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.
How 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?
How 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.
On 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.
How 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?