Irma Miriam Penunuri
Founder of Burgerrock Media, On the Edge, Showroom and Jypsy Life
Tell us about your career and how it all started?
I know that we are on the “you don't need education to be an entrepreneur" trend, but honestly, I believe everything that I have, started with my education. Despite me working in the world of entertainment, social media, fashion, and PR, I honestly think that having the experiences and degrees of my past are at the root of how I got to where I am today. I have a bachelor's in political science, a Masters in management, and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership which all have not only opened doors, but kept them open for my work. I remember establishing in my teens that my 20s were to finish as much education, credentials and degrees as possible and in my 30's I would take everything on. This is exactly what I have been doing. My resume is "poppin" as they say, and it is pretty hard for me to be overlooked with all of this in my background. If anyone is reading this, trust me ,education and having degrees will never go out of style. Yes, you can start a business without it and become successful but if you have the opportunity to learn and have something to show for it, you can definitely use it to your advantage.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood to me means, sticking together. In my eyes it does not just mean women sticking together but a community of everyone understand and empowering women. Acknowledging that being a woman does carry stereotypes and that we are not accepted or respected in many places. I can not count the times that I have felt if I were a man, life would be easier but I have to work twice as hard to be respected or notices. Sisterhood also means accepting vulnerability and unity as power with peers. It seems that the stronger or more successful I become the less weakness I can disclose and why is that? Sisterhood means a safe place for women to share common ground without judgment and lift each other up as to feel every time one of us makes a move, it is a move for the rest of us.
What's your personal mantra?
Some of the quotes or thoughts I live by are:
“the difference between me and them is that I will never give up.”
“ discipline over motivation”
“perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
What is your superpower?
I am very rarely embarrassed. Everyone who knows me will always say “Irma you really don’t care what anyone thinks” and this is very true. I know people have opinions and it is human nature to have a reaction to public failure, yet non of this truly bothers me. While someone is focusing on what others think, another could have already made a fool of themselves twice and are no thriving on their third try. Who cares how people feel about what your'e doing as long as it's right and has purpose.
Tell us about women that inspired you and your female role models:
Of course my mother, grandmother and sister, but right now I want to mention one of my best friends Jennifer Beccera. Since highschool she had a dream, and back then most of us never grasped her achieving it. Now she is at the top of her field in charge of one of the biggest PR agencies. She never cared about what anyone thought and even when life got tough for her, she worked triple compared to everyone else. She deserves her success and did everything possible to be where she is today.
What would be your advice for women who are building careers in your industry?
Be resilient and savage. Yep I said it, “savage.” If I look back on my life and had to do it over, I would be even more “savage.” As women, we find it fit to let ourselves be contained by what others think, and forget we have the power to change their minds. When I say “savage” I don’t mean be unethical or step over people to get things done, but do not be afraid to keep pushing. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there because for every 5 situations that don’t work out or go negatively, ONE will work. I also would stress learning self discipline, and letting go of motivation as a reason to do anything. I cringe when I hear people give excuses to not do things, or take advantage of opportunities. Winners wake up earlier than everyone else, they go to bed later. Winners do more than the regular person, remember that. So try to reflect or think of what do you focus on that is not productive and get ride of it.
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