I was at the WebSummit in Lisbon surrounded by 40,000 people (I must admit that I prefer intimate conversations to making small talk with hundreds of people). So I retreated from the big crowd to the Women In Tech lounge to have a coffee and catch up on emails when this wonderful lady sat next to me (not so coincidently) and we started talking.
Her name is Suzana Caldeira from Aveiro, Portugal, and I love her professional story and can’t wait to share it with you.
Suzana is an Engineer by profession. She worked her way up to senior management level in the automotive industry, did a Masters degree in the same field, worked long hours, travelled the world with her job, juggled raising a family and having a successful career, tried to be a perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect employee, perfect engineer, perfect everything, until she faced a major break-down and revisited the “perfect” life that she had created for herself based on other people’s expectations.
She sat down and decided to redefine what success means for her. In her exact words, success means freedom, living a simple life, working less and earning more, inspiring & helping people, and enjoying more time with the people you love.
So she rebuilt success in her life along those lines.
She discovered how much she loves Aveiro, the city where she was born, and that not many tourists know about this hidden gem in Portugal. She read trip advisor reviews and found that most people didn’t get to experience Aveiro for what it really is. So she spent an intensive 3 months to perfect her knowledge about the full history of Aveiro and started offering her own walking-tours of the city. She started this without a website, through Facebook events (she eventually built a simple website herself). Within 3 months, she was rated the number one walking tour of Aveiro on Trip Advisor and became the first hit on Google search for Aveiro tours.
She’s now 6 months down the road and has 2 more Aveiro lovers working with her. Her tours are small and personalized, and she adds her personal flavour.
Her competition started following what she does, sent people to attend her tours and take notes, and now tries to copy her content. However, nobody can really copy her passion, energy, and unique touch that she adds to the tours. I honestly believe that once we are fully invested in doing what we love, there is no competition, because nobody else has 100% of our attributes.
Suzana also open heartedly told me about her concerns when making this transition, such as her friends and family thinking she’s nuts to downgrade her job or that her 15-yr old daughter may see her as a failure because she didn’t continue the same corporate path as her husband. But it turns out that she earns an income similar to her corporate job, with more
time and freedom (so it’s actually an upgrade) and her daughter sees her as an inspiration for being brave enough to choose a life and career on her own terms.
PS: If you’re in Portugal, join Suzana’s walking tour of Aveiro. You’ll absolutely love her! This is her website: http://www.aveirofreewalkingtour.com/
I love this story so much, because it reflects what I so strongly stand for: we CAN all turn our passions into successful businesses, and it’s never too late to make the transition, no matter how old we are or what our professional past is.
If you’re ready for a career on your own terms, I’m here to help you clarify what that means for you, build a vision and clear plan, and take inspired action to reach your goals. Let’s do this! Book a pressure-free discovery call for us to discuss how I could support you.