Passion, Responsibility, Integrity, and Commitment are some of the words that define the work done at Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, LLC, a company specialized in offering solutions in the construction sector, its quality divisions include services in areas such as electricity, painting, and security, among others.
Behind the success of this company stands a woman who understands the journey of an entrepreneur, who is aware of the determination expected for Hispanics to achieve their dreams, and who is willing to open doors for those who need it. This is Debbie Rodriguez.
Debbie has built a solid business within the industry and has over 20 years of experience, which has made her an influencer in the construction, light industrial, and manufacturing sectors.
She has received recognitions such as the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2014 and 20 Most Influential Women in Orlando in 2021.
During Women’s History Month, we wanted to learn more about her and tell the story of her journey that came from the heart. A story that we believe will serve as an inspiration for all women who are in the process of starting their entrepreneurial journey.
You own a great business. How did you get there?
DB: I was raised in the home of Cuban parents, and I never thought I would become a business owner. Sometimes I catch myself wondering how I got here. But commitment, responsibility, and passion for what you do are key. I am also very grateful to the people who have helped me on my entrepreneurial journey because without them, I wouldn’t have made it.
What got you interested in the construction industry?
DB: When I was 20 years old, I wasn’t really looking for a career within the construction industry. The truth is that it was the construction industry that found me. I was a Human Resources Manager for a distribution center in Jacksonville, FL, and the salesperson of a construction recruitment company kept trying to offer me staff. One day I met with him in his office, and we immediately connected. People literally walked in the door, and you had the opportunity to change their lives instantly. From that moment on I discovered that every day was different and challenging, so I would never think of leaving this, to do a 9 to 5 job.
I love challenges, nothing is the same here, I love helping people, and without a doubt, in this sector, you can help a lot of people. Today, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I love this industry and the fact that you can grow so quickly and move in different directions.
What challenges do you think women continue to face in the business world?
DB: I love challenges. In my case, I don’t think I’ve had to face a big challenge because if you can handle them, then they’re not really challenges, they’re opportunities, it becomes a challenge if you make it a challenge.
A piece of advice for women who want to start their own business.
DR: I am a realistic woman, but I also have big dreams. I think it is fundamental to do what you love and are passionate about, otherwise, there is no point in doing it.
To women entrepreneurs, I would also say that obstacles become challenges when we give them the option to become a problem.
A normal day for you is
DB: I get up between 4:00 and 5:30 in the morning and finish my day between 9:30 and 10:00 pm, and although it seems like a long day, it goes by fast because my day is spent resolving situations, and supervising to ensure everything is done correctly.
In these last few months, I have not been involved in operations, because as CEO I am dedicated to growing the business. I also take time to take care of my team because I’m sure I wouldn’t be here without them.
Something people don’t know about Debbie Rodriguez.
- Many people don’t know this, but I was hit by a truck and had to confront the possibility that maybe I wasn’t going to make it. In 10 days, I had 5 surgeries and received 3 blood transfusions. The truth is that for me, the problem at that moment was not the accident, it was what would happen next, how that situation would define my life.
The accident made me appreciate people more. Although it was a bump in the road that I managed to overcome, I am not the same person. I am more empathetic and appreciate the beauty of the little things.
One other thing that people don’t know about me is the fact I had a lot of trouble learning when I was a child. Because learning 2 languages at the same time in the 70’s when I was born wasn’t normal; I grew up in a town where, on the one hand, there were my parents speaking to me in Spanish and, on the other hand, there was the rest of the society, speaking only in English.
And I think that’s why I like to help people when they have a problem because that’s what I would have liked them to do with you.
Before saying goodbye, we took a tour of the company and collected testimonials from its employees, who say their lives changed when they met Debbie. At Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, LLC there is an atmosphere full of brotherhood and love.
At HCCMO we are proud of the success of our members and we know they are a great example for the entire community, visit our social networks and get to know them better.