Valuable Lessons Learned From My Hispanic Family

illustration of owl teacherin classroom in knowledge day Latin Business Today

Hispanic Heritage Month- I hope to be able to bestow the same effect on future generations in my family.

Senen's maternal grandmother

Senen’s maternal grandmother

Throughout my life, I always endeavored to own a business to both create and control my own future. This mindset was fostered by both sides of my family. As a result, my family’s influence shaped who I am and where I am today. I decided to list some of the lessons I learned from those in my family who had an important bearing on my life.

On my mother’s side

Senen’s maternal grandmother


Senen's maternal grandfather

Senen’s maternal grandfather

Senen’s maternal grandfather
The first relative on my mother’s side was my grandfather and his dream of being a physician. At first, he was pushed into getting a degree in education by my great grandmother. After getting his education degree, he then went on to pursue his medical degree. Upon receiving his medical degree, my grandfather would eventually break ground on a medical clinic. Unfortunately, my grandfather would pass away before seeing the fruit of his labor. However, to this day, his clinic is still in existence and still in operation. What his story taught me was chasing your dream until it becomes a reality.

In addition to my grandfather’s success, other members of the family also had an impact on my life’s direction. My mother’s uncle (grandfather’s brother) was also a physician and ran a successful medical practice. When the Cuban Revolution took hold, he left to the US and started his practice once again. Despite the hardships and having to start from scratch and getting his medical license in the US, he would again have a successful practice. His experience taught me to not let uncontrollable circumstances affect your goals in life and to find a way to make them happen no matter what.

Furthermore, many of my mother’s cousins would come together to start a construction company in the US after arriving to this country with nothing. They started repairing and constructing single family homes. They eventually expanded to construct whole communities and custom-built, high-end homes. They showed me anything is possible and that while you may be small today there’s no limit to one’s success.

There are so many other examples from another of my mother’s cousin’s medical practice to my mother’s godfather’s medical lab and rental property business. I have been virtually surrounded by business owners.

However, not to be left out was my grandmother. When my grandmother (pictured above) arrived in the US, she began work in a factory and eventually became a teacher all while supporting my mother and my great grandmother. However, on the side, my grandmother negotiated with a wholesale jeweler to sell to the then small, but growing, local Hispanic community.

As a result of her organization skills and connections, she began making considerable money with her jewelry business. Through her organization skills, she was able to keep track of her sales and customer accounts. Eventually, she would generate enough money through her jewelry business to help purchase a home without the need of a mortgage and even bought my mother a new car for her to drive to school and work. My grandmother taught me about multitasking and staying organized in your business. It was her model of organization and multitasking that I copied when I started my first business at age 12.

On my father’s side

Senen's paternal grandfather

Senen’s paternal grandfather

Senen’s paternal grandfather 
My paternal grandfather went a different route and started out as a door to door salesman. Sadly, his business was cut short by the Cuban Revolution. Upon realizing the climate in Cuba was no longer suitable for running a business or a raising a family, he took my grandmother; father; and two uncles to the US. While, difficult at first considering my family came with nothing but the clothes on their backs, my grandparents persevered; and, eventually, my grandfather was able to purchase a gas station and mechanic shop. Eventually, my uncle would take over the business and start a used car dealership on the property as well. Now, the location operates a thriving liquor store business owned by my uncle. It was my grandfather who showed me the value of fulfilling one’s responsibilities but never losing sight of your dreams and goals.

My other uncle would also follow the Hispanic entrepreneurial route from mowing lawns to helping with my grandfather’s gas station business to also operating his own two gas stations and then finally operating his construction and real estate business. Sadly, my uncle passed away after a long battle with cancer, but my cousin (his son) would take the mantle and continue the business to this very day. My uncle taught me to always stay creative and think outside the box. There was always a solution; you just had to think it through.

Senen’s father

Senen's father

Senen’s father

Finally, my father always saw opportunities to be a business owner. He would join my uncle with the used car business, and he would also own and operate his very own gas station and mechanic shop. Eventually, my father would enter the real estate market in constructing and selling single family residential homes. He continues to advance his real estate business today. Throughout my childhood, my father would always remind me to think big and always focus on being my own boss and controlling my own destiny.

As can been seen from the various examples, I had a wealth of influence from my family that has had a profound effect on my life to this very day. I am thankful to have had them in my life and still look to them for guidance, motivation, and inspiration. One day I hope to be able to bestow the same effect on future generations in my family.

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