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7 Stories Of Latinos That Will Make You Go Chase Your Dreams RIGHT NOW

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1. Luis Lucio — Photographer

Courtesy of Luis Lucio

"I don't know if this means I have talent or not, but one of my friends once told me: 'You observe, analyze, and listen before you speak. When you give an opinion, you don't care at all if someone won't like it. You have a very creative and authentic way of thinking.'

"My inspiration for photographing comes from reading something, watching a movie, hanging out with friends, etc. Perhaps I sketch something out and then try to execute it. Some stuff remains a sketch for years.

"I used to play with cameras when I was a child (like everyone else I think), but I took some photography classes in college and became aware that I was actually capable of creating a good photograph. It so happens that, since then, very quirky and chaotic people have come into my life, and they, allowing me to peek into their eccentricities, make my work today very easy."

Follow Luis on his Tumblr!

2. Carlos Escalona Cruz — Music Producer/Songwriter

Courtesy of Carlos Escalona Cruz

"I think I decided to build a career in music after watching Back to the Future when I was 7 years old and realizing that music could change history (lol). Plus, I grew up surrounded by musical instruments, and both my parents played and sang every weekend with friends.

"I knew that I didn’t want to be a musician because I didn’t have the patience (although I played all of the instruments), so I studied audio engineering and then moved to music production. Now I've delved into songwriting and DJ'ing on the weekends — you could say I enjoy the nightlife. I do live in NYC, a city that gives you a lot of inspiration just by introducing you to people from other countries — you get a lot of song title ideas just talking to them.

"I will never forget winning a 2013 BMI Latin Award for helping write Paulina Rubio’s 'Me Gustas Tanto' or being nominated for a Latin Grammy with Chino & Nacho in 2015 — it’s those types of moments that motivate you to keep going!

"My motto is 'a good reputation is more valuable than money.' In the music field, having talent is a requirement to be successful, but it’s not enough. You need to be responsible, constant, and disciplined in order to be successful."

3. Michelle Poler — Creator of Hello Fears

Donde Green, Stephanie Geddes, World Domination Summit 2016

"I decided to make YouTube and motivational speaking my career the moment I saw the impact I could have by spreading my message with the world. There is no better feeling in the world than having someone letting you know that they were so inspired by you that they took action. A girl wrote me to let me know that thanks to my message she had the courage to break up with her fiancé weeks before the wedding. Another girl wrote me an email after she saw me speak at her company, letting me know that she quit her job after hearing my presentation. Even my mom has been doing courageous things I inspired her to do, like starting a podcast!

"When it comes to planning new projects, I don’t ever try to find my next big idea, I’m always in the middle of developing one idea when the next one comes my way in the least expected way and in the most inconvenient moment. I end up working on five things at the same time which makes it really hard to actually finish one. Thankfully I have my husband working with me, and he is the complete opposite — he makes me focus on one thing at a time so I can actually get things done!

"I’m inspired by women who not only have a successful career, but also have a successful marriage and family life. I’m not sure if it’s possible to have it all, but I will try. My motto is 'What’s the BEST that could happen?'"

Follow Michelle's blog and YouTube channel.

4. Christian Pineda — Co-founder of Los Tacos No.1 and Los Mariscos

Courtesy of Christian Pineda

"After several years of working and struggling as architects, my partner and I decided to take a leap of faith and go into the restaurant business, launching Los Tacos No.1 to fill a void for authentic street style Mexican food in NYC.

"Other than the usual great entrepreneurs I've followed throughout my life, I'd say the main source of my inspiration have been the people of Tijuana, my hometown. They say if you can make it in NY, you can make it anywhere — well, I believe that if you can make it in Tijuana, you can make it anywhere. Tijuana gave me that hungry attitude to strive and prosper in anything I do.

"Many people have great ideas, but the world we live in today is not about ideas, it's about execution — always follow through!"

5. Sandra Dávila — UX Designer

Courtesy of Sandra Dávila

"I have two methods to come up with ideas: The first one is traveling on my own. I like long bus trips. I'm talking, like, 15-hour-long buses. Bus rides take me out of my bubble; I share a space with a group of people, listen to conversations and look at the outside. I once traveled in a bus from southern Chile all the way up north to Bolivia. There, I came up with this project called Placas Sonoras: a storytelling platform that aims to preserve the memory of gang violence in Mexico. And if I can't travel, I talk to people. I'm a collaborative, social person, so I get a lot of my ideas from conversations.

"I like to try my hand at a variety of things, and I'm just good at coming up with new projects! Perhaps I do it too much! To mention a few: a tortillería of the future, a Facebook book, a collective of Mexicans called TechMex, a design magazine called Diseño Abierto, a do-it-yourself video channel for first generation New Yorkers, a design system documentation tool, a fintech app for retirement, a design agency, my family tree, and new classes. My friends will tell anyone that is hard to keep up with me, and I wish I had time to work on everything my brain concocts.

"My motto? Embrace the unexpected."

6. Cori Höher — Artist

Courtesy of Cori Höher

"I believe in hard work and consistency. The 'eureka' moment when I connect the dots is the most enjoyable moment of my work.

"I decided to make art my career when I understood that living life not doing something you love is just not worth it. I have always been inspired by science and perception, so most of my ideas evolve from questions about our reality and how we perceive it.

"I wish to someday be an inspiration to young girls by letting them know that with a lot of hard work you can follow your passion and in turn inspire others too.

"I find inspiration in women like Gego, a German-born Venezuelan artist who, in a time when women were not being taken seriously in the art world, believed in her work and never allowed the 'rules' of the industry to bring her down."

Follow Cori's magical Instagram account.

7. Eliane Kirschbaum — Founder of byElianne and FTHESUN

Courtesy of Elaine Krischbaum / Natalie Cohen

"I never thought I would find myself doing fashion. I worked as a bridge designer before doing consulting. Then, when I was 25, I was diagnosed with skin cancer, and that’s when everything changed.

"I wanted to use my story to influence others to live a healthier life under the sun. So I started FTHESUN, an organization that aims to raise awareness about skin cancer by selling sun-protective gear and accessories. Soon after, I got diagnosed with multiple other cases of skin cancer, and my doctor recommended to start wearing sun-protective clothing as an added layer of protection. However, I couldn’t really find anything that would suit my New York City lifestyle, so decided to make my own sun-protective clothes — that’s how byElianne was born.

"At first, I just chose a couple of basic pieces I loved from other stores, went home, and started sketching alterations that would make the clothing more 'protective.' I consulted with friends in fashion and dermatology. I read hundreds of articles about sun protection and sun exposure to figure out which areas of the body were most prone to skin cancer. Most of my ideas still come from my own personal need or from someone who requests a specific item. I like being alone a lot, and I always carry a notepad with me. Whenever something comes to mind, I just jot it down, and the ideas sort of just start pouring from it.

"My personal motto is 'smile and keep on going.' Sometimes it is really hard not to let things bring you down, but I would say that one of my greatest strengths is being able to let go of everything that brings me down and keep on going with what puts a smile on my face."

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