David Ibarra, president and CEO of the Ibarra Brito Group Inc., gave advice to students about entrepreneurship on Thursday at Weber State University. Ibarra encouraged students to follow what they want to do and work hard at it.
Ibarra followed in the steps of his father, Fransisco Ibarra, and his success in business. Ibarra’s father was never satisfied with where he worked, moving from working in the fields, to a copper mine, to the Army, to being a hairdresser.
“Dad went from bombs to bangs,” Ibarra said.
At a young age, Ibarra was registered with foster care in Utah by his mother. Along the way, his father stayed connected with him and his brother. They both started from nothing and went on to be successful.
Ibarra started as a dishwasher to pay for his college education, and said he thought it was going to be the most insignificant job he could have.
“It is not the best job to have,” Ibarra said.
One day, a man walked in and told him he had the most important job anyone could have. He showed Ibarra that guests are satisfied when the dishes are clean, and they will remember the events at the restaurant. He told Ibarra that he was the protector of the memory.
Ibarra was then moved to being a waiter at the restaurant and moved his way up to being director of training for the Marriott Corporation, and soon bought his own franchise. He wasn’t satisfied, and decided to go into the automobile industry in Utah.
After a few years of selling cars, he went into business for himself, starting IBG Inc.
“I was an unlikely candidate to have what I have,” Ibarra said. “Success cannot happen unless you have a merger of capital and talent.”
Through partnering with the Marriott Corporation, Ibarra was able to gain the capital to start his own success. He kept proving to the corporation that there wasn’t a challenge it could give him that he was going to fail.
Ibarra also provided an example of the human factor pyramid: 3 percent are self-directed and hunt for problems; 10 percent are self-managed and solve problems; 27 percent cause problems, while the other 60 percent are managed by others and hide from problems. The 60 percent is likely the group that is talking to a company’s customers and are motivated by who leads them.
Just because people may be in the 60 percent, Ibarra said it doesn’t mean they can’t be in the other parts of the pyramid.
“I have to remind myself that it’s up to me,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra said success is a simple process of having a goal in mind, creating an action path, walking the path, scoring the goals, finding a mentor and zapping the gaps. This is what the 3-percenters and 10-percenters do, he said, while the rest resist it.
“It’s up to you,” Ibarra said. “Work hard; don’t play by the rules.”
Natalia Munoz, a WSU student, said she thought it was excellent to see that someone with Ibarra’s background could succeed and be where he is now.
“I think the majority of people are set on the 60 percent and we just want to get things done,” Munoz said. “However, when he talks about it, we want to be part of the 3 percent, and we want to lead.”
Maria Huerta, also a WSU student, said it was inspiring to see Ibarra move up from the bottom and reach the top, despite what others thought of him.
“He didn’t stay down there, like most people think he would’ve; he actually reached the top and became very successful,” Huerta said.
Ibarra encouraged the students to stay in college and follow what they want to do, because they’ll never get these years back.