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President and CEO

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 For 20 years, Martha Galindo’s translation company, Galindo Publicidad, Inc., has offered specialized multilingual foreign language expertise to clients who want to grow their markets. If you’ve ever thought about starting your own company or what it might be like to run the show,  this will be a good read for you.

What is your job title? How many years of experience do you have in that field?
President and CEO, 20 years.

Martha-portrait-225How would you describe yourself using three adjectives only?
Able, willing and ready. Sounds funny but I guess it is true. That probably translates into entrepreneurial, resourceful and independent.

What is your ethnicity?
I’m Mexican.

mylogoHow did you get started in this line of work?
It will be 20 years this June…  the business need was there. It was a niche not being served in Pennsylvania. I was already working and driving the marketing for two years of a language services company. My focus there was dealing with ad agencies, marketing departments, market research firms, training organizations and some administration work. I had worked in a management position in a very large insurance organization in the area and I had learned about the corporate culture in the US.

I wanted and needed the independence and the freedom since the family responsibilities were growing as well. So I set up a different entity with a focus on advertising accounts. The business was profitable from the start and put the bread on the table. It was never a hobby. It slowly grew.

Where you work, how well does your company do ‘equal opportunity’?
We are a US based small global company utilizing the services of translators and editors around the world. Their gender and race are absolutely irrelevant to the functions and services required. All translators are treated the same way. We communicate through the Internet. A few are local and attend events where we learn and mingle. Depending on where they are located and their country regulations they may be paid through different methods. But all receive assignments based on the match of their skills and the needs of the clients.

walking-on-the-beach-450On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What would it take to increase that rating?
I created my job and I switch gears when I want to or need to. More sales with more happy clients would make me happier.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
Well, we can educate and educate the market and make them aware of how many differences are out there in our industry. If you need to market to the US Hispanic market, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I think I have the ability to connect the dots and we are always learning something new.

Why do you get up and go to work each day?
Truly believing that clients rely on my expertise and the skills of my teams to get the job done is a very important reason. To keep their trust and loyalty is an honor and a privilege. I feel grateful because hopefully, it is also a positive example for my children.

What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this lesson?
Credit policies changed. We must have a deposit or full payment before we assign a project since the professional translation service cannot be sold to someone else once it is complete.

WRONG-300How stressful is your job?
Unreasonable deadlines are stressful. But we can control that. We know when to say NO to a client even if that means losing the sale. We know what it takes to deliver certain volumes at the right quality. No compromises with such matter. We cannot deliver half a document. That pretty much takes care of the stressful issue. Family health matters are more challenging sometimes. The treadmill helps to clean my mind and stay relatively fit.

What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold?
I don’t have a salary. Depending on the gross sales and the expenses to be covered I then use money that I need or access the credit that I require. It has fluctuated very much depending on the economy. You learn to live with more or less.

What kind of challenges do you face and what makes you just want to quit?
The changes in corporate policies of clients affect their accounts payable cycles. I need to keep a healthy balance of accounts where lack of predictability is a factor.

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
No less than a college degree. Graduate degree preferred. International living exposure. Sensitivity and passion for language, places, and other cultures, besides other technical skills.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
Find a niche. This is pretty crowded and does not give away your knowledge.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
Very little. No, it is not. I try to combine work and new places when I can.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
Restoring colonial properties in LATAM like Mexican Haciendas and putting them back in the communities with a different attractive and sustainable land use. Kind of a dream. I need partners. I can see a ton of possible uses for those restored beauties. Want to help?

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  • I think this story is extremely inspirational to young Hispanics such as me who have big goals and dreams. Seeing how someone saw a need for a business and made their place in the market is extremely inspiring. Seeing the diverse world we live in and the need for companies such as these that market not only to one country and language but to many shows that sometimes people just have to think outside the box to make a name for themselves and make a job when there are none. I knew that finding a niche in today’s society and job market was important and this story just cement my believes that through hard work, ingenuity, and dedication people can accomplish anything they put their minds into!

