This month we talked to Jackie Camacho-Ruiz. You’ll know when you are in her presence. Her energy makes the whole room shine. When her attention turns towards you, instead of being intimidated or feeling small, you find that you are your best self. She doesn’t hoard the energy all for herself. Her mission is to share it.
Perhaps it has something to do with her close encounters with death that give her more appreciation for the life that we all share. She’ll tell you, “I have been given a second and third chance to live, and I am determined to make every day count.”
Somehow, she seems to be able to get more hours out of a normal day than the rest of us. She has her own marketing agency, publishing company, and foundation for young Latinas ages 12-25. She’s written 11 books and is currently embarking on an international speaking tour (phew!)
At the very core of all of these roles, she considers herself a “servant leader” with an urgency to make an impact in the world. She loves the integration of her roles and how they co-exist to elevate her mission in life.
And she didn’t get a special running start. She started by simply following what made her happy. “The more I did things that made me happy, the more aligned I was with my mission. I found joy in helping others achieve their dreams. The simple act of seeing someone’s eyes light up, gave me so much happiness.”
There’s no magic formula. There’s no secret sauce. She puts her best effort and goodwill out there, and it snowballs.
This is how she finds herself embarking on an entirely new endeavor. This is how it happens.
Let’s let Jackie tell the story:
“I had not been in my hometown in Mexico for 18 years. When people there found out that I was coming (about a week before), they invited me to give a conference to support the local orphanage, and I accepted. Little did I know that the conference was going to completely sell out and allow them to raise over 30,000 pesos for their children. At the end of the conference, I shared a dream that has been vibrating in my heart for years—to build a center for the local youth: a place where they can have the opportunity to explore STEM-related careers, music, 3D printing, innovation, sports, cooking, etc. A place where they can feel safe and find themselves, while making meaningful connections with others around the world.
While having dinner, I mentioned this dream to some local leaders that I met for the first time there. As soon as I mentioned my dream, one of the ladies there looked at me and said, “I will give you the land to build it.” I could not believe it. I asked her what she meant, and she confirmed that she would donate the land for my Amazing Center for the youth and invited me to see the land the next day.”
Yup. Just like that. She put her heartfelt intention out there (instead of hiding it), and it resonated with someone else. The idea took on a life. Of course, it needs to be fed and nurtured. They secured permits and found an architect in Puebla, Mexico who will donate the renderings. By shouting their intention a little louder, they got the attention of singer Marc Anthony’s foundation, Maestro Cares, who are showing interest in supporting this dream as well.
It looks like Jackie will have one more thing to add to her list of achievements.
But she won’t want the take-away from this interview to be, “Wow, she’s so great.” She wants you to know that you are just as capable of having, fostering, and birthing your dreams as well. Maybe you already have something in mind, or maybe you haven’t let yourself go there. Either way, spend time doing the things that truly make you happy and help others. The results will amaze you.