Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hugo Albornoz, Founder and Executive Director of Columbus Taco Fest, located in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Columbus Taco Fest is a food festival with the goal of supporting local vendors by celebrating the love of tacos, tequila, and live music! Our customers are food fanatics, taco lovers, and anyone who enjoys having fun at festivals while taking in beautiful city views!
Tell us about yourself
I immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of my first memories upon reaching the US was flying into New York City and having a sense that I was coming into who I was meant to be and that success was waiting for me. I began my entrepreneurial career as a self-taught graphic designer by working with local bars and restaurants. As a side passion, I began traveling to different cities around the country as a way to take in different cultures. During my travels, I couldn't ignore that all of these cities had something that Columbus was mixing a Taco Festival.
It was then that I realized I wanted to do whatever was necessary to bring a taco-filled event to my home city of Columbus. One thing about Columbus that I love is that they will always support small businesses, and even more so, new and exciting events. So once I was able to get the word out that the Columbus Taco Fest was coming in May of 2018, excitement began to build and build. For the past three years, the love and support have never wavered. This is what keeps me going every day, knowing that the city I found myself in loves tacos and our local vendors as much as my team and I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is being recognized as one of Columbus' annual food festivals and continuing to have a large and supportive turnout. Seeing what started as a small idea turn into a large, successful event has truly been what I consider one of my lifetime achievements. This success has enabled me to pay it forward by giving back to local non-profit organizations that work hard to support our community every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In my experience, one of the hardest aspects of being a business owner is having a work-life balance. I believe that all business owners are motivated and hard-working individuals. While this is a strength, it can also become a hindrance when trying to enjoy our personal lives and our loved ones. I think entrepreneurs can sometimes become overwhelmed by the desire to be successful, and what I have found is that oftentimes what makes life worth living is not a monetary success, but instead it is the enjoyment of the small moments shared with the people we love. This is my goal, to start enjoying these moments more.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, just start! It's always scary, and there will never be a "right time." Second, keep going, no matter what obstacles stand in your way. Step three, keep learning always! It's not about perfection; it's about progression.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurship, while incredibly liberating, is not easy. There will be moments when you want to give up, when you'll question if this is the right path for you, maybe even when you'll question your whole purpose. It's in these moments when you have to turn inwards and remember why you started. That fire that was there when you first had the idea pop into your head will always be there. It just sometimes gets lost in all the other noise. So keep that fire somewhere where you can reach it because you'll need it on those really hard days.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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