We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Gutierrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalia, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Unfortunately, I have experienced burnout too many times because I pushed myself too hard at times when it came to my career; I prioritized my career over my health. But thankfully, this year I’ve had a lot of time to rest and reflect and realized I need to have better balance when it comes to my professional and personal life. I realized that when I neglect to take care of myself like getting adequate sleep, eating well and taking breaks it takes a toll on my physical, emotional and mental health. Surely this isn’t a surprise to many but for me I pushed it to the limits because I thought I could make up for it later or that another shot of espresso can take care of it but the reality is it only leads to getting sick and lost time and energy. Therefore, I now have an intentional goal journal where I outline and visualize my goals and action steps related to taking care of my wellbeing. I also create separate lists for things related to my personal life and have it hanging on my fridge where I can see it throughout the day to remind me of what to do for that day or week when it comes to my personal life. My plan is to do this until things like cooking meals regularly, unplugging and incorporating physical activity throughout the day become habits. But most importantly, I’ve now learned to listen to my body, process emotions and to not put so much pressure on myself.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I founded Visionary Catalyst to provide guidance and support to motivate others when it comes to their career development. The name stems from being a visual person, who once I see things or hear someone speak I begin to visualize ideas in my mind. And the catalyst part is related to seeing myself as a change agent, that spark, who is here to ignite and motivate you forward in your growth, whether you are just starting out or in the midst of it. I provide the guidance and support based off of my own lived experiences and learnings especially from my time in corporate America. As during that time I had to learn how to find my voice, incorporate my style into my work, and improve upon my areas of opportunity as I continued moving up the corporate ladder. Now, I’m on this entrepreneur journey and excited to connect and empower others while building out Visionary Catalyst. Although, I’m only getting started and it has been a very exciting journey thus far at the same time that self-doubt kicks in. Sigh. But what I have learned and remind myself is to not compare myself to others as we are all on our own journey. And as one of my favorite quotes says: “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oooh so many places to see and food to try in LA, ahhhh! But definitely one of my favorite things to do is the bike ride from Santa Monica to Venice with the sun glistening down on you. Then, stopping in Venice, to see all kinds of artists on the path. I would also suggest a concert at the Hollywood Bowl! Listening to some good music while outdoors and sipping on some wine and eating cheese or a tortilla espanola, magical. Last time I went there was in 2019 when I attended a Gypsy Kings concert and those who I went with brought red wine and a tortilla espanola and it was amazing! Now, for food, Mamita in Glendale to get your Peruvian fix! Some ceviche peruano or lomo saltado. Now if we are in the mood for Mexican, La Cabanita, also in Glendale is one of my favorites; enchiladas poblanas or de mole are my go-to there. Some of my other favorite eateries are Slurpin Ramen in K-town and Carnival Restaurant in Sherman Oaks. And for great coffee I like La Monarca Bakery’s Iced Oatchata latte and South LA Cafe for a nice hazelnut latte. Also, shout out to both of them for providing not only great coffee but also giving back to the community!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to all the entrepreneurs who I’ve encountered over this past year. Many of who I met thanks to the Los Angeles Urban League and Omni Works “Business Growth Accelerator” workshop earlier this year. Thank you all for providing feedback, support and seeing my potential. Shoutout to my first customers for believing in me, seeing my worth and seeing how I could guide and support them in their career journey. And a special shoutout to my middle school friend and founder of St. Cole, Nicole Hernandez. She saw in me the potential to be a business owner before anyone and told me repeatedly “Natalia, you need to start your own business.” She recognized the talent, knowledge and drive I had within me that at first I couldn’t even see. She has been such a positive motivating force throughout this journey! So happy we remained friends after all these years and now, look at us, entrepreneurs!