Name: Rhonda Velez
Location: Gilroy CA
Education/Training: BA in Addiction Studies, Certification in Grief Counseling
In your current role, what does your day-to-day look like?
I’m an Executive Sales Consultant for an Insurance General Agency, I educate and teach brokers how to sell insurance products. I also help motivate and give business advice and help with goal setting to not only my brokers but co-workers.
What advice do you have for young women who are exploring careers in business/sales—what traits or skills are critical?
Always look at opportunities even those that aren’t your dream job, because you never know what you could learn from an opportunity that presents itself. I never thought I would be in insurance but my degree in counseling has helped me so much with my current role and with my podcast.
What has been your biggest career “hurdle” and what did you learn from it?
I got fired shortly after I lost a child in 2001, and it was one of the hardest things I ever endured. Looking back I am grateful for being let go because it opened doors to so many new opportunities. Sometimes life shuts a door and you need to be ok with that door being closed and new doors opening.
Tell me about why you decided to co-launch your podcast, 24 Carat Conversations?
We started this podcast because we wanted to have honest conversations with women. So often women are hesitant to share their struggles with others. If we can learn to be open with one another then we can relate to one another on a deeper level. We centered our podcast around a verse in the bible that I clung to after my daughter died, Job 23:10: For when he has tested me I will emerge as pure gold. In life we are always being refined, like gold in a fire when we are held there in the fire and we sustain what is created becomes beautiful.
What’s the most meaningful takeaway you’ve gained from a guest?
All our guests are incredible women, all with different backgrounds and education levels. Each guest has had a story and has been refined by life and exemplifies what it mean to be tested; beauty has been made from their stories
Do you have a mentor?
I have three mentors! Two business mentors and one spiritual mentor. Both my business mentors have different views they bring to business and I adore them both; they have helped me grow in my career. My spiritual mentor prays for me and helps me when I am feeling down or struggling in personal areas of my life. Each brings different perspectives and values to my life and I believe it is incredibly important to have mentors who will be honest with you and push you to be the best version of yourself.
Who do you look to for inspiration and support?
I have several people I glean from but my mom is my biggest inspiration and support. She always pushed me to go for things out of my comfort zone and is the first person I go to when I need any advice.
What does collaboration over competition mean to you?
Collaborating is something I am a huge proponent of, in business and especially sales. So often we have a scarcity mentality; we are scared to share ideas with others for fear someone will steal our ideas. I found that when you collaborate your circle of influence grows, so it is so important to know that there is enough space for all of us. We don’t need to hold on so tightly scared of what we could lose; when you get rid of that mentality you open yourself up for so much more.
Final words of wisdom to all the young women out there who are strategizing to reach their education and career goals?
Don’t be scared to try new things, don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t qualified, and do it scared. If fear starts to hold you back, speak to that fear by doing it scared. Some of my greatest accomplishments have come from doing it scared.
If you are open to connecting with our readers, how can they reach you?