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When Adelso Lemus was expanding his business and felt pressured to cover ballooning expenses with sales, he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
“The doctor was gently telling us that they were going to see what they could do,” Adelso told God Reports. “I didn’t want to do chemo because the last time I had cancer it jacked me up.”
From his hospital bed, he watched his family huddle.
They weren’t weeping; they were strategizing. Who would do what to cover Dad’s extensive responsibilities in the business? Adelso and his family sought what they always wanted in times of trial: a turnaround, for good to come out of the bad.
“I wasn’t thinking I was going to die,” he says. “I just needed to work this through and get back to the business.”
Adelso miraculously survived the cancer. His 10-year-old business of specialty tres leches cakes now grosses $1 million in revenue.
He shares his life philosophy on a radio podcast “The Flipside” which encourages listeners to not despair but to find how “all things work together for the good,” as the Bible says.
Adelso, 54, lives in San Antonio, Texas. He got saved as a youth in Albuquerque when he saw a formerly “fried” pothead” all cleaned up and alive.” It was an unexpected surprise, and the young man invited Adelso to church. He didn’t want to go, but his friend hounded him and he broke down. Of course, Adelso ended up receiving Jesus and transformation.
He grew zealous for the things of God and even prepared himself to enter ministry. He was part of the church-planting mission that emphasized evangelism and discipleship and not Bible school degrees.
He and new-convert Veronica got married “Jesus people style,” the way the hippies did in the Jesus Movement of the 70s, without expensive ballroom-like details and during the Sunday morning service. They were in love with each other and considered the fact that Jesus didn’t have any money.
Adelso and Veronica marched off to Panama, where they were missionaries for nine years. It was a wild time of scrambling to make ends meet. Adelso became very resourceful as he adeptly negotiated equipment and building rentals without having enough money to do so. Navigating financial hardship with resourcefulness became a skill he carried forward in life and it became the hallmark of his business.
“It hardened my hide to be able to go through what I’ve gone through in the business,” he says.
When his 25th wedding anniversary approached, he was on staff at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church. He decided to save as much money he could every week to honor his wife with a big bash to renew their wedding vows. He wanted to make up for the skimpy beginnings of married life.
How would he cobble together the money for the event? His sister gave him a secret recipe, a tres leches cake with a non-traditional flourish, pineapple. It was off the radar, but when he took samples to some local restaurants they were curious.
“Tres leches with pineapple?” one proprietor said. “That’s weird.”
He tasted it.
“The way they responded in the restaurant was really positive,” Adelso explains. “I wanted them to taste it to see if it had any potential. They really liked it. I just chased the dream because of the reaction that I got. It was a genuine surprised reaction. I thought, Wow, they really liked it. It made me realize that this was something I could possibly do on the side.”
He started at home, but you can’t cook at home for commercial ventures for long.
The preparation for a wedding renewal turned into a full-time business. He needed to rent space at a bakery. At a cooking conference where he impressed with free samples, an acquaintance tipped him off to a 2,000-square-foot San Antonio bakery that could rent him space in the evenings.
The only problem was that she wanted $800 a month and all he could offer was $350. Read the rest: Adelso Lemus fought cancer while running a growing business
Vanessa Punche was a LOYAL Starbucks customer. So she was maddened when a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the cops on two African American patrons who were simply waiting just a few minutes for a business associate to show up before they ordered in 2018.
“That really sparked the fire under me,” she says. “If you did that to people who look like me, you did that to me. It’s like a form of slavery. One group of people can sit in a store and work freely and then another class can’t do that without being arrested.”
Vanessa, 56, an Angeleno, didn’t just stop patronizing Starbucks. She quit her job at UCLA and launched a coffee-making business, LA Grind, which has a brick-and-mortar location at 1412 S Redondo Blvd Los Angeles CA 90019 and a coffee truck.
WOW! THE HOUSE BLEND COFFEE WITH LAVENDER AND OTHER SECRET INGREDIENTS!
A good thing came out of something bad. “I turned it into a positive,” Vanessa says.
The switch from UCLA administrator to entrepreneur has had its ups and downs. Business was booming with Cameroon-sourced coffee; she had a prime spot with her truck at the LAX ride-hailing spot.
Then Covid struck. She turned to cracking out her online sales. Now post-Covid, Vanessa is back to navigating the waves of clients and events around Los Angeles. She caters with her truck. She has needed to rely on her family (she has three adult children) to staff, since payroll has taken its toll on viability.
“I did a lot of stuff scared,” she admits about the entreprenuerial adventure, the risks of trying to cover bills and woo clients. But now, “there isn’t any turning back,” she adds. “Some days are better than others.”
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Adriana Gasaway became an entreprenuer by accident.
During the quarantine, she started mixmashing ingredients in search of more natural body butter. Ever since she took medical classes at West Coast College to get her ultrasound degree, she had an aversion for the long list of chemical ingredients with questionable health impact.
Her first creation was mango body butter and her friends loved it. She kept cooking up stuff and now has 3 different scents to her body butters and four soaps: mango, milk and honey, charcoal and coffee. She’s added sea moss to her repertoire which she vetted herself by traveling to Saint Lucia to check out her supplier. It boosts the immune system.
She started hawking bars and butters at events and at Earle’s Restaurant in Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. An entrepreneur was born. The career in ultrasounds got sidelined.
“I like this better, although it’s good to have something under my belt to fall back on,” she says.
With an unrepressible effervescence, Adriana was promoting her products on July 17 at the Amazing Grace arts festival. Customers were drawn by the smile and the sweet voice. They walked away with bars of soap in their bags.
Only 23, she’s young big dreamer. According to her dreams, the future holds financial stability, owning a house, having a family.
“This is what I put all my energy into,” she says. “I really like meeting new people and hearing the feedback on my products. It gives me energy.” Here’s her website A.C.E. Naturals and her Instagram page.
So far, she’s paying her own rent with her business. Tomorrow, she’ll take over the world.
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There will be times when you want to give up and throw everything in. Don’t. By turning challenges into opportunities, you find success you were never capable of achieving.Your ability to take calculated risks and your incurable optimism will take you to great heights. — Richard Branson