Nancy Arroyo Ruffin, The Latina Oprah

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Most of us typically click through Instagram stories barely paying much attention, right? Our generation has a rushed mindset to be up -to -date on social media, but as quickly as possible! As hustlers, we totally get it. But there is one instragram that stops us in our tracks and reminds us to slow down, take a breath and listen. 

Nancy Ruffin, better known as "The Latina Oprah" is an NYC influencer focusing on self help and women's empowerment. Everyday she posted videos that not only inspire her following, but encourage her community to find the beauty in their everyday. Here is her story:

As a little girl, what did you dream of becoming?

As a little girl I dreamt of becoming two things. I wanted to be a journalist and I also wanted to become the first female president. I had pretty ambitious dreams for a little girl. I guess from early on I knew I wanted to use my voice in some way to effect change. In hindsight, it’s no surprise that I’ve ended up doing what I’m doing. Clearly, it’s something that has always been within me.

Can you describe your "ah-ha" moment when you realized your life purpose?

My ah-ha moment came after the birth of my oldest daughter (I have two). Something strange happens after you have a child. It’s like you become more self-aware. I really started paying closer attention to the kind of person I was because children look to their parents and care takers for cues on how to act and exist in the world. I knew if I want my daughter to be kind, confident, strong, ambitious, compassionate, among other things then I would have to model that. I want her to be the kind of person who doesn’t view another woman as her competitor, but instead looks at her like a sister.

Competition makes people do ugly nasty things. But when you look at someone like family your natural instinct is to help them, support them, protect them. That was what ignited my desire to work with women.

That and the fact that at that particular point in my life I had so many women supporting and nurturing me. My journey to motherhood was difficult. It was a year of fertility testing, intrauterine inseminations, prayer, and a lot of difficult inner self work that I did through the help and support of a women’s group I had joined. It was through that support group that I was able to start believing in myself again and in my my dream of becoming a mother. Because to be honest, after many insemination cycles and a miscarriage I thought that becoming  mother wouldn’t happen for me. Those women and that entire experience taught me how powerful sisterhood could be.

You went from self-help to helping others. Can you describe the importance of this order?

Self-help and being healthy emotionally, mentally, and spiritually is so important because without it - you cannot effectively help others. There is no way you can guide someone through their own healing process if you have not healed yourself first. It is because I have done so much self help and personal development work that I can help other women. For example, you can’t teach someone how to read if you don’t know how to read. Teachers must first be students before they can teach others.

You work a lot with aspiring women entrepreneurs who are looking to grow both personally and professionally - why do you believe they go hand-in-hand?

Personal development is something I spend a lot of time on because without growing personally you will never grow professionally. Without personal development, there's no change, and if there's no change, there’s no progress. If a person’s personal life is in shambles there is no way they can ever be effective or successful in business. If we don’t take time to get our personal lives in order it will spill over into our professional lives. Until we take the time to work on ourselves and make the necessary changes we will continue to get what we’ve always gotten. If you want to get more, you have to be more and you can only be more if you’re consistently working on your personal growth.

As someone who always share advices, what's the best advice you've been given yourself?

The best advice I’ve been given is never be afraid to fail because there are important lessons that can only be learned through failure.

What's next for you, Nancy?

In the immediate future I have a couple of workshops planned, I’m writing my second self-help book, and working on expanding the digital reach of my podcast The EmpowHERment Hour. Within the next two years, I’d like to develop a web series in the same vein as my podcast where I share personal development tips and interview successful female entrepreneurs.

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You can be inspired by Nancy daily by following her on instagram here

Introduction and interviewed by Emily

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