"Jefa in Training": The Game-Changing Guidebook

Ashley K Stoyanov Ojeda and her book "Jefa In Training"

The road to success for an entrepreneur is often a rollercoaster. Just getting started is often scary and daunting. As Latinas, many of us tend to inherit the "scarcity mentality" and our families and friends who often mean well, discourage us from setting off on a path different from their own. They say things like it's not dependable, or it's too hard, or what if we fail? Despite that, Latinas are now, more than ever, building successful businesses and have been leading the way for several years now.

And despite those great entrepreneurial numbers, we still lack mentors, resources, and role models.

Enter stage right: Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda authored "Jefa in Training," and the name suits her and this community perfectly. The spanglish guide is composed of intimate conversations with a wide range of Latinas and women of color to explore a world of entrepreneurship that will encourage you to chase that dream that you've obsessively been envisioning.

It also includes valuable tools and materials. Ojeda explains, "Whether a solopreneur or startup founder, this colorful compendium of lessons, interviews, and worksheets, is everything you need to take your side hustle to the next level, start working for yourself, and turn your ideas into something much bigger."

Luz talked with the business madrina on the eve of her book, which premiered on 2/22/22.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.

What inspired you to write "Jefa in Training?

I was inspired to write Jefa in Training because I recognized a lack of resources for entrepreneurs by people I had things in common with. I noticed this gap when I was first starting to navigate the world of entrepreneurship and once I started working closely with other Latinas in The Mujerista Network, I noticed that they felt the same way. I wanted to create a resource that we all felt we needed - an approachable yet efficient toolkit that included a variety of different perspectives and actionable steps. "Jefa in Training" became that and more.

What part of the book was the most fun to write, and what part was the most challenging?

I had a really great time writing most of the chapters! The one that gave me the most trouble was the finance chapter and truthfully, I would not have been able to do it without my fantastic collaborator Vanessa Duran, Founder/CEO of DCC Accounting. In that chapter, she shares her framework, the One-Page Financial Plan, and all of the things to consider while building it. It's one of the most important things for any entrepreneur to understand, and it also can be one of the most overwhelming parts of building any business. We put together this chapter in a way for it to be approachable with the hopes that it will help many!

What would you say to an entrepreneur who is thinking of getting the book; how will it help in their journey?

"Jefa in Training" will help them build the roadmap they need to launch their business. The book was written so that yes, you can read it front to back, complete all the worksheets and at the end have a business plan - however, if you already have an idea and have been in business for some time, at the end of the day it's a toolkit as well. That means that you don't actually have to read the whole book to benefit from it! If you think you need help developing your USP, there's a chapter and framework for that; if you need help developing your sales strategy, there's a chapter and framework for that as well. Not only will it help them take actionable steps because of the workbook format, but it also will provide inspiration as they read the tips and stories from other successful Latinas throughout the chapters.

What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work?

At some point in our lives, we all experience imposter syndrome and writing this book was actually the first time I experienced it first hand. It wasn't until I was writing the part about imposter syndrome that I realized why I was feeling this way.

"The reason that imposter syndrome exists is that more people like you aren't doing what they want to do. By doing what makes you afraid or anxious, you are breaking the cycle."

And just like that, I realized I needed to indeed break the cycle. I needed to write this book to inspire the next generation of Latinas to launch businesses and write books. I had to lead by example.

You're known as the business Madrina; how was the nickname born?

A longtime client of mine in the music industry once called me her fairy godmother, and at the time, I laughed it off. Once I started coaching more and more, I realized that she wasn't quite far off with that joke. My main goal is to not just coach entrepreneurs but to also help them get the resources they need (whether it be knowledge, network, funds, emotional support - whatever!). I never want to say "no, I can't help you" to someone. My vision is that I will indeed be able to go wave my magic wand and if I can't help them, connect them with someone who can.

Without giving too much away, please share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out for you?

In the "Lessons Learned" part of the book, Julissa Prado (Rizo's Curls), says, "Just because something hasn't been done before doesn't mean it's not possible. Don't be afraid to do things differently." That really stands out for me because so many of us grew up thinking that being "different" is bad - when in reality, I truly see that through our differences, we can find our strengths (hence the chapter "Ser Diferente Es Ser Fuerte").

In closing, is there anything you would like to say to the Luz audience reading this article?

By taking the step of starting your own business, you've also participated in bettering the entrepreneurial landscape for women like us—and that is how we create real change. And I would be honored to have "Jefa in Training" be the tool that helps you launch. And I'm always a DM away if you need me :) Gracias!

Don't walk; run to buy this book if you've been thinking of going solo or are on your way to start a business. It'll become another tool in your toolbox on your entrepreneurial journey. You can purchase the book at: https://www.ashleykstoyanov.com/jefa-in-training

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.