Becoming an entrepreneur (in the crater of a volcano)

Hi there!

I am Miriam, a Health and Lifestyle Coach and Co-owner of Apoyo Lodge. I am also the one that has been meaning to start this blog for about a year – let me tell you, times does fly when you are having fun (or when you are trying to survive as a first-time business owner)!

  That first sunrise back in November 2016

That first sunrise back in November 2016

A year ago this month, I moved into Apoyo Lodge ready to open doors for December 1st. Ready, or at least, so I thought. I was not, by any means, ready for what was to come in the following 12 months, but in retrospective, if I had known for a minute the amount of unplanned, crazy things I would have to deal with as an entrepreneur opening a unique business in the crater of a volcano, I might have never gone ahead to begin with. And trust me, I am happy I did.

Here is the thing: I had somehow envisioned myself filling my time running around in my flowery dress greeting my guests, experimenting in the kitchen to continue to develop yummy recipes, working to expand my health workshops in two languages, networking with likeminded business and individuals to come up with joint ventures, and a bunch of other super exciting projects like starting this blog. I am the kind of person that tends to bite more than she can chew anyway, so I knew it would take me a while to get things done, but boy, we opened doors and “a while” just became a very abstract concept to me.

People often tell me I should write a book with a compilation of my experiences so far. I would probably not know where to begin with: maybe telling the story of how my first head chef got drunk after his first pay-check and didn’t turn up to work for 2 days until we found him hangover in his couch. Or maybe how I found out in a painful way and after spending thousands of dollars that our car engine replacement job was a scam (twice). I guess I could also start by sharing the frustration of dealing with a fly invasion that lasted for 2 months, without wanting to harm the flies, or how I have figured out by now that even though I pay my taxes religiously I still have to pay for any maintenance of the public road that passes in front of our property out of our pocket even though everybody enjoys the benefits of driving it. Endless stories to choose from.

However, dealing with these and many more issues was always a side activity, because the true bulk of my time was always spent with guest related activities, albeit not in the flowery dress style I had envisioned. In fact, there were days that I didn’t even shower (full disclosure!) as after 14hrs on my feet greeting, cooking, serving, planning, emailing and even making rooms up at times, I just crashed on my bed face down. In fact, I didn’t even have a bathroom door for about two months: true story.

I felt at times that opening a business was like becoming a first-time mother in a way: You plan it to be wonderful, sweet and beautiful and then reality hits you in the face when you have not slept for weeks, you haven’t been able to spend more than an hour in your own company and you feel pulled in every direction every. Single. Minute. Of. Every. Single. Day. And it doesn’t matter how many books you read to get you ready (thank you Ryan Spiegel for the insights!) or how many others that have walked the road before you try to warn you: just like with first-time motherhood, you really do not know what you are getting yourself into until you face it yourself.

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But then, in the middle of all this chaos, not a single day has gone by that I haven’t had something beautiful and inspiring happening that reminded me why I am here, and why I am doing this: the guests’ motivating words and feedback, the meals cooked with love and enjoyed thoroughly at the communal dinner table, the hugs from strangers that felt at home in our home, the staff learning about detoxing with a genuine interest. Every single day over the last 12 months I have left my bed in the morning with a passion to keep pushing through and make Apoyo Lodge bigger, better and healthier for you.  

Now, when I have finally found some stability by having a wonderful team that keeps things going beautifully against all odds (I am talking about you, Tropical Storm Nate) and I am able to wear that flowery dress after I take a shower (daily, I promise!) I am delighted to finally take on the awaited opportunity to develop this blog for you. To share information, recipes and thoughts about everything to do with plant based nutrition, healthy living, sustainable and conscious travel around the beautiful country of Nicaragua and most importantly, inspiration to help you live the full and enriching life that you deserve: the Apoyo Lodge way of life.

With Love and Light,

Miriam