From Guatemala to World w/ Study Spanish Anywhere Founder Pili Argueta – Ep. 39

This week’s guest is Pili Argueta, from Quetzaltenango or locally known as Xela (pronounced SHAY-la), and teaches Spanish to students around the world. She started her online business very recently with the ultimate goal of being able to travel, and has successfully been able to do so within a few years' time. Tune in to our inspiring conversation about stepping outside comfort zones, breaking traditional norms in Guatemala, and finding communities that support our visions!

In this episode, we talk about how Pili started her entrepreneurship journey (4:15), her choice to create a new environment in which her business could grow (7:30), and the benefits of being a digital nomad (14:01).

Audio Transcript

Hi everyone. Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. Today we are featuring one of our momentum mastermind members and founder of Study Spanish Anywhere, Pili Argueta from Guatemala.

Welcome to the show Pili. Hi! Thank you for the invitation. I’m so happy and I’m so ready for this space and I am so excited for this episode. We are really excited to learn about you and your business. You have such an incredible story, and I guess to start off, would you mind sharing with our listeners where in the world Guatemala is? Okay, perfect. Guatemala is in Central America and it’s a country next to Mexico and El Salvador and Honduras. Yeah. And we have like, we are in middle of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

(1m 33s):
And where in Guatemala do you live? I leaving get set at the mango, but it’s more popular, like Shayla knowledge for the people like Sherra small city, but it’s, it’s that second more important city. And it’s very busy for the tourists to learn Spanish. It’s very common. Yeah. And so Pili is a Spanish teacher and you operate most of your business online, but you also teach in person. And it’s just really cool how we can see a glimpse of entrepreneurship in a small central American country.

(2m 17s):
What is entrepreneurship like in your city? Like, it sounds like you are such an innovator. You’re one of the, maybe first people your age with like your own business and are other people doing the same thing, I think are not a lot of people doing the same thing. Just a few entrepreneurs here, but I know more, woman’s like doing this. Yeah. More women’s than men’s experience. I know like another there, and she’s really been an inspiration to me because she really worked with NGO and she have a, and she has a star.

(3m 3s):
And that only girl I really know in is doing that. But I think it’s difficult to do that because the people have like stereotype, stereotype, stereotypes. Yeah. About how do you like need to do old Fashioned and they think very traditional. Exactly. Yeah. So sometimes it’s difficult to start with entrepreneurship because all the people around you are pressuring you and these, like, when are you going to get a real job?

(3m 43s):
Or why aren’t you doing that? Or what are you doing with your life? Some things is really hard because it’s not normal for my children. How did you get started? Like what inspired you to try something so untraditional, because you probably look around you and everyone has traditional, safe, stable jobs and they’re like, what are you doing? So I would love to hear how you first had the idea of study Spanish anywhere. Okay. Yeah. I start thinking about that in Spanish anywhere like three or four years ago, but I really start with this project.

(4m 23s):
And last year during the pandemic, because I was like, okay, what I want to do with my life? Yeah. Okay. I want to try, well, I want to be free. And I don’t like to stay in a same place for a long time. And I don’t like to have both Bose’s. Yeah. Because I, I, I see my friends and always, they have problems in their stressful and they have, and they feel like restating with their jobs and it was okay. I don’t want that for my life.

(5m 3s):
And I really love to teach Spanish so I can, I can try to do that more big and I can try to share my knowledge with other person in the world. And one of my friends told me like, penny, I came post your service in Facebook. And maybe my friends wanna learn Spanish. Me too. And I say, yeah, okay, this do that. And after one day, a lot of mistakes from her friends and all of them was asking like, okay, how much is the lessons?

(5m 44s):
And when can I start in? Yeah. In one day I received like 10, but also yeah. And I was like, oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. And it just shows in this day and age, the internet, you probably have students all over the world. And I know that you are expanding to more and more countries. It is just so possible, like taking your skill and being able to build your online brand and create content around that so that people can find you through social media, through your website and through your podcast. Exactly. Yeah. And M sex.

(6m 24s):
And it, because this moment was so important to me and I wasn’t thinking, okay, how can they use Instagram and Facebook in other ways to get more people and add more people to learn Spanish because it’s the second language, more speaker in the war. And yeah. So I was thinking like, okay, this moment. And I started to take courses about social media and about like, okay, how do you use Instagram? How to use Facebook and YouTube. And now we do, I am learning a lot about how to grow my business. And I really, and I am really so excited About it.

(7m 5s):
Yeah. And it’s been amazing and such an honor watching your business grow and scale. And what’s incredible is you had doubts in the beginning. You didn’t know what you wanted to do with your life. You didn’t know how you were going to be able to travel and have this freedom. And within a few short years, it’s so possible for you. And as we shared off air right before this, you said you were moving to . So another city in Guatemala and just a few weeks, and you’re taking all your students and all your brand and going to expand even more. Yeah. I decide to move because I think after one year Emily, and in the same place, I feel like stuck or I feel like trapped.

