Meet Cano Collaborations-Digital Solutions founder Kristen Cano, who manages your social media, builds impressive sales funnels and helps with your business mindset all at the same time. We get aquatinted with the coffee loving entrepreneur, who recalls how her journey selling sex toy led her to skill up by studying countless marketing courses which enabled her to launch her first online business.
Hey Kristen, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hey there! I am Kristen Cano owner/founder of Cano Collaborations-Digital Solutions. a wife, boy mom, digital solutions rockstar, virtual assistant, mindset/accountability coach, diehard Sons of Anarchy fan, addicted to office supplies and sarcasm. Overall badass. I believe that all problems have solutions and I love the challenge of finding those solutions. I like to keep things real. I am a hot mess sometimes as we all are. Things I hate the word “moist”, copycats and pictures on social media of someone looking out into the distance pondering life.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I’d have to say the start of my journey would be the day I decided to sell sex toys. Crazy, Iknow right?!?! I wanted to make some extra cash on the side to ease the budget a bit… so I joined a direct sales company. The company was great and I learned so much about myself. Growing up I always knew I wanted to have my own business but never could put my finger on what that biz would be.
My DS biz was a giant step in the right direction of owning something of my own. I did many in-home parties which were a blast… but it took me away from my family too much. Instead of quitting I thought why not try to build my DS biz online? I’d be able to work from home and I saw other ladies posting about their products constantly on social media so it much work right? Easy peasy? Well… not so fast. I tried that technique and got zero results.
I am not one to give up or quit. All problems have solutions right? Well, my problem was zero sales. My solution was to skill up. I took every online marketing course I could find. I downloaded every freebie and devoured all things online marketing. In the process, I absolutely fell in love with it. I no longer wanted to just sell products… I wanted to build my own biz offer digital marketing services to others. So… my virtual assistant biz was born. And that has morphed countless times. Through each client I have helped, I have learned more about what lights my soul on fire and where I see my biz going.
What is a day in the life of you like?
Mornings are the most chaotic so I try to give myself an hour of my time. I am up around 5am for the gym, read for 20 minutes (mindset book) and write in my gratitude journal. Get 3 boys(10, 7 and 5 years old)) up and ready around 6:30 am. Then I am off to my 9-5 job. After that I pick up kids and do the mom thing (dinner, homework, baths, etc) then I am in my office for 2-3 hours doing client work and building my biz. I try to shut down by 9ish so my husband and I can have some time together (just depends on projects that I have in the works). Every day has its own twists and turns but they are all jam-packed.
How are you helping your clients to focus on the optimisation aspects and grow of their business?
I help them find solutions to the problems in their business. It is always one of two things either they need to streamline and automate their systems (client onboarding, etc) or they need help with their mindset. I 100% believe that having a positive mindset is key to success. If you tell yourself you can’t do something… then you won’t. You have to put out positivity into the Universe. I also take care of things “behind the scenes” to free up business owners so they can focus more on their zone of genius. You can check out all my services here.
Could you give 3 kickass tips for us entrepreneurs looking to keep our businesses running and profitable?
- Hire a VA and learn to delegate as soon as you can.
- Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest. Trust me on this one. You will thank me for it later. All problems have solutions even if it isn’t right in front of your face. Never give up keep looking for the solution. You will find it, I promise.
- Always over deliver in all things.
Who does the team involve behind you at Cano Collaborations?
No team. Just me (for now at least). I am looking to build my team in the very near future though.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I see myself solely running my biz. I see my blog exploding. I see myself having the best selling book and touring the country promoting it. I see myself helping women all over find solutions to getting their biz off of the ground, to scaling their biz, to setting a goal and reaching it, to juggling being a mom and running a biz.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of Cano Collaborations?
