Believing in Your Story: An Inspiring Journey with Oriana Rivera

Oriana Rivera’s journey is one of resilience, reinvention, and relentless belief in the power of one’s own story. Hailing from Venezuela, Oriana faced significant challenges that led her to seek new opportunities in New York City. Navigating through the demanding hospitality industry, she transformed her passion for communication and creativity into successful entrepreneurial ventures: Eatable Content and Creyéndonos el Cuento. In this interview, Oriana shares her experiences, from overcoming impostor syndrome to empowering fellow digitalpreneurs, offering an inspiring narrative of how believing in your own story can lead to remarkable achievements and fulfillment.

Can you share with us your personal journey and how it led you to start Creyéndonos el Cuento and Eatable Content? 

I’m from Venezuela and back in 2015 we were experiencing very rough times as a young adult trying to get my bachelors in Communications, insecurity, violence and food shortage were common topics of conversation and I knew that as an 18 year old I had to look for opportunities somewhere else, sadly. I never really saw myself fleeing my country until that time. I applied for a Student Visa (F-1) to come to NYC, I had the support of my aunt who used to live here, and surprisingly I got the Visa. When I arrived to NYC, the reality is that my family helped me financially the first 2 months, and then I was basically on my own, I started working in the restaurant industry, as a hostess, server, bartender, captain and finally Manager (all of these in the period of 7 years), even though I learned so much in these jobs, and I will be forever grateful because they made me who I’m now, I wasn’t 100% happy, I knew that was momentary.  

In 2022, I decide to quit and start my own business/freelance as a food content creator. During my 7 years working in the hospitality business I discovered that restaurant owners were paying attention to all the details of this business except for social media and marketing. With my background of communications and social media marketing and skills like photography and video editing I started Eatable Content.  

Creyéndonos el Cuento, as well as my other online resources came on board last year (2023) as a reason for me to provide educational offerings on my personal brand: Orianalexandra to other digitalpreneurs and not only dreamers, but also doers.

What inspired the name “Creyéndonos el Cuento” (Believing our Story), and how does it reflect the mission of your online course? 

Believe your own story is a phrase I not only repeat on my digital presence, but a phrase I repeat to myself. Growing up, I’ve had a hard time truly believing and embracing what I am, impostor syndrome pretty often gets me, and I literally repeat and embody this mindset to myself and my students/clients.  

More than just a catchy phrase is a mindset, a mood, and a mantra that accompanies myself everyday and I hope it helps others in their creative journey as well. 

The mission of my online courses and educational offerings is guiding digitalpreneurs to take their potential to another level, not hide it from the world, show it, express it, and help others with whatever their talent, purpose, magic is. For a long time, and sometimes I keep struggling with not telling what I know, what I feel, just so I don’t sound too much, too smart, and to keep me low so I don’t bother others, and I found so many entrepreneurs go through similar situations.  

In Creyéndonos el Cuento, we work from the inside out, healing and acknowledging those limiting beliefs and believing it first so others can believe in us, we also dedicate classes to create meaningful content, digital creativity and strategy. 

As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for seven years, what were some of the key challenges you faced, and how did they shape your entrepreneurial path? 

This question was really hard to answer and definitely got me emotional because I had to put myself in these years again… (which again it wasn’t always as bad as I might sound, I had amazing days, and met incredible people, but most of the days I was surviving and trying to have a positive mentality)  

Definitely some of the key challenges I faced were about:

My mental health:  

My sleeping schedule: 

Eating habits 

Quality Time with loved ones  

These were things I sacrificed for 7 years, and when I decided I was gonna close this cycle of my life was because I realized all the areas of my life were in a escale of 10, 0. So I desperately needed to make a change.  

Now, that I can make my schedule I start working the earliest 11 am. I go to the gym in the morning, make my own food, go to bed at 10 pm and have more time to spend with my family.  

These are my priorities now. 

Could you tell us about a specific moment or experience that made you realize the importance of believing in your own story? 

Yes, the first time I tried to raise my packages. I was so insecure of doing this, of having this meeting, I was really scared and insecure. So, I knew in order for them in believe in me, and believe I was capable and talented enough to do this, I had to believe it myself first so I could transmit this energy in the meeting, this like aura and vibes. That’s why I believe so much in energy and embodiment now. 

Once I did this mindset shift, I saw how everybody started believing in me.  

What have been some of the most significant lessons you’ve learned since starting your business ventures? 

There are not mistakes, only lessons 

Summer is the worst time to launch an online product 

First person to hire/outsource is a bookkeeper/accountant FOR SURE

My mental health and physical health come first. If I feel good, my business expands with me. 

Having a support system that empowers you, uplifts you and remind you how freaking amazing you are is so essential. Make surte you’re also that for them.

How do you navigate the competitive landscape of the Food & Beverage industry in NYC with Eatable Content, and what strategies have proven successful for you? 

Referral programs. All my clients have come from word of mouth or a referral.  I can’t say I’ve tried all the strategies, I keep learning as I go. 

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be struggling to believe in their own stories or find their place in their chosen industries? 

Look for proof of what you’ve done and sit with it. Make a list of what you know you’re good at and show it to yourself, contemplate the art you have created in the past. Something that helped me and my students is making an IKIGAI chart, you can google it and fill it up, IKIGAI is Japanese term and it translates to “A reason for living” and it consists of 4 circles: the things you enjoy doing, the things you’re good at, what you can offer, and what the world needs.  

Doing this exercise helped me to find that why, a path to where to start. 

But it’s an everyday mindset and lifestyle of constant repetition: being your most authentic self. 

Can you share a story about a setback or failure you experienced along the way and how you overcame it? 

The second week I quit, I went to all my local restaurants offering my services and all of them told me they were not interested. I went to like 15 businesses. When I got home, I started crying, that feeling of rejection and failure is the worst. I allowed myself to feel that way, exhausted. But the next day, I reflect on what happened, how I did it, what I could improve, maybe my pitch wasn’t really good, maybe I need to bring physical business cars, instead of a QR, who knows. What can I do different? How can I learn from this experience? And that’s how all the NO’s have taught me something, and have gotten me, wherever I am now.  

How do you balance running multiple projects like Creyéndonos el Cuento and Eatable Content, and what tips do you have for staying organized and focused? 

I recently learned about Human Design and turns out I’m a Manifesting Generator, we are known to have the capability to manage different projects simultaneously. I used to think I could do everything at the same time, sustain and grow them all of  them at the same time. Maybe I can, but I don’t want to. Recently I’ve been focusing in one project/offer at once. Maybe I can do smaller tasks of others offers, but focusing maybe 80% in mainly one.  

I like dividing my focus on the business as the season goes. Spring and Fall are huge for me in terms of launching and where you’ll probably see me the most active. Summer I learned is definitely a time to take things more chill, enjoy the weather, of course without forgetting about the business. And winter is a time for me to go inward, see what’s working, what I need to let go of, and focusing on the structures. 

What are your future goals and aspirations for your businesses, and how do you plan to continue growing and evolving? 

I want to be a point of reference of digital creativity with both Eatable Content in the Food & Beverage/ Social Media point of view, and with my personal brand as an expert, and mentor in the topic.  

I will be focusing on nurturing my community with these resources and I believe that when you help other to grow, we all grow as a community, so that’s pretty much my plan!

Oriana’s Links:

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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