Have you ever had a plan to do something really good and life kept on challenging you before you even really began? What did you do? Did you stop and thought: This is not meant to be?
Or did you keep on going?
In this episode we have a story that illustrates what can happen when you don’t give up.
I’m interviewing Life Coach Paty Johnston, an immigrant, originally from Colombia.
She shares the very beginning of her life as an entrepreneur here in the US. Listen to find out how a single immigrant mom faced major disasters 3 times and what was the thought that kept her going. Warning friends: get ready for goosebumps!
If you would like to learn more about Paty’s course on how to stop procrastinating go to: https://www.stopprocrastinatingtoday.com
Yes. So thank you Ewelina. So for me it’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with you and your audience today. Well, my name is Paty Johnson again, and I was born in Colombia, South America, and I came to the US in 2002 January of 2002. Columbia is a beautiful country. But back then around that time, it was very unsafe. Then I was actually at a restaurant when a car bomb exploded. So, I was injured and so many, many people that were either dead or injured around me. So it was at that time that I decided, you know. Just a moment for me to go from Columbia to the US so that was January of 2002.
Yeah, no kidding. I mean, who wouldn’t want to leave if that’s happening around you? So, I know that you have a very special story to share about the very beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur here in the US. Can you tell us?
Yeah, definitely. So, I came as a student first and then I graduated and moved to Tampa, Florida. And at that time, I decided I needed to open up a business. I always wanted to have a business of my own and that was also going to allow me to also sponsor my visa for myself. So I was brave enough and decided to use all my savings $2,000 at that time and invested it in a company in Tampa. And I was super excited. I paid $1,000 towards rent and I saved the other $,1000, the last money I had in my pocket to buy a brand new computer. That was like the most, the biggest investment. I had gotten at that point. And it was already. It was a mechanic shop and I was super excited. All the equipment was there, my beautiful computer was ready to go and then I watched the news and I saw something I never heard before because we don’t have those things in Columbia. It was a hurricane. So a hurricane was coming to Florida and: “I don’t know…. well, how bad this can be? A hurricane shouldn’t be that bad. Oh, well, it was really, really bad. We actually had even before opening the doors of the business. I had to go home and sit there for three or four days, until the hurricane would pass. And I was like: Oh my goodness. I really wanted to open it. I needed the money. I needed clients to start coming in, so I can live. And anyway, four days later. I went back to the shop, only to find that there was a window that was broken in the office.
Ewelina: Oh goodness…
Paty: Somebody, during the hurricane, just went, broke the window of the office and took the most precious, value I had at that point in my life, which was the computer.
Ewelina: Oh my…
Paty: I didn’t could not believe it. My only, $1,000 that I had was just stolen and I was just broken. And I just said, and I thought: I just cannot believe I have not even started when this happened. So I had to borrow from my dad $300, just to fix the window and be able to eat something. Because I was just at that point that I just couldn’t couldn’t survive. So anyway, I thought I had the money my dad borrowed me so I’m going to continue. So I fixed the window and it was few days later, I was so ready: Finally, at last. I’m going to have a few clients. I need them so much. And when I was all ready to open, I watched the news and you will not believe this a second hurricane was coming through Tampa…
Ewelina: Oh my gosh!
Paty: So, you know, I, I thought: This is really not meant to be for me. At that point I broke down and I thought: “Everything is against me. Am I really that good, anyway? Am I supposed to have a business? Maybe the easiest way for me would be just not opening… and then save face and no one will ever know that I failed.” I was just completely distraught. So I talked to a friend who was a Coach back and I said to her: I’m done. I’m just, you know… I have no computer, this hurricane again, and she said: Paty whether you think you can do it or you think you can’t, you’re right. That is a point by Henry Ford.
Yes. Oh my gosh. I have goosebumps all over my body. So true!
Yes, so true! You said again, whether you think you can do it or you think you can’t, you arrived. Do you think you can do it? And I was just passed by a moment, and I… I do, I know me, I believe in myself. I have this desire of, you know, succeeding for me and my son was three years old at the time and I thought this is my moment. So I decided to gather everything clean up the place, and I was just ready again. Oh my goodness, Ewelina, One more time, ready to go. And guess what?
