- Current position: Product Manager
- Currently hanging out in: Not too far from Bogota, Colombia
- Passions, loves & hobbies: Technology, tech products, the internet, and leadership in all its forms, from embracing people for who they are to helping people develop and grow in general.
- Thankful for: The art of self care, being able to wake up and be present with space, the mountain views, and crisp air, small pauses of peace throughout the day.
- Amazing traits that stick out: Presence, present, persistence, knowing herself, ability to learn anything she puts her mind to, helpful, sees silver linings and lessons through difficulties, self awareness, grounded, understanding, perseverance, strong, aligned.
Let’s get to know Luisa. This resilient person is proud of/that/for:
Playing on the Colombian Women’s National Futbol Team.
Yup, she did that. No big deal.
Having the opportunity to go to executive courses at Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.
Luisa realizes that everyone has different viewpoints, different ways of seeing and experiencing life and that we all live in a different world based on that knowledge. You can see something one way, and your friend or colleague in the same situation can see it completely differently. With this background, taking executive courses at these colleges has brightened and widened her personal views, as well as blessed her with the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs from all over the globe. From there, she’s used these enlightening experiences to not only become a better person professionally, but also gain an understanding of, and alignment within, herself. She brings that light and those lessons with her every day, sharing them in the hopes of bettering the lives of those around her in any way she can.
Being the CEO of a tech company as a woman.
To lead when the future is open-ended. To forge on when the tasks ahead seem insurmountable. To be present when pain is also made its presence known. Being aware and observant of the differences and challenges she faced being a woman in charge and taking stock of her situations to make them better every chance she got. All of this and more is what Luisa faced head-on every day. Challenges were daily colleagues, and a metaphorical fire extinguisher was always in her back pocket. It takes grit, a predisposition for learning fast and implementing well, and holding responsibility in one hand while also upholding the shared vision of the company in the other, to lead well. Whatever demands Luisa faced, she faced with a humble grace that illuminated all she did. All of these skills, attributes, and lessons are things she carries with her in her current role today, and on her continued journey.
Embracing the lessons behind lupus.
The journey of discovering this illness was long, confusing, treacherous, exhausting, and heartbreaking. It started with small bumps on her hands, going to the doctor, them giving her shots, and not telling her what it was that was causing the bumps in the first place. From there it transitioned to going to an allergist, taking every exam they had, and being told she wasn’t allergic to anything. After that, it was an immunologist, taking those tests, and hearing nothing. Then to a rheumatologist, and then after more tests, finally finding out she had lupus. It came as a shock. How? Why? When did this start?
The ordeal continued into the world of medication. One after the other, side effects showed up in various stages and levels, and though at times the medication was helping, at others it was hurting just as much, if not more. Finally, after trudging through med after med, she found a biological treatment that seemed to help and work best, overall. Another stressful aspect to all of it? This was happening while she was CEO.
The timing of it all was just… challenging. The weight of it all while going in between working and having to be off with doctor’s orders alongside the pain that was a daily companion, was almost unbearable. Many conversations later, decisions were made with the best for everyone in mind, and she stepped down as CEO, eventually coming to where she is now as a project manager.
What a process this was to self-discovery. So many lessons and realizations came to light:
Bad habits are harder to break than to make. Listen to your body – it’s always talking to you. Your health is a commodity that you can’t replace. Busy is overrated. Peace is underrated. Living your life on your terms is easier than living for the approval of everyone else. Enjoy the little things. And remember, take care of yourself – no one else can do it for you.
Golden nugget: Follow what you believe is right and define your version of success.