercial properties.

Monica's mission is to inspire more women of color to pursue entrepreneurship and build wealth. She also wants to build an online community to provide resources and support to other women of color looking to start businesses.

Monica's Social Media:
 IG:
LatinaMillionaires
 
dfw_longhorncontractors

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Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor. The information contained in this video is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed professional before making any financial decisions. I shall not be held liable for any losses you may incur for information provided in this video. Please be careful! This video is for general information purposes only and is not financial advice.

DESCARGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD: No soy un asesor financiero. Las ideas presentadas en este video son opiniones personales y solo con fines de entretenimiento. Usted (y solo us...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week we dive into Monica Balderas' entrepreneurship journey. She shares her story from struggling single mom to becoming the CEO of her own Real Estate Developer & Builder Company. Monica's inspiring journey from battling family dysfunction and mental health issues to CEO of a company,  is a testament to the power of determination and perseverance. She shares the challenges she faced as a single mother, her motivation stemming from her children, and her courage in overcoming mental illness.

In the latter part of our conversation, we shift gears to explore the world of Instagram marketing and the astounding success story of a business owner who built a $1.5 million company from scratch. Our guest takes us through her entrepreneurial journey, discussing the ups and downs she faced, her savvy use of social media, and how she managed to triple her income in just one year. She candidly talks about the importance of action over perfection and the crucial role of networking and strategic research in client acquisition. We conclude with an insightful and motivating discussion on the importance of taking baby steps towards our goals, the reality of failure, and the significance of resilience. So, join us for this inspiring episode as we uncover the journey to success.

About Monica Balderas:
Monica Balderas is the founder and CEO of DFW Longhorn Contractors, a real estate developing and building company. Her company specializes in new construction and full rehab of single family homes, multi-family homes, and commercial properties.

Monica's mission is to inspire more women of color to pursue entrepreneurship and build wealth. She also wants to build an online community to provide resources and support to other women of color looking to start businesses.

Monica's Social Media:
 IG:
LatinaMillionaires
 
dfw_longhorncontractors

Support the Show.

Subscribe to the MoneyChisme Monthly Newsletter for more!


Get my Free Start Investing in Rental Properties E-book

Support/Apoya MoneyChisme:
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/moneychisme

Want to be a guest on the podcast?
http://moneychisme.com/contact-me/

Follow my Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/money_chisme/

Tiktok:
https://www.tiktok.com/@moneychisme

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/MoneyChisme/

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor. The information contained in this video is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed professional before making any financial decisions. I shall not be held liable for any losses you may incur for information provided in this video. Please be careful! This video is for general information purposes only and is not financial advice.

DESCARGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD: No soy un asesor financiero. Las ideas presentadas en este video son opiniones personales y solo con fines de entretenimiento. Usted (y solo us...

Speaker 1:

Hola, welcome to another episode of the Money Cheese May podcast. Joining me today is Monica Valderas, first Latina real estate developer and builder, and she is here to inspire more women of color to go out there and build wealth and gain financial freedom through, you know, starting businesses and invest in real estate. So, hola, monica, thank you so much for joining me here today.

Speaker 2:

Sure, sure. Thank you, mioleta, for having me here. Like she said, I'm Monica. I am a real estate developer and a builder here in the Dallas Fort Worth area here in Texas, and I'm the owner of Longhorn Contractors LLC, 100% woman owned, and I've been in business a little over six years now. A little bit about my background. I come from a family of 10, first gen. My parents are from Guanajuato, mexico, san Luis de la Paz, a little branch over there in Mexico, and I always hear like podcasts and a lot of Latinas and you know people of Mexican descent. They always have like a traditional upbringing. Like you know, their parents cross the border and their parents like did everything for them Right.

