We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Pinzon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was a tax preparer for 14 years and I began to see that business owners were coming in to file their final return because they did not reach their goals of having a successful and profitable business. I was intrigued to find out what were the reasons that businesses were closing, therefore, I began my research. I found that most business owners were winging it, not a good idea. I found that they were also running their businesses on their own without any outside support. Being a business can be a lonely road, but it does not have to be. My job became a calling, and I felt a sense of responsibility to my community and fellow business owners. Being an entrepreneur is like being in one of the largest sororities in the world. There are sacrifices and many sleepless nights. You understand that there are certain disciplines you must perform which give you the right to be part of this awesome group. As a business owner myself and having made countless mistakes that cost me so much money, almost losing my family and losing my freedom as some of my negligence caused me to end up in a low-security federal prison. I felt that I had made enough mistakes to help other entrepreneurs to not make the same mistakes I had made. I wanted to make sure that no one else ended up the way that I did, losing all my financial stability to the point of being homeless and which cost me my freedom. But I want to be clear that I did not lose my family as they are more valuable to me than any business. I, therefore, developed a business management program that allows business owners to run their businesses in the most successful possible way and not worry about the back-office work that slows down their productivity while keeping them compliant with the law and in good standing in their community, providing jobs for years to come.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After I had to restart my life due to my past mistakes, I took a minimum wage job in a new industry where I learned the ropes of property management. While at this company I learned the ins and outs of property management and realized that the same concept could be modified a bit and used for managing businesses. I began to work on a business pitch for my then-boss who saw my idea as an opportunity to provide much-needed services in the business world. I will always be grateful to Allen Wood for taking a chance on me and my husband and here we are 9 years later growing our business during a pandemic. There were extremely hard decisions we made and challenging times during our first 5 years, but we did not give up. We knew that we had a business that to this day has so much more potential. The most valuable lesson I have learned is that you cannot do this alone. Together = Strength. We want people to know that being a one-man (woman) show is only going to take you so far, working with others hand-in-hand will always take you farther. Appreciate those around you as everyone has a contribution to make and someone else’s perspective will help you see your business, idea, situation differently and you will take your business to another level.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It is hard to give an example of an itinerary of my city since we are in the middle of a pandemic, but although there are so many restrictions, we can still have a great time in my city. For example, my city of Downey has so many trees down some of the main roads, it is a safe community for a nice stroll with your family where you can stop at The Creamistry to get some of the best ice cream in town or you can go to the Porto’s Bakery where you will find the best pastries you have ever had. Pre-Post-Pandemic I would take any visitor of mine to Disneyland which is only a 20-minute drive from my city. You will never go wrong with Disneyland, cannot wait for it to be opened again. But due to this pandemic, we have all become comfortable at home again when it was the last place we would spend time together. So, some would say that we have the pandemic to thank which has redeemed the “Home Sweet Home” feeling.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It is so true that you cannot do this alone. If it were not for my family, especially my husband Edson Pinzon who is the CEO of our company, I do not think that our business would be where it is today due to his leadership. But foremost I cannot thank anyone else more than God, who has brought us to where we are today. He has opened so many doors for me and has allowed me to meet some amazing people and to be a part of wonderful networking opportunities and programs such as the Goldman Sachs Program and the Turner Construction School of Management. I had been in business for quite some time and although we were at a profitable stage, Goldman Sachs opened opportunities that I did not know were attainable. With the business plan that you get to take home as a souvenir when you graduate from Goldman Sachs, in the span of 6 months our business grew by 65%. Also, the knowledge that I was able to obtain from taking the Turner Construction School of Management course gave me so much confidence and I had the courage to knock on doors that otherwise without this program I would have never moved in that direction. But oh, the growing pains! The relationships that I built in both programs helped me navigate through those growing pains.