We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Valenzano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
Becoming a parent for me was mind-bending. Up until I married my wife I never envisioned myself as a parent. But, as the saying goes, “Never say never”. I had kids a bit later in life which has obvious pros and cons. But, when I think about the most important thing I’ve done, or continually try to do, in terms of an impact on my kids, I would sum it up as being available and selfless with my time. We are all busy. We will live in busy times with endless connectivity to our digital selves. Our household is composed of two kids under 4 with two full-time working parents. And, on top of it, I’m an entrepreneur with one toddler-aged business and one infant-aged business. So, my wife and I are definitely busy. Busyness aside, I make a concerted effort to put my time to its best and highest use – both at work and at home. And, my best and highest use of my time with my kids is really easy – I make myself available to them nearly every day from the moment I get home to the moment they go to bed. We play, act like kids together, talk about our days, what we learned, what was tough, and what was fun and exciting. By no means is this a perfect process, but it is a conscious effort. Sometimes I fail and I’m impatient or get distracted by an inbound email, but the majority of the time I make myself available. My kids slow me down. They help me center and when I center I’m a better person.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Equal Parts’ four years ago with a vision to help companies create effective company cultures and develop high-trust, effective organizations where employees are empowered to achieve success, goals are clear and attainable, and leadership has relevant, trackable data to take fast, decisive action that positively impacts their entire organization. Arriving where I am today has most certainly not been easy. I quit my comfy corporate job to launch Equal Parts in the Summer of 2016. A few weeks after resigning, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first kid. At that point, there was no turning back and I was bound and determined to make it work. A healthy combination of hard-work, incredible support from my professional network, and a bit of being in the right place at the right time has helped shape Equal Parts into a known brand who does great work for great companies.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m not a social butterfly, but if I had even one day with my best friend out here in San Diego here’s what I’d do: -Coffee and a pastry at Pannikin Coffee and Tea in Leucadia -A drive down the coast to the Torrey Pines Glider port to watch – and maybe even go for a ride – with the hang-gliders -Spend some time at the beach in La Jolla shores -Dinner at any Consortium Holdings restaurant – preferably Born & Raised -Walk through Little Italy and grab another drink and desert -Take the Coaster back to Solana Beach and watch the sunset
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Since launching Equal Parts over 4-years ago there have been so very many positive influences to our success. But, someone who has been providing support for the last 40 years is my Mom, Adie. My Mom had it tough. She grew-up the daughter of immigrants who were loving and supportive but didn’t necessarily believe women should be self-sufficient. But, Adie isn’t wired to be anything but self-sufficient. She modeled for me hard-work, kindness, and balance. These are three drivers in my life that I want my kids to understand and connect to in their own unique way. And, they fuel how I engage with my team and how my team engages with our clients.