How Shila Became the First Female Entrepreneur in Her Family

Editor’s Note: Shila makes starting a business look easy. And the truth is, it is easy.

It’s running a business that can be extremely difficult. Shila’s story illustrates how the one step everyone thinks is the hardest is actually just a Craigslist ad away.


My whole life I was raised to believe that men had “the hustling gene” in them and women did not. All of the men in my family were hustlers and they all became entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, all of the women in my family had typical nine-to-five jobs. It was my mission in life to become an entrepreneur and prove to my family that women can also become entrepreneurs.

When I was 18 years old I went to college and earned my B.A. from California State University, Chico. Once I graduated I took a job at a Veterinary Hospital. This job was not my ideal job and it was nowhere near where I wanted to be once I graduated. However, the job market was scarce and I didn’t have very many options. After one year of working at the Veterinary Hospital I decided to resign and purse a career choice that I would find interesting.

I really enjoy working with children, so I became a substitute teacher. Substitute teaching was fun and I enjoyed being able to create my own schedule, but it definitely didn’t pay enough. I wanted to make extra money, so I looked into working for a tutoring company.

The tutoring companies were making a fortune, but they were paying the tutors a fraction of their earnings. I tried it out for a few months but I was not okay with making crumbs while the owners of the company were making a fortune off my hard work.

One day I woke up and a light bulb went off in my head. I was going to start my own tutoring company. As a substitute teacher, I saw how many students were struggling and needed help in order to succeed in school. The first thing that needed to be done was marketing. I went on Craigslist and advertised my tutoring services. Within a few hours of my post, I was already receiving phone calls from parents saying their children were in need of help and needed a tutor immediately.

I started tutoring students the very same day. I got off work at 4pm and at 4:30pm I arrived at my first student’s home. From that moment on the word got out that I was a private tutor and the calls started rolling in. Monday through Friday I worked as a substitute teacher from 7:30am-4pm and tutored from 4:30pm-9:30pm.

Starting my own tutoring service was a huge accomplishment for me because I did it all on my own. I advertised, found students, and made money without the help of anyone. Motivation was the only thing that kept me going. I was exhausted the first few weeks of working 14 hour days, but I was relentless. I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything get in my way of successfully becoming an entrepreneur, not even lack of energy.

My motto to becoming a successful entrepreneur is “less thinking, more doing.” There are many people in the world who have thought of or have attempted starting up a business but got caught up in the details. They start thinking of the time and money that is required to start a business. Sometimes thinking will boggle a person’s mind and have them feeling like starting a business is too much to handle.

However, in reality, anyone can start a business as long as they have tunnel vision. They know what they want and they don’t see anything else but their goal.

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