Spotlight : Michael Restrepo, Owner at Restrepo Innovations

Each week, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. Today we are profiling Michael Restrepo . Here is a brief introduction.

Michael Restrepo has worked in the Audiovisual industry since 2004. He is currently owner at Restrepo Innovations.

1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?

Before I was in AV, I started with an IT company doing IT management for businesses across the country. While growing my IT business, I was always reading and watching the market. I noticed that AV had been converging with IP a lot more. I felt like that was my moment to make the transition, and it was as natural as I expected it to be.

2.What do you think are the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?

The biggest challenge I see is to allow yourself to make mistakes. This industry really demands firsthand experience to make a really knowledgeable technician. You have to get over the fear of breaking something, get your hands dirty, and get some real world experience. You want to team up with someone who will mentor you and help you out in the beginning. Find a company that will help get you out of your comfort zone, do your due diligence to get the knowledge to turn yourself into an engineer. It takes a lot of time, it’s not overnight. Every problem you overcome, every obstacle you tackle helps you amass this knowledge. Once you do that you’ll be able to tackle things on a jobsite that you’ve never seen before. But there is no way to cut corners with this kind of experience.

3.What are the positives of working in this industry?

You get to work on and touch such amazing and different projects. One day to the next, projects can vary drastically. It’s definitely not repetitive. At the higher end of the industry you get to meet and deal with some amazing individuals and work on some amazing projects where your passion really gets to shine, when people are paying you for knowledge and passion.

4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?

I would remove those that work without having integrity in their work. People who don’t have passion put out crap projects and products. You can’t have profit driven projects if you want to be amazing. Profit driven companies can also ruin clients, the client’s experience, and rob engineers of the opportunity to reach the next level by accepting mediocre work.

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5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?

I love when I get clients that have already experienced a bad dealer. While it takes more time to make the client feel comfortable with you, once they feel the difference they appreciate it. They have already felt the bad so now they know when they have a good integrator they can trust.

6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?

I wouldn’t change anything. Every experience along the way has brought me to where I am today. It hasn’t always been easy, but those moments are the biggest learning moments. All the trials and tribulations it took to get here made me who I am, and I was having fun the whole time. Learning and feeling the pain at times made it so I know and understand the differences. At the time I probably would have said it sucks but it’s like working out a muscle. Sometimes it hurts but the hard work you put in pays off.

7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?

I spend the early part of morning getting into the zone and focusing myself into the mess that I’m about to get into. Since no day is the same and projects vary so drastically, it’s so important to me that I visualize what I need to get done in the day. I see how I’m going to do what I need to do, and I see it getting done. When I get onsite, I’ve already been through it once in my mind so it feels a lot more natural.

8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?

My laptop is hands down my most important tool I use. I don’t know what I would do without the laptop, and it comes with me everywhere I go. I live on my iPhone, whether I like it or not, and Microsoft Exchange allows me and my office to sync up schedules, contacts, emails, everything in real time from wherever we are on whatever devices we use, which allows us to pivot quickly in the day. And like in Mission Impossible, the girl in the chair who can drive and pivot during the day is so important to making each day successful because our company doesn’t just happen on site.

9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?

I’m never done learning and always look forward to trainings. It’s hard to force yourself to take the time out, but the resources are out there for us to keep expanding our knowledge. I love pairing up with others who are more knowledgeable in different areas to teach me. You can’t be scared of partnering with others and learning from them. That with marketing and social media is everything. Teaming up with other brands, being part of the technology voice. I engage others in the industry around the world and refuse to be an island. There is so much we can all gain by talking with each other.

Please connect with him on Linkedin.

Please drop your questions in the comments below and I will make sure that he sees them.

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Ajish Raju

About Ajish Raju

Ajish Raju is co-founder and Chief Evangelist of Favante. He loves traveling, trying new cuisines and gadgets. Reach him at ajish@ajishraju.me