Adriana Vela stands as a dynamic force at the intersection of technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship, leaving an indelible mark on the business landscape. As the visionary founder of MarketTecNexus, LLC, Adriana has propelled her company to the forefront of strategic marketing consultancy, demonstrating an unparalleled ability to navigate the ever-evolving digital ecosystem. With a keen understanding of emerging technologies and a strategic mindset, she not only leads her team with innovation but also provides invaluable insights into leveraging digital trends for business growth.
Adriana’s influence extends beyond entrepreneurship; she is a sought-after speaker and author, contributing thought leadership on the transformative impact of technology on marketing practices. Her commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital realm positions her as a trailblazer, offering a fresh perspective on how businesses can harness the power of technology to thrive in the modern marketplace. Adriana Vela’s two-decade-long journey in the industry reflects a steadfast dedication to excellence, establishing her as a visionary leader shaping the narrative of success in the dynamic landscape of technology-driven marketing.
As the founder of MarketTecNexus, what motivates and energizes you as a leader in the marketing industry?
One of my primary driving forces is receptiveness, defined as people driven by new ideas, methods, and opportunities that fall outside a defined system for living. I love being the captain of my own ship and knowing that I am not a product of my circumstances but a product of my decisions because accountability is one of my values. My third driving force is resourcefulness, which refers to people who are driven by practical results, maximizing both efficiency and returns for their investments of time, talent, energy, and resources. Lastly, I am intentional, which refers to people who are driven to assist others for a specific purpose, not just for the sake of being helpful or supportive. On the surface, being intentional may come across as self-serving. However, there is much more to it. Intentionality follows the philosophy that if I give a man a fish, I feed him for one day, but if I teach a man to fish, I feed him for life. That’s the extent of self-interest, which coincides with my resourcefulness, which looks for an ROI on time, effort, energy, and resources.
Exploring possibilities, gathering new ideas, and creating new systems is quite energizing. Most of all, developing ways to help more people become adaptable and resilient with my brain science tools and techniques gives me a strong purpose and energizes me the most.
Can you share a notable success story or achievement of MarketTecNexus that you are particularly proud of?
MarketTecNexus’ subsidiary named NanoBioNexus, garnered attention from leaders worldwide as a result of my strategies that enabled us to become a named sub-recipient of a 5-year $20M grant from the National Cancer Institute as a partner with the University of California San Diego and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Our work earned us a personal thank you from U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein and a Telly Award for our video production of “Fighting Cancer With Nanotechnology.”
How did the idea for “Brain Science for the Soul” originate, and what motivated you to explore the connection between brain science and leadership in your new book?
Having faced many adversities, challenges, and massive disruptions, I reaped the advantages this afforded me from cultivating ninja resiliency skills. I even developed my own disruption management systems with practical techniques to detect, manage, and conquer disruptions, which served me well in innovation-driven markets.
Despite this advantage, it all crumbled in 2014 when a car accident resulted in being diagnosed as permanently partially disabled. I tried to tough it out and continued running my business as usual, but I was in denial about the physical, emotional, and psychological toll of the injury.
My brain defaulted to ingrained patterns that I could conquer anything. As humans, we conveniently forget that we all have blindspots which we can’t see even on good days. I saw the patterns, but I decided to keep going. In my commitment to my business, I prioritized it instead of me. This is a prime example of letting your biases go unchecked, resulting in bad decision-making. Previously an accomplished overachiever and creative problem-solver in science and tech-related industries, I couldn’t solve my way out of a paper bag.
Worse, I was so aware of it that I became clinically depressed. Desperate to stop the pain, I invested years researching and learning psychology and cognitive science to help me make my brain work for me and not against me. While the journey was painful, my experience ultimately made me a better human being, and my life has been incredible since.”
When Les Brown, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, said, “You don’t ask for help because you are weak. You ask for help because you want to remain strong.’ it resonated with me. Making this type of comeback places me in a position to empower others with tools and techniques to do the same, so I made it my mission to help others remain strong.
As a female entrepreneur, do you have any advice for women looking to establish their presence in the male-dominated tech and science research sectors?
I’ve always instinctively known that starting a business is not for the faint of heart. At the same time, I’ve always known that women are much stronger than many believe. In that sense, women may have more staying power depending on their convictions. The point is that starting a business is, always has been, and always will be all about leading yourself before you lead others. Leading yourself first involves genuinely knowing yourself and aligning yourself with your values. Lacking self-awareness and misalignment with your values will hinder success. To that note, it is critically important for female entrepreneurs to challenge deeply ingrained values founded on customs that may not serve them in today’s world. The focus must be on what they genuinely want to achieve, not what society expects. Generational and cultural forces are powerful but not necessarily designed for adaptability to changing times. I think of them as laws that made sense in the past but not in the present.
Another essential is to surround yourself with the right coaches or mentors. The type that will not tell you what you want to hear but will tell you what you need to hear. Those who have walked the path you’ve chosen and who understand the distinction between knowledge and wisdom. The icing on the cake is developing the skills to detect the convergence of innovations across various unrelated industry sectors. Experience has taught me how to find true innovation on the fringes of a given industry, and it is a skill worth developing.
As a bilingual author and speaker, how do you navigate and celebrate cultural diversity in your work?
I celebrate and acknowledge different holidays in our social media posts, and in communications, it comes down to being present and paying close attention to everyone we engage with to discern what matters to them the most and respect it. It is not rocket science. It is human science. I propose not making it more difficult than it needs to be. This would not even be a topic if we were all open and receptive to diverse cultures. The world would be pretty different, I imagine.
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