Destiny and faith in a greater purpose has brought together 4 Latino born minds to create PROSPER VENTURES, the Escape Artist Mastermind
Teresa, born in Cuba 56 years ago, Mariana in Brazil, 42, Wolf in Peru, 45, and Tocho in Spain, 66, are the proud creators of an unique Mastermind Club that brings together successful entrepreneurs and leaders from around the world who want to Travel, Grow and Prosper with Passion.
It is well known that in Latino culture the joy of life and the spirit of adventure are deeply rooted and that people enjoy community bonding and serving others, with family and friendship connections among their highest values in life. But how has destiny brought these 4 Latino Escape Artists born in different times in 4 different countries together?
Mariana is the oldest child on a high middle class family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied in good schools, was a top student her entire life, played volleyball competitively, representing Rio de Janeiro in the national championships, and went to Law School in Rio de Janeiro. Her house was a constant happy party, with 2 younger siblings and happily married parents. Mariana spent her professional career at “Big 4” professional services firms. At age 24 she was transferred to New York City, where she lived for 3 years working with international tax planning. Mariana and another Brazilian friend were the first Brazilian students to ever be admitted to the LLM of International Taxation offered by New York University. Upon completion of her Masters, she passed the New York Bar Exam to be a qualified lawyer in the state of New York, at age 28. At 34 she was promoted as Tax Partner of a “Big 4”. In sum, a professional life without any setbacks, full of success stories and challenges won. Fear is a word that did not exist in her dictionary.
“But let me tell you a secret: I was not fully happy. Deep inside there was discontentment, which I tried to hide. At age 42, with 2 broken marriages and a single 4-year old child, after an unsuccessful pregnancy that was interrupted at week 32, I felt distant from my friends and had the clear sense I was wasting a part of my life, that life could not be only the work-home routine. I reached the top of the professional career I chose for myself with my own merits and I thought to myself: “So, is this it?” I looked around me and saw my female partners equally single or divorced, several of them without children, and making their profession their family. Buried in corporate bureaucracy, at the end of each day I felt totally working on the auto-pilot mode without any emotion. I did not taste the food, many times could not even tell what I had eaten for lunch, did not see the ocean, and did not go into my own swimming pool. I did not want this “end” for my life, but did not know how to change it. I had never stopped to think about what I really expected from life. In fact I could not even see there were alternatives”.
“I ended up in a Tony Robbins event by mere coincidence, Tony being a celebrity in the US and notoriously one of 100 most influential people in the world, but unknown in Brazil. I had never heard about him. I went to his event because I heard there was a fire walk on coal in flames and I thought it would be a good idea, given that I love adrenaline. And I thought, if I have to sit and listen to someone talk for a few hours, it is not a problem. I will sit, listen and then do the fire walk. LoL. I could not even imagine a new journey was starting right there. It was another world I did not comprehend. So, as from that moment, I sought to understand why I was feeling that way and I surrounded myself with people with lives different than mine. Paying a small fortune, I joined a closed group of about 100 people who travelled with Tony Robbins. With this very special group of people, the Tony Robbins Platinum Partners, I went to Fiji, South Africa, Zambia and Kauai. I went to India 3 times, 2 of which to a spiritual university to learn more about human behaviour. I learned to see life through a different angle, and I discovered that you become similar to those people you spend most of your time with. With a little help from the divine, which accelerated my departure from the firm I was a partner of, today I am a different person. I play volleyball on the beach early in the mornings, I take care of my house and my son with a lot more focus and attention, and I take care of my body and my soul. After having known many successful people who are far from being slaves of their routines or companies, I believed this was possible for me too.”
Teresa was born into a wealthy family of 5 children in Havana, Cuba, shortly before the advent of Fidel Castro. Her grandfather owned one of the largest sugar cane plantations of Cuba and an aviation company. When she was 4 years old her parents decided to escape Fidel Castro’s communist regime having to leave their entire wealth on the island and exile by boat to Spain to start a new life. The money to buy the first coats for the whole family to pass the first winter as exiles in Spain was won by her father in a poker game on the boat trip to Spain. In Spain, the family began a new life from scratch, with nothing, having abandoned their whole inheritance in the Cuba of Fidel. Family life as exiles in Spain was always imbued with a spirit of achievement and contribution. Teresa studied in a catholic school, got a degree in Marketing and another one as International Executive Assistant. She worked in both fields in several large multinational companies in Spain, including one of the ‘Big 4’ accounting and consulting firms, where she met Tocho.
“I like the word ‘challenge’ as I am sure that we can reach anything we set ourselves up to. I neither am scared of age or time. You can do anything you want at 20 as well as at 60, and in one year you can go from millionaire to poor, and vice versa, and you can be a mother twice, as I was. Age is not the matter, the matter are your actions”.
