The Entrepreneurship Series hosted Lelani Craig President/CEO of CommGap International Language Service on Tuesday, Feb 5.
Her entrepreneur journey began by translating at the local jail, which eventually turned into a multi-million dollar business.
Craig was born in Argentina but moved to Idaho with her family as a child. When she was 14, the sheriff asked her to come to the jail on the weekends to help translate.
In high school, Craig’s principal suggested she become a UN Interpreter. Even though she did not end up becoming an interpreter, her principal planted the seed in her brain.
“He opened a door for me, I would never have thought about-the idea of language services.”
After high school, Craig moved to Utah to attend college and began working for the state as an interpreter and soon became a freelance translator.
“Being a freelancer lead me to becoming an entrepreneur,” Craig said. “For me, it is a path. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to make my own business. I followed a path of learning and evolving and receiving the training that I needed.”
During her presentation, Craig discussed important lessons she has learned that has helped make her successful in her business. She covered topics such as the importance of profit, understanding how money works and making sure there is a need for the service you want to provide.
“[You need to] do your homework,” Craig said. “Figure out why, what and where the money will come from.”
Craig started CommGap organically and now, 18 years later, she is completely debt free and owns a multimillion dollar company.
The last piece of advice Craig gave to SUU students was to “think bigger.”
“When you are so focused on what is in front of you, you can’t focus on the bigger picture,” said Craig. “Think of the possibles of where this could go. Think outside of the norm.The people who succeed are the people who thought bigger.”
Craig also emphasized the importance of being a entrepreneur.
“This country needs more entrepreneurial creative minds that think outside the box,” Craig said. “Being creative is the essence of being an entrepreneur.”
For more information on the Entrepreneurship Series visit here.
Story by Cassidy Harmon
Photo Credit Chris Dimond