When I was young, I thought my life was going to be a straight line: Study. Get a degree. Work in that specific career. Enjoy life in my native city of Bogota, Colombia.Man, was I way off!

ABOUT RICARDO

When I was 17 I served a one-year mandatory military service, and was placed in the barracks that provided security to the country’s president. I was serving during the most violent time of the country which is when drug lord Pablo Escobar declared war against the Colombian government (watch NARCOS on Netflix to understand what I mean). I was suddenly in the thick of it all and being forced completely out of my comfort zone.

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

I then went to study Architecture. After I finished my degree, the country went into economic recession. I had a skill BUT no job! I was forced to make the (very tough) decision to leave my family and home country, and to study and immigrate to Sydney, Australia.

LEAVING MY HOME COUNTRY

This happens to be the best decision I ever made because it opened a whole new world and changed me into the person I am today. This decision forced me to live and think in a different language, learn and understand different cultures, taste new foods and be away from my family. Basically live (again) 100% out of my comfort zone.

A NEW LIFE!

As a result of this, I learned the value of taking action and working hard towards a defined goal, which in this particular case was not to starve, be able to survive and manage to pay all my expenses! I worked in all kinds of jobs. Telemarketing, hospitality, and office assistance among many others. I learned that everybody, regardless of who they are or what they do, deserves total respect.

GRIT & HARD WORK

I was also able to identify the power of networking and making new friends. Some of them became my new “chosen family” and thanks to them I was able to get my first job. Living in Australia also help me understand how some things can work better. I was also able to compare and pass on many good things that I was taught back in LatinAmerica.

TEAM WORK & NETWORKING

The move to Australia gave me the opportunity to embrace and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, work-life balance, love for the environment, the ocean and the beach culture that only Aussie cities give you.

AUSSIE LIFESTYLE

I started working in Architecture but I was not able to focus on the creative part (which is what I enjoyed) and thus I struggled to find a purpose for some time. I was fortunate because I ended up working in several areas of the International Education Industry. I also started two successful companies: A graphic design business (we became an official designer for the Sydney Opera House Shops), and another one where we help students and groups from all over the world find housing in Australia (we have helped thousands of people and in the process became a 7 figure business).

CHANGE OF CAREER

Working in International Education gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world, talk to tens of thousands of students and academics from many countries and be inspired by them. This taught me how to be curious, inquisitive and how to listen. This also showed me that Education is the key to the world and that it needs to be open and available to everyone. For me education is the source of knowledge and travel is the source of inspiration.

TRAVELLING AROUND THE WORLD

I believe education and travel are the most important tools anyone can receive. I also know that we have to create meaningful connections and need to constantly learn from others. This is why I started the 'Innovator Diaries' and 'TIPS' Podcasts. It is my way to try to bring education to as many people as possible. You can help by sharing the episodes with your friends!

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Think of my guests as your ‘virtual mentors’. We should all learn from brilliant minds and leaders from all industries and nationalities. My aim is to inspire and give you practical and actionable advice with every episode so that you can then apply it to your own journey. Why limit to one mentor when you can have hundreds of e-mentors?

THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORS AND EDUCATION

I want to give back and be of service to the community, to contribute by sharing optimistic messages in an effort to build something (not destroy or create fear). This is something the world needs right now. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do. Let’s all learn from each other and try to create an education community!

GIVING BACK & BEING GRATEFUL
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