Speaker 2:

I didn't have that upbringing. So, like I come from like a very dysfunctional family, like you know. I won't go into detail, but it's just like I didn't have the support like a lot of first gen do. Like their parents put them first, they were very supportive of their dreams and like really pushed them, and mine was like the direct opposite. I didn't have that support, I didn't have that loving family. My parents, they were alcoholics, abusive alcoholics. So, you know, I just my upbringing was a lot different from, you know, from other people, and so I feel like that's what really inspired me, not only just to start a business but, you know, just to change the narrative for me and my family Number one be a better mother to my children, show them the things that I didn't have and give them the love and respect and support that I didn't have. I'm like balancing, having a business, building a business. I didn't have, you know, an example or support. I have my partner now, which is my husband, and he's like my biggest support and everything but other than that I didn't have like family and friends during this whole business journey. So it's been really tough, like extremely difficult. You know, there's been lots of times where I wanted to quit and you know I'm sure you've had that yeah yeah On your journey, where it's pretty normal, where you just feel like you know this is hard, like what am I doing? Like do I even belong here? We always question ourselves.

Speaker 2:

I was a teen mother. So I got pregnant when I was 15 and actually married and out the house at 15 years old, so I was already living on my own with my first husband. I graduated high school, but other than that I don't have a formal education. I took like a few college courses back then but with being a teen mom and you know, I decided I wanted to work Just odd jobs I mean, I've had like maybe like 10 to 15 jobs before I decided to open up my own business.

Speaker 2:

My background is in property management. Well, I started off as a leasing agent. It was in the multi-family industry, so that's kind of like where my real estate journey began. The last property management company I worked for they gave me the opportunity to be an assistant manager. I was just, you know, being a single mom it's like your children really drive you and I was just like super motivated. So started off as an assistant and then ended up property manager and then regional manager, and so essentially I was overseeing about 15 apartment communities 25 to 3000 units but I was in charge of like operations, like construction part of apartments. I oversaw a team of about 30 employees, so that included leasing, consultants, assistant managers, property managers and maintenance.

Speaker 2:

I really liked it, but it was also very, very stressful. Like I worked until midnight sometimes and I was a single mom. So it was like really hard. You know, I felt like I had to prove myself a lot and so I just worked really hard. In the end it did start to affect me, like I was working so much and basically neglecting my children. You know I was a single mom and they were in daycare all day. Sometimes I would go pick them up late. I felt horrible as a mother.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, how I ended there was I have a history mental illnesses. So they diagnosed me when I was 16 or 17 years old manic, depressive, bipolar anxiety, ptsd, like just those, like mental illnesses that I've dealt with and like from that young age I was exposed to like medication. You know I was going to therapy psychiatrist and at some point on my journey I had stopped taking my medication because I was working all the time and I was also like I did. I did drink a lot back then, but I actually like I sobered up. So I've been sober like completely since February of this year. I like been sober like work was like my drug, so it just made me feel good about myself and like I felt like I was being accomplished and providing for my children.

Speaker 2:

So you know it wasn't in the best way, right, looking back now it was. I wasn't, you know, treating myself well because I was neglecting my mental health, neglecting my physical health, neglecting my children, drinking. So you know, looking back, those weren't the best decisions that I made, but it also helped me, like change my ways now and made me a better person. I kind of just like broke. I ended up going into a psychiatric home and so I was there for like a couple of weeks. I want to say, like you know what you see on TV, that's how it is.

Speaker 2:

Like it's scary, people are really really like mentally ill because I was just like working for all those years like nonstop, nonstop, you know, and I would even have like vacation time, but I wouldn't take it. It caught up with me right Before I went into the psychiatric home. I met my now husband. We actually met because he's a builder contractor and he was actually actually one of the apartment communities that I oversaw and managed and we met. He helped me like emotionally, like with stability, like really because I never had that in my life, like from a young child, and so he like really showed me, to me. You know, I felt like authentic love, like what we really deserve.

Speaker 2:

You know, once I got out of the hospital and you know I was with my partner and I wasn't working for a short period of time, you know, my husband, he, he, he did like little side jobs, like he would do remodeling houses or even commercial projects, apartments and so forth, and but he would work for like other small companies. Why don't I just start a company, right? You know he has the skill set like to build homes. He's been doing it for like over 20 years now. And so I googled how do you start a business, and then what popped up was legal zoom.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if you've heard of legal yeah, yeah, I've used them like twice for like random stuff.

