“I can start by telling you that I am a Lawyer, that I have two Master Degrees one in Taxation Law and the other in Urban Planning Law, that I speak English fluently, that I have 20 years experience in the legal sector as a Lawyer, that I am a businessman and Administrator of more than 5 companies.
But behind all of that, there is a personal story.”
If you want to know more, keep reading……
I am a Lawyer by profession, although I prefer to call my profession “A PROBLEM SOLVER” (when the problems already exist) and “A PROBLEM PREVENTER” (when the problems have not yet appeared).
Now, over the years, I realize that this was my vocation since I was a little boy.
I am the son of a BUILDER, who, at the age of 12, started out as a Baker to support his family in times of real need (post-civil war), and who ended up being, as a result of his perseverance, a renowned BUILDER, and finally a PROPERTY DEVELOPER.
All of my father’s primary studies were done in Military Service. However, that was never an obstacle to creating what I call his “Mini-Empire.”
I am the fruit of my parents’ constant perseverance and sacrifice. When my father had the slightest opportunity to progress, he did. From Baker to Construction Labourer, from Labourer to Bricklayer, from Bricklayer to self-employed Builder, and over the years, from Builder to Property Developer.
NOTE: Although I am mainly talking about my father, I consider that both my father and my mother are a united force. My father could not have achieved any of this without my mother’s support, sacrifice and help. Both, in unison, they always have been and still are a perfect team.
I’m sure, that the ability to overcome the situation of extreme need, forged my father’s, and of course my mother’s, character and attitude towards life, work and people.
From a little boy, I loved going to work with my father, this turned me into a demanding child, because I wanted to spend as much time as possible with a father who worked a lot and therefore spent a lot of time away from home.
I’m sure I had an advantage over my brothers and sister. Being the first child, I was blessed with greater patience from my father, and therefore, more acceptance from him to allow me to accompany him.
Allowing me to accompany him to his jobs gave me the chance to soak up his values, principles, ambitions, and above all, to observe the human relationships he had with people. Without a doubt, it was in those years that most of the principles that guide me through my life today were instilled in me: to be constant, consistent, to be positive and optimistic in life, to be hard working, capable of understanding suffering, to have a constant curiosity to learn, to be humble and especially to be a sociable human being.
THE CHUBBY CHILD IN ME!
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Being a “chubby” child for most of my years forced me to try harder, and forced me to develop another set of skills so as to enhance and counteract my physical image.
I have always liked sports, and my overweight problem never stopped me facing any venture that came my way.
I played tennis, and even as an overweight child, I achieved a high level in tennis that led me to participate in multiple competitions. My lack of physical speed meant that I had to make up for it with technical ability and other resources that would help me win the game. Those limitations and obstacles developed my ability to be better, both technically and mentally.
When I would arrive at the tennis court and both my opponents and the other participants saw me, they thought: “where is that fat boy going”. However, despite the hurtfulness of their comments, it was never a handicap for me, but rather the opposite it motivated me to show them how I could beat them with less physical faculties.
Although I was significantly overweight, I managed to reach a handicap of 4 in Golf and won numerous amateur competitions. Anyone who knows this sport knows what I’m are talking about.
Similarly, no girl noticed a chubby boy or young man. And in the same way, I had to supplement that handicap with other personal skills such as a sense of humour, playing the guitar, or having a good capacity to listen to them and maintain interesting conversations at such a young age.
However, my problem of being overweight also had to end. And because of that, I did not settle for what a medical professional told me to do, but instead I learned by reading many books, learning what I had to do to lose the weight and what to do to definitely keep it off forever!
Over the years, I have run several marathons, half marathons, Olympic distance triathlons, Half Ironman, mountain races, mountain bike events and cycling routes of more than 100 km, Cross fit and countless other sports. Today, at 46 years old, I am stronger than ever, and more than happy with my physique and lifestyle.
A BOY IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS
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I still remember the first day my father took me to TYPING classes. I am sure that today there are many young people born from the 2000s onwards who do not even know what we are talking about. But in my youth, typing was a prized skill. Two years of uninterrupted classes, learning to type. Three days a week, one hour each day. Surely it wasn’t the best way for a kid to have fun, but I couldn’t be more grateful to my parents for that decision.
For me, knowing how to type led to entering the world of business from a very young age. Those were the years when my father was already a freelance builder. To attract business, getting building jobs, a lot of estimates had to be done. And of course, who was typing those estimates? Who did the invoices for the clients? Well yes, you are right. The 10-year-old boy, who was learning how to type precisely for that reason.
This taught me, from a young boy, various important things.
