March 8, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Mariangel Coghlan is a woman who is expertly and successfully serving many fronts simultaneously. He runs his design firm, edits books, studies, and mentors youth at the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) .
He studied architecture at the University of the Americas in Puebla with the dream of transforming spaces. After finishing his studies, he started working in a furniture store, but he soon realized that this was not what he wanted.
“What I did was follow a dream. I have the hypothesis and belief that the space you inhabit improves your productive and creative capacity, and of course your happiness ”, begins Mariangel.
The architect says that when she decided to undertake she had no idea what she had to do, but she was clear about the reason that still makes her get up every morning. With more than 20 years of experience, he reveals some secrets that have allowed him to grow.
Image: Courtesy Mariangel Coghlan
1. Seek support and learn from other experiences
The first business he started was a furniture store that remained in force and grew to open three branches in Mexico City: San Ángel, Prado Norte and Prado Sur.
“After 14 years I wanted to do something different. However, the first thing I did was define what I wanted to do as an entrepreneur, ”she says.
Then a watershed came to her life and with the support of her husband, and a friend of his, they invited her to be part of EO, and although she already had many years of experience running a business, she was nervous that he would not. accept.
“It has been one of the best things that have happened because people share their experiences and help you grow,” he says about the experience. “What they have experienced helps you grow and I started there to learn.”
2. Fulfill your mission and be true to your philosophy
The mission of the design firm Mariangel Coghlan is simple: to help people live better, improving the environment they inhabit.
“When beauty is present it predisposes to good; when people are predisposed to good there is goodness, and when there is goodness the world improves ”, says the architect.
It may sound utopian, however, the lesson he shares is that to be a good firm of whatever it is, service comes before any business.
In her experience, many clients are not happy with the end result and she would rather sacrifice some profitability than lose a client’s recommendation.
“A satisfied customer will always be the best advertisement you can have. There are many people who write to us to ask for advice on which floor to put on or what color to paint and we answer all the messages we receive even if they cannot pay for our services, because that is my mission: to help them improve their spaces ”, he declares.
Being loyal to her principles has led her to have her firm recognized as the best luxury interior design studio in Mexico by the Luxury Lifestyle Awards.
Image: Courtesy Mariangel Coghlan
3. Know your limits, don’t stop and adapt
For Mariangel, many entrepreneurs have in mind the idea of scaling and growing the business at any price, however, she has discovered that not all businesses have that possibility.
“I made a line of furniture to sell online and also at Casa Palacio. I wanted there to be a Mariangel Coghlan piece of furniture in every house and I became obsessed with scaling the business that ended up costing me millions and it never worked ”, describes the entrepreneur.
After this, the lesson that remained is that if it comes to entrepreneurship, you must be resilient and adapt to the possibilities.
“Not everything is a failure, I see it as an apprenticeship of millions of pesos. In this world of entrepreneurship, you must experiment, analyze and study what you want to do well, ”he says with a laugh.
For the architect, business is simple, it is about understanding how much comes in, how much goes out and how much you have left. If after some time there is no money left, it is not the right business.
“Then you have to turn it around to do what you are passionate about so that you can live well and also the people who work with you,” he says.
During the confinement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021, the showroom in which he exhibits his work has been closed, but he had to adapt to the times to maintain his business and the collaborators who make everything work.
“It has been a year of great challenges, having a closed space of two thousand square meters has not been easy, but building a brand that is focused on service has allowed us to remain in force,” he says.
The adaptation process had to be quick. He transformed his page, went digital and has created 12 ebooks that function as catalogs so that his clients and prospects do not lose interest.
4. It’s not all about money, it’s about your dream
“Starting a business based on just making money is not a good starting point. The starting point should be what you like to do and what you are good at ”, he says.
As a passionate about architecture and design, she ensures that when you discover “your element”, that can fill entrepreneurs with adrenaline and energy to make things work.
“You have to do something that fascinates you. In my experience as a mentor, the projects that transcend are those in which the entrepreneur does what fascinates him, ”she says.
As a “shamelessly optimistic” person, Mariangel believes that it’s all about making dreams come true, and always having new goals. That dream is “the element that moves us” and it is what, if you do it with passion, it will bring you profit.
There are three dreams that she has before her today: to finish her second book on interior design… and another two that she asked not to comment on until they come true, but that her server is aware of.