Sunday, December 30, 2007

Arminda Figueroa > www.latin2latin.com

CEO of Latin2Latin

Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications LCC, offers clients a bridge to the Latino consumer by developing strategic marketing programs from concept through actualization

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Courage and determination! I also think you need a passion for your business idea, an unlimited amount of energy and a sense of humor….for those challenging days when things go wrong!

What did inspire you to start your business?
The amazing adrenaline rush of perpetual freedom in creating new ideas, exploring areas never explored, learning and challenging myself every single second of my day; and the exciting feeling of seeing an idea come to life.

How did you finance it?
Latin2Latin is a marketing & communications agency, so I didn’t need a huge capital investment – just a commitment of time and an ability to pay general household expenses while I was building a client base.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes and no…my business is focused on helping companies build brands and generate awareness in the Latino market, so being Hispanic gives me insights and experience there. I also have a strong work ethic and my 20 years of combined Hispanic and general market marketing experience is equally important.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Generally, I’m a very optimistic person and I do think that’s an important quality for an entrepreneur. But when things go wrong as they sometime do, I find that we can allow problems to seem bigger than they are and that it helps to set a problem aside for a day or so to get a better perspective on the issues and opportunities surrounding it. I also seek advice from my inner circle of collaborators and mentors to get their perspective and keep me grounded.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
We’ve been very lucky with having interesting and fun clients to work with. I guess the biggest challenge to date has been how to balance a growing client base and hiring staff. I find I need to expand my staff as more clients come on board, but I’m mindful of being careful to not overly commit to hiring – I’d hate to have to bring on a new employee and not have enough work for him/her.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I can honestly say I wouldn’t change anything. I love what I do, I love learning from my clients and I really enjoy working with the other people at L2L!

What was your childhood ambition?
I am natural entrepreneur; it is in my DNA. As a child, I would set up and run lemonade and candy stands. When I was in college in Puerto Rico, my friend Patty Pedroza and I created ‘Dreams’, a clothing boutique based out of my mother’s den! Patty and I even went to NY’s Fashion District to set up accounts with clothing designers. We sold the most fashionable chic couture to all our college girlfriends – it was a huge success! Latin2Latin will always have an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to find “treasures” for our clients.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
My paternal grandparents Carmen & Francisco “Don Paco”; my mom and my dad, Arminda & Francisco, from whom I inherited my entrepreneurial genes coupled with moral values, kindness in my heart, my drive and determination, plus my impeccable work ethic. And, my long time friend Amilda, for her incredible business savvy and successful career.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Drinks.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Starting a business can be hard on relationships, especially when you have to work late one night and get up at 5am the next morning to get back on a plane. But you just have to put as much energy into relationships that you put into your business and try to find a balance – like everything in life, balance is key.

What is your favorite quote?
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”…Walt Disney

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes, some people can feel threatened by your style and approach to tackling an issue. When I was a kid, I was never doing what other kids were….I think I was always interested in what was off the path rather than following the route that everyone else was taking.

Biggest mistake made?
Oh, so many to single out one…I learn from them every single day.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I let others comment on that. I’m so busy connecting my clients with great concepts and people they never imagined they could possibly work with…I am a match-maker of sorts, I am a “marketing connector”.

Contact Arminda at
http://www.latin2latin.com/

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