Interview with Kana LiVolsi
“If what you are doing is just about ego and making money — you’re doing it wrong. Entrepreneurship shouldn’t come from a desire to show off, it’s not a beach house — it should come from seeing something in the world that needs changing and wanting to do something about it. .” – Kana LiVolsi
Today we feature Kana LiVolsi, the founder at Dos Mundos Creative. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
I’m the CEO of Dos Mundos Creative, a creative studio + brand strategy agency that fuels digital strategies for disruptive, mission-driven brands. We create impactful marketing and try to use the power of media for good for our clientele that consists of leading Fortune 50 and Start-up brands.
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
I was 29 when I left the digital publishing industry and embarked on the Dos Mundos journey. Honestly, there was no grand plan in the beginning. We weren’t looking to start a business, it just sort of happened. One day I ran into my good friend Margaret Heidrick, in a Zumba class and we started talking about how we should join forces.
My skills in media and marketing and hers as a phenomenal international producer were really complimentary and we wanted to see what it would be like to work together — it just sounded like the breath of fresh air we needed. We both really wanted to work in a collaborative, inclusive environment and build the type of business we would want to work at. Soon after, our business grew through our networks and reputation for quality.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
Well, we do a lot! Plus, it varies from company to company. Nowadays, people seem very confused about what marketing entails because to have successful execution you have to have a well-oiled machine — that is customized to each company. Basically, what it boils down to is we make sure our clients (a) look good (b) are consistent (3) make them money and reach the goals they come in with.
We are based in Austin, Texas, but most of our clients are all over the country — primarily in New York, LA, San Francisco, etc. and have a global presence. Man, I love the era of remote work.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
A lot of people want to claim there is some “magic moment” or “special sauce” that leads to success, but honestly, it always comes down to trial-and-error and actually giving a damn about what you do and the people you work with.
That being said, if I had to pin down the recipe for our success it comes down to community. Overall, I’ve discovered that in ANY business the people you have on your team and the clients you work with make the difference and will make or break your business.
When we started I had no idea what it would take to run a business, but taking (mitigated) risks early on allows you to learn and ultimately grow faster. Sometimes, success comes from luck, but most of the time it comes from knowing what not to do.
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
I’ll admit, hiring the wrong fit at different points early on was probably where I received my biggest learning moments. However, none of those people were bad people or hires, it was all about fit and understanding each other and I’m still grateful to know them.
To me, especially when starting out, it’s always worth it to take the chance on people — over the years those risks become mitigated because you know what you are looking for.
Many of my favorite people we work with started out that way, they began as amazing people with a core skillset or solid idea and a lot of potential and grew into rockstar humans and brands.
9 times out of 10 I bet on the underdog. That hunger and self-awareness tends to lead to more strategic and thoughtful growth — not only for themselves but their community.
That I don’t know everything 😉
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Always take the risk, as long as you are smart you’ll get something out of it — either it will be a “win” or a lesson — both are equally valuable. I’m happy I became an entrepreneur, I feel like it has allowed me to grow as a person and a professional in a way I might not have otherwise if I had stayed in a comfortable corporate job. With my personality I need to constantly be learning, to be challenged and stimulated
We launched “Tame the Change” where my team and I interview leading industry professionals about where they see the future heading both from a social and market perspective in relaxed, open and honest conversations.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
Slack, Google Drive and Canva all make life easier and create more accessible ways to interact and collaborate with out clients and their teams.
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
That I don’t know everything 😉
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
There have been a lot of really great moments both with clients and awards, like being included in top 5 finalists for the Austin Under 40 Awards, but for me the most exciting and fulfilling moments have always come from our team and partners.
Having worked in only male-dominated, traditional competitive workforces before Dos Mundos, building a supportive and inclusive environment for our team to grow has been a top priority for me.
So I have never felt more fulfilled than when one of my team members recently expressed that I had successfully created that environment and that they felt that with that support they had really fast-tracked their skillset and career.
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
I’m interested in getting more involved in politics, media helps open the doors for people to be willing to understand each other’s stories and where they came from, but politics has the power to change those narratives completely. Everyone says they want to change the world, I’m no different, I’m basic that way.
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Listen (1) to your community (2) to mentors in the space you want to be in (3) your instincts. Also, remember, if what you are doing is just about ego and making money — you’re doing it wrong. Entrepreneurship shouldn’t come from a desire to show off, it’s not a beach house — it should come from seeing something in the world that needs changing and wanting to do something about it.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Dos Mundos Creative”
To learn more about Dos Mundos Creative Visit https://dosmundoscreative.com
Inspired by this story? Please share this story and other founder stories.
For more inspiring founders stories check out Founder Stories.
Have an inspiring founder story?
The views, thoughts, information, and opinions expressed in the text, videos, images belong solely to those of the individuals involved, and do not necessarily represent those of Founderat.com and its corporate owners, employees, organization, committee, or other group or individuals.
More from Founder Stories
“Surround yourself with a team of people that share your vision and goals, and can effectively challenge you and contribute towards the final outcome…” – Chirag Shah
Founder@ Interview - An Interview with Chirag Shah, Founder at Pulse. Read their story now.
“If you have a vision and you want to implement it, then make sure any legal agreements you have in place allow you to execute that vision without fear or favour..” – Owen Keenan-Lindsey
Founder@ Interview Interview with Owen Keenan-Lindsey, Founder at Assimilated International, read their story.
“Start from a good and revolutionary idea, an idea of lifestyle change, absolute innovation, and never copy something that already exists.” – Andrea Iervolino
Founder@ Interview Interview with Andrea Iervolino, Founder at TaTaTu, read their story.