Speaker 2:

Let me do this because they they view everything for you like they register your business, you just name, they register it through the state and all that good stuff. So you basically just pay a fee and and they do it all for you. And so I did and that's how I started my business, the reason why I feel so passionate about encouraging people. You know that you can start your own businesses because I feel like a lot of people overthink that process and they analyze and they overthink and I mean it's good right, because, looking back, I probably should have did that a little more. I should have thought more thoroughly through the process and had a business plan. But that's just not how I'm set up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I just took action right away. Also, another reason why I wanted to start my own business because I was like, well, hey, if I have my own business, no one can tell me like when I can go to work and if at day or if I'm feeling all depressed or having anxiety. You know I'll just take the day off. I don't know if you ever heard of Gary V.

Speaker 1:

Gary V, he sounds familiar.

Speaker 2:

Well, he's like the motivational speaker.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

There was, like this video that popped up from Gary V and he was talking about marketing, like online marketing and social media, and he was talking about Instagram and hashtags. And I was like you want to know what? I'm just going to try this, let's see if it works. And I started an Instagram page in 2017. And so I just followed his video and he was like you know, make videos on Instagram and hashtags.

Speaker 2:

He was like use 20 hashtags on what your industry is or who you want to market to. Oh, that's how I started Like I started acquiring clients on Instagram.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

And honestly, up until this day, I want to say, I have not even spent $1,000 on marketing.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

It's already generated in my company of $1.5 million. And like, marketing is very important and I know a lot of people spend thousands of dollars on it, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'm doing that now, now that I'm scaling and growing my business because I know it's important, and I can't continue to do that if.

Speaker 1:

I want to do business right.

Speaker 2:

I was just making videos of the small projects that we were doing. We specialize now in full-gut renovations. You're familiar with that right as a property owner.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and that's the next goal is I want to start doing renovations like rehabs, but for me to keep the house not to flip.

Speaker 2:

So we focus on like a fixture uppers and new construction.

Speaker 2:

We're getting more now into new construction. I'm pivoting into new construction now. I just started acquiring small clients and also word of mouth has helped me as well, like if I've had a few clients and then they'll refer me to other clients. So I want to say like my first big deal was in 2019. And it was super exciting because it was like our first big deal and it was on a fixture upper. So my client she was a real estate investor and it was actually her first flip fix. A realtor on Instagram referred her to me. So that first deal in 2019, it was about 95,000. And I mean, that's a lot of money Coming from where I come. From my background as a regional manager, I was not even getting paid well and I was doing so much. Looking back, I was like, wow, I was so underpaid when I left my job, I was only making like 50,000 a year. I was responsible for a lot Like helping these owners generate millions of dollars. That also opened up my eyes and I scored my first deal, which was 95,000. And I was like, wow, this is big. So I was just really excited Towards the end of our project.

Speaker 2:

Everything was going well. We were almost done I want to say like 80% During that time. In the beginning I worked a lot with him, so I know how to frame, I know how to do drywall and texture. I basically know a little bit of everything. Like we were working all day. That day and it was on, I think, on a Friday, and so I was like let's go leave my kids with my mom at that time. And so we went to like this little place in Oak Cliff it's called like the Bishop Arts District and it was like oh yeah, we heard of it.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we went there and everything was fine and during that time I was still drinking, so we had like a couple of drinks and we were just enjoying ourselves, like relaxing, because we really had a hard day at work. So the owner of that restaurant had approached us, so we started talking to him and we were like I was telling him hey, we have a small business, if you ever did any work on your restaurants, because he owned like a couple of restaurants in the area.

Speaker 2:

I was like he's used us and he actually was going to use us. And then, shortly after that, a fight broke out and we weren't a part of it. Like we were just there. Someone threw a beer bottle at my face and like literally knocked my teeth out. And it was during like my first big deal as a business owner. Like you don't have anyone to rely on. I was literally on my hospital bed with no teeth, calling my client Still working. I mean, I was doing what I had to do and thankfully, she was understanding right. We were still able to complete the project and everything.