Paty: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. So it happens that in 2004, three major hurricanes went down in Tampa and Florida. Three in the state, in two months. So, third hurricane was coming and I just couldn’t believe it. I had to go back home. Still, without being able to open the business. But this time… this time I was not defeated. This time I was not doubting myself. This time I thought: You know what? I said: Yes. I know another difficulty, but I know it can do it. So instead of going and crying and feeling bad for myself. I wouldn’t. I start studying during those two or three days that I was home, because it was a mechanic shop. I decided to learn more about cars, learn more about mechanics. I decided to study a little bit of accounting because I didn’t have a computer to keep the accounts for me anymore. So I utilized that time to grow and to be ready for when the time came. And it did come, at last in August of 2004 I was able to open up my business. And not only that I opened it with $2,000 and eighteen months later that is in December of 2005. I was able to sell that business for $500,000.
Oh my gosh. That is unbelievable!
Paty: Yeah, it is crazy. And I’m going to tell you something and for anyone that is listening out there. Can you imagine if I had quit in hurricane number one when my computer was stolen?
And how many people would’ve….
Exactly! Or I could have quit in hurricane number two or even in hurricane number three… You could have said: Well, this is just too much! And I didn’t quit and that’s what makes the difference between me not having a business, a future and a lot of money and me succeeding. And I’m saying that, it’s not because I’m great or look at me… I think about this so many many many times that I have quit or thought I could quit and I could have missed out in one of the best and biggest opportunities of my life. So that was a big lesson for me.
Yeah, and a big lesson for everyone, listening to… what an incredible story.
Ewelina: All right Patty. So I want to ask you, what was the thought that kept you going? What were you thinking at that time, when you were about to give up, but then you decided not to right after talking to your coach…
Paty: Yeah. Yeah. So her phrase, you know, is like a good reminder that it was up to me to decide whether I could do it or not. It was just only me then I knew that I could do it. And that was the constant in my mind: I can do this. I know I can do this and I can do it: one because, you know, God has been good to me my whole life and always he is first for me, but I knew my potential. I need to I needed to remind myself off that in spite of the circumstances, I knew deep in my heart, I could do it and I was doing it for me and I was doing it for my son, who was a baby at that time. So that was it! All that time when I felt like I cannot go on, I would say even out loud which sounds very crazy. I would say: No, but I can do it. I know I can, and I did it.
I love this… Yes. Yes, and it’s I mean, from that thought. I can do it, right? You felt this deep belief and it’s almost like, it sounds like you just made a decision, right? The coach helped you make a decision and that was it. The decision was made, no arguing the brain maybe wants to argue when you had doubts but you were like no we’re not arguing, this is happening.
Paty: Yes it is. And and and that’s the reality. We kind of let other people’s opinions or circumstances to determine our next steps when in reality the decision is yours.
Ewelina: Absolutely, and it’s so basic. Right? And yet such a deep wisdom and it can be applied to absolutely every single thing in our lives.
Paty: A hundred percent, it is profound. Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, I love neuroscience, you know, you know, I have a course and I just teach a lot of neuroscience in my course because it seems so impactful to me, to realize that you can actually command your own brain to believe whether… whatever they want to believe, you can command yourself. Like a, like, if you would like with doggies, sit or turn or do whatever you can actually tell yourself, you can do it and your brain will embrace that, believe it, and it’ll come to happen.
Absolutely believing on a purpose, right? Believing. Yes, believing from a place of: I am in charge here, like the old belief that I’m not capable. That’s all BS. I am in charge, and I can decide.
Ewelina: That’s so empowering.
Paty: I told my my coaching clients. I’m like: Who’s life, is it all the time? So who’s time is it? It’s mine… Then who makes the decisions? We make it!
Ewelina: Yes. Yes. Yes, to all of it!
So, tell us, where can we find you? If any of the listeners would like to find you and have you helped them with, you know, stopping to procrastinate where they can find you?
Paty: Yeah, definitely. So again, if you want to Google me, or search for me. My name is Paty. We just one t p, a t, y Johnson, and my course is called: How to stop procrastinating in 30 days. And I have a website if you want to check it out. It’s called: stop procrastinating today dot com.
Oh, that’s perfect. Love it. Easy to remember and listeners I will make sure to give you all that information in the description of the show. So you can find it really easily. Just take a look there. Paty you are such an incredible example of how far one can come if they have that spirit of strength, resilience and patience. Thank you so much for joining me here and sharing this incredible story with us. You are such a gem!
Paty: Oh thank you this is an honor to be here. Thank you so much for your kind words. Each of us can make it. And I’ve just proved that even a little girl, single mom from Columbia can make it happen, you can too.
Yes, absolutely! Thank you so much.
My pleasure. Thank you!