To switch gears from my previous posts, I want to talk about something my wife and I have been working on quietly.
We decided to start our own business called Taste of SudAmerica. We wanted to start small because I believe that in order to get going it’s best to have a small initial investment and to try to be cash flow positive as soon as possible. We bought a food cart and will be making churros with dulce de leche, empanadas and Chilean Completos (hot dog with avocado and tomatoes.
There have been many pre-requisites and things to plan/think about before we have started. The first thing I did was get a business license and chose a name. I also got a Federal Tax ID number. Then I took a lot of time to find a cart, you need to have a cart, trailer or truck, depending on what you get that can be expensive or inexpensive. Like I said before we went with a cart because it is a smaller initial investment.
Next you need to have someone to be a food safety manager. I took a class through Utah State University extension and then passed the test, I am still waiting for them to send the certificate.
Next we had to get the cart approved by the health department as well as our business plan, find a commercial kitchen and have the fire department make sure it would pass fire code.
After that we had to find a point of sale system and we decided that we would use square-card for our credit card transactions.
We also have been cooking and practicing our recipes so that we are able to make a consistent product.
We have also been working on getting all of the equipment we need for the cart and decorating it so that we have an apparent brand.
We’re starting small but we are excited to be something on our own and something different.
Yes, we are still alive and well but the struggle is real. At first I didn’t have any trouble thinking of things to write about and expound upon but we have fallen out of the routine of writing and updating the blog. I still have a lot of fun things and trips to write about but it can be hard to sit down and actually do it. If there is something that you are prorastinating find the best way for YOU to get it done as soon as possible. Personally I can have a hard time starting projects. No excuses should be made, I know it might sound cliche but Just Do It!
Once I start, my focus is set on completing a task as soon as possible. For example I recently made a video edit of some of our adventures in Chile. I started it one day, worked on it for about 2 and a half hours then finished it the next day in about an hour or so. It still a skill that I am developing but video editing and filming is fun for me. I like being able to capture moments that we have enjoyed and having the ability to go back and relive them later. It’s the same as photos. I don’t like being in photos but it’s fun looking back at all the memories I’ve had with my wife.
Back to the adventure part of our stories, we have been doing a lot of fun things here in Chile. We have been to the sand dunes in Concon, surfing in Reñaca and Concon, made a trip along the coast from Valparaiso heading down to San Antonio, day trips to around the city of Valparaiso, and a trip to El Cajon de Maipo.
We had planned the trip to El Cajon de Maipo 2 weeks ago but were unable to go one weekend because of the weather up in the mountains. The next week we made the trip over to La Cordillera Chilena, Chilean Mountain Range. It was a long trip because we didn’t want to go through the tolled part of Santiago, the tolls can be pretty expensive but can cut your trip in half, it also didn’t help that the family dog decided to join the trip. We were about to leave the house and their family dog figured out that we were leaving and got inside the car and wouldn’t get out. They decided to bring him but he didn’t cope too well with all the traveling and the cold. The un-tolled roads en route to El Cajon de Maipo had so many curves and turns, I don’t usually get motion sickness but it was too much for me this time. Most of the highways here have many turns and it can be hard to get used too. The dog, Doki was freaking out most of the drive, he was changing seats and moving all around. It took us a long time to reach El Cajon de Maipo because my In-laws insisted on taking pictures every 5 minutes it felt like.
Finally we made it to our destination a natural hot springs camping area called Termas Valle de Colina. After about an hour and a half of Mika’s mom dissaproving of various camping sites we finally found one and set up camp. Doki wasn’t feeling good and started to decorate our campsite with what he had eaten. We set up camp and then made our way over to the hot springs, it was extremely crowded with tourists and many people from Santiago. There were two hot springs at the very top the highest one being the hottest, which nobody was in, and I put my feet in the second hottest one for about 5 minutes and my feet turned red, it felt like I was boiling. We then went down two more levels to be with Mika’s parents and some friends.
