Nine years ago, Stacy Jurado-Miller started and built a business with her husband called the Vecino Group, which became a $100 million real estate company devoted to building a better world, one community and one development at a time. She did this with no experience or interest in real estate development, but with a belief that if you develop a business with the goal of building a better world, that business will be successful. Stacy says that the traditional model of business for profit was developed by men. This male-driven capitalism model has brought us to where we are today. Stacy calls herself a passionate communicator and says, “The thing I’m most passionate about at this moment in time is the untapped power of using business to build a better world.” In fact, she says any business can be redefined as a tool for a mission-driven business and the pandemic right now presents a huge opportunity for change.
Gender Equity and Redefining Leadership
Stacy says the question for women is do we want to change the world by continuing to work our jobs within the traditional male-driven companies or is it quicker to develop our own system and create a new path for change? Feeling frustrated in her traditional company, Stacy’s passion for nearly four years has been the lack of gender equity and how traditional business defines leadership. Male-driven business values assertive competitive risk-takers as the natural best leaders. Whereas Stacy thinks it’s very contrary to that and says, “I think if you’re a good listener, if you’re empathetic, if you can identify what people are saying and what they’re needing, and play to that, that’s true leadership.” So in January, she took a leap of faith and quit her job, even though she says she is as proud of that company as she is her children.
Work That Doesn’t Feel Like Work
Then in March COVID-19 hit along with stay-at-home orders, homeschooling and all the rest. But like a lot of us, Stacy has had time to think. And one of the things she is thinking is that if you turn your passion into your business, you can’t help but succeed. She says that when you pursue something that creates fire in your belly, you will do it every day. Work doesn’t feel like work. And barriers get dissolved.
Barriers that Stop Women Starting Their Own Companies
Stacy says that women face two sets of barriers. Our internal barriers are confidence and insecurity, and that women feel they need to have everything figured out before we will do something. Of the external barriers, Stacy thinks funding is the biggest hurdle. Women founders have trouble raising capital because of the traditional ways success and leadership are defined by men. She says that if the potential looks different, investors see it as too risky. In fact, Stacy sees it as less risky and a more solid investment.
Stay-tuned to find out where Stacy’s vision will take her next. In quitting her position at the company she helped found and grow, she realized that she could do it all again with another business. One that truly ignites her fire in her own belly in ways that feel like personal activism for female equity.
Listen to this interview for more of Stacy’s personal story and how she and Dr. Nancy believe women will change our traditions and redefine business to build a better world.