(7m 55s):
And I, and I think like it’s not good for my business because I am a free person and I am a social person. And it’s very important to me have contact with other people to have to be more creative. So I, I was a four, I was two Antigua. And that we can, I saw a lot of opportunities there to create, to grow my business. Like there are more tourists, there are more people who can help me to do to create content or make collapse. And I think like, this is the right moment to me to move.

(8m 38s):
Because when you feel trapped, I think it is when you need to And like create a new environment. Exactly. Yeah. And I, I love my family. I love my city, but I think sometimes they can like stop me to do some things and I need a break. That’s very powerful that you were able to see that and choose to make a change. Right. And I think with Corona virus, with the pandemic and quarantine, a lot of people feel stuck in situations. And sometimes it’s just not in your control.

(9m 18s):
Like no one could have predicted what was happening, but you always have a choice. Even if it’s something small to change something about your current environment, whether that’s, you know, lighting a candle, if that makes you happier or even like changing rooms where you work or in your case, like changing cities, it’s always a choice to notice what is draining your energy and how do I change that? How do I get myself to an inspired place? How do I get myself back on track? Because if you just stay in the same situation and it’s not serving you, you’re only going to feel worse about yourself and it’s not going to be good for your business.

(9m 60s):
Yeah, exactly. And yeah, you’re right. It’s important too, to know yourself and know when you need to move when you need some taint, because hearing Shayla, I love Shayla. I love my friends and my friends have a different life styles. Yeah. So mostly of my friends are married. Yeah. Or with babies or yeah. And other, all my, in my single friends are like with carriers or very like yeah. Take all of their thing their, their time.

(10m 42s):
Yeah. And it’s like, oh look, I can, I can, I can. And it was like, okay. Yeah, they have the life and I need accept. And they know my life is different and I want a different life. I want a free life. I wanna know the wall, the wall. So now I know, okay. I need to move. Yeah. And you know that your people are out there, you know that there are communities and groups of people like in momentum, we all have the same mindset. We’re all growing our businesses online. So even if you don’t see people who value the same things around you in your immediate city, just know that they’re out there, they’re out there in the world.

(11m 29s):
We’re out there supporting you. And there’s other people who will understand that. Yes, we are going to work on our businesses, but we’re also down to get dinner or get a drink. Like we have that balance. Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I realized that a few years ago, because always when I am in another country or in another city, lot of ways I find the perfect community. Yeah. It’s like the universe low. What do you need? What do you want to leave into meat is things.

(12m 10s):
And I think travel really helps with that too, because it expands your current frame of reference and it puts you in new communities. So you were saying before, too, how, when you went to Antigua, you found a salsa community and you love salsa. And when you were there, you’re like, these are my people. This is, Yeah. I am from here. Yeah. Yeah. You are right. I love SAMHSA. And sometimes like my other passion and I, yeah, I am a sunset Lorber. So to me, if all can be bad, but if I dance all is fine after.

(12m 52s):
Yeah. And it’s great that you’re able to build a business around that and also incorporate it into your content. So if you guys go look at Pili’s Instagram @StudySpanishAnywhere, you really get to know more about her and her lifestyle. She doesn’t hold anything back. Right. And that’s what I love so much about your page. Because when you go on it, you know who you’re working with, like, you know who you’re going to learn Spanish from, you know, her interests and you have so much to talk about. It’s not like going to school and following like a textbook and not having that human connection. It’s practicing with a friend.

(13m 30s):
Yeah. Yeah. I try to have these in my business because I think it’s better when you practice with a friend or when you ask with your friend, because you have more confidence in your Spanish is more fluent ever. Yeah. Any, any language can be more fluent. You are cooking. Yeah. I love The digital aspect of it too. So with study Spanish anywhere, you really can be anywhere, right? Like I’ve spoken to you in multiple countries over the past few months, like just being able to keep this relationship.

(14m 15s):
And I feel like that’s the freedom aspect that your business is also grounded on because you love traveling. You love being free. And then all your students who are also international, they also love being free. So combining everything into study Spanish anywhere, it’s a sign that this is what you’re destined to do. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I love all of my students because that’s because all of, all of them have that same interest in me. And I can understand, because I think like, like then, and they teach me a lot about how to live another life before to be a Spanish teacher.

(15m 1s):
I was very traditional too. And I was, and I have the same ideas and yeah. And when I start a teaching Spanish and I start to have contact with, I learned different ways to live the life. Yeah. And I learned like, okay, I can be free. I’m a woman, but I can, I am powerful. And I can do all I want. And there are no limits that I can do all in these change when I come, when I came to any theater.

(15m 46s):
Yeah. So it’s a lot of mindset work. And knowing, having that internal, knowing that you are able to that’s what started it. And one thing I want to point out is showing up authentically as yourself. So in the beginning you were following a traditional language, learning like experience, and you think that’s what you need to do. But I think why your business is so successful today is you show up as who you are. You don’t follow someone else’s track because that works for them. Right. And I think as creatives and as business owners, it’s really easy to look and see what’s working and then think that you have to do it exactly like that without trusting yourself and trusting that if you want to create something completely new and completely creative, that’s also okay.