Speaker 2:

And then, in 2021, I met another client off of Instagram, a real estate investor. I would like look up hashtags like for real estate investors Dallas. So I was becoming like more strategic and looking for people in the area. I would like go onto their Instagram and see if they were working on any projects and so forth. So I would kind of like do my own research too and kind of like to try to attract and acquire clients. And so, anyhow, this one client she was a real estate investor is a real estate investor and I built seven homes for her.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

It's in the South Dallas area and so with that client, I was able to generate Like that's when in 2021, that's when my company took off. Be clear she gave me consistent work. So each home that we did for her minimum of like 120,000. So like you know, closing six figure deals off of Instagram. I mean, you just have to put yourself out there, you know a lot of people. Sometimes they just they worry about perfection too much.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Like my videos messed up or it's not, or I don't have like these professionals helping me or you know, like content and they want to be on a content schedule and I mean I don't knock that go for it, because a lot of people just get stuck.

Speaker 1:

And I see that like they they're, they want to do something and they know that they like, for example, start a business or whatever, but they get stuck in that, like how you're talking about that they wanted to be perfect or they're doing too much research or whatever, and like they just need to take action at some point out of this, as you just got to do it. And then you know it's not going to be perfect, but at least you got that rolling. Just like how you did. You went out there and even though you didn't have, like your, your business plan or whatever, but like, look where it got you by just saying you know I'm going to go take that first step.

Speaker 2:

So like, my company grew really fast, like in a short period of time, because the previous year I had generated an income about 320,000. And then it tripled the next year, so like to a million. That's where all the setbacks and the failures happened. I was overseeing more employees, more contractors, a lot more moving parts. You know city of Dallas permits. I was working with structural engineers, with architects. My client, you know, they buy a piece of property and these homes that we were working on they were like built in 1900, like they had not been renovated. The first home we did was literally on tree trunks, like, yeah, like, have you ever seen a house like that?

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so back then you know the way the homes were built back then here in Texas, the foundation you know well. Now we have concrete and peering bean foundation and then they use literal tree trunk stumps as a foundation.

Speaker 2:

So, like these homes are old, so we literally like gutted them and they were like new construction because, like the first home we did like the city wanted to demolish it and the owner, the real estate investor, she was like I've talked to so many builders, I've talked to so many contractors and they all tell me you just need to demolish this property. But then you come along and you know we didn't have to demolish it. Thankfully, you know, we have a good team old trades and we were able to save that home for her and rebuild it with the structural integrity of the home, and so we built it from the foundation up.

Speaker 2:

You know I'll be honest, as a business owner, I was in, I was working in my business, I wasn't working on it, and so you know, I dropped the ball. Like on a lot of things, looking back, we could have just done like a better job, you know, maybe saved a lot of money. We made mistakes, like with blueprints and the engineers, and sometimes we had to go and get like the blueprint or the layout redone. So a lot of just expensive mistakes were made and during that time, like a couple of like lawsuits. You know I'm a person that just takes action and I just started business through Legal Zoo. That's where, like, I regret that I didn't think out all of these things back then.

Speaker 1:

But I'm thankful.

Speaker 2:

You know that's where your mindset comes in, because you know a lot of people, a lot of businesses fail you know, they don't make it past five years. That's just the statistics of it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I was still able to overcome and adapt to every situation.

Speaker 1:

You know when.

Speaker 2:

I started my business. I didn't file my business taxes because I literally started a business and I'm okay with sharing it. You know I just failed forward. Yeah, they were failures. And yeah, I didn't have a lawyer. Yeah, I didn't file my business taxes. I now have a CPA. I'm back on track.

Speaker 2:

I filed all of my taxes and owe a lot of money. You know when you owe money, that you're making money. You know, this year has just really been a year of personal growth for me, because I now have an attorney that I'll utilize has reviewed my contracts, because that was another thing, Girl. Whenever I would like do small jobs, I wouldn't even get anything in writing. Oh, yeah, you know, and you know how important that is. Yeah, Accepting and writing, you need to have a contract. So those were some of the things that you know. I was just so goalable and vulnerable and just trusted anybody off the street and you can't do that in business, Like you have to protect your business at all costs. Honestly, I just never been good with numbers and during that time period where we were generating a lot of income, like there was so much money coming in, going out, I know I like lost a lot of money.