  • This is a truly inspiring story! I am so glad I got to read it and I am enthusiastic as to my own future knowing that myself as a minority can still be successful like Martha is. I would like to thank Martha for sharing her story and just say how truly inspiring it is.

  • This is a wonderful write-up/interview and very inspiring as well to up and coming younger generation to create a niche for themselves and function in it.

    It has brought to my mind the struggles I had to encounter after completing my Undergraduate studies, working voluntarily for two years after that and not being able to secure a job in an already saturated job market.

    Eventually I had to start something on my own; a sales company that dealt in the sale of appliances, Smock materials and the manufacture of beaded and wire jewellery. There was a need to diversify since it is always better to have multiple streams of income coming in.

    Things became quite slow at a point but one thing that really stood out for me was the fact that waht actually sustains any business is one’s ability to solve a problem, providing a needed service and keeping your clients happy.

    Business might not always flourish but there is satisfaction in knowing that you have provided a needed service and made someone happy.

  • I am so incredibly inspired by those with the facility to realize their goals, create a plan, and make it happen. Though I’m still in college, I’ve been in positions, both academic and professional, where there has been a need for a product and a leader to realize it. What I find most galvanizing about your story Ms. Galindo, is your ability to realize your needs, both personally and professionally, while maintaining a full grasp of what you have to offer and discovering a way to make the two work for you.

    “…You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I think I have the ability to connect the dots and we are always learning something new.” As someone who dreams of creating a company of my own, I find it refreshing to hear leaders express their thoughts on innovation. Too often I hear entrepreneurs express the need to produce something that is completely innovative and new in order for it to become successful. Again, it’s encouraging to bear witness to a successful leader whom embraces the given circumstances, adapts, and overcomes.

    A fellow Latinx person from Tucson, AZ, I empathize with your cultural identity and desires to restore Mexican-American heritage in a way that is “attractive and sustainable”. So much of the city I live in begs for a revamp of local barrios to help revitalize the strong Hispanic community present in almost every corner. There is so much untapped potential with so much to offer the world.

    Thank you for sharing your story – I am truly inspired.

  • Becoming the CEO/ President of your own company is such an admiring achievement and is something I wish to accomplish for myself. I feel I share the same qualities as able, willing and ready or how you translated them too entrepreneurial, resourceful and independent. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and expanding our insights on what it takes to be a CEO and what motivates you in order to reach success.

  • Communication is vital in the world that we live in. These services provide an outreach for those in need and it is incredible. My dreams are ambitious just as you are. I want to someday become a project manager. Reading this gives me the drive to continue my education and gets me excited for the future. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Reading stories like this are so inspiring, first of all I’m also mexican and from there I feel a connection, I’m studying industrial design, service design and if I can I would love to minor in business, becoming a CEO of any company is a great achievement, one I want to achieve myself some day, thats the fuel that gets me up everyday exited to do what I love. Maybe starting my own company someday would be my way to go, whatever comes, I’m ready exited for it.

  • After reading Martha Galindo’s article, as a student I realized that school is very important to reach the higher ranks of a company and it takes lots of experience to get to where she is.

  • Interesting, a business area I did not previously give a lot of thought. My father started a small family business in photography twenty years ago in south-east Europe. Before I came to United States to receive high quality education, I worked in the company for several years and expect to take over the business sometimes in the future.

    As the company’s president, my father has numerous duties. Every year, when he would take vacation days, I took over most of his duties and the work was certainly hard, but also satisfying. In my opinion, the most important thing is to get through the first few days. However, economic fluctuations can really shake the business. Yet, although with ups and downs, we are still in the business. Kudos to you for keeping your business still moving forward.

  • This is such an incredible story! I love the adjectives you use to describe yourself and I hope as I grow and develop as a person that I can become all of those as well.
    It is so amazing that you created your own job and you LOVE it. That is what I am striving for; a job that gets me up in the morning and not something I dread going to everyday.
    I loved how you said you like to try and combine work and new places when you can! I think it is so important to take opportunities and use them to benefit us and it sounds like that is your life everyday!
    Your hard work and dedication is truly inspiring and I hope to be a successful woman like you some day!