Her Business Story: Mirela de Lacerda, Founder of Project M London

In today’s Her Business Story we meet female entrepreneur Mirela de Lacerda, founder of Project M London which she started in 2016.

Mirela tell a League of Her Own readers what Project M London is all about

Project M is an emotional branding consultancy aimed at fashion and beauty companies. Applying the concept of archetypes, the work is tailored to develop meaningful brands, with engaging motivation and clear mindset, translated in positioning, marketing & visual communication strategic plans and mentoring sessions that tackle the business core.

What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur?

When I started to be invited to give talks or to consult as a freelancer I realised that helping others put their ideas into action and seeing the results was deeply rewarding. It wasn’t something that I expected to become, I just knew that the kind of work I wanted to do wasn’t the traditional ‘9 to 5’ model and I would need to stand by myself and create opportunities – I guess this kind of defines an entrepreneur, right?

How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?

After I finished my MA at London College of Fashion, my initial idea was to work for some companies and eventually have my own. But when I was looking for jobs it became very frustrating to see that I’d need to go back to entry level positions even though I had 10+ years of experience just because I didn’t have experience in London. So, with a little push from a mentor from LCF, I launched Project M about 10 months after my graduation. Since my business proposition was something that I was doing already, what I really needed was the courage to put myself in the spotlight.

What has been your scariest moment as a female founder?

To start a business without contacts and network in a different country, being a foreigner and without English as my 1st language.

What has been your proudest moment?

When I approached a place and proposed to host my first talk there, and got a full house!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?

That nobody will help or support you unless you put yourself out there and believe in what you are doing.

What does success mean to you?

Emotional and material fulfillment in doing what you love.

Has a mistake ever led you to success?

Mistakes make you learn more about yourself, your journey and, mostly, what you need to overcome. I can’t think about one specific episode but the biggest lesson of a so-called mistake is always to change my perspective and persist.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?

If you believe in yourself, everybody else will.

What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do, so just do it!

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