Very Important Panther
Johanna C. Salazar MBA ’10
- Vice President, Production Planning & Operations, Viacom Global Entertainment Group
- Founder, Media Disrupters LLC
- Co-founder, Grateful Group LLC
- Co-founder, Young Women Social Entrepreneurs—Miami Chapter
Q: Working in media—as a content strategist, executive producer and self-proclaimed “disrupter”—how do you maintain the needed level of creativity?
A: For me, creativity is simply the art of figuring things out, coming up with ideas when the options seem obsolete and never giving up on your vision. I find that listening to my gut and following my purpose, while never forgetting my core values, keeps my creativity alive.
Q: As an entrepreneur, you must be both focused and fearless. How do you sustain that?
A: I believe my strength comes from learning and knowledge. I read something every day related to my industry. I also pay attention to various news outlets so I know what’s happening in my community and in the world. I take courses and I ask lots of “stupid” questions constantly. I embrace change and I confront failure.
I live my life learning from my mistakes because I don’t want to live with regret. Some might call me fearless, I call it “riskful.” My mother once told me that if we don’t take risks in life we won’t succeed. I took that piece of advice very seriously and made it my life motto.
Q: Gratitude is huge for you. How has that simple—but powerful—approach guided you to success?
A: Life is full of hardships and lessons; if we focus on the bad, it will become our truth. If we look at the other side, the blessings and the positive, that will become our truth. Whenever I find myself going through a human moment, I get myself thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. This exercise usually helps me refocus.
Q: You have created organizations to empower others. Why is that important to you?
A: Empowerment is the responsibility of every leader and manager. I think this is something we all need to take very seriously because if we are bad leaders we will raise bad future leaders.
Q: What is your best advice to someone looking to succeed in business, or in any field?
A: I love this quote by Einstein: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” I love this quote because it made me think long and hard about success and the meaning of success for me. I decided that I am a woman of value because my meaning of success is happiness. If you are grateful, you are happy. If you are happy, you have achieved success!
Q: How did FIU help position you for success?
A: FIU made me feel like I was part of an awesome learning community. I built amazing relationships and friendships that are still part of my life. I believe FIU is more than just an institution. It’s a community of people that really care, that love their jobs, that make things happen. I look forward to being part of the FIU community for the rest of my life! ♦