“After being working for others I decided to start a company with other two women friends and we created a construction company having a lot of success. However I still felt there was something I was missing inside. During the crisis I studied a course in Emotional Intelligence and I got certified as a Coach, as an NLP Practitioner by Richard Bandler, and a Master in Non Verbal Communication at the University of Madrid, in which I became an expert. These studies made a big change in my brain and capacity, and I found myself being a new and different human been searching for personal growth. During this period I heard about Tony Robbins and reserved two diamond tickets for me and my husband Antonio in one of his seminars. After that we both decided to join the Tony Robbins Platinum Partners Group and found a wonderful and outstanding peer group of people with whom we travelled around the world, included several times to India, to Oneness University and One World Academy, where I learned meditation skills. Now, I am looking to sharing, contributing and helping other people to ‘Live with Passion’!”
Tocho, a nickname for Antonio, was born the 8th child in a family of 9 in a wealthy family in the north of Spain. With so many kids around life at home was a constant party! Tocho was sent to boarding school in Madrid and graduated in Law and Economics. During his young years Antonio learned to speak 5 languages. He got his MBA with honours in the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, being the only student from Spain at that time in the whole university. Antonio got married for the first time and joined one of the ‘Big 4’ consulting firms in New York, where he lived for 2 years before returning to Spain with the same company. Antonio was promoted to Partner of the firm with only 33 years, the youngest partner in Europe. Later on he was promoted to Partner responsible for the management of the Consulting Department of the firm. What you can call a successful professional career. However success had a price: he devoted too much to his career and too little to his family and himself. Antonio started to drink heavily and neglected his marriage, which was soon broken, leaving his son with his mother when he was only 3 years old. He then met Teresa, who was working as a partner assistant in the same ‘Big 4’ firm. They fell rapidly in love, got married, had 3 beautiful girls, and travelled together around the world: “our biggest passion”. Teresa helped Tocho to stop drinking. But both their lives changed dramatically when their 3rd daughter was born with Down syndrome.
“After the initial shock and surprise, we quickly recognized Marta as a blessing from God in our lives. This experience gave us an emotional and spiritual lesson unlike any other- testing our beliefs and realizing that after the shock wears off that one day , they only bring you constant love, joy, tenderness, understanding, and happiness. They are true angels on Earth. However at 2.5 years of age our daughter was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. They gave us a prediction of a maximum five months of survival. Again our spirits were tested but we were determined, guided by love, to do anything it took.”
“Teresa and I we rebelled ourselves against this diagnosis. We prayed to God: “after having sent us this little angel that we have welcomed with open arms, you just cannot snatch her from us now. It’s not fair!” I left my job temporarily and together Teresa and I dedicated us exclusively to Marta and to find a solution to her serious illness in several specialized hospitals around the world. Miraculously we found a couple of hospitals in the US that were experimenting with new protocols for the same type of leukemia in children with Down syndrome. The new protocol changed the survival rate of these children from only 5% to 95%! This miracle from God saved the life of our daughter Marta and changed completely our perspective about life!”
“Shortly thereafter I left my career as a partner in the ‘Big 4’, and Teresa and I started several businesses together, enjoying life educating our 3 daughters and doing what we like most: traveling.”
“By chance we went together to a Tony Robbins seminar in London and found a “spark” in our relationship that we thought lost long ago. We decided to invest a lot of our retirement money in the best possible investment: in ourselves, and joined the exclusive club of “Tony Robbins Platinum Partners”. A group of just over 100 people looking for something more in life than the mere professional success. So we travelled with Tony Robbins and this extraordinary “peer group” to Fiji, USA, Hawaii, India, France, Monaco, … and grew up significantly in life and in business, developing friendships that will last for a lifetime with other people that also feel that our lives are not truly fulfilled until we cover our needs for personal growth and contribution to build a better world.”
“I am optimistic and grateful person, full of energy even at my 66, and full of love, that wants to keep growing everyday and to be able to share the gifts I have with those around me to try among all to make this world a better place to live”
“My biggest passion in life is travelling the world with my friends and family, learning and connecting with and from all those around… Everyone and everywhere we find people to teach us live-lessons, to help us become better persons… My wife Teresa and I have travelled all around the world, and now through ‘Prosper Ventures’ we have decided to share all our little knowledge and accumulated life and travel experiences with others, while continue doing what we love most in life”.
Wolf was born in Peru 45 years ago. “There is a question that I came across that was very interesting -as it puts into perspective the purpose and intent of how we escape or go places and the reasons why. When you go travel, when you go places are you running away from something or are you running toward something….? What I think as you’ll discover about me maybe early on in my life I was running away from something not sure where to, but now in my life I’m not escaping from something, I’m running towards: the happiness, the love the adventure, the experience, the fun, the laughter- Life!”
“So here we go….. I was born in Peru and at the tender age of 9 I was whisked away to come to the states to live in Miami Beach- it has been my base ever since then and wherever I travel around the world I feel so blessed to call Miami Beach my home. Now most people don’t know and cannot believe that I’m from Peru- perhaps because I’m a 6 foot 3 European looking guy….. So the story is that my grandparents were originally from Lithuania and Ukraine with some German background as well. My father was an engineer…. he constantly took everything apart and I had to be there to pass the tools and to understand what was going on…. Later in life I learned from my mother he was also: ex military/ secret service and was a Holocaust survivor… I look back and I appreciate so much all I’ve learned even though he was a complex man living with many demons from the past. Let’s just say it was an interesting experience growing up. Perhaps I started asking a question of what was right and what was wrong in addition to how things work and eventually evolved into how I can make them better based on those experiences with my father.”
