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  • Writer's pictureConectados NYC

Bli$$ful Vida - Erika Dox-Martinez

Where are you from?

I am a second-generation Nuyorican

How has your heritage/culture influenced your entrepreneurial journey and your business?

Growing up with parents who didn’t have much or manage money well caused me to follow the same footsteps. Like many of us, I inherited some of these financial challenges and found myself facing the same cycles of stress, frustration, and overwhelm. Their solution to me overcoming that and living a successful vida was to graduate college, get a “good job,” and make the “big bucks” as my dad would say. A lot of Latino households hold the same narrative for their kids, and off to college we go because we love our parents and want them to be proud of us. And proud they were because I made my way up to making six-figures, but I wasn’t feeling like a success. I was still feeling like a “poorican” (another thing my dad would say) because I didn’t know what to do with all that money. No one guided me within my family, and school for sure didn’t either, so there I was – not knowing where my money was going, how to get out of debt more effectively or how to make my money work for me. After some AHA moments, I took it upon myself to take control of my finances and achieve my version of financial bliss!

After that, I worked at my 9-5 for many years, all the while knowing that I was meant for more, but I felt the pressure to stay in corporate because that was “safe and secure, I should be grateful for my job, and people like us don’t start their own businesses anyway, right?” Even with those common sentiments, I felt called to be of service because I knew there were more Latinas out there who are struggling financially and are ready to take back control to have more to show for the “big bucks” they’re finally making! So, to embody our culture of love, pride and the strength to overcome obstacles, Bli$$ful Vida was born to empower more of us to transform our relationship with money by unlearning the money stories holding us back and learning the tools to thrive and live a more blissful life, which is the ultimate goal of our ancestors.

Why do you think it’s important to stay connected to your community, and what are ways that you do so as an entrepreneur?

Staying connected to my community is crucial because as Latinas and women, we face significant financial wealth and wage gaps, and I want to help close those gaps and have more of us to do better financially because we deserve it! As an entrepreneur, I engage with my community through coaching, workshops, networking, social media interactions, and volunteering. I also plan to collaborate more with local organizations, schools, non-profits and community centers to reach individuals where they are. These channels allow me to understand the evolving needs and challenges faced by our community and provide solutions to help with financial overwhelm, which ultimately affects other parts of our lives and keeps getting passed down through generations. Therefore, I encourage more of us to do the things they don’t want us to do, like learning how to manage our money better, talking more about money, asking for that raise, saving more money, healing our money trauma, starting that side hustle, becoming an investor, creating generational wealth, etc!

How do you believe promoting financial well-being and empowerment among Latinas contributes to the success of both individuals and the community as a whole?

Empowering Latinas, and those in underserved communities, to embody financial well-being will be transformative all around. The goal is for more of us to release the shame and guilt around money and to feel more confident in ourselves and in our ability to make our money work for us and build more wealth, which will trickle down to those around us and also generationally! As we normalize talking about money, learning more about money, and healing our money trauma, financial peace of mind will be a part of our community and our potential is limitless to:

  • Make more informed, conscious and intentional financial decisions

  • Believe in our ability to get out of debt and to build wealth

  • Work on closing the financial wealth and wage gaps

  • Create a generational cycle of financial bliss, empowerment and success

What advice would you offer to others within the Latino community, particularly in the areas of overcoming financial challenges or shifting their mindset around money?

My advice is to start with education and

the understanding that money is a tool that, when used wisely, can provide security, freedom, and opportunities. Lean into seeking knowledge, asking for help, and/or discussing finances openly. There are a lot of resources out there from books, blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, coaches, etc. So, find one that resonates with you and dive in and take action, but remember, mindset work is important too.

Some of us have underlying beliefs that hold us back from taking action or doing things we want to do, so it’s important to think about what negative thoughts you have surrounding money and think about how to reframe them into positive ones! For example, if I believed that I would be a “Poorican” my whole life, I would not have been able to achieve financial bliss because I would think I was not worthy because people like us don’t get rich - we stay poor and we struggle. I reframed that LIE to believe that: I am worthy and deserving of financial freedom and am well on my way to becoming wealthy all around as I am capable of learning how, and I want you to believe that too! I have a free workbook that helps uncover what money stories might be holding you back from financial bliss and ways to reframe them to create better financial habits:

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your business/industry?

Financial wellness is not a new topic, but my business distinguishes itself with a holistic approach to financial wellness, emphasizing not just the technical tools and strategies of money management like budgets and getting out of debt, but the importance of embodying an overall joyful and fulfilling life—true to its name, "Bli$$ful Vida." I want more of us to live in Bli$$ so our comprehensive strategy addresses the emotional, psychological, and practical aspects of financial health, as awareness, shifting negative beliefs to empowering ones and creating a more abundant mindset are at the forefront of our curriculum, before the numbers and budgets. Then our aim is to demystify financial concepts and tools to make them accessible and relevant to planning out the Blissful lives of more Latinas.

What would you tell someone that is interested in your business, but is hesitant to reach out/purchase?

I would tell them that they’re not alone. For most of us, it’s hard to ask for help or to invest in something like this, especially when there’s so much emotion around money and finances or maybe the thought pops up that you can use the money for something else, like making a paying to your debt instead. And that’s okay. I love that you’re being intentional and would love it if you dove into some of the financial nuggets available out there. But if something resonates here with you here or if you feel called to have some guidance and clarity on your financial journey, and if you feel that you’re ready to overcome your financial challenges, I’m here and available for a free consultation to see if we’re a good fit to work together. I’d say to consider trying something different – lets talk about money and the things holding you back and come up with a better plan juntos because you deserve a Bli$$ful Vida!


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