Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Leticia C. Rojas > www.leticiainc.com
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
In my opinion, the traits common in a successful entrepreneurial are initiative, discipline, an “eye” to spot high risk business opportunities and the proclivity or willingness to take on this a high risk venture, generally, for profit but also for personal reward.
What did inspire you to start your business?
When my parents emigrated from Cuba, my Father always worked as a truck driver. I grew up being very familiar with trucks and the trucking industry, the pros and the cons. I am a business person at heart with an inherent entrepreneurial free spirit. I like to think outside the box. I spotted various business opportunities in the trucking industry that were high risk and challenging but I firmly believed that I would be able to take on those challenges and turn them into what is today a successful business.
How did you finance it?
I am a lawyer by education and had been working for a while as a legal internist and this job gave me the opportunity to save some money and, fortunately, a loan from my parents.
Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Absolutely. I own a trucking company that hauls and disposes of all types of excavated materials from mainly from New York City construction sites. The trucking industry, as well as the construction industry, has been traditionally unsympathetic and even hostile towards women and, especially, Hispanic women. In battling these hurdles it is important not to lose sight of your goal, to consistently move towards that fruition of that goal even in the face of hurdles that sometimes appear insurmountable but it’s that strong entrepreneurial spirit that gives me the persistence to battle these hurdles and never allowing them obstruct my efforts.
In the face of adversity, how do decide to keep going?
Ironically, it is adversity that gives me the push to fight back. I don’t allow myself to crumble before adversity. Instead, adversity becomes a challenge that makes me even inherently more determined to battle and overcome, no matter how insurmountable it may appear.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced.
Discrimination as a woman and, particularly, as a Hispanic woman. It’s impossible for me to be part of the “boys club” that dominates the industries I work in. Personally, I don’t want to be part of the “boys club.” I want to be me, a Hispanic woman, enjoying success in the face of that discrimination.
If you could change one part of your business, what would it be?
Creating a level playing field in which my business can fairly compete with other companies.
What was your childhood ambition?
I always loved New York City and always dreamt of sometime living in NYC and being a successful woman in Manhattan, whatever my endeavors.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Bill Gates: He achieved a great honor when he was admitted into Harvard yet his entrepreneurial spirit was so passionate and firm that he left his studies at Harvard to pursue his dream. Today we owe much of the computer world and its advances to Bill Gates. Thanks to Bill Gates we have the PC, Windows, Microsoft, among so many other contributions to society.
Richard Branson: This man is truly a fierce entrepreneur at heart. (1) He has enjoyed success in his endeavors as an entrepreneur, which includes more than 400 companies worldwide. He owns the airline Virgin Atlantic, he owns Virgin Music Records that has produced platinum performers such as Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz among so many others.
Hillary Clinton: Her tenacity and endurance in the face of terrible circumstances, one of which was definitely simply by being a woman. Her composure no matter is before her. Mrs. Clinton has consistently exhibited endurance and composure in the face of extraordinary circumstances yet has remained loyal to her goals and dreams.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Definitely breakfast. Breakfast tends to be short and force you to get to the point of the meeting quickly.
What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success? Without doubt my personal life and my personal family time. These have been the greatest sacrifices I have had to make in order to grow my business and be successful.
What is your favorite quote?
"If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies... Succeed anyway." Kent M. Keith
Biggest mistake made?
Employing family members. This is a delicate position for an owner of a company because some business decisions include reprimand and education. It is difficult and complex to discipline and even educate someone who is a family member because feelings and egos often interfere.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I think I do, in fact, consider myself an innovator. I’ve attempted many times to locate other trucking companies owned and operated by a Hispanic woman in New Jersey and New York to no avail.
About the company
I am the sole owner and operator of my company, Leticia, Inc., and have been so for the last 18 years. Leticia, Inc. fully licensed by New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to operate in the trucking and disposal excavated materials, including contaminated mater and even hazardous material. Leticia, Inc. is certified by several Agencies in New York and New Jersey as a Woman Owned Business and as a Minority Owned Business. After many years of persistence, dedication and a history of impeccable performance and service, Leticia, Inc. now enjoy industry goodwill and has received recognition and commendations within the trucking industry and the construction industry both on a local level, as well as a national level, including having the honor of receiving an invitation to The White House in recognition of my efforts and success as a Hispanic Businesswoman.
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