Continually build solid relationships and friendships with people in the online space. I don’t just want to solve problems. I want to make lasting connections. Take my own advice and hire a team/ VA.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Consistency in all things. All things being self-care, showing up for myself and for my business. I battle with depression and anxiety and when those rear their ugly heads… I tend to retreat into myself. I tend to make myself small and avoid others. I hide in my blanket fort for days. But I also know this about myself. So I push myself even harder when I feel that starting to happen. Consistency really is the secret ingredient. You can’t go to the gym for 2 days and expect to lift those super heavyweights. You have to train. You to show up every day and keep working at it.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Gary and Crystal Miller, Samantha Parker and my Mom. Each mentor has helped me at different stages and helped in different ways. Having a mentor helps you navigate the chaos. It gives you someone to shine a light on the dark areas. Someone to help you solve the puzzle. Someone to bounce ideas off of and offer support and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on. Or just lend an ear when you need to vent.
What outlets do use to market Cano Collaborations?
Facebook and Instagram mostly. Recently started using Pinterest. Facebook is a great place to create a group. A place where your tribe can come together and really connect. Instagram is great for lead generation. There really is a science behind all things social media and I find it fascinating how each platform is so different.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
My support network has come from connecting with people in the online space who are doing the same thing I am. They are builders and know what it is like to have a dream and passion and be so determined to make things work.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur?
That being an entrepreneur is an easy way to get rich and that you will have unlimited freedom. Being an entrepreneur is hard work. It is not for the faint of heart. There will be blood, sweat, and tears literally. Sacrifices will be made. As far as having freedom… it is true that you are your own boss but you are responsible for making your business profitable. To me, that is the ultimate responsibility and the farthest thing from freedom.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I would love to see college more accessible to millennials. It seems like a degree is almost a job requirement these days and yet it can be crushingly expensive.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Do what lights your soul on fire. If you are spending your time building something that you don’t love, then what is the point?
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
You have to believe. You have to believe in yourself. You have taken that jump and trust that it will all work out. Don’t be scared. The best things in life are on the other side of your fear.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Is there such a thing? I mean seriously does that exist? I feel like chasing the perfect balance can drive someone crazy. I do believe in quality over quantity. When I am in work mode then I all in and only focused on work. And on the other side of that… when I am in mom mode, I am all in with my kids. Put the phone and computer away. Be in the moment.
The highlight of your career so far?
The first time I was asked to be on a podcast. It blew my mind that someone truly wanted
to hear what I had to say about things. Sharing my opinion with the world is a newer thing for me. I used to be so scared of what others would think so I played small.I kept myself small and kept my opinions to myself for fear of judgment and rejection.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
When I see clients either have a breakthrough/lightbulb moment or when they get their first big result. When someone says that they really needed to read something I have written. That they were inspired by it to take action.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Cano Collaborations?
2. Imposter Syndrome
3. Time management
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Samantha Parker, Kathy Rasmusson, Rachel Hollis. These women are truly blazing a trail for other female entrepreneurs. They are badasses and motivate the hell out of me to be better. To do better. They remind me that I have a responsibility to help others where I can.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘Girl Wash Your Face’ and ‘You Are A Badass At Making Money!’
Top 5 Podcast playlist?
- We Are Badassery
- Rise: Rachel Hollis
- Boss Moms
- Gary Vee
- Lewis Howes
How do you measure your own terms of success?
Success to me means being able to say ‘yes’ more. Yes to my kids, yes to myself, yes to time with my family, yes to vacations, yes to a shopping spree. Yes to the fun.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Don’t be a copycat, don’t be fake. Be genuine and authentic and don’t give a fuck about what others think of you. You can only control what you do. #youdoyou
Lastly, what is next for Cano Collaborations?
Next for Cano Collaborations is world domination. No, just kidding. Up next is staying the line. Keeping in the same direction with consistency and with more focus on my blog. I never saw myself as a blogger but there is something amazing that happens when I sit down to write.
The words just pour out. I love when someone tells me how much they related to something I’ve written or how much it motivated or helped them. It is what makes all the struggles and chaos worth it. Bottom line, helping others, solving problems and kicking ass!