I am a 32-year-old Chilean who left her job, family and friends in Chile to go on an incredible adventure.
My husband was offered a job in Brazil and we moved to Sao Paulo right after getting married.
At first, the change was quite difficult. I did not speak Portuguese, I didn´t have a job and I had no professional connections, as we were new to the city and the country.
As soon as we had the basics in our new, quite empty apartment, I got started with Portuguese lessons. When I felt more confident to attend a job interview I began to look for a job in what I had done for the past 6 years: teaching English as a foreign language to children and teenagers.
Doing my own thing
Once I had the opportunity to work in Brazil, I only took jobs that were part-time. For my first job I had no choice, but for my second job it was my decision to only work part-time – I had discovered that I really wanted some time off work to “do my own thing”.
A couple of years before moving to Brazil, whilst working as an EFL teacher for children aged 4 and 5, I had started designing my own educational material and really enjoyed it. I felt it was a way of creating something useful using areas I didn´t normally connect with much, as art, design and crafts.
My new Brazilian part-time job, gave me the time to think about what I had appreciated in the past and it was then that I decided that I should take the design of educational material as a serious project.
After a lot of work and learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time, I was designing the book. I published my first educational storybook for children in Brazil. Editorial Multifoco published my baby “Looking for the perfect hat”.
Luckily, as the sales were quite good at the launching event, I was offered to publish the book as an eBook in Kindle, which was sold on Amazon’s website.
From Brazil to Singapore
We then moved to Singapore, where I self published my second educational storybook “Mr. Brush paints the city”.
And then back to Chile…
We have just moved back to Chile (January 2016) and these days I am focused on two things:
- I am starting my company: BUKKU and in March, the first set of 12 titles will be ready.
- I am also going to be the educational consultant for 7 schools in Santiago (starting in February).
Persistence is key
I think that one of the biggest challenges I have had trying to run my project abroad is the lack of connections and the lack of cultural awareness. For example, sometimes you are not sure if you should insist or be patient with a request, if you should call again or wait for the other person to contact you, and so on. So far, being a little insistent has worked for me!
I strongly believe that this “insistence” or “persistence” I am referring to is crucial for my projects to work in different parts of the world.
We love this lifestyle
One of my favorite aspects about being an Entrepreneurial Expat is the great flexibility of having my own business regardless of geography.
My husband and I love being on the move and getting to know new places and cultures, so I feel it is the perfect match for the lifestyle we are leading.
My 2 top tips
I would like to share 2 top tips with other fellow Entrepreneurial Expats, which can motivate you in taking the next step towards your dream entrepreneurial project.
- My first tip would be to learn the basics of the language spoken in the country of residence. Learning the language gives you access to important aspects of their culture and lets you create a closer and deeper relationship with the people whom you need to connect with.
- My second tip (and the most important) is to be persistent. It has been said by millions of people before me and it is true. Fight for what you really want, what you truly believe in, for your passion, as it is the strongest motivation you will ever find to make something happen.