Growing up training as a triathlon athlete, Nina Vaca describes her entrepreneurial journey being synonymous with her training. As the founder, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group and former Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, appointed by Obama, she has travelled across the world to inspire women and women-owned businesses to be “crazy good” in their career of choice.
Everyone should embrace education and technology
Born in Ecuador and raised in LA, her parents came to America chasing the American Dream in the form of entrepreneurship. Watching their immigrant work ethic from the age of 10, she learnt some invaluable lessons. Her parents knew the importance of education and technology in business and adopted them as early as possible and she has been aiming at doing the same since; Vaca was met with her first computer, a Sabre System that was used for travel bookings. From the point of view of an entrepreneur, she believes that “everyone has an entrepreneur inside them.” Launching Pinnacle in 1996, she has raised the company to become a powerhouse name in the industry and it was named the ‘Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Business’ in the United States in 2015.
Confidence must be instilled and fuelled every day
However, she thinks that she should have believed in her capabilities more and the impact that her company had on the American economy. To be a part of it was a big deal. The key behind it all is confidence, she says, “Confidence was instilled in me at a very, very young age. I have two teenage daughters, 16 and 17 years old, and I try to instil that same confidence in them. I tell them, Confidence is the best outfit you can wear.” Also, she stresses the significance of role models in a person’s life, “A role model is someone who you respect and who you want to be like, someone you can relate to. There’s a saying, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.'” No one should second-guess themselves and it’s something which is a work in progress because confidence doesn’t come naturally, it is a journey.
Coming from a Latino-immigrant background, Nina Vaca has shown that a successful woman can come from anywhere. With a passion for entrepreneurship, confidence and hard work, anything can be accomplished.
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