What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
If you look at some definitions of entrepreneur you’ll find they say that you need to be willing to put EVERYTHING ON THE LINE FOR THE PASSION AND LOVE of seeing your enterprise grow... and sometimes live with several failures. I believe you need to be passionate about what you believe in and work hard to get it.
What did inspire you to start your business?
The VidaySalud.com website was born of the need to provide accurate, scientifically-based information for a community that didn’t have it. There are many excellent websites in English where people can get health information when they need it. VidaySalud.com is not only in Spanish but it provides the information in a culturally sensitive way to a community that often doesn’t have access to health services. Or that, because of language barriers, has difficulty communicating with its healthcare providers. This website will not replace their physicians but will help answer some of their questions or help them know what questions to ask when they go to see their doctors next time.
How did you finance it?
This is a venture that my husband and I believe in and we’ve capitalized it ourselves.
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Of course! This is a business by Hispanics for Hispanics.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I’ve always been an optimist. When I chose to go to medical school in Mexico City, where I was born, women didn’t go to medical school. Everyone, including my parents, discouraged me from going, because they wanted me to have a career and they thought I wouldn’t finish. And, even if I finished, that it would be very hard to be able to combine a family life with a professional life. Needless to say they were very supportive once I decided to start and very proud when I finished. You can see the glass half full or half empty. You can fight for what you believe in or give up. If you have a passion and love what you do and work hard for it, I believe the rest will follow. Especially with something like this that I believe will help so many people.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
It is brand new, we just announced it. The biggest challenge so far has been that when we originally planned our project and started structuring it and building the website the economy was not in as bad shape as it is today and we are the sole investors. This is the biggest challenge. But it has been received with lots of enthusiasm by potential sponsors so we’re very excited and hopeful.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Maybe starting a year earlier.
What was your childhood ambition?
Doing something creative that would help people and would change the world. I’m happy to say that medicine has allowed me to do that.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet . They have not only been successful entrepreneurs but they’ve given back to society.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I’ve been working very long hours in my profession. This has made me spend less time with my family, my friends and have less personal time. At least the good news about the website is that it is a venture with my husband.
What is your favorite quote?
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Sometimes. But if I were different I wouldn’t be me.
Biggest mistake made?
There are things I might have done differently, but I’m not sure that I would necessarily call them a mistake. They may have turned out better…or worse.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. I believe that I’ve been an innovator in the way I’ve been bringing public health information to the Latino community through my media career and the culmination of this innovation is in my website.
About the Company
VidaySalud.com™, which launched on June 1, 2009, is published by Cultural Asset Management Inc. of Santa Monica, California. Its mission is to be the most widely recognized and trusted provider of Spanish-language health information, across all media.
VidaySalud.com™ is edited by Univision, People en Español, Ser Padres and impreMedia health expert Aliza Lifshitz, M.D., better known to the Latino community as la Doctora Aliza.
“No one is more trusted on health by the Latino community than la Doctora Aliza,” according to Carl Kravetz, the site’s publisher and a 25-year veteran of Hispanic advertising and Past Chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. “With her as Editor in Chief and with science-based content delivered in the warm, caring style she is known for, VidaySalud.com™ is unmatched in credibility.”
The VidaySalud.com™ hub is the largest permanent source of health information and wellness tools in Spanish on the web. It includes “Health A to Z,” the Harvard Medical School’s searchable database of symptoms, diseases and treatments, as well as original health content, updated daily and created especially with the U.S. Hispanic community in mind. Eleven bi-weekly email newsletters on a variety of health topics are available through free registration. Interactive health tools will be added as they are developed with sponsor support.
VidaySalud.com™ is a tangible expression of Dr. Lifshitz’s commitment to public health. Its content is designed to enhance the relationships between Latino patients and their physicians by giving Hispanics the information, tools and skills they need to better communicate with their doctors, to ensure better compliance with physician instructions and to deliver better health outcomes.
VidaySalud.com™ is working closely with the Doctora Aliza Foundation, whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic health professionals being educated in the United States through medical and nursing school scholarships and outreach to High School guidance counselors.