What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Several things….A true desire to be independent, the ability to connect the dots anywhere at anytime. A fearless attitude towards uncertainty in many arenas, like cash flow to meet the needs of the business and the family. The trust and moral support of your loved ones.
What did inspire you to start your business?
A combination of circumstances. The perception that there was a need for someone with my background to serve a niche among mainstream advertising agencies that needed to have cultural competency when creating something in Spanish. Too many badly written pieces were being paid then and monolingual companies were not able to evaluate what was being translated It was back in 1993 in Pennsylvania. My business evolved to serve many more industries and not just Advertising and PR type of content.
How did you finance it?
The first 1000 dollars were given to me by my husband then. I had two small accounts already. It was profitable from the start. After a short while, I opened a line of credit to handle my accounts payable and keep it going.
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Absolutely. The formal education in Mexico and the US along with life and work experience in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the US always gave me an edge to better serve and understand the challenges of existing clients and to bring new clients in.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I have been told that I am strong and passionate. Life and business are a maze. That s the fun! I find support and inspiration in many things and in many people. One door closes, another one opens. We have to be aware of the many turns and locks that exist out there. There is no such a thing as all dark… ever. There is always light on the way. My 3 children have been a motor too to keep me going.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
I see two.
1) The transformation of a lot of the volume of translation work from a craft to the learning and coordination of professionals using automated and sophisticated tools
2) To find ways to cut costs when a global fierce pricing competition exists today.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I would like to be able to add new lines of services faster and profitably. I have just started to add Global Sales services for a very unique type of company with prospects in airport facilities in every corner of the world. Very challenging and promising. We will see. A lot to learn.
What was your childhood ambition?
To change the world regarding women’s role in any society. To open eyes regarding the biggest waste of resources on earth. The talent of women.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Carlos Slim, Juan del Bosque, (my maternal grandfather) and Eugenio Garza Sada, the founder of my alma mater in Mexico, the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. People with vision at different levels of influence. These are people who changed their communities and saw business as a mean to provide solutions to more important matters than just making money.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I am flexible. At different stages of my life I have switched depending on family priorities. No preference.
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
In a way it is a way of life. While being a student, school was always first. Then fun. So, responsibility and achievement go together…
You make constant adjustments to balance the act. There are ups and downs. However, all adjustments and choices of the where the when the why etc. have an emotional and a price tag.
Emigrating and seeing brothers and parents once or twice a year has been one important price, for example. It is part of the personal growth, and they respect it and support it.
What is your favorite quote?
No guts, no glory
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not really. I tend to ignore the small talk anywhere. Many things are relative to culture and perceptions. However, I grew up with very few doubts of what was right and wrong. It served its purpose and it came from my parents and grandparents. You mature. Many things are so relative.
Biggest mistake made?
Financing an unprofitable venture for marriage reasons.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
For women in business, maybe. For technology, no, I do not adopt new technologies until all the bugs are tested by others, I do not believe in paying the price of the novelty. Too much lost time with no ROI.
Contact Martha E. Galindo at www.translationsandmore.com