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updated: 9/13/2016 9:18 AM

‘Rethink what is possible. Dare to be different’

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Q: What drove you to start your own business?

A: There I was in a successful career as the chief financial officer for a multinational manufacturer, making a very comfortable living with a comfortable future ahead of me. And yet it was not for me; it was not on my terms. I wanted freedom. Freedom in the sense of what I do, when I do it, the clients I serve, etc. My main point was to be able to have the lifestyle I wanted. And for me that is being able to volunteer my time, travel from time to time, be home most evenings and maintain a balanced life.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born and raised in Brazil. I lived in Sao Paulo for 24 years, then moved to the Houston, Miami, then Mexico City. For the past eight years I have called Oak Park my home. I go back to Brazil at least once a year where I cherish visits to see my brother Danilo, his wife Tati and my nephew and niece: Theo and Isabella.


Q: How do you describe your business?

A: My business is built around the principle that possibilities are unlimited when you are willing to step out and create your own path. I offer insight, coaching and management consulting that transcends the obvious and digs deep to elevate companies and people beyond what they think is even possible. Having my own business allows me flexibility to create innovative ways to interact with my clients, like the DARE program.


Q: What is the DARE program?

A: DARE is an ongoing training and development program I have created exclusively for millennial women who seek the best in their careers, lives and themselves. We will together find ways to accelerate their cwwareer and to get the life they want. The program brings a lot of content, best practices and very practical coaching.


Q: How did this program get its start?

A: I realize that there was this gap between the support received in college and the support received later on starting a career. In college we have all sorts of resources, people to go to for advice. Once you reached a certain level in your career, you may have official mentors, a coach that the company offers and a vast network that can assist you. But what do you do during that "in-between" period? How do you get to that "certain" level in your career? We lack support for those 10, 15 or 20 years between starting your career and "making" it.   I looked back at all the advice and knowledge I wish I had when I finished college and all the support when I faced challenges at work and I wasn't sure who I can trust or count on. I wish that a support group existed when I was younger and beginning my career and I'm proud to say that I am starting one through the DARE program.

 Q: Do you have mentor?

A: Yes, yes, yes. I have a coach, am a participating member of several groups such as Vistage, an organization that provides leadership training and business coaching, and have a handful of mentors. These are people I continue to count on to challenge me, push me and guide me along the way.


Q: What about a business motto?

A: I say, "Rethink what is possible. Dare to be different. Say yes!" Whether it is an individual or an organization, planning a strategy for success requires new ways of thinking, ownership of unique strengths and the courage to carve out new pathways.


Q: What is one fact about you that most may not know?

A: I didn't speak until I was more than two years old. My parents were very concerned and took me to the doctor. They were convinced the delay was related to them speaking two different languages with me. My dad spoke Spanish and my mom, Portuguese. Doctor said there was nothing wrong. One day I started talking, in both languages, and I haven't stopped since.


Q: What is a hot trend in your industry?

A: In terms of human resources, I hear so much about how to understand or embrace the millennials and how to solve the generational gap. In terms of the day-to-day business, it is all in the results which requires being able to show data that supports a strategy, budget allocation, marketing channel, etc. I have to say I am happy with both trends. They are right up my alley.  


Q: What was your first paying job?

A: I worked at a store that sold office supplies and did special gift wrapping. I dealt with the customers and closed the cash register at the end of the day. I think that is where my addiction to office supplies started.


Q: If you were not doing this, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I have loved business for so long, it is hard to say. Maybe I would be dedicating even more time to some of my favorite causes: animal rescue, world hunger or people's general welfare.


Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why?

A: Dalai Lama: I love that he doesn't follow anyone. He is pure love and kindness. British comedian John Oliver of the HBO show "Last Week Tonight." He dares to say what he really think.

-- Kim Mikus