What Motivated Me to Go Into Business for Myself?
I always knew that I wanted to make a difference in this world. I didn’t know how or what I was going to do but I knew that I wanted to make the world a better place; especially within the community that I grew up in.
The idea of owning a business was instilled in me at a very young age by my father, Gabriel Calderón. As a Mexican born single parent of three, he owned his own pinhooking business, ran a side hustle that provided skilled mechanic work out of our back yard and was passionate about helping those in our community who couldn’t help themselves. He was my first image of a go-getter. He was the first person who told me that it was better to work for yourself because you didn’t want to build someone else’s dream at the cost of your own. He also told me that once I got to where I was going in life, I should never forget my Mexican roots or the small town of Immokalee where I came from because there was a lot of need in this town.
I left my family and my hometown at the age of seventeen to pursue a college education. Those closest to me saw a young girl with high hopes and big dreams. I can recall many sleepless nights envisioning multiple start up businesses in my mind. I would jump on the phone and call my father just to share with him all the details of the business that I had just constructed in my head; seeking his approval and direction. While others shrugged me off, he believed in me. His belief in me coupled with my faith in Jesus were the motivating catalysts behind my desire and passion to own my own business.
I was destined to become a CEO. Even as a successful Doctor of Physical Therapy earning six figures, I still felt empty. I felt as though I lacked purpose and significance.
I had been practicing as a physical therapist for the past 11 years and, although I was very passionate about my career, I had experienced burnout and I was no longer fulfilled. I would ask God, “Is this really it?” I would cry out with frustration, “This can’t be it!”
I know now that the ache that I felt deep down in my gut was God pushing me towards something bigger, towards something more! In 2012, I was ready to start my journey as an entrepreneur. Knowing nothing about the journey, I took a leap of faith. In 2013, I sought out the services of Dr. Phil Phillips, a business coach and in 2014, I co-launched, along side my husband Dimitri, Results Care Physical Therapy, Pain and Wellness Center.
Our center is located in my hometown. More so than wanting to come back to Immokalee in order to give back, I saw there was a problem that needed a solution. I told my husband, “It’s absolutely insane for someone who is in a lot of pain to have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest physical therapy facility; this ends now!” The lack of adequate healthcare services in this rural community instigated the onset of settling our center in Immokalee.
Dimitri and I are embarking upon our seventh year of operation but it hasn’t been easy. Let me share a bit of advice. I’ve learned that scaling is hard; whether it be sales, people, or systems. People frequently talk about scaling a business as exciting, but it’s super hard to manage and requires a new set of skills versus starting the business. It’s important to keep this in mind as your company grows. I encourage you to embrace the concept of “start, stop, pivot and start” which allows you to continue to move forward when you reach a roadblock. But more than anything, I advise you to enjoy the ride.
Finally, as a company we strive to give back to my community. Not only do we provide a service that is much needed, we are also the founders of The Gabriel Calderón Entrepreneurial Scholarship which enables aspiring entrepreneurs to receive a year of professional coaching services. In summary, I believe that if entrepreneurs are to be superheroes, then our biggest service will always be to our community.