Have you ever looked at an 8 or 9 figure business and wondered, “How did they get there? What was their secret?”

Read an excerpt from the Women Who Own It podcast featuring Nina Vaca, founder and CEO of Pinnacle Group — a $1B tech staffing company that she started from scratch.

Nina is a true entrepreneur. Having survived and thrived in 3 major national crises, she knows how to create abundance in the good, the bad and the ugly.

What I consider to be one of our most valuable assets is our DNA — it’s our people, it’s our mindset, our approach, our culture.

– Nina Vaca

Listen to the full episode:

Podcast Excerpt

Allison Maslan: How have your really infused your values into your company?

Nina Vaca: To me, this is absolutely critical — Pinnacle is just living out our values. Our executive team and everyone in the entire company shares those same values — the value of entrepreneurship, hard work, diversity, small business growth. There are so many key pillars, including the value of giving back. One of the things that I’ve seen go in parallel with Pinnacle’s growth is our ability to contribute back into the community. It’s a core value of ours.

When you have your values aligned, that’s your core and that is your foundation. For me, one of the most important thing you can do as a CEO is establish the values, because everything else follows.

Allison Maslan: Can you share how going through difficult times has forced you to think creatively?

Nina Vaca: Whenever I’m going through any kind of crisis, I always ask myself, “is this happening to me, or is this happening for me?” If you allow yourself to think why it would be happening for you, you start to think about your strengths; you start to think about opportunities and your relationships in a way that you hadn’t before. If you have a victim hat on — “it’s happening to me” — it blocks you from thinking creatively. So, I shift the question in any type of difficult situation and say “is this happening to me, or is this happening for me?.”

Allison Maslan: How do you let go when you are shifting from working in the business to working on the business?

Nina Vaca: When you are a mid-sized company, the most powerful tool I can talk about is deliberate trade-offs. When you’re a small business, you’re working in the business — you’re a producer, you’re working in i. When you’re a large business or a scaled big business, you have more resources, more bandwidth, more people. But when you’re in the middle, how do you work on the business? You have limited bandwidth, limited resources, limited dollars, limited everything.

This is when making deliberate trade-offs can become the most powerful tool that you can have. Choose what you are going to focus on — what are the key priorities and the key things that you’re going to selectively invest in — and stick to those like glue. Be really focused on execution. For us, that’s really been a mentality and a tool that has helped us is making those deliberate trade-offs commensurate to our bandwidth, to our people, and to our tools.

Listen to the full episode:
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