This article originally appeared on Valiant CEO on April 4 2023, and was written by Jed Morley Izzy Galicia, President and CEO of Incito Consulting Group, has had an unconventional journey to the top of the consulting industry. Galicia’s early career began in the boxing ring, where he learned valuable life lessons about discipline, strategy, and anticipating the movements of others. He never imagined this passion for boxing would lead him to his current position. When he started his career in the auto industry, Galicia was simply looking for a way to pay his bills and get through school. But his time at New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc (NUMMI) in Fremont, California, and then Toyota, proved transformative. He witnessed firsthand how a company can inspire its workforce, align all employees with a true north vision, and provide endless opportunities for knowledge, growth, and opportunity. “Witnessing how NUMMI and Toyota treated their employees really shaped me in my career development,” shares Galicia. “I grew up in the automotive industry, structuring and defining my ideas on leading and serving.” Challenges Galicia faced several challenges when he decided to venture out on his own as a consultant. One of the biggest challenges was building credibility with potential clients who may have been skeptical of his experience outside the automotive industry. To overcome this obstacle, Galicia leveraged his network. “Never underestimate word-of-mouth and your reputation,” he advises. “This is how I secured some of my first clients.” Another challenge was establishing a clear vision for his consulting firm. Galicia wanted to mirror his experience with Toyota and inspire organizations to achieve their full potential. He named his company Incito, a Latin term meaning “to inspire,” and developed a comprehensive approach that focused on aligning the company’s vision and goals with its employees, fostering a growth mindset, and driving enterprise transformation. Lessons learned Throughout his journey, Galicia has learned valuable lessons that he believes are crucial for entrepreneurs starting out, including the power of humility. Galicia believes being humble and open to feedback is essential to personal and professional growth. “Seeking out mentors and being open to learning from others is important to success,” suggests Galicia, “even if they don’t have experience in the same industry.” Another lesson Galicia learned is the importance of building relationships, as he believes that building strong relationships with clients, employees, and partners is essential to long-term success. “Build authentic relationships and prioritize your clients’ needs above their own,” he recommends. Finally, Galicia believes that resilience is critical to success. He has faced numerous challenges throughout his career, but he has always bounced back stronger than before. “Thanks to boxing, I know how to get back up. You can’t stay down too long,” shares Galicia. He advises entrepreneurs to approach challenges with a growth mindset, embrace failure as an opportunity to learn, and persevere through difficult times. Continue to inspire In the wake of the pandemic, Galicia’s expertise was put to the test as he helped organizations shift and re-prioritize. He helped CEOs and management teams structure their remote workforce, define their individual vision and company culture, and execute new strategies for the new world of work. “In boxing, you’re constantly pivoting. You have to anticipate your opponent’s next move and retaliate at the same time,” he says. “When it came to the pandemic, it was the same mentality. CEOs and entrepreneurs needed to anticipate what was to come while also planning their next move. It’s not about adjusting to a new normal — it’s about understanding what the purpose is and continuing to move forward.” Galicia’s journey to success has been marked by challenges, perseverance, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. His advice to entrepreneurs starting out is to remain humble, build strong relationships, and be resilient in the face of adversity. Through competition in the ring, real-world experience on the manufacturing line, and working his way through the ranks of the automotive industry, Galicia has built up a lifetime of applicable know-how to help guide transformation through innovative, insightful, and inspirational business solutions. Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation. About how Incito can help transform your business and tackle your most important strategic challenges.