Business of the Week

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: MEET ARMINDA COLÓN OF MYCOCREATIONS AND TECHNIFICENT CONSULTING, PART 2

In part one MYBB introduced you to creatress Arminda Colón of MyCoCreations, a natural lifestyle product company. In the second half, we continue her story following her decision to leave corporate America and pursue her dreams in full!

After four years of juggling a busy career with a budding small business, Arminda Colón had come to a cross roads. Take a leap of faith or be sick–literally. On one hand her corporate job had been her safety net. It helped to support both her home and her business, but at the end of 2013 she found out that where her job was located was causing her health issues. So she made a very hard decision to leave. Her decision to say good-bye to corporate America, in totality, was a test of her faith and her fortitude.

Technificent Consulting was birthed years ago in my mind and in theory, but it wasn’t until this year, 2014 that it became official,” shares Colón of her second business. Though she left her corporate IT job, she did not want to abandon working in the industry altogether. Subsequently, she started Technificent Consulting at the beginning of 2014. With two degrees and years of experience, she was confident that she could build another successful small business. So far, she’s right.

Over the years, Colón had been moonlighting and doing freelance IT work. She was known as the “fix it girl”, because many of her projects consisted of fixing a previous IT consultant’s work. Colón’s transparency in business and fair prices became her calling card. More and more people began to refer to her and her work as magnificent. When it was time to decide on a name for her new business, again Colón approached it carefully and with definite of purpose. Thus she chose Technificent–a mash up of technology, her industry, and magnificent, the reputation she had earned for herself over the years.

In her second business Colón gets to exercise the more analytical side of her brain, but she is still very creative. Though her initial services were website creation and correction, Colón is also a skilled graphic artist. She creates logos, website designs and full-scale marketing campaigns for her clients. When working with clients, she applies the same approach of innerstanding. “I have pretty much worn all of the hats in corporate technology world,” says Colón. She adds, “I want to make sure that my clients understand the whole process and why we are doing it.”

Colón attributes her genuine care for people to her success with both businesses. She gets her greatest joys from helping others to see their dreams come true. “I really, genuinely care for the people that I work with,” she gushes. She is careful to make sure that clients understand the process–minus the technical jargon. For Colón, it is about building relationships. ” I want our relationship to continue even after the project is complete,” she says. “My customers are like my family.”

A big personal challenge for Colón is learning to market herself, without feeling phony. “The biggest challenge is that I am not a sales person,” Colón admits. Her personal goal is to learn to market to others without feeling as though she is emotionally attacking them. A tactic that she feels is all too common in main stream marketing.

Colón shares that she is very proud of the quick success of her new business. In fact, this year will mark a milestone for her as an entrepreneur. ” It’s almost been a complete year that I have not worked in the corporate world,” she shares. Colón has learned that she can sustain herself without relying on someone else (employer). “I took a chance on myself, my knowledge and my ideals. I’m doing it, I’m doing what my passion is and what I’ve dreamed of,” she exclaims.

She is quick, however, to point out that none of this would have been possible without her support system. Her son’s father–who she affectionately refers to as “my man”–is altogether her high school sweetheart, the love of her life for 20 years (and counting!) and one of her greatest supporters. He along with the couple’s 18 year old son, are Colón’s rocks. “They’re understanding in that sometime I can’t do things; everybody helps out,” she says. In addition, she admits, that they are also her unofficial assistants. They assist with all parts of the process from smelling to tasting to trying new products. For many years, unbeknownst to him, Colón’s son was her website assistant. She homeschooled him during his high school years. As part of his lessons, she taught him programming and many of his lessons focused on updates to her website for MyCoCreations.

When asked about succeeding in business, Colón advises, “Help others. The only way that you can be your best is by assisting others and allowing them to assist you.” She admits that it wasn’t until her mid-20’s that she started following this very advice. Until then, she figured she could do everything on her own. However, once she adopted the more community centered ideals, she saw more success in her own endeavors. In addition, Colón advises any entrepreneur to constantly revisit their “why”. “Revisit why you’re in business,” she continues that part of the reason should be to offer help to create a better world or community. “Not every aspect of your business will center on this, but use it as your basis,” says Colón.

In reflecting on her own purpose, Colón is both thoughtful and introspective regarding her impact on her community. For her, it’s not so much about getting big, rather than touching people’s lives. She applies this to MyCoCreations saying,  “I want you to have innerstanding about anything that you are doing, eating and using. Then make your final decision based on that.” This same thought is applied to her work with Technificent. Unfortunately, many clients don’t understand the value in her services. This is especially common with her Black clientele. So it has been more about educating them and helping them to see that their inferior websites– though very inexpensive to create–are costing them much more in the long run through lost sales or customers.

When asked about Minding Your Black Business, Colón offers her insight. “There is the negative commentary that Black people can’t do business properly or do things right,” she says. Though, she disagrees she says there is much work to be done in the community to change certain mindsets. In order to be successful the Black community must override such stereotypes. She sites her observations of our counterparts in the business world. They are willing to barter, trade services or even assist the competition for free, because they realize that there is a benefit for them, too. Conversely, all too many times, she has noticed in the Black community the ideal is that we can’t help the next person, for fear that it will give them a leg up on us. “Utter nonsense,” says Colón. “WE have to help each other if WE want to succeed and sometimes that help comes from the competition.”

To learn more about Colón and Technificent Consulting, visit the website.

Do you know of a Black business or entrepreneur that gets it right? If so, we want to know! Get all the details here, including how to nominate your favorite Black business.

 

IMAGES COURTESY OF ARMINDA COLÓN

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Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson is a business consultant, writer and the founder of www.MindYourBlackBusiness.com. She is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. It was during her time in the military that she learned the value of hard work, community and serving the needs of others. Following her military service she earned a bachelor's degree in business and an MBA in business communications.

She began consulting with the explicit goal of providing affordable business consultation and guidance to those who might not otherwise have access. "I started consulting by 'inherent accident'. I've spent my whole life gathering information, in hopes that it would benefit someone," says Sanderson. When it comes to working with her clients, she believes that the key is to find the human factor. By doing so, she helps her clients to find the best solution for their business, by first figuring out what is best for the person. Her hope is to help such entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits who share her vision of giving back-- be it through job creation, innovation or a cause.

As a consultant and business owner herself, Sanderson came to realize that while there are many resources for small business owners, there were very few that provided a platform for micro and small Black owned businesses, as well as the information germane to them. These are the mom and pops, solo-preneurs and other businesses and organizations that are really the heart and soul of the local (Black) community. She shares, "The vision of Mind Your Black Business is the culmination of what I am most passionate about and what I do best--helping others to achieve their dreams and helping small businesses grow."

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