We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Ortiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Now more than ever, work-life balance is very important to me. I now have my own family and a 6-year-old son, so it is very important to me and my wife that I am able to be present and active as he grows up. As a small business leader, hard work and extra hours are always going to be a part of the job description, but I know that the better I do at work, the more opportunity I am going to be able to create for everyone around me. I also realize that in order to pour into others, we must first fill ourselves so a proper work-life balance is vital. I find my balance working a five day week. Sometimes it maybe 45 to 65 hours worth of work put in during the week, but I am able to find my disconnect on Saturday and Sunday. The weekends with my family allow me to fill back up and recharge for the upcoming week. Three years ago, we made a bold decision to close on weekends and extend that same benefit to our staff. This was a tough call being in the automobile service business but working a 5-day week has turned out to be one of the best decisions we have ever made in our 38-year company history as it has given that opportunity of work-life balance to all who work with us.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are Foreign Affairs Auto in West Palm Beach, Florida – an award-winning auto repair company that specializes in the repair & maintenance of European Cars. It is our people and customer-centered approach to auto care that distinguishes us and makes so unique. As a second-generation business owner, I was spared a lot of all those crazy start-up uncertainties that you incur when starting a brand new business. My mom and dad opened our shop originally in 1982 and built it from scratch. I was privileged to see, while growing up, how they persevered through difficult challenges and sacrifices during those first several years in business. After graduating college in 2004, I officially joined the family-business. Back then, we were also selling pre-owned cars so I took over that department. In 2016, my dad experienced emergency health issues that required me to abruptly take over – not only leadership but the day-to-day operations of the entire company. We entered a very difficult time in our company history as we made the tough decision to pivot by closing our pre-owned sales department and solely focus on our service operations. I find it amazing how we as humans react when we enter survival mode, have our backs to the wall and seek to move from barely surviving to thriving. Fast forward five years and today we find ourselves fortunately in a very positive position. Our Service Center has achieved consecutive record years and service well over 3,000+ European Cars each year.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love West Palm Beach! I’d spend a weekend in the downtown area – visiting Rosemary Square, Clematis, the Flagler Waterfront, having dinner/drinks at Buccan, Imoto, Avocado Grill, Pizza al Fresco. During the day, you would find me at either the beach or at some of the beautiful tennis courts in the area. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am very grateful for both my personal & professional growth over the years. During my life, I have had the honor of making many amazing relationships with special people that have either directly or even indirectly (not-knowingly) pushed me to become a better version of myself. However, it is going back to my roots and home-base where I find endless love, encouragement and motivation to continue to push forward even farther. This Shoutout is especially dedicated to my wife, Catalina, and my family – mom, dad, brother and sister. They have taught me invaluable lessons about life, the everso importance of a positive attitude, why relationships with people matter, and what it is to be an entrepreneur. These people are my rock. For everything that I have achieved, I still know that the finish line is far far away and there are even better versions of me and my family-business to discover.