Great Ideas for your Small Business: Turn Your Anger into Energy
Carmen muñoz knows how tough it is to make it in a man’s world. She’s been in the automotive parts business for more than thirty-five years, starting out as the sole saleswoman for a small firm in the Detroit area.
In 1984, when the owner’s son took over the business, she was called into his office. “He told me I was making too much money for a woman, especially ‘a Mexican woman,’” recalls Muñoz. She was so stunned, she asked him to repeat what he said—slowly.
He did. She’ll never forget Thursday, March 13, 1984, the life-changing day she quit her job. The following Monday, she started her own company to compete with the misguided son. She’s never looked back, although she did laugh a little when her former employer shut down eighteen months after she left. “Anger is a marvelous thing,” said Muñoz. “You can use the energy to propel you to accomplish major feats.”
Muñoz, winner of Avon’s 1997 Women of Enterprise Award, became chairman of the board of GSC Industries Inc. in 1996, when her company was acquired by another automotive firm. Based in Detroit, with offices in Livonia and Indianapolis, GSC’s 220 employees make precision parts for transmissions. Clearly, one would hope that it not take being insulted and harassed to motivate women (or men, for that matter) to excel in business, but—let’s face it—sometimes it takes an extreme situation to move you toward a better future and to clarify the potential in front of you. Even anger can be used in a positive way, if you let it.