Hey Christian! Can you give us a look into your background?
Christian Maldonado: I am a 22-year-old entrepreneur, who recently graduated from the University of Tampa, with a bachelor’s in accounting. I was raised in Queens, New York until I was about 7 years old. I grew up with my mother who was on The Board of Education at the time and received her master’s degree to teach at just 24. All my life, I’ve been taught how to go about challenges, obstacles, and problems that life tends to throw at people from an extremely logical standpoint. I tend to analyze before I make conclusions or even have an opinion about something. I grew up in Pennsylvania after leaving New York, and my life did a complete 360. My mother lost her ambition for teaching, and had my sister, who is now 14 years old. I saw a complete change within not only my immediate family, but throughout my bloodline. The average income throughout my entire family is just about $30,000 a year as of right now and was even worse at certain times growing up. I always had the drive to excel and be the best I could be, which is why the University of Tampa was the only school I applied for and decided it would be my way out of my small town known as Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Digital marketing started for me my sophomore year of high school when I saw a need for a spirit club, to get more of a crowd to our sporting events. I made all the branding, socials, t-shirt designs, and entire club from the bottom up. After two school years, I left my high school with it being the highest grossing club to ever exist, having over $5,000 in the account for any future necessities or fundraisers. Since then, I have taken every opportunity that’s come my way, whether or not I’ve been qualified or even in the right position to do it.
What inspired you to dive into the digital marketing industry?
I wasn’t even inspired to be honest like most people usually are today…it was something that my generation grew up with, and naturally into as more platforms like Instagram and Facebook were created. I started this journey about 5-6 years ago, before it was widely referred to as digital marketing, and have never thought of pursuing anything else. It all started with simply wanting to develop a spirit club at my high school when I was in 10th grade, creating the socials and overall branding to jump start what was missing at every home game, no matter what sport. It’s transcended into where I am today, which is launching one of the most cutting-edge digital companies in 2019 known as DIGILISM, with some extremely talented entrepreneurs who are shaping the next generation’s perception of digital marketing.
What are some big projects that you’re working right now?
Currently I am the COO of DIGILISM: Creative Digital Solutions and we provide a full menu of services from consulting to AI technology, and even a payment gateway for high-risk online stores. I will be diving more into the financial side of digital marketing when it comes to my own payment gateway, as I’ve been fortunate enough to gain valuable connections within that part of the industry along my journey. I am also currently developing some new products for the tech industry that are mainly focused around being fashion forward and will be excited to release that just before the summer!
How do you differentiate yourself from others in your field?
I try to look out for what everyone is missing. I’ve noticed in digital marketing, everyone’s focus can be “one tracked minded,” and no one is paying attention to multiple elements at once. For example, when boosting became extremely popular on Instagram in the last 2-3 years, no one thought to pay attention to the fact of Facebook/Instagram catching on to others using their platform for personal benefit, and now they’re cutting down on it big time. I focused in on this early and found a solution for my company, to stay on good terms with the platform but still provide growth services, without violating their terms or policies. It’s these little details that I feel set me apart and make a huge difference overall.
What are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?
My biggest influences are the various mentors I’ve met throughout my life, but mainly in the last 5 years of being in Tampa, FL. I’ve learned a lot about business and the various obstacles one has to go through to get that much further. The people I admire aren’t even relevant people online, as they’ve made their fortunes through THE GRIND. My generation has a huge advantage to use these platforms we all know and operate on every day, but the essence of business is what’s being ignored and not yearned for. That is still the way people become successful, but others have conveyed it to be as easy as the click of a button. I want to take the principles, lessons, and experiences these mentors have taught me and pass them along to the next generation so they know that THE GRIND is still needed to become successful and there are no shortcuts.
What have you accomplished?
I never have a legitimate answer for this whenever I am asked this question. Most would say I’ve accomplished a lot at the age of 22, and no matter how many goals I achieve, I still feel as though I haven’t done anything relevant. Some major goals I have reached in the last year that have been most important to me have been graduating from The University of Tampa with a bachelor’s in accounting, selling my second agency for over $100,000, and reinventing the script with DIGILISM releasing in 2019. I have much more I want to accomplish, and aren’t even close to done, or being satisfied with my results thus far.
What would you credit your success to?
I would credit my success to my overall work ethic and attitude in life. I’ve been described to be aggressive, serious, determined, a risk-taker, and overall a hard person to keep up with. From time to time I think these qualities work against me in some way shape or form, but overall are all the qualities that have taken me to the level I am at today. These traits were taught to me by my mother throughout my life, and I wouldn’t be as driven or persistent if it wasn’t for her! Love you Mom.
What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?
There are a bunch of ways to get in contact with me, especially if you personally know me, you’d know that my number has been the same for over a decade! The main ways to get in contact with me is via Instagram, LinkedIn, or email as I check it every minute of every day. Feel free to reach out to just say hi or if you have a question about what I do or digital marketing in general! We’re always open to working and collaborating with other individuals and companies!