It was 2015 when I decided to leave my job, with the goal of flying higher and to go after my dreams. Suddenly, I discovered a community of Latina entrepreneurs that was growing behind my back while I spent my life sitting behind a desk, every day from 9 to 5 for 7 years.
One of the first women I noticed from this group and that I started to follow everywhere, was Lorraine C. Ladish, the founder of Viva Fifty, a portal for women in the 50’s, who talked a lot about entrepreneurship, the benefits of working from home and yoga.
During those months, when I was starting out in this new entrepreneurial and independent world and working from home, she launched her book Reach: from single mom on welfare to digital entrepreneur, and — wanting to know more about her and her history — I bought it as soon as it was published.
Lorraine has had the courage to tell her life story in a very personal way in a 104-page book, openly sharing the transition from having everything (home, marriage, and work) to suddenly having nothing.
Something that I like very much about this book is that while Lorraine is narrating her story, several times she defines and questions the true meaning of success, a term that is often disguised by dollars signs in the world of entrepreneurship.
“We tend to think of success as this really huge word that embodies large accomplishments like fame and fortune.”
“Many have the notion that success means achieving million-dollars status. There are dozens, if not hundreds of thousands of books about how to attain that kind of success. And while self-made millionaires prove this is possible, in reality, it’s a very small percentage of the population that tries and actually achieves such a level of fame and fortune. Furthermore, that may not be the kind of success you’re after. I’m not saying I’d turn down a million-dollar offer, what I mean is that being a millionaire is not my ultimate goal.”2
In an inspiring story, Lorraine teaches us that sometimes it is necessary to hit rock bottom in order to find our purpose and to reinvent ourselves. After that realization, what comes next is to work hard to reach each of our goals and begin to manifest our dreams. Entrepreneurship is freedom, but also hard work.
“Yes, you trip and you fall and you recover. Yes, you can quit your job. Yes, you can reinvent yourself. Yes, you can find love again. Yes, you can do whatever it is you really want to do if you set your mind to it, and work hard for it.”
“I know that I’m doing the one thing that helps achieve goals: drew them, determine the steps I need to take to achieve them–and then the hardest thing of all: exercise the determination to do the daily grind. This means doing the good, the bad and the ugly that needs to be done to achieve anything of significance.”
When I finished reading Reach was when I determined that I wanted to be part of this community. This story of overcoming and what Lorraine had achieved with hard work — motivated by her girls — were key to attending Hispanicize that year and to planting the seed in my mind that one day I wanted to dedicate a project to her and so many other women entrepreneurs.
“The most important lesson I learned from this was that women do help other women, that Latinas help other Latinas.”
Lorraine C. Ladish has published more than twenty books and is preparing to release Tu mejor edad para tener una vida extraordinaria, available now for pre-order. Her portal Viva Fifty keeps growing, and recently launched two Facebook groups that have connected hundreds of women around the world.
I had the opportunity to give her a hug last year and thank her for this book. From time to time I have ventured with her as if she were a friend, and her words of support have never been lacking. Lorraine is a real gift to everyone who has the opportunity to read her work, and it is even more of a blessing to get to know her.
‘Reach’ is one of those books that needs to be read more than once.
I promise that every time you read it, the takeaways will vary depending on your circumstances. I’ve read it twice, and I’m sure I have a few more times left. The first time was all inspiration, while the second was a lot of motivation to move forward.
Other quotes of ‘Reach’ that will inspire you:
“No matter where you are in life now, think of difficulties you have faced and overcome in the past. If you did it then, you can do it again–no matter what is thrown your way. I learned early on in life that struggles and challenges are what shape our character. They make or break us.”
“If you don’t like where you are professionally, if you would like to change careers, or if you are unemployed, I challenge you to ask yourself: How can I put my skills to work in a new way? How can I learn new skills that would make me more marketable?”
“Be competitive only with yourself. There is enough work and money to go around. Do the best you can do, be the best you can be. And if you can’t take on a client or a project, pass it on.”
“A lifetime of different achievements–both personal and professional–have given me the confidence that if tomorrow everything I have today disappeared, I am equipped to see it through and reinvent myself yet again.”
“I believe that one of the greatest benefits of running your own business is freedom–freedom of choice, freedom of time, freedom of work.”
“Maybe you won’t become a millionaire, maybe you will. But before you embark on your journey, ask yourself whether that should be your goal. Define your concept of success and then go for it.”
“There really is no secret to success other than doing the work.”
I want to hear what you think about this book. Leave your comment!