My name is Mariangel Ruiz. Ever since I was a child taking risks was my way of flashing out creativity no matter what I was engaged in. But in recent years the crisis in my country, Venezuela has given me the drive and desire I need in order to go through this difficult times. Not only did I keep my regular job at the media company as a TV and radio presenter. I also decided to start an audiovisual company that offers audiovisual services for digital media and traditional TV as well. In a country hit by crisis I saw the need and also the opportunity to create a complementary educational plan aimed to teach, inspire and mentor children how to be an entrepreneur and transforming them to be leaders in our communities. The training plan is free for kids or children and has the best professionals in each working area enriching them with knowledge. The name of this startup is "InGeniando el Plan".
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I made lot of mistakes in the beginning but I did learned from them. My first mistake was - I started a musical theater production in which I invested massive amount of money. The key problem for me was - please avoid verbal agreement!! Because no contract and documents was signed indicating my ownership etc. That resulted in bad decision - I lost all my investment. Therefore, remember to sign an agreement whenever you are in a business transaction no matter your relationship with the parties involved!!
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family and friends environment I did receive lot of help and support. It is not easy to be an entrepreneur! Taking on projects and doing everything on your own and most of all be responsible for your own investment portfolio because all your decision making might not always be right. I am also a mother and I believe that the greatest difficulty around your family environment is TIME because it is not always enough. Meaning being present and being able to do everything we want within 24 hours time frame everyday.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Passion and organization. Without passion you can’t start a business and without passion you fall asleep. Organization, because it allows you to move forward and take solid steps.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Before I didn’t know how to assume the leadership of my own business. Now I have learned to take ownership with confidence. When you lead it is important to delegate your team. Providing direction to your team work is very important. Take the leadership and ownership!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My first advice is to undertake what you are passionate about and enjoy doing it. My second advice is that you also become passionate for learning about your finances, marketing, administration, laws, etc.
My third advice is surround yourself with well equipped and well trained team, specialized in each working area you need.
My fourth advice is that you should always have an inspiring speech for your team.