The views were great from that hot spring, you coud see snow in the mountains and the valley below, but it was lukewarm so we went up to the next hot spring which was more like a jacuzzi. We stayed there as long as we could switching back and forth from lukewarm to hot enjoying the scenery.
After a couple of hours we went back to camp had barbequed some pork then prepared to go to bed. Doki slept in our tent and was walking over everyone the whole night. One of the friends, Francisco, helped let Doki out five times for him to do his business. Needless to say I didn’t really sleep that well because it was freezing and because Doki walked on my face two times.
I woke up around 8 in the morning and left the tent because it smelt horrible! It was like an several animals had died and a sulfur factory, I wanted to burn my clothes to get rid of the stench. I quickly changed and invited others to go but nobody followed. It was a nice relief getting into the hot springs because I was no longer cold. After a while more and more people started funneling into the hot springs as well as my wife and everyone else that I came with.
After a couple more hours of relaxation we went back to camp and packed up. Doki had made landmines almost everywhere and it wasn’t a pleasant smell when packing up so we were glad to get that done.
We stopped several times on the way back becuase Doki was sick and we went to a waterfall we had seen from the road driving up to the hot springs.
On the way back we decided to go check out a natural water resevoir that provide the water to the City of Santiago, it was 22 km up a road we passed on the way to the hot springs. Guess what, it had a lot of curves as well! We made almost to the top but decided to get out and walk because there were about a thousand cars that were blocking the entrance and exit and had made a ton of traffic where there shouldn’t be. We made it to the resevoir and it was a pretty sight.
We walked back down and got back on our way down to the main road. Like I said before there were many curves and Doki wasn’t enjoying it, in fact he threw up, mostly water, in the very back of the car with Francisco. We stopped as soon as we could and did some quick clean up and continued on our way…..like usual making stops every hour or so.
As I am sitting here in the last week of my college life contemplating my college experience I feel extremely blessed! Not only have I had the opportunity to live in Hawaii but I have been able to make and cultivate so many great friendships and the University as well as outside of it. I will always be grateful for the time that I have been able to spend here. Graduation is an interesting thing because, even though I am about to get my degree I am still unsure of what exactly is going to happen in the future. I think that is normal for many people but I want to eventually be a self sufficient entrepreneur, which is very hard to do if you don’t have any money to invest into your own company. I have however invested a ton of time into some of my ideas and ventures.
I don’t want to go into full detail of all of my ideas but there are many that I have right now and one that I am working on right now in specific is the Intentse Hanging Tent.
We made this from 2 tents and a hammock
It’s not the prettiest sight but it was a beginning
A couple of months ago I decided to enter my Universities’ Great Ideas Competition, which is an entrepreneurial competition for students/community members, 21 out of 200 applicants made it to the semi-finals and I was lucky enough to be one of those finalists.
With the help of my business partner and friend, James Astle, we started Intentse and haven’t looked back since. We also acquired a great mentor James Zolman thanks to the networking through the University who has helped us tremendously with digital marketing along the way.
Back when we started I had no idea how to do digital marketing, how to do advertising for a brand, how to write outreach emails, I basically didn’t know how to do anything and still don’t know how to do everything. As a whole I have learned so much that I know I wouldn’t have learned if I wouldn’t have tried. Granted James Zolman has been there to help guide me along the way and motivate, but I have made the decision to go forward by myself despite it being something new or scary to me.
Before we started Intentse I was nervous about ridicule or what criticism I might receive for my products or ideas but where would I be now if I hadn’t tried? I would still have the doubt or be thinking what if I tried doing this or that idea. If you have anything that you want to do or try just go out and do it! You may suck at it, you may have a natural ability or talent for it or you just may not like it all after you’ve tried, but at least you made an effort and tried!
The hard part is getting going but once you have taken those steps and made your first prototype or sent out 100 outreach emails you will feel a sense of accomplishment and you should reward yourself for your achievements. I’m not saying go crazy and party but be happy for what you have accomplished and continue trending forward.
This week I will graduate and have to go into the real world. The Adult world…..now I have to figure out what will be my next leap of faith!