Within minutes of meeting Angel, I could sense her drive to empower other female leaders and passion for giving back to the community. Bonding over having learned early on how a lack of encouraging mentorship and personal obstacles can derail many from pursuing a career path, it’s a good reminder that our goals do not have an expiration date. With a look at Angel’s journey, we hope to inspire many to continue pursuing their dreams and passions, regardless of how many detours we may encounter.
Who is Angel Guerra Chagolla – Beauty & Beast in Business?
In a world in which women strive for success and equality, it is easy to inhale the words others use to describe us. If not careful, they flood our lungs and our heart with smoke so thick it can smother. When we push too hard, if we speak too loud or we stand out in what others feel is discord, we can be called a “beast.” When we walk through the door in heels, keep our lipstick applied or simply smile as we speak… well let’s say we can be considered “just another pretty face.” Throughout my life and career, I’ve experienced both sides as I gave 200% while earning my degrees and climbing the corporate ladder. As I learned to be less of what others expected or wanted and more of who I really was, I found my balance. Understanding how to communicate ideas, how interactions change depending on the situation and how it is important to ascertain each individual’s perception of me. One day, as I was working 50 hours a week, completing my Master’s Degree and raising a family, I had contemplated what I heard others saying about my larger than life personality, my nose to the grindstone work ethic and my transparent business practices. I looked into the mirror and thought: “I am not a Beast for taking my career to the next level. My best outfits and love of makeup do not negate my intelligence and tenacity, I AM a Beauty & Beast in Business.”
What was the inspiration for Beauty & Beast in Business (B&BB)?
It was understanding that we need both our kindness and empathy as well as our inner warriors to persevere and succeed in business. When we lean too much towards one side or another for too long, we tip into seasons of depression or exhaustion. Trying to hide our gentleness or fierceness means we are hiding who we really are. Through my career, I’ve learned that we will not always balance 50/50 and that is ok, but learning to know when to use patience vs aggression or when to use our risk taking abilities vs risk aversion will yield great results. We are all a Beauty & Beast in Business and should be proud of it.
What have been some of your fondest memories and victories?
My fondest memories always include the beautiful people I have met throughout the last 12 years. The women who have attended my events, the laughs we have shared over a glass of wine, the knowledge that speakers have given which I take into my mind and heart. My fondest victories of course are my children, but outside of motherhood, earning a Master’s degree and jumping into new adventures over the last 3 years. Doing things that are scary as hell, but that I have learned from such as starting a business, public speaking, and a weekly show.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
One of my biggest challenges was overcoming my fears and self-doubt. Understanding that everyone has something to say about who we are, what we do or what we do not do, BUT recognizing that if we have a passion and do things with a true heart, we are on the right path.
How have you overcome doubt and persevered?
I always talk about a teacher that once told me I would never be anything more than a product of my environment. Knowing that I came from a single parent low income home and grew up in an area that was of humble means, it weighed on me. Even though I was a good student and wanted to impact the world, I graduated 3 months pregnant from High School and only completed one quarter of college. I raised two very sick children as a single mother for 5 years, when I decided to go back to college after having been laid off from my job. I’ve overcome naysayers all my life. People who told me that I reached too high or that I should be happy where I was.
What advice would you give to those starting their professional journey?
Whether they get education in a college, through certificate courses for an industry or by self-development and reading books, it is important to continue to grow. No one can take your education from you, and it can open doors that would otherwise be closed. Learn to network and create relationships with others within and outside of your industry. Do everything with transparency, hard work and kindness. It will build our ethics, your reputation, and your career.
I see you’re passionate about giving back to the community. What have you learned from organizing donations to schools for 15 years?
Philanthropy is my passion for sure! I came from humble beginnings and being a single mom for 5 years, I was also a mom who was thankful for the Christmas gifts given to my children by their preschool or toys from the Fire Department. I have always given to others even when I had little, my grandmother raised me saying “If you have enough food to feed 2 then you have enough for 3, if you have enough for 3 then you have for 4.” That has been instilled in my heart. I started out taking $10 per paycheck to buy shoes and toys on clearance then holding them until Christmas. As my career evolved, I increased my purchasing. Coworkers started to ask if they could get involved, so I began Operation Christmas Angels. It grew each year and I added Back To School. Over 15 years, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to give to thousands of children newborn to 18. Organizing the donation program for Inland Empire children has taught me how to ask for what I wanted. It has taught me that people want to be involved and will help if we give them the opportunity. It has also taught me that we each have the ability to make a difference in our community which can change lives even if for one day. Kindness is like a rock tossed in a pond. It creates a ripple effect and will touch people beyond you.
What are you working on next?
I will be launching a new Digital Publication in January for businesswomen that includes articles on laws that affect women and minorities, health, empowerment, and marketing opportunities for business. The publication will be the same as my company name.
How can people connect with you?
- Website: beautyandbeastinbusiness.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angel-guerra-chagolla-ba-ma
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeautyAndBeastInBusiness
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandbeastinbusiness/
Thank you, Angel, for sharing your journey and letting us connect with Beauty & Beast in Business. It’s inspiring to see that events in our lives do not dictate the ultimate destination in our professional and personal journey. Just like in life, there is beauty and there is darkness, but we continue to be the hero in our story.