Having established her first own restaurant successfully at the age of 19, Milka Romero is a perseverant business woman who’s raised in the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship by her likewise business woman mother. After facing struggles and wrestling with her own doubts, she emerged victorious and brought with her the lessons she learned along the way. With a chain of food outlets already under her belt, the fresh-faced restaurateur is consistently and eagerly on the hunt for her next culinary venture. MEGA and Converse chatted with this girl boss who shared some words of encouragement to girls who want to be their own boss.
How do you redefine being a girl or woman in this day and age?
“My definition of being a girl in this day and age is someone who’s very confident on what they are doing. They own their passion. Even if they are not sure, they just go headstrong and fulfill their passion. I’m in the restaurant industry and there is a lot of competition there. Although it is more focused on cooking, it’s actually a male-oriented business. So [I prove to] myself that I can do it ‘cause at the end of the day, customers only see the product. They don’t see if it’s [made by] a girl or a guy, so the standards are really based on how well you brand it, how well you market it, and build your brand. It’s really about focusing on what you love and looking at the results, and not looking at what can stop you as a girl, ‘cause if you believe in it, you can do it.”
What is your experience in breaking through your own walls to come out strong and be one-of-a-kind in your field?
“I’ve been in the industry for four years. Starting out, it was really [me] against myself. It was myself stopping my own ideas and it all stemmed out from, ‘Can I do this? Will people like it? Will people like me and what I put out there?’ It’s all about knowing what you are doing and you can’t just fake it–you have to research, you have to be dedicated, and you have to be obsessed with your passion. From there you can build your confidence more and break through that wall, break through that obstacle of yourself, and just continue being you.”
How did this help you reach where you are now?
“It’s always striving to improve, striving to be better. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied where I’m at because as an entrepreneur, you always want to give and make more. So the end goal is not like, ‘Okay I’m there.’ The end goal is, ‘Okay, what can I do more?’”
In your own words, what makes you bold and unafraid to go beyond your limits?
“I think the fear will always be there. What’s important is you not zoning in to that fear but looking at the light, looking at all the people that support you and love you, and not just focusing on that fear alone. Once you are able to realize that you have some weaknesses [and] insecurities, you should overcome that through looking at your other strengths. Then, you’ll be able to overcome [them] and really shine out. It’s really sticking to your gut ‘cause everybody could say so many comments about you. Everyone’s a critic. You can’t please everyone, but in the end you can only say what do you like to do, what you are passionate about and just take everything with a grain of salt.”
What tips do you have to empower women to break through their own personal hindrances and seek out greatness?
“I think what’s really important is knowing yourself, knowing your core, knowing what you’re good at, and also accepting what you’re not good at. Moving forward, you should really be prepared how to face the world based on what you have: your strengths and your weaknesses. You have to be realistic with yourself and be honest. Being honest with yourself is what happens when you accept yourself. And I encourage women to accept what you have, accept your beauty, and accept your weaknesses, and you can build confidence from that. With regards to business, it’s really about being addicted to your brand, being passionate about what you’re doing, and at the same time doing your research, that’s really important–knowing what’s out there. You really need to understand your market, your strengths, your weaknesses, both in your brand and in yourself.”
Fill in the blank: this 2019, I’d like to see more girls ______
“This 2019, I’d like to see girls be boss babes and own it.”