“I never met any of my grandparents but years ago my mother told me that my grandfather from my father’s side was a nuclear engineer and he died of radiation poisoning. My grandmother was the head nurse at a major hospital in the capital of Lithuania and died during the war. They both gave their lives serving others and perhaps that’s in my genes as today it is a vital part of who I am.”
“I remember growing up my parents went through this tumultuous time which ended up in divorce. I remember telling myself that somehow I needed to figure things out and I needed to take control of my life, I thought there was no one else to do it….. I was around 12 when I got the entrepreneurial bug…. I saw that in the supermarket they were selling mangoes for a dollar apiece and in my house we had a few mango trees and we had mangoes coming out of our ears, my mom would make mango ice cream, mango butter, mango jam, mango pie, it was mangoes, mangoes, mangoes…. so I gathered up the mangoes, put them on a cart, made a sign and on on my first day at 12 years old made $50 bucks! I was ecstatic that an idea that I had which I put together had made money….. I also learned that standing in the side of the road without any cover for many hours in the Florida sun is not a good thing, when I came back looking like a lobster….. Ouch! Lesson: learn from experiences and be prepared for next time.”
“I left home when I was 16 as my parents were going through some tough times in the proverbial ‘shit hit the fan’. So I found myself in 11th grade in high school on my own living on the couch of a friend’s friend – who I was helping after a tragic motorcycle accident in which he lost his leg. It was an interesting experience for 17-year-old trying to help a 30-year-old with major depression and alcoholism issues related to his “story” about losing his leg. But the apartment was close to my school and my two jobs….. Looking back it was a miracle especially with the six AP classes…. But I guess I had a guardian angel. I enrolled in university and went on to get degrees in business administration, finance and a minor in art history – a few credits short of a major. Loll! My experience was really invaluable as it also helped me start a couple of businesses in college to help pay for college and get me ready for my first Internet start up after graduation in 1992.”
“After graduating at the university I became a serial entrepreneur starting a number of companies. I would probably describe myself as a visionary and creative technologist- taking technology and adapting it to solve every day problems and improve aspects of life to make it easier, faster, more convenient and less expensive. Early on after graduating college I had the opportunity to grow companies, raise tens of millions of dollars in venture-capital. I thoroughly enjoy envisioning the future, thinking about how to make things better and taking ideas and making them come to life.”
“I love to travel and live life to the fullest…. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel all over the world! It is a passion in which I look at how I can apply what I learn into my life, my businesses and into the lives of everyone in my life!
“My last company, a healthcare technology company specializing in Telehealth/telemedicine- ‘Consult A Doctor’ -was an idea I had 10+ years ago that I was able to bring to life, grow and was fortunate to have sold the company to a group made up of a number of VC funds led by Kleiner Perkins – the VC that has funded Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Uber….. among many other notable companies and brands.”
“So on my quest to the next adventures…. I find myself incubating a number of new start up opportunities that are transformative nature, scalable, so you can make a big impact to make the world a better place…….. Get on the invitation only list and keep an eye on ‘Care Angel’ – A company that’s revolutionizing how we take care of our aging and loved ones- parents, grandparents……. So I am looking at how I can take all my experiences and knowledge and help others achieve their dreams and make their visions become reality and go down this path of adventure to create incredible companies that will help change the world.”
“On a Personal level…. Right now my life is also about my beautiful four-year-old daughter Ella……. Being the greatest daddy and instilling in her values of love, gratitude, faith and seeking knowledge & wisdom… While empowering her to be all that she can be.”
“I am easy going, happy go lucky- like to laugh and enjoy life, spiritual, grounded…. make the most of any situation…. Make sweet lemonade no matter what… I love to learn and grow – because when you stop growing – you start dying… I know that I really don’t know anything.., in this vast universe of unlimited potentiality….. I believe everything is connected- it’s all energy…. So we all radiate an energy… You just have to tune into the people with good vibrations… I like genuine people…. People who know me well would say…. A good friend, dependable, Fun, joy, happy, healthy, playful, patient, creative, adventurous, loving, giving, good heart, grounded, centered, wild side, spontaneous, confident, fit, passionate, alive, grateful, Spiritual, smart, resourceful, working on being even a better listener…..”
“My inner compass and values direct me in every way… I am inspired daily by great accomplishments and great people…. Some of their wisdom and philosophies inspire me…as I think they can inspire you….”
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.
~ Wayne Dyer
Some people see things as they are and ask why, I dream things that never were and ask why not?
~ Robert Kennedy
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
~ George Bernard Shaw
We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?
~ Steve Jobs
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
~ Albert Einstein
FORTES FORTUNATE JUVAT: fortune favors the brave