That day also marked a meaningful anniversary for Valentino.
It was 25 years to the day since Valentino ran away from home, opting to live on the streets and scrounge food from garbage cans rather than stay in an abusive environment.
“I did my grand opening on that day because I want to remember always that as long as I make the right decision and I keep going and I believe in myself and I believe that God will always be there for me, then I am empowered to keep going,” Valentino says. “That is what empowers me every single day.”
Valentino hopes to spread that feeling of empowerment to other entrepreneurs across the United States by providing access to business services that are affordable, reliable, and trustworthy. Valentina’s focus is helping business owners realize their dreams without making critical pitfalls and mistakes.
“When I first incorporated my business, I actually didn’t realize that it was more than $209 to incorporate,” Valentino says. “I had an idea, I saw a commercial, I was jobless, I was hungry, and I said, ‘209 dollars?’ And then I looked at my refrigerator, and then I looked at this opportunity to start my business, and then I looked at my refrigerator again, and then I said, ‘I can eat eggs and I can eat ramen and that will be fine.'”
Valentino had no idea the whirlwind of events that one decision would set in motion. Valentino expected to have months or even a year to set up a C-Corp but was surprised to discover it only takes 48 hours to incorporate a business in Delaware.
“All of a sudden, it was off to the races,” Valentino says. Valentino had to worry about finding insurance, opening a business bank account, renting a physical office space, and much more all at the same time.
Working through the logistics of it all was a living nightmare for Valentino, who spent hours and days on the phone, driving across the state, or waiting in line just to get up and running.
“What they don’t realize is that I have 12 years of experience working for call centers, so I have the patience of a saint,” Valentino says with a laugh. “I have the stamina of a pit bull.”
Though Valentino made it through this ordeal, frequent questions began to arise: How could hard-working Americans with two or more jobs ever have time to navigate this process? How could entrepreneurs with children or those with disabilities or those who speak a second language be able to jump through the hoops required to make their business idea a reality?
That’s when Valentino decided to pivot Corporate Diagnostic Center’s business strategy to focus on helping entrepreneurs realize their vision.
“I am teaching new business owners how to embrace their vision and run with it,” Valentino says. “I am not trying to teach them how to do it the old way. I am trying to teach them how to do it their way, because that is what America is about.”
And with each challenge or struggle Valentino overcomes, Corporate Diagnostic Center continues to grow its offering and services.
But the journey has not been easy.
“There are days where I just want to give up and there are days when I am so defeated and I am so frustrated that it hurts—my whole body hurts,” Valentino says.
Juxtaposed against these moments of dejection, Valentino has also experienced many moments that inspire him to keep pressing forward.
For example, a man in the Philippines told Valentino that because of this work, he was able to spend much more time with his family.
“I cried because . . . that is what I want,” Valentino says. “I want that to be able to happen in the United States as well. I want to have that effect where people come to me and say, ‘Thank you. I have more time to spend with my family going through this process and being less stressed out because of all your hard work.”
That motivation influences Valentino’s advice for other small business owners starting on their journey: “Just remember this friend . . . every heartache, every hardship that we deal with today is going into something where we are going to make it easier for other people. Maybe not today, but maybe in five years and maybe in ten years, and maybe their children are going to be closer to these family members because of the hard work that we put into it today, so just remember that all of our sacrifices are not for nothing. It is for something at the end of the day.”
Valentino has seen how the ripples of influence each of us create reach farther than we could ever expect. In fact, many groups have reached out to Valentino asking about mentorship and advising possibilities.
“They now have someone who is a business owner who is loud, that is a representation of being multicultural, of being from the LGBTQ community, of being from a hidden community of PTSD leaders,” Valentino says. “I embody all these things, which is a huge responsibility.”
That’s why Valentino constantly asks the question: At the end of the day, what did I represent?
To those who may feel discouraged, Valentino says, “Never give up on yourself. Never give up on your vision, because it is important. . . . The reality is that you can do what you believe you can do. You do not have to get outside validation to keep going. You don’t need anyone’s validation to keep going. You just do what’s right and what’s true to you and to your values. As long as you stick true to that and you stay rooted within your values and you understand them, then that is where your strength comes from. Your fire will come later, and when you get lit and that fire happens, you are going to be unstoppable, so just keep on going.”
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY! Want to receive a free ticket to Corporate Diagnostic Center’s grand opening and win free prizes on January 3, 2022? Use the discount code “Mazuma” and receive a free ticket. All those who attend the grand opening are eligible to receive prizes that will be given away every hour. The grand prize is an incorporation package that includes incorporation, an EIN, official Articles of Incorporation, access to legal services for 3 months, reputation management, website services, Google starter package, and more!