Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with MartinJon Garcia, founder of MartinJon, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is to support people in shedding the influences they live under. We are born and are immediately coaxed into living under the influence of our parents. Then we find ourselves being influenced by peers, teachers and the education system, partners, and a whole slew of externals that are impossible to identify. Our culture has identified some nebulous “Normal” that everyone is striving for and yet nobody can achieve. One of my most famous quotes is, “Don’t let your definition of the word ‘Perfection’ rob you of yours.” It is my business to make sure my clients adhere to that idea.
As someone with 21 years of being clean and sober, I started this business looking toward drug and alcohol counselors as my primary clients. Although I still offer training for that niche audience to gain Continuing Education Units, my focus is more along the lines of professionals and executives looking to break free of the ubiquitous influences in our culture. By doing that, they expand their views of what is possible and heal themselves, their businesses, and everything they encounter.
Tell us about yourself
The process that took place for me to start my business has been organic all along. After over a decade of active addiction and fits and starts around recovery, I discovered something missing from the recovery conversation, what I was recovering too. All the conversation was about putting down my addictions. So, one after another, I put them down, eventually picking up my original and most comfortable addictions. The morning after the last time I drank, I realized this missing piece and started that journey which, 14 years later, would be what is now the Recover Yourself model that I work on with clients.
To understand that it is us we recover and that it isn’t a person we have ever known before, but it is the person we are. This is about recovering the big ‘S’ Self, the god that we were born to be and are. These are the things that motivate me to continue to do this work. When I hear people complain about family, their jobs, the bottom line, the public, or politics, I only see opportunities for someone to recover themselves further. Because of that, I am excited to help people hear themselves, see themselves, and respond in a way that brings them forward to build a new relationship with their surroundings and with themselves.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, there are no accomplishments. That is not to say I am not proud of the things I have done, but to separate my business from my life or my person is to miss the point. When I look at recovering myself, I see that all of my life is work and all of my work is life.
Compartmentalizing and identifying our actions as “Life” or “Work” is where we lose the actual concept of life/work balance. Compartmentalizing may very well be important to entrepreneurs who are also living under the influence of the traditional concept of success, money, or productivity. However, the idea of identifying and compartmentalizing these different aspects of our lives will often override our natural actions and put us in danger of illness, burnout, ad fatigue.
Having said that, the biggest accomplishment I can see in my life today is the balance I have in my life between all aspects. This includes love, health, friendships, family, and business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In this day and age, I would have to say keeping your integrity. We look outward, see the pull toward instant gratification, and the hard work is not to believe the hype. The messages that stream in from every source are coaxing us to downgrade our vision so that we can be a part of the conversation. It is not easy to keep your integrity in a world that praises traditional outward success over a life well-lived. But there is no dollar amount that will give you the value, or ROI, that fulfillment will.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never start a project by seeing how someone else did it first. If you have an idea or want to solve a problem, real or imagined (let’s face it, most products on the market today solve imagined problems), it is best to see how you and your team will address it before seeing how others did it before you. You, and your team, are the biggest asset you have. If you undermine that by looking to Amazon, Google, or some other entity, you are creating a lead balloon. Support your team, trust yourself, and don’t just replicate something; get out there and change the world.
- Observe, not too much, primarily people you respect. We don’t know everything, so when we have to observe, we do it. But we don’t do it as a wholesale solution. We take our time, know the questions we want to answer by observing or interviewing, and we target those. We also don’t take what we observe as 100% correct. Recognizing that we are learning, not being taught, at every step of the process is an important distinction. If you are observing or attending something to be taught, you are already lost and will create nothing that endures.
- Be patient; nothing worthwhile happens quickly.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My business has been in the making since well before I could have ever known but has existed for less than six years. The evolutionary process was a natural one starting with, of course, my journey from addiction to recovery. As a professional artist, I started a project of portraits in 1999, which opened me up to interviewing people in the arts in Chicago when YouTube first hit the scene. Those experiences and there are other idiosyncrasies as well that I will not write about here, continue to contribute to my work.
I start working with each of my clients by doing a portrait, which is a vulnerable and intimate exchange that launches our work together. From there, the skills I learned as an interviewer contributed to my ability to confront everyone I interact within a gentle way. Finally, as the core of all that I do is recovery, I understand that everyone, even myself, has and will recover themselves differently.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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