20 Questions with Yanira Guzman

20 Questions with Yanira Guzman, founder of The Career Gem
It's week TWO of our Day in the Life series and today we're introducing you to Yanira Guzman, a single mom living in the San Francisco Bay area with her two kiddos. She is also the founder of The Career Gem - a full service career coaching business.
She'll be taking over our Instagram stories tomorrow (Friday, March 12th), but before she does we're letting you get to know a bit about her with 20 Questions. 

1. What’s your favorite place in the entire world? 

 Anywhere that I feel loved for being me!  Sunny spots always help too!

2. What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received? 

Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever have.

3. Do you have any pets? 

No pets.

4. What is something you are grateful for today?  

I’m grateful that I have a job (both FTE and current business) that allows me to work from home during the pandemic. Unlike many other families, I do not have to go into a separate location (service sector) to earn a living.

5. First thing you do in the morning? 

I stretch in my bed, get up, shower, brush teeth, and get dressed. I wake up between 5:30–6 am, so that I may work on my business before having to clock into my “8-5” job. I also want to squeeze in some work time before my youngest (8 years old) wakes up and asks for breakfast FIVE MINUTES AFTER waking up.

 yanira guzman and kids against colorful wall for milimili 20 questions series

6. What is your biggest goal right now? 

Build a legacy for my children. Although I never went hungry and always had a place to live, I grew up low-income. I didn’t have extras: softball, music lessons, trips, etc. I am fortunate that through education, I am able to provide those things for my children. However, I also want to make sure that they are not raised as “entitled kids.” It’s very important to me that they know their family history in this country and that they are aware that my parents (their grandparents) did not have it easy.  I’m on a mission to create generational knowledge and generational wealth for my children (without the entitlement piece). That’s possible, right?

7. Last person you hugged? 

My children.

8. What did you want to be when you were a kid? 

A teacher.  And I did become a Spanish bilingual elementary teacher for 8 years.

9. What is your claim to fame? 

I have two: 1) unlocking people’s proudest life moments and translating those into their next dream role; and 2) a strong writer—both technical and storytelling (narratives). 

10. What are you saving money for right now? 

A house for my children and I. I am a divorcee and several years ago, my ex-husband and I sold our home. I’ve been renting a duplex since then, but I’m on my way to home ownership again (part of building that legacy for my children).

11. What’s your favorite brunch item? 

Uhm, depends on the mood. But, I love eggs with mushrooms and avocado!

12. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My parents and my 7th and 8th grade core teacher, Mrs. Thrower. Neither one of my parents completed elementary school; they worked from a very young age to support their families and themselves. Then, they immigrated to this country, without knowing the language, and continued to work, purchase two homes in this country, another home in their native country, and encourage us to study hard and do well. There is a saying in Spanish, “Echale ganas,” meaning “give it your all.” I take that to heart in what I do.

In addition, my junior high teacher, Mrs. Thrower, believed in us; she believed in me. She did not treat me as the “poor kid that came from “formally” uneducated parents.” That was NO excuse for us not to shine in our excellence. She taught me so much and planted the seed and made me dream bigger—in regards to college and the world.


yanira guzman and kids


13. What’s your biggest day-to-day challenge? 

It’s not a challenge per se, but I am very intentional that I spend family time with children when they are here. When they’re with their father, I put in WAY more work hours into my career coaching business and School Board readings. When my children are with me, I try very hard to close up the computer by 5:30 PM, have family dinner and spend time with them before bedtime. That’s not to say though, that sometimes, I do log back on once they’re asleep.

14. When have you given up on something?

My marriage. My marriage was no longer healthy and I gave up “trying” after MANY YEARS of trying (marriage counseling, independent counseling, communication techniques). Instead, I chose myself; I chose to journey to heal myself and leave a toxic relationship. 

15. What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? 

  1. If I have my children: Morning coffee, chilling on the couch, and then a day trip with them. Lately, we’ve been exploring beaches, outdoor parks, etc.  We go “exploring.” Although they complain about “exploring” and leaving the house, they always have fun once we get there. It’s important to me that we find outlets—especially during the pandemic—so that we stay mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically healthy.
  2. If my children are with their father: Morning coffee, perhaps a Netflix movie (that is not a family movie), working on my business (building content, courses, etc.) and some friend time. However, I also LOVE being by myself as well and being on my own time.

16. How did you meet your best friends? 

I met my best friend when we were 13 years old as 7th graders. She sat next to me in Mrs. Thrower’s class. Since then, we’ve stuck together. She’s my “ride or die.” Phew! More than 30 years!

17. Do you think you could live in another country? 

Yes! Actually, I’d love to live in a Latin American country. My children attend a dual immersion school where they learn in Spanish as well, and my hope is that we live in Mexico for a minimum of 6 months. However, the co-parenting thing is the challenge right now. Their dad will allow 3 weeks, but not 6 months. Still a work in progress.

18. What gift have you received that you will always treasure? 

The love from my family. I have 9 siblings; through thick and thin, they’ve, along with my parents have always been there. Their support is unwavering—even when I may do something stupid.

19. Night owl or morning person? 

Morning person for deep-concentrated work. Night owl for socializing, AFTER I take a great nap, so that I can stay awake! I love my naps!

20. Favorite music genre? 

R&B, HipHop, Reggatón, Cumbia, Latin


Photos by UltraSpective Photography

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