How I Accidentally Became an Entrepreneur*

Hey all! I’m Mara, and I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a deep love for love and purpose-fueled businesses. I have a Bachelor’s in Industrial Design, a Master’s in Psychopedagogy and I’m also a Master student at the Karls! I’m a firm believer in the amazing IMPACT that passionate people can make in the world. I’m going to take you on a trip today on how I accidentally fell into entrepreneurship and the passion and purpose that has sparked in my soul.

Trampled by too many colors, ideas, and dreams.

This image is me. This depicts EXACTLY how I felt stuck in my 9am to 6pm job, fresh out of college. Stuck, overwhelmed and trampled on my different colors and shapes. Also, I say 6 extremely generously. Many times, I was heading out of the office at 7, 8 or even 9pm.

I started working in branding and package design for a small candy distribution company. I created new product brands and got to be involved in the process from phase zero. My hand-made designs were in all national chains and I was seeing my products being distributed internationally, cool right? On paper, my job was awesome! I loved what I did so much and was surrounded by candy 100% of the time, but the environment around me was toxic. A male-dominated company with very little respect to the (very) few women that worked there.

It took me a small amount of time to figure out that a schedule and workplace like that had no place in my long-term plans. I was overwhelmed, undermotivated, over-pressured.

To escape the craziness that I was feeling, I started focusing on growing my skills in calligraphy. This opened all the doors for me (as you’ll see as you keep reading). This desire in me to practice grew so rapidly that I desperately needed more time to do this that was bringing my soul so much joy.

I embraced the millennial in me and quit. Just like that. Doodle Mara, my first entrepreneurial endeavor was born.

I created a website and away I went! Within Doodle Mara, I started creating courses and trainings to help other amazing women in their 9-5 to thrive in their day-to-day through creative living. I was hired by amazing brands like Dior and El Palacio de Hierro to do live events with them. I was loving my entrepreneurial journey.

Highlight of a collaboration with Dior for a live-engraving calligraphy event.

How Tech Revolutionized my World

The growth in Doodle Mara was amazing! But alas, the overwhelm returned because the admin work that made my business stand strong was getting to be too much. This led me to look for solutions so that I could automate the tasks that I had to do repeatedly. I started getting involved with software and oh, the love story that has been!

Discovering this whole new world of tech and the possibility of automation: Blew. My. Mind!

I got the opportunity to meet wonderful business owners because of where I was hanging out online and, kind of organically, I started to become obsessed with the back-end of small businesses:

  • The strategy behind a brand
  • The psychology of websites
  • The client journey

And above all

  • The magic behind automation and tech – the IMPACT that a small business can make just by having clear workflows and strategies. It’s amazing!

I quickly realized that building relationships with other businesses is where my passion lies. My husband and I founded Purpose Sprout where we work closely with family-centered small businesses to build their online presence and to help them “wow” THEIR clients through a fun and meaningful experience.

Our loving joint-business venture.

In Purpose Sprout, we create on-purpose Branding and Web Design. We also design our clients’ awesome digital resources that will help them connect and provide value to their clients.

We are all heart and all joy! We are on a loving mission to help build businesses that believe in the power of family and love. I deeply believe that that’s the way to truly change the world.

Why your “Why” Matters

When you ask people that are starting a business WHY they are starting that business, they will almost always answer: Because I want to make more money by selling “x” and “y”. For me, that’s the perfect way to earn a little cash and then slowly disappear into oblivion.

Do you know your zone of genius? This is mine. Making something with my hands makes my heart flutter.

When your WHY is the money, then you will most definitely make some. But… That’s it.

Your WHY has to be the ultimate reason. What impact do you want to create? How many lives do you want to change for the better? Every project that I have from now on will always have that bigger purpose: touching the hearts of families everywhere and help them reach THEIR bigger purpose. I want to encourage people to create, to build, to love to thrive!

I always say I’m a collector of languages and smiles. I guess this coheres in a beautiful level. Being able to connect with a great deal of people means I get to help make more smiles as I go along. This wraps up how I accidentally fell into entrepreneurship, and I am, by all means, ready to continue this creative journey.

Article by Mara Alcocer Duran *MAD – Management (M.A.), 1st Semester

*Karlshochschule is an educational institution and a non-profit organization as well. We want to encourage individuals and young people to take responsibility, find their own voice and initiate change in a sustainable and tolerant way. Listening to different opinions not only promotes different perspectives, but also discourse. The content of this blog is characterized by the diverse experience and opinions of the authors, which may not be the majority opinion of the university, but provokes reflection and discussion.

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