Speaker 1:

I have too. Like like because I used to do when I first started investing, like I did my own taxes, and then it was until, like you know, I was trying to buy another property, and then it was actually the loan officer, you know, they review your taxes and stuff. He's like you know, you haven't been depreciating your properties, and stuff like that. I was like I didn't even know what that was, and then he's like, yeah, you've been losing money, so that was kind of like that. Like all right, I can't do everything myself sometimes, and so now I just, yeah, I have a CPA, yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know, have a list of people that you'll be able to call on, like, if you do have, if you ever have to go through like a lawsuit or another important thing that I would encourage you to do on your journey is to hire a mentor or an advisor. It helps because you know, especially if you hire a mentor or an advisor, that is where you want to be. They're able to, like you know, warn you and tell you, hey, don't do this, don't do that. Because I can remember there were so many times in the earlier years where I didn't know what I was doing. And since I wear multiple hats in my business, from marketing to closing the contract with the client, to project management, to ordering the materials, to overseeing the contractors and employees, payroll. Like everything, I do everything. And like, having a mentor that you can call is life changing. It can help you, like, save a lot of money, save a lot of headaches, save a lot of heartbreak, and that's a part of like investing in yourself.

Speaker 2:

I have hired like two and I don't regret it. They've helped me, like you know, keep continuing the growth in my business and personal personally, like my personal development, and I just I've really gotten comfortable with with failure and you're not failing. Are you even trying?

Speaker 2:

I'm not trying anything new if you're not failing. You know so many people get caught up in their mind and I get it. You just keep going, no matter what. Why did I fail? What did I do wrong? What can I do now to prevent those things from happening? And it has really helped me in business just to be resilient. But all of those things, all of that pain, I've been able to transmute it into something positive and I'm now enrolled into Cornell University in taking classes and I'm really excited because I'm learning. We want a sustainable business that's going to last and grow for the next 20 years At least that's what I want and to continue to have that time freedom because I don't have to call my boss anymore and ask for education, or to take my kids to the doctor.

Speaker 2:

So what's next for you?

Speaker 2:

I also have Latina millionaires, that is an online community that I am working on and developing that will eventually be a business next year. It's basically a community where I just really want to encourage and empower all women of color that if I can do it, if I can build a business from nothing, grow for children, no formal education. I just want to encourage you that you can also build your dreams. Don't have the resources. There are resources out there. So that Latina millionaires community is essentially going to be a resource for women of color.

Speaker 2:

So there's a lot of things that I'm working and developing on that part.

Speaker 1:

If people want to reach out to you, like, where can they reach you or work with you?

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, you can reach me on Instagram on the business side, it's DFW Longhorn Contractors or on LinkedIn at Monica Bayesa.

Speaker 1:

And I'll make sure to have that all linked in the show notes and everything. But other than that, any final thoughts.

Speaker 2:

You know, go after your goals and dreams and sometimes you know a lot of times we want to, we have like these big goals and dreams, but sometimes just take baby steps, work on those goals and dreams every day, just take small actions. And those small actions they build, they build up to something bigger, to the big vision, to the big company that you want to have. And, you know, have your depression episode, cry your eyes out.

Speaker 2:

You know, but after you're done doing all of that, get back up. You know, stay down and just continue to move forward. Be yourself, be authentic, show up in the places that were not created for us and create a table for yourself you know, and just go for it.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Well, thank you again for coming on here and sharing your story, your journey, and you know mindset tips and your journey through being an entrepreneur and you know having your business and showing like, being transparent about it, because I think that's what we need often times, because you see, like on social media, whatever, everybody's succeeding or whatever, but they don't see that struggle which is part of the process. And to show that and to tell them like, hey, it's okay, it's going to happen, it's all that you have to pick yourself back up and build that resilience and continue, you know, moving forward and not letting that failure because it's going to happen At some point, no, either at the beginning or in the middle or at the end, towards the. You know, the key thing is just to push forward. And so thank you for coming on here, but other than that, I will see everyone in the next episode. Bye, thank you so much.

Latina Real Estate Developer's Inspiring Journey
Business Growth and Challenges
Overcoming Obstacles and Pursuing Dreams