Many people see thriving businesses and only wish they could have one. What they lack to understand is the person behind that business, put in hours of blood, sweat and tears, made sacrifices, and failed numerous times before their business came to life. They were not handed their dream on a silver platter, they were not dealt a different hand than anyone else in life... they just believed enough in themselves and their dream to go to whatever lengths necessary to see it come to life.
I recently interviewed a woman in Guatemala who turned her passion for doing nails into a very prosperous spa and clinique. First I need you to understand where she lives in Guatemala. She lives in a little city where the most thriving business is a Pollo Compero restaurant (similar to KFC). The rest of the businesses around this city are mostly families running little shops for close to 15 hours a day, making just enough money to pay their rent. I asked her, “What made you think you could open a spa and be successful?” She responded by telling me that, that is in fact what everyone around her was asking her as well. Her family, friends, and even important business people she spoke with, all told her the same thing, “A spa will never make it here. Nobody needs that, it will fail.” For some reason this did not deter her. She had a dream, and she wanted that dream so incredibly bad she was determined to make it happen regardless of all of the voices screaming against it.
At first, doing nails was just a hobby for her. She would do the nails of her friends and family and because she was so good at it, word spread and people began paying her for her services. This is when she decided it might actually be possible for her hobby to grow into a business. Her start was nothing spectacular. She had a little card table and two chairs set up in her grandmother's warehouse where she was surrounded by dishes and other things her grandmother was storing. She was receiving clients, but it was nowhere near enough money to make a living off. During this time she was juggling many different things. In the mornings, she was a teacher, the afternoons.. she would do clients nails, on weekends she went to school and helped run the youth groups at church.... She was saving every penny she made in hopes of one day acquiring a real building for her salon. She was exhausted, worn down emotionally and physically, yet she just kept going.
Many people tend to give up when the world around them is telling them they will fail, yet this woman remained resilient. Her family wanted her to give up on this dream and take a job in the field she had a degree in because they could see her health deteriorating. They wanted her to be happy, but healthy as well, and they feared this dream of hers might run her straight into the ground. I asked if she had anyone at all that supported her dream and she said “When I met my husband, he became my biggest supporter. He was the one that told me 'You can do this!” With the support of her husband and leaning on God, she was able to keep pushing forward.“Just because the past was tiring, I didn't want that to prevent me from trusting God for the good things He had planned for my future.”
It has been 15 years from the vision of her dream, to where she is today. In those 15 years she learned a lot. She trusted people only to get betrayed, doubted many times that she would actually make it, did not have any real schooling in the spa business besides youtube.. but her determination and passion kept her strong. She began crying at the beginning of the interview, I was a little confused.. when when we were done she explained, “I was not crying because of sadness, but I am very grateful to God to get here.” She may have endured a lot of pain in the process, but the results were more than worth it to her. Today her clinic is up and running in a big beautiful building, she has a team of some amazing girls working for her, she makes very good money and also invests into other people's businesses through her own.
Many people have dreams but few achieve them so the biggest question burning inside of me throughout the whole interview was “What made you believe your dream could actually come true, what made you actually start working towards it?” She responded “In the beginning you never know if your dream is possible, but if you don't do anything, then it never will be possible. You have to at least try.”
Thank you S.S for sharing your story.
-a the word changes contributor