Originally from Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas, Carlos Urbaneja was raised to value family, ethical responsibility, and personal growth.
In time, he immigrated to the United States with his family, intent on pursuing new opportunities and challenges. After settling in Miami, Florida, he would proceed to earn his degree in the year 2000, and embark on a career as an attorney and legal consultant.
Initially, Carlos worked as a consultant for international franchises and Fortune 500 corporations, but he has since transitioned to providing his professional services to emerging American companies and the United States Government. His overarching mission is to root out corruption, eliminate unethical practices, and help companies maintain compliance with American law in all areas of operation.
As a proud husband and father, Carlos Urbaneja enjoys spending time with his family. To this end, he includes his children in every aspect of his life that he possibly can in order to help them develop strong values, as well as have fun. He also enjoys spoiling his wife when the opportunity arises. Beyond that, Carlos values exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.
What do you currently do at your company?
When a new corporate client or government entity retains my services, I begin with a full risk assessment. From there, I conduct a deeper investigation into the infrastructure of the client organization, checking for every possible avenue of legal concern. By comparing the applicable legal codes to the organizational structure and information I’ve gathered, I’m able to identify any legally questionable concerns. These concerns could be in the areas of money laundering, immigration fraud, misappropriation of funds, or something benign.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration is personal. My family was harassed due to some business decisions. Eventually we endured a kidnapping, as well. During that harrowing time, the people who perpetrated that crime also worked to destroy my reputation. When the situation was finally resolved, it came to light that the effort was orchestrated by aspects of the Venezuelan Government. They extorted our family, our businesses, and took our homes. From that point on, I dedicated myself to helping others avoid similar situations and to stopping those who commit such terrible crimes.
What keys to being productive can you share?
The keys to being productive are persistence and understanding. If you are persistent and considerate of those around you, things will come together.
How do you measure success?
I’m lucky enough to have been happily married for 20 years, and blessed with a loving, tight-knit family. My kids are healthy, my wife is happy, and I’m able to provide for them. I enjoy what I do for work, too. There is no better measurement of success than that.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
I strongly suggest not getting into partnerships if you really don’t know your partner very well. Simply diving head-first into an intertwined business relationship and hoping for the best is not a good idea. My worst experiences are rooted in bad choices for partners.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
The best thing any consultant in any industry can do is be there for their clients. Cultivating relationships leads to long-term connections and gives you the opportunity to give the best of yourself, your efforts, and your knowledge to the client. I’m always available to my clients. They can call me at 2 am, if need be. Treat your client with respect and provide them with what they need at a good value and you will be successful.
How would your colleagues describe you?
My colleagues would call me a perfectionist. I might also be thought of as a little paranoid. But when you consider that my job is checking for risks and evaluating corporations, that particular trait can be a net positive. Many of my colleagues consider me a teacher or professor of sorts, as well. I think that just comes with accumulating experience.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I maintain a solid work life balance by respecting time meant for work and time meant for family as totally separate. If I could offer a word of advice to the readership, it would be to not bring work home with you or to family events. By the same token, do not bring anything from home into work—especially private problems or stress. Keeping these two sections of your life separate allows you to be present in whatever moment you’re facing, instead of being distracted by one or the other.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
The technology that I use the most in the execution of my daily business would have to be telecommunications-based, primarily computers and phones. I’m on the phone constantly, and my investigations are mainly conducted online—although sometimes I have to delve deeply into older styles of documentation. That aside, typically, I’m staring at a screen of some kind most of the day.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The time my family and I were extorted was the most difficult situation I’ve ever been confronted with. We lost everything. Since then, we’ve fully recovered and are in a much more secure and better place than before the extortion. This is a good development, of course, but overcoming the extortion was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced with regards to both my business and my personal life.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Whatever you don’t measure, you don’t control. Tracking information and measuring data are the only reliable ways to obtain the information you need to direct your company forward; to guide it down the path you want it to take. Without tracking information and measuring data, your company will always be reactive rather than proactive, and its options for action will be very limited.
Getting to Know You: Carlos Urbaneja, Security Consultant