Q&A With Veronica Martinez: On Surviving Domestic Abuse, Running Multiple Businesses and Time Management

About Veronica Martinez

In this candid interview, we talk to Veronica Martinez about being a domestic violence survivor, single mother, student and serial entrepreneur. Veronica comes from a family of merchants in Puebla, Mexico. Her parents sold corn, churros and had a stand for shooting games. They traveled around the country to sell in fairs. Veronica tells us that her entrepreneurial spirit comes from her childhood; her parents always instilled in her the idea of being her own boss. 

How did you end up in Austin, TX? 

I married a merchant in Mexico. We sold flowers and hats together. But he had schizophrenia. He was very jealous and could become very violent with my customers. I decided to protect my daughters and left him. That’s when I moved to the U.S.


What jobs did you have before starting a business?

I started working in a restaurant. I was a cook in the morning and a cashier in the afternoon. Shortly after, I was promoted to manager because of my skills. My boss got me a food manager’s license, and with that, I started my first business, a food truck. However, I had to leave it due to health complications. After that, I started my cleaning company.

How was the transition from cooking to cleaning?

It was a big challenge to start cleaning bathrooms. I used to cry. But it allowed me to be with my children. My daughters were bullied, I had to keep going to their school. I couldn’t have a job with a regular schedule. I worked from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and that allowed me to be present at home.


How did you grow your cleaning business?

Thanks to my clients and my good work. My children helped me take out the trash at the beginning, now I have 10 employees. I started applying for contracts with large companies, and little by little, my business began to grow. Now we clean for big companies like Zara and Best Buy, among others.


You have four other businesses, right?

Yes, I have a waiter service for parties. I also sell perfumes, and on special occasions, I sell flower arrangements. My most recent business is Corn Tigo, it’s a mini snack bar. We serve corn and other Mexican snacks. I saw that snack bars were becoming a thing at the parties that hired my waiter service and decided to give it a try. 


What inspires you to have multiple businesses? 

Necessity. Expenses, like my children’s universities, make me look for additional resources. That’s how my ideas come about.


I see you are extremely innovative… 

Difficult situations force you to seek opportunities. Success is a decision. In my case, I can’t just sit around and do nothing. I create my own opportunities and skills. If I realize I’m missing something, I study it, I learn it, and I do it. Difficult situations are lessons. It’s been tough at times, and I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved.


What has been a key ingredient for your success?

Learning to say NO. Many of us say we don’t have time, but we have to make time. We all have the same 24 hours. Learning to live with a schedule has given me freedom. Now I’m taking classes at ACC, getting my GED. I give myself the time to achieve my goals, and that helps me envision my accomplishments.


How do you see yourself in 2024?

My businesses are running, my children are grown. This year, I want to dedicate more time to myself. I want to exercise, take care of myself in general. When you have children, you live for them, when they grow up, you can start thinking more about yourself. Next year is my year.


Any words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs?

Commitment is personal, success is a decision. You decide to do it or not to do it. You decide to grow or stay the same. If you use JUST loans as an investment, your business will grow. The more you invest, the more profits you will gain. JUST has been the fuel for my engine. Changing your habits can change your life.

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