Let’s get a little bit personal…
Being a Husband, a Dad and an Entrepreneur is the best thing that has ever happened to me and it has been the most wonderful adventure.
Hi my name is Gabriel Collignon. I’m 40 years old. I am married with my High-School Sweetheart and the love of my life Fernanda (lucky me!); we have a son and a daughter, Gabriel and Andrea. And let me share with you that being a Husband and a Dad is the best thing that has ever happened to me, with its ups and downs, nothing is perfect but it sure is perfectible and it has been the most wonderful adventure.
I started working at a very young age helping my parents; my Mom and Dad are hard-working entrepreneurs, my mom is the best sales person I’ve ever known, I spent countless hours with her selling everything you could think of from Christmas lights and umbrellas to clothing and she did it everywhere, from swap meets to social gatherings with her car always packed of things to sell..
My dad is the most disciplined person I know; he owns a small local hardware store and taught me about customer service, suppliers, products, profit margins, etc… I learned with him how to run a business and spent most of my vacations helping him..
They both worked so hard to make ends meet. They are in love with each other but they fought all the time for the same reasons… Money, Time and Attention…
So, why am I telling all this? Because I understand how you feel!
I know how hard it is to have to decide between making sure your business runs the way it should and spending time with your family and yourself. And that’s the reason why I decided to dedicate my life to helping entrepreneurs like you.
But let me tell you something, even when that situation made me know early that I wanted dedicate my life to helping entrepreneurs, my entrepreneurial journey started way different.
Back then my parents didn’t had money to pay for my university so I got a job in the Admissions and PR department of the university I wanted to study at, my first formal job, in simple terms I was a sales person. I had a great boss, he coached me so well that I was only 19 and became the youngest student to actually get paid beside having a full scholarship. So I started to get more responsibilities.
But of course…
More Money, More Work and More Responsibilities
It was my second year studying mechatronic engineering and they put me in charge of developing their website.
In 1999 I created the first website for a university that was actually enrolling students online, back then most websites were only an online brochure and with the help of my boss we created one that replicated to sales process the university had. I loved it, so I started my first business.
At that time website development was for big budget corporations, so I started by helping my mom and my dad and later I was helping small businesses create their websites not as a brochure but with a sales process.
I had mi side business, but I was still studying and working at the university. I grew so much personally and professionally and I think they also liked my work because once I finished my engineering degree they paid for my post-graduate degree in philosophical anthropology and then sent me to study a Master in Business with a full scholarship.
At one point I decided to leave the university, my girlfriend was living far away and we wanted to be together so I decided to quit my job and moved to San Diego with her.
As you can imagine back then people where very skeptical about working remotely and it wasn’t easy, so I had to start from scratch.
I was young, living with my girlfriend, in a totally new place… it was a new life! It was so exciting that I started a new business, which by the way didn’t work. Then another one , didn’t work either and another which you’ll maybe surprised if I told that it didn’t work, so things started to get complicated.
One day I was stressed thinking about my failures and it just came to me, why wasn’t I doing the same thing I did before moving?
When you are an entrepreneur, it is in your DNA to always look for new things, which also leads you to “Shiny Object Syndrome” and makes focus sometimes in the wrong things and that was happening to me!
I got clarity about what I needed to do and I started focusing and working hard so things got much better. We were still young and didn’t have any kids so only two things mattered back then, us and work.
When you are Clear on Where You Want to Go and How You Want to Get There… Nothing can Stop You!
I wanted to give back to the community so I started a business incubator program for adults that had no job, I gave workshops in adult schools, became a strategic partner with several chambers of commerce in the area and gave more than 30 workshops per year for small business owners in sales (online and offline), strategy, leadership and personal development.
I participated in the Hispanic Chamber of e-Commerce, was interviewed in San Diego News and was guest speaker several venues like the San Diego Convention Center. I was also invited to the Cross-Border Business Development Council to participate in negotiations with the Mexican government.
While being a member of Del Mar Toastmaters I was part of the Youth Leadership Program and was invited to be a mentor in San Diego High School Academy of Finance.
I had so much interaction with entrepreneurs and small business owners that I started noticing a pattern I had completely forgotten and overlooked, the main reason they were on business was not money, it was family and they were stuck in their business trying to figure things out.
Something inside me re-ignited and in 2005 I started my journey as a coach. I started to help entrepreneurs grow not only in business but also personally, so that they could create the kind of business that allowed them to spend More Time with Their Family and have the FREEDOM to Spend Life the Way they Want to Live it.
I had everything…
The Love of my Life, Business Growth and Personal Development
Remember those days?
But there was something we wanted more than that… We wanted to start our own family, we wanted a baby
We decided to have a baby and decided to move again, to a smaller town in Mexico, closer to our family. This was my second time moving and I didn’t want to start from scratch again, so I planned everything to keep my business afloat and moved. As you may agree, in life not everything comes out as planned, it was 2010 and remote work was still not a “thing”, so business went down, it was also my fault because I just wasn’t sure how to manage it.
I already had a previous experience starting from scratch so I took what I learned and started building my foundation. I took my Digital Marketing agency’s business model and started on in Mexico. I started building relation with chambers of commerce a local TV network approached me, they already knew my work so they offered me a 30 minute segment in the local news I called it “Business Zone” (Zona de Negocios)
We got pregnant and then my son Gabriel was born, one of the most amazing gifts I was given by God and also a huge responsibility. And things changed radically in a good but unknown way. Before focus, money time and attention was divided in 3, my spouse, my business and myself. Now it had to be in 4 and business starts growing and it consumes more time and attention and you need more money and you need to sell more and you need to take care of your clients and you know… more business more problems.
It is Always About Progress
So even when I had helped many entrepreneurs for the past years, I now was also experiencing it and it gave me a different perspective. In complete transparency, I wasn’t able to get myself together at the beginning and it took me some time, but I started working on my business, on my schedule, on my time, I started learning more and it hit me.
I needed to start doing all those things I was teaching other busy entrepreneurs that had family to do. Crazy how sometimes we are inside the forest and we can’t see things clearly, just like when I realized I had to start a business I already knew about and enjoyed instead of looking for shiny objects.
Well I my experience dealing with it was much more valuable and the strategy had to change. I needed to make changes and update based on my experience, I needed to make it much easier first for me and then for other entrepreneurs, so I stopped coaching, still had my business running, but dedicated myself to develop a new strategy, with new frameworks and a new approach.
Remember I mentioned you earlier that I understood what you were going through because of what I lived at home with my parents? Well it wasn’t just because of that. I also went through it and not only with my first but then again when my daughter was born. So everything I have lived and gone through and the experience I have gotten from helping entrepreneurs is all your gain.
Today I am CEO of Internet de Negocios and BePresence, both Digital Marketing agencies one in Mexico and the other servicing the U.S. We help businesses take their offline business to the online world.
I have helped hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and small business owners. I have been an advisor for four governors, one mayor and three legislators political campaigns.
I’m a member of the board and president of the Innovation Committee at Coparmex, I have also been invited as Keynote Speaker in events like the International Festival for Social Innovation, featured in the book “101 Toastmasters Around the World” and more… But none of that wouldn’t even matter if I wasn’t able to share my most precious moments with my beautiful family.
And that’s what I want for you too.
- I want to help you Experience the Growth and Freedom you Dreamed of in both Business and Life!
- I want to help you create the kind of business that allows you to spend More Time with your Family and have the FREEDOM to Spend Life the Way You Want to Live it.
- I want to help you Reach the Unreachable and live a Happy, Successful and Fulfilling Life!
And if you allow me to… I’d love to be part of that change!