When NO Is Not An Option – Choose To Follow Your Dream [Episode #69]

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  • June 5, 2013

Mariela Dabbah is my guest today and we’re talking struggles, success and how to follow your dream.  Mariela was told NO several time, but she didn’t give up — even when it meant crossing the border illegally to follow her dream.

Thank goodness she did follow her dream because she has gone on to help young Latino students, women and professionals succeed in their quest of education and successful careers in the United States.

Mariela is an author, speaker and consultant and she’s here to share her amazing story with us — check out my interview with her.


Here are some actionable highlights from our Interview:

  • Sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have to “let go” and take a chance – Mariela and her husband were presented with an opportunity to buy a business that was closing. 
  • Don’t let others tell you NO — find your path and do what’s needed to reach your goals.
  • Learn to reinvent yourself when needed – don’t be afraid to learn something new.
  • Losing things – such as a business – can be a powerful motivator – get strength from other sources.
  • When your back is against the wall you true character show up – don’t underestimate you strength.
  • Remember that when one door closes, another opens.
  • Failure is the foundation for success – learn from failure, this is the breaking point for starting something new.

About guest Mariela Dabbah









For the last twenty years Mariela has devoted her enormous energy to helping young Latino students, women and professionals succeed in their quest of education and successful careers in the United States.

In this mission she has authored several award winning, best-selling books to help Latinos navigate the American system. Her book Poder de Mujer: Descubre quién eres para crear el éxito a tu medida, published by Penguin in 2012, has been on the best selling lists on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Nielsen since its release. It will be released in English, May 2013 with the title: Find Your Inner Red Shoes

Other books:

Latinos in College: Your guide to Success, Help your Children Succeed in School Help your Children Succeed in High School and Go to College, How to Get a Job in the U.S., and co-authored The Latino Advantage in the Workplace.

In 2009 Mariela created Latinos in College, the first online/offline all encompassing platform to help Latino students succeed in college. The non-profit organization’s website www.latinosincollege.com offers resources, tools and connections for Latino students and their families to find, pay and graduate from college.

In 2012, when her book Poder de Mujer was released, Mariela founded the Red Shoe Movement: Women Supporting Women for Career Success(www.RedShoeMovement.com) to increase female representation at executive levels across organizations. The movement encourages women to wear red shoes to work on Tuesdays to signal their support for the career development of other women.

As an international, sought-after speaker, Mariela has presented at Procter and Gamble, General Electric, Citigroup, AIG, Exxon/Mobil, HBO, Goldman Sachs, Verizon, JPMorganChase, McDonald’s, the College Board, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, the College Board, National Association for Bilingual Education, The Conference Board, and National Society of Hispanic MBAs, among many other companies, organizations and professional conferences.

Mariela is a frequent media expert on Latino education and success She regularly appears on: CNN, Univision, Telemundo, ABC, NBC, NPR and many others. She’s a columnist for several online media outlets such as the Huffington Post and Fox News.

Links Mentioned:

Red Shoe Movement

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  • Jenny Gracia

    Mariela Dabbah you are such an amazing inspiration. It was wonderful to know that no matter how many doors were closing before your eyes you stood up and proved everyone wrong. Being a young Latina in the US is already a challenge in itself. Congratulations and thank you for establishing the Red Shoe Movement. Your book has truly enlightened me, after reading it in both English and Spanish I learn something new every time. I look forward to meeting you tonight and hopefully becoming an ambassador.

    • Shelia

      Hello Jenny, what a wonderfully inspiring comment! Thank you so much for your support and tuning in. Thanks again, Shelia