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Javelina CEO on leadership and mastering your mindset

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“We all walk through life with the incredible power to make someone’s day with a simple kind act.”

Over the past five years, Javelina has grown from three partners sitting around my living room coffee table to a leading Phoenix branding and marketing firm with seven employees and grossing over $1 million annually.

On success:
I am reminded all the time that I couldn’t do a single thing I do each day if it weren’t for a whole lot of other people. From the construction professionals who pave our roads to the person who stocks the grocery store shelves, and from the mentors who have supported me to the interns on our team who approach every task with enthusiasm to learn and make a difference — it’s all the people around me who make any impact I have possible. Remembering that fact — and cherishing it — is at the center of any success.

On leadership:
The best leaders create other leaders. They teach and inspire others to be the greatest version of themselves. When you develop a team of leaders who are able to express themselves fully and authentically, that is when you will have immeasurable impact in the world. And so that’s what I seek to do every day. The true hallmark of my success as a leader will be to have a company that prospers long after I am gone. It is my hope that the leaders developed on my watch will carry on Javelina for the next generation.

Greatest lesson:
Your single biggest tool and asset is your mindset. If you believe you can, you will. The mind is an incredibly powerful muscle, and if you don’t control it, it will control you. Learning to master your mind will help you be in control of the decisions you make, the responses you have to whatever the world throws at you and, ultimately, how you see the world.

Biggest challenge:
Not getting in my own way. Perception and fear often cause us to stand in our own way, and I find that not doing that is a constant practice. I have found it comes down to three things: 1) an awareness that you are creating hurdles and barriers for yourself; 2) kindness to yourself so you can acknowledge this without judging it; and 3) a belief that you can do anything with time, a supportive tribe and a glass of cabernet sauvignon.

Advice to other business owners:
I realized recently that I will never cross the last thing off my to-do list. Shifting my focus away from eliminating tasks and toward achieving productive, meaningful ends has been revolutionary for our clients and team.

Catherine Alonzo
CEO, Javelina
Catherine Alonzo is a recipient of the 2016 Athena Award and was named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2017 Outstanding Women in Business for her professional success as well as the positive impact she’s made in the community.