Hi there! My name is Hugo and I want to get real with you for a sec.
Remember when you were a kid, your teachers and parents told you you could be anything you wanted to be? Remember how you used to to dream and imagine what the world would look like, what your life would look like? I bet it was epic!
So what happened to that? What happened to that fearless little kid who thought anything was possible? The sad reality is that most people settle for far less than what they dreamed of, or even what they know they’re capable of.
I used to be one of those.
I was 15 and I had given up on life. Once labeled as intellectually gifted, I now had a 1.2 GPA and was failing at seemingly everything. My family had very little financially, college was out of the equation, and I was frustrated because I wanted more, I knew I could do more, become more, but instead I had let society tell me what was ‘realistic’ for someone like me.
I grew up selling tamales door to door in apartment complexes, Mexican candy outside our church, and doing anything I could to make a little extra cash so my parents could afford to put food on the table. All I knew was the hustle. I didn’t know it then, but being an entrepreneur was my default and my only way out.
By the time I was 15 we had moved over 14 times and I was tired of starting over. I was tired of trying. I started skipping classes, hanging out with the wrong crowd, but all along I knew I was wasting my potential.
So I started working full time for a small business. That’s where I met the first person I knew that wasn’t on food stamps or free lunches. He had a nice car, beautiful wife and son, a 3 story home in the suburbs of Seattle, and he told me he made $10,000 a month. He was my boss, he was a different ethnicity, so I dismissed that lifestyle as a possibility for me: a young, near dropout, undocumented Mexican kid.
But that thought stayed with me, that someone could make $10,000 a month and live a good life. I got to know my boss, and he shared with me his personal struggles. He was a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, with only a high school education, but was able to turn things around and live a good life.
He taught me how to run a business, negotiate contracts, manage people, and gave me a shot of turning my failing life into something of value.
Napoleon Hill said in Think & Grow Rich: “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” In latino culture, we call that “GANAS”. It’s the will and determination to make it happen, no matter what.
I realized that the only thing that separated me from everything I ever wanted was a little bit of ganas.
I managed to squeeze through high school (I think my teachers just wanted to get rid of me lol), work for a few more small businesses, excel in sales, get a little college in, and by age 21, I started my own business.
I know what it’s like to start from nothing – no resources, no money, no connections – and claw my way up against all obstacles, because you believe in your dreams.
I’m far from where I’m going, but everyday I’m closer than I was the day before.
While others party, I grind. While others complain, I do. While others make excuses, I make choices that propel me forward. It’s just how I operate. I hate settling. I hate average. Average means just enough: just enough until next paycheck, just enough to not be broke, just enough to eat from the dollar menu. I don’t know about you but just enough is not for me.
I’ve learned that entrepreneurs are practical dreamers willing to stake their life on the belief that their vision of the world can someday become a reality.
Through the work we do Just Digital, I get the opportunity to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and design a better future.
I’m not a guru or an expert, but the most valuable thing I have to draw from are my experiences and my personal journey. From growing up below the poverty line, with not many options on my plate, to building a 6-figure business and finally, at age 24, be able to make above $10,000 a month.
It’s not millions yet, it’s not even the most exciting part of my life now as I have many other things to be grateful for, but it might serve to inspire a young kid struggling to find his path.
There’re a lot of people you can learn from but the reality is, you’ll learn more about yourself when you look within. I’m not here to tell you what to do, who to be or what to think. I’m simply here to encourage you not to give up on your dreams, to become more than you currently are, and live an epic life.
I currently run a digital marketing agency out of LA. Small but epic team (5 as of now). My mission is to simplify the way business owners get access to essential marketing and creative services. In the long run we consider ourselves partners for all our clients, helping them build or leverage a dedicated marketing team for their business. With a focus on ROI, we offer web design, graphic design, marketing automation, paid advertising on Google and Facebook, and content creation. Our average project fee is $7500 with ongoing monthly services. If you’d like to work together, please visit Just Digital Inc’s website.
I’ve started 10+ businesses and brands since 2012 as I was trying to find my focus. Some made money, some are still up and running, and others are in the landfill of awesome ideas poorly executed. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is the power of strategic hustle and focus. A mentor once told me “you can do everything, just not at the same time.”
These are the companies/ brands I actually formed: Media companies (15 Studios, Event Clouds), a clothing brand (Young Ambition), Content Brands (TodoNus, AlgoMejor).