Most people starting their own business are met with plenty of adversity, and Zumba co-founder Alberto “Beto” Perez is no exception. We talked to him about how you can overcome these challenges and what he’s doing to empower other members of the Latin community to follow in his footsteps.
What advice would you give to someone struggling to start a business?
It may sound cliche but my best advice is to never give up. You are going to struggle, you are going to hit roadblocks and have challenges. But this will make the wins and success even sweeter, and it also makes you stronger.
How would you encourage someone to follow their passion if they are struggling financially?
When we were creating Zumba, social media was just starting and resources on the internet were limited. Now, people have the entire world at their fingertips, usually for free.
Read as much as you can and watch interviews with people who have inspired you. Leverage social media to connect with people and network as much as you can. You can take it one step further and enroll in online courses, but those will likely come at a cost.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to always take the meeting. As you start your career, and even once you start to find success, a lot of people will want to talk to you. You never know where one of those meetings can lead. If I never said “yes” to meeting with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, the other co-founders of Zumba, the company would be in a much different place!
How has your success inspired you to help others in the Latin community succeed?
I am so proud to be part of the Latin community and to have built a brand that celebrates our Latin heritage. It amazes me every day that I know I have been a factor in bringing our culture to different parts of the world, so others can see and feel what makes us so special.
How has the Latin community helped to positively impact your life?
The support I have received from the Latin community is what pushes and inspires me to keep working hard at sharing my gift with the world. Zumba changes lives and I could not have had this impact without the support of the Latin community.