Mesa speaker series-calling all entrepreneurs

Lorenzo Sevilla offered useful entrepreneurial tips and resources with Mesa students and faculty about starting a business. Photo credit: Marvin Meyer

Ashley Romero, Staff Writer

Mesa College’s Business/Entrepreneurship Department and Work-Based Learning (WBL) hosted Lorenzo Sevilla on Nov. 3 as part of their Entrepreneur Speaker Series. The series hosts events where students and faculty can receive useful knowledge and tips about creating a successful company from small business owners. 

In this interview, Sevilla, founder, and CEO of Grateful Earth Coffee, offered his insight and experience in launching his own business. Launched three years ago, Grateful Earth is a superfood coffee with six brain-healthy adaptogens.  

With a passion for coffee, the idea made sense to Sevilla when he decided what kind of company to create. He worked for brain specialist Dr. Amen where he says he developed a passion for brain health. 

“Working for him, it gave me a passion for brain health, seeing people’s lives change through [it],” he explained, “So I just really wanted to put the 2 things together.”

Lorenzo attributed his English degree to leading him on a path to write in advertising which helped him create his own company. 

“Content is king, word is king,” he emphasized. “You can have excuse my language,  like a beautiful website but if the words aren’t right, if the words are crappy, you won’t sell a thing.”

Sevilla encouraged listeners to take the time to learn to write. He believes writing not only helps with advertising but also in communicating with a team or others. 

“True nature will determine, for me, whether or not entrepreneurship is right for you, and for anyone, and knowing your position, your role is probably the most important thing.” 

Sevilla referenced Michael Gerber’s book, “E-Myth” in saying starting a business requires three people: the entrepreneur, the artist, and the manager-and in the beginning, one person might have to take on the role of all of them.

One word described Sevilla’s reason for leaving the corporate world freedom.

“I was learning all these skills, working a corporate job, which was so important to learn on someone else’s dial,” Sevilla voiced. “Make all your mistakes there and then, when it’s your turn, lean on what you know.”

In today’s world of social media and influencers, Sevilla clarified the misconception of going viral and becoming successful from it. “​​Yes, you can create a viral Youtube video or organically grow on TikTok. Those are like hitting the lottery.” He explained the importance of challenges of expanding knowledge on online marketing, “just learning, really diving into the data, loving the data and like understanding it, I think it would probably be the biggest challenge.” This can help with building influencer relationships in order to increase marketing.

The pros outweigh the cons of working for himself. According to Sevilla, the skills and foundation one learns in building a business can open a door to an unlimited capacity of skill sets- learning trademark laws, networking, and algorithms- instead of focusing on a single task in a corporate job. Lorenzo called the belief that one works more when he or she is an entrepreneur a myth. Sevilla says he doesn’t work more and is done by 5 or 6 o’clock as opposed to those working 9-5, getting stuck in overtime he says. 

Lorenzo concluded with four key tips for succeeding in business. The first was faith. Whether it is with a higher power, the universe, oneself, or team have faith. He followed with resourcefulness,

 “​​You’ve got to know that you’re gonna figure it out whether it’s using the power of questions nowhere to research, having a team of people to lean on.” 

 The third, attitude of gratitude, Sevilla said, is managing emotions and understanding that failure can lead to growth and that these can be good problems to have. The final tip was being a leader and being the leader one wants others to be. 

Lorenzo Sevilla’s tips and knowledge on entrepreneurship offered in-depth insight into what students and faculty can expect in starting their own. Sevilla concluded by encouraging listeners to, “just focus on what works for you. What you decided works for you.”