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An Interview with Carlos Urbaneja About Security Consulting and Risk Management

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Carlos Urbaneja has been an attorney and security consultant for more than two decades. He was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. As an adult, he made a conscious decision to leave his home country in favor of immigrating to the United States, ultimately putting down roots in Miami, Florida. He earned his law degree in the year 2000. 

In the years since, Carlos Urbaneja has been involved in a number of business ventures in various security capacities, and currently works providing consulting services to several U.S. security agencies. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, engaging in projects with large corporations and the United States Government alike, primarily in the realms of risk assessment and threat identification. Throughout his career, Carlos has cultivated a well-honed ability to recognize anything—be it a dubious legal practice, a technological vulnerability, or a potentially dangerous human factor—that might pose a genuine danger to governmental organizations and large corporations.

When not working, Carlos spends the majority of his time with his wife and sons.

Why did you decide to create your own business?

After years of providing corporate ‘bulletproofing,’ I encountered a personal issue that showed me a new path forward. It led me to begin consulting on prospective legal concerns within corporate structures. It’s important to prevent major problems that evolve from poor corporate structure, but it’s also important to head off major concerns, such as the one I endured, from developing. Risk management is a critical component to developing strong corporate security, and governmental understanding of a corporation’s structure empowers both venues to identify and rapidly rectify concerns.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I enjoy every aspect of my average workday. It goes something like this: I get up early and exercise. After that, it’s off to the office. Upon arriving, I usually set up or take meetings for quite a while. The company has offices in both Latin America and the United States, so there are always a great many details to sort out, including contract negotiations, risk and security reports, and everyday paperwork. My first regular meeting is at 10 am and after that, I prioritize my tasks and participate in conference calls. Throughout the rest of the day, I ensure the production of documents and requisitions as required based on the needs of each client. At the end of the day, after spending quality time with my family, I review what has been accomplished and make updates wherever needed before finally heading to bed around 2 am. I know it sounds like a long day, but I really do love it.

What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?

It’s vital to get all the data possible before making any decision. Luck doesn’t have to factor into anything, as long as you do the requisite research. Any situation you enter into when properly prepared will improve the outcome for all sides. Doubly so if all parties concerned are well prepared. 

What keeps you motivated?

I derive a lot of satisfaction and inspiration from the people I work with, as well as building and implementing new ideas. I think brainstorming with my team is absolutely crucial. The company is filled with talented team members, each fueled with insights and inspiration. After being presented with a few ideas that we all agree would be worth pursuing, we systemize them and explore them thoroughly. This investigative process can take a lot of twists and turns, but it keeps things flowing. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned managing your business?

The strategy we’ve employed that has most helped us grow the business has been providing undeniably effective results. Consistently making our clients happy and more secure has solidified our reputation in the industry, which in turn has brought us more business. There is no better advertisement for us than our long track record of success.

What trends in your industry excite you? 

I really appreciate the value we’ve found in holding meetings on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms, and they empower us to connect across the world without the cost of airfare and travel. At the same time, I will temper my excitement by saying that I think perhaps the company depends too much on technology. We need to remember that connecting in person and directly with our clients is more than a nice gesture; it’s a trust-builder.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome? 

One of my personal failures was also a business failure. I gained a lot of weight for a while. A year ago, I made the decision to correct that. The correlation between this seemingly personal issue and my business is simple: If I ask my team to be disciplined, I need to be as well. That realization led me to lose about 65 pounds, which has made me feel better and allowed me to stay much more focused on work.

What pieces of advice would you give to others? 

My first piece of advice would be not to trust everyone. Even if a proposition sounds incredibly good and it’s pitched by a person you want to trust, make sure you’re making a choice based on research instead of emotion. Many people say that, but they forget that feeling good about something is an emotion. It was that particular emotion that led me into a partnership that should have been avoided. My second piece of advice is research your choices, and even your possible partnerships. By doing so, you may ultimately save yourself a lot of time, money, and headache.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person? 

When I’m not working, I spend most of my time with my wonderful family. Making sure they’re cared for and they know they’re loved defines me as a person.

Brandon Foster is a multimedia reporter. He covers a variety of topics.

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