(16m 38s):
And it has the same potential for success. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And I am so thankful with the live with God, with my students because they teach me another way to live my life. And they always inspire me. And it’s very recent because I want to travel because they show me through their photos or videos that other yeah. The other countries. And I was excited like I, one day, one day I want to go to, to there. So yeah, I am so thankful for this and you Are able to impact so many lives too.

(17m 22s):
So the whole intention with starting a business, you want it to be influential and impactful. So it goes around full circle. You know, you are helping people level up their Spanish, be more confident in themselves, see where you’re from and learn a complete new culture. And they take that inspiration. They inspire you, they expand your world and they also build your business, which then in turn expands to more people and more people around the world. So it’s this beautiful synchronicity between you sharing your true gifts and also having the drive and your brand.

(18m 3s):
Yeah. Yeah. Then, you know, it’s, it’s amazing. I, I am really lucky And this is just the beginning. So it’s so incredible to hear how you’ve only started studying Spanish anywhere a few years ago, you know? And at that time too, you didn’t know what you wanted to focus on. You didn’t know how to do it, but now instead of saying, I can’t do it, you just know that you can learn everything and it’s only going to go up. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I think it’s very important to be open, to learn new things and yeah. Try old because you don’t, if you didn’t try, you never know if you are really good or not.

(18m 46s):
So yeah. I think they action, like do always say me is definitely more important Execution over knowledge. Yeah. Don’t get stuck in a trap of just reading and reading and analyzing and planning without the actual action and execution part. I would love to share with our listeners today, something inspirational in Spanish. So do you have like a Spanish quote or a Spanish saying, or even some vocabulary that’s going to motivate the audience to take action today? Yeah.

(19m 25s):
Yeah. Let me think about it there. Okay. One of my favorite quotes in Spanish is like, , Do you understand for success in life? It’s not about accomplishments. It’s about the obstacles you overcome Except them. And they see instances is the , which has misses in loss, exit those also In your opinion.

(20m 13s):
So it’s about the journey and not the destination and yeah, just echoing what you said. A lot of times we focus on the successes and the positives and the wins, but we don’t celebrate the journey of getting there, which is all of the failures. And all of the times you feel like you can’t do it, all of the struggle like that is part of the whole thing. And you can’t have one without the other. And I love how powerful that is because it reminds me of times when we’re so focused on, we’re trying so hard to push for something good. But we forget that we need to have lessons learned, right?

(20m 53s):
Like we need to learn new things. We need to be uncomfortable and step outside our comfort zones in order for those successes to happen. So sometimes like a good indicator. If some of my clients are getting really pressured and really discouraged, I tell them to count their failures. Like see how many times you can fail. See how many times you can get, know if you’re launching something, see how many times someone can say no to your new course or your new program, because I’m sure the more nos you get, the more yeses you’re also going to get. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like always, and all the people is like really usher about this.

(21m 37s):
Like, oh no, I need to be perfect or not. I need to, yeah. I need to have that jazz in that years time. But yeah. And then we alive, it’s not the truth. And you are going to receive a lot of notes before a desk, but you can learn. And always, you can see another ways to do that because sometimes it’s something is not working. If you really put attention. Yeah. And to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to keep going. Even if it seems like it’s all nose in front of you. And I think that’s what any successful entrepreneur will tell you, like they are successful because they kept going.

(22m 23s):
They didn’t give up. They found another way. Exactly. Scene eight Exodus. One more time. Okay. Look assets. So what you do today can improve all your tomorrows. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So now we need to do a little things everyday and yeah. And it can help us. Yeah. Love these.

(23m 3s):
You should share this and our Voxer group. I’m sure all of our other members would love these quotes. Like I’ve actually never heard of them in English. And this is what I love about this podcast. When I bring on people from other countries it’s like different phrases and different languages. Yeah. And I love the inspirational quotes and I read a lot of books about inspiration and innovation and how to, how to be a better person and how to get the things I want. So yeah, I, I share these quotes in my Instagram too.

(23m 43s):
So if you guys want to follow pili for all things, Spanish, for all things, salsa and inspiration, I will link your Instagram, your website and your podcast in the show notes, but it studies Spanish anywhere. She is an amazing Spanish teacher. I speak from experience. And thank you so much for coming on this show. Peely. Thank you so much for that. It’s really, I am really appreciate it. And I feel so happy. I can do it. Oh yeah. So off air too. Bailey was kind of scared in the beginning because she said her English. Wasn’t perfect, but we are international.

(24m 23s):
You did fantastic. Oh, thank you so much, Danielle. Yeah, you are a great person and I am so happy to know doing learn from you. And thank you. Thank you for, to all our listeners. And I hope you enjoy these. Then I will see you in the next episode, have an amazing.


✧ Find Pili on Instagram @studyspanishanywhere
✧ Free Case Study:

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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