My parents crossed the border 30 years ago to reach the American Dream.
Thanks to their sacrifice, I grew up in a great neighborhood in Mountain View, California. Because of my hard-working, loving immigrant parents, I had everything.
During the 2008 economic crisis, I saw the empire my parents had worked tirelessly to build crumble seemingly overnight. We lost four properties and were forced to leave the breezy Bay Area and move to the hot valley of Modesto. My dad has always had an entrepreneur heart, so he was able to purchase our safe haven. Otherwise, we would have been homeless.
I always knew I was a big city girl. In 2011, I got my first real taste of Corporate America. I applied for my first job at a retail store where I excelled and moved up quickly. I also experienced how a sharp rise to success isn’t always welcomed by your coworkers. In 2012, I moved to San Diego, where I learned that my first name, Esmeralda, was not as hirable as my middle name, Cristina. With an updated resume, I worked three part-time jobs while going to school and majoring in Communications.
Later I would realize that I had fallen in love with a narcissist. He had been my best friend for eight years, but somewhere along the way, I had lost my identity to him. I was three months pregnant, and I knew that even though at that moment I felt I didn’t deserved better… my son deserved the world. Leaving and detaching from my abuser was one of the most difficult, challenging, and emotionally painful actions I took. Lost, broken, ashamed, and scared, I left everything I had worked for in Southern California and moved back Modesto.
Therapy and time for myself healed me. In order to be a better mom, I had to rejoice in myself and forgive my past. My father has always taught me the importance of having a traditional business of your own. So, in 2017 I started my own event planning business, where I mainly focused on balloon decoration and photo booth events. I also continued to use my middle name and got a job as an Administrative Assistant for a prestigious government program at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
Life couldn’t have been better. My program manager, Robbie Leftwich-Vann, showed me what a true leader (without favoritism) was. She gathered and encouraged our team to perform at our best. When she left, we were devastated. The new manager turned the program upside down. Our wonderful team members started resigning; others were getting fired and laid off, and I knew I was next. After eight months of pleasing the new manager, I made one minor blemish and she tried to get rid of me. Because I was a permanent employee, she had to build a case against me. I had never felt more powerless in my life for someone to have that much authority over my paycheck based on their emotions.
I was the only Hispanic person working within the program, and Human Resources would not protect me. As timing would have it, one of my friends who had been asking me to join an MLM since 2016 reached out about the opportunity again. This time I agreed to come on board. In 2019, I joined Tiffaney Malott’s Direct Sales Diva group. I had always looked up to Tiffaney, as she was in the first MLM Company I’d joined in 2009. Though I’d never met her in person, she inspired me to become a motivational speaker and she was the reason I majored in Communications in college.
In December 2019, I had many amazing breakthroughs during Tiffaney’s first Diva Day Boot Camp. She taught me that I am my own influencer and that my life inspires others. I then joined her Diva 1K group in January 2020 where she taught me how to shift my thinking from an employee mindset to that of a business owner. She showed me how to run a part-time business on top of my full-time job.
When the pandemic began, I was forced to shut down my event planning company. Thanks to Tiffaney’s coaching, I was able to stay focused in my MLM company, and I even advanced in rank three times since March. I’ve also helped many in my team earn additional income.
In September, when I received a call from my full-time employer and learned that seven of us would be laid off due to budget cuts, I didn’t breakdown or cry. In fact, I felt relieved. I’m grateful for Tiffaney’s coaching and mentorship. I’ve learned how to use my calendar and how to present, speak, and close like a diva. Since working with Tiffaney my confidence has skyrocketed. I have my glow back, I’m manifesting my future. The layoff doesn’t scare me. I am not depressed because of the empire and structure I started building before and during the pandemic.
I’m thankful that I don’t have to update my resume and stress about starting the interview process all over. I know how fortunate I am to not be faced with the challenge of going physically back to work and possibly endangering my health and the health of my family, or worrying about hiring a babysitter, or not being part of his therapy.
I’m thankful I’m able to continue being a stay at home mom while running my MLM business. As a daughter of immigrants who worked so hard, I won’t ever settle for unemployment or what is only given to me. I owe it to my son and myself and my family to continue to build our empire and help as many people as I can, especially in the Hispanic community. I feel called to teach the power of entrepreneurship, ownership and to empower them to not feel oppressed.
Most importantly, I want to teach my community the power of a part time business in MLM. Life would be dull if there were no challenges, and I’ve always believed that with God’s guidance, faith, dedication, and determination, we will always prevail. We should not be controlled other than to be guided. We should not live in fear, for we are stronger than our oppressor. We should never settle, because the world is for those who seek it.