1.- To enjoy the process. Starting with the satisfaction you get from doing an estimate and having it accepted. Going through the joys and troubles during the development of the entire job. And finally, to be a spectator of the joy that the owner / client displays with the end result of all that work.
2. – Endure and suffer during difficult times. What you suffer when you see that you have submitted many estimates and none come to fruition. I remember times when I asked my father immediately after delivering an estimate and he replied that they had not accepted it. The times of crisis were really hard. However, overcoming those times also taught me that with sacrifice and persistence, everything passes, and what is better still, is that overcoming them makes you stronger.
My parents gave me all the necessary tools, all those values that they both had, merged together with some university studies and several Masters Degrees.
REVERSAL OF ROLES
And right after that, there was a complete reversal of roles and I found myself in the reverse position. I already had the necessary tools, the values and the necessary skills to be the one to HELP my fatherSince then, my father has been my most important client. Not because of the volume of work, but because for me the MOST IMPORTANT task was and is: MAKING SURE THAT MY FATHER SUFFERS AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
And that philosophy that I have about my father’s business is the same that I have adopted with EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENTS. For me, each client is LIKE MY FATHER. Or it could also be said that each client is LIKE A SON for me.
I want to avoid problems for them, and if they have them, I want to solve them as soon as possible, in order to avoid ANXIETY about the unknown for them.
After 20 years now, I work in a sector that I am passionate about: HELPING PEOPLE.
Without a doubt, for an outsider helping others could be seen as a labour of love, but to be honest, I think that helping others becomes a SELFISH ACT, because the intense pleasure that it gives me to see the smile on the face of someone I have solved a problem for or I have helped in any way, has no price, it cannot be measured by any economic value
Therefore, my profession is not a LAWYER, but as I call it, A PROBLEM SOLVER AND GENERATOR OF JOY.
HOW I STARTED WITH ENGLISH SPEAKING CLIENTS (MY FRIEND RON)
Without a doubt, the origin from which I began working with English-speaking clients (initially British), was something that marked out the future of my life.
When I had only been working for a year, a tall, lanky client with white hair and a MANCHESTER CITY (PREMIER LEAGUE football club) shirt on, walked through the door of my law firm.
When he started to speak, making a huge attempt in broken Spanish, my secretary got a little overwhelmed. Never before had an English client walked into our office.
Given the difficulty in communicating with the secretary, I went out to attend to him. My knowledge of English consisted of the level acquired in compulsory studies and in various private academies where I had taken classes. And of course, what one learns with the songs of U2 and ENYA.
When he heard me speak in ENGLISH the look on his face changed into one of real joy. When you are in a foreign country and can communicate with someone in your own language it is such a pleasant feeling, one that you can only understand if you have travelled to another country that doesn’t speak you language.
With difficulties of one type or another, I managed to understand him. He needed a lawyer to buy a house in a beautiful little village in the area called LUJAR. It is a village where only 30 people live, of which the majority are older people.
He hired my services, and purchased his house in Lujar. But the matter did not end there. He used to visit me to ask me things related to his obligations in Spain, and we took the opportunity to talk about other things. And amongst other things, a hobby we had in common emerged: GOLF.
I had been playing for about two years, and he was just starting to get into it. As I was a member of a course in Granada, I proposed a plan that he could not refuse: we would play together and for the first 9 holes we would speak in Spanish (so he could learn and improve his basic Spanish), and for the next 9 holes we would speak only in English (and I could improve mine). Once the 18 holes were finished, at the so-called 19th hole (the bar), both languages could be mixed (Spanglish).
We forged a very intense friendship. While we played he told me what his life was like in England during the Second World War. For me it was like living a live documentary. It was exciting to hear him talk about all his experiences. I became soaked in the British way of thinking and that also provoked a change in my mind set.
After Ron, many more clients came (many of them on his recommendation). And although I have had a very good relationship with them, without a doubt my relationship with RON was very special. The day his wife called me to tell me that he had just died and that she didn’t know what to do, it was like someone had poured a jug of ice cold water on me. My friend RON had gone. I immediately went up to his house, and when I arrived the staff from the funeral home were already there and I saw an image that I will never forget: Ron inside the coffin with his Manchester City shirt on. RON was very happy in LUJAR, he spoke (as best he could) with the locals about soccer (which was what he liked the most). He wanted to be put to rest precisely in the LUJAR cemetery, being the first Englishman to be buried there. Without a doubt, I will NEVER FORGET HIM.
RON was the reason that I took my law firm in the direction of English-speaking clients, and I will be grateful to him throughout my life. Thanks RON, wherever you are.