Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

How Ivan Tapia turned a stroke of bad luck into profit

Ivan Tapia did not let unemployment and poverty deter his faith and he created an opportunity in the MLM business

Published: Sep 11, 2020 01:20:18 PM IST
Updated: Sep 12, 2020 10:38:09 PM IST

How Ivan Tapia turned a stroke of bad luck into profit

If you somehow have yet to hear of Ivan and Monika Tapia, you are in for one inspirational story. The two entrepreneurs are a classic encapsulation of the American dream, and a continually driven power couple to boot. It is rare to hear of a “started from the bottom” story these days, but that is what makes them so special. The inspirational essence of their story is not lost on Ivan and Monika, and they reflect on the roots of their success every day as they strive to achieve their main goal: helping others succeed.

Ivan was born in Tijuana, Mexico and grew up with the dream of becoming a professional baseball player. He was quite a prospect, obtaining a temporary visa in order to study and play baseball at Southwestern College in San Diego, California. As fate would have it, he soon injured his shoulder and was unable to ever regain the playing ability he had enjoyed prior to the incident. This would be just one of the many problems Ivan would face before achieving his gradual rise to success.

Ivan finished receiving his degree in civil engineering at San Diego State University, all the while showcasing his incredible work ethic by holding down multiple jobs and internships, and soon after found a career with a small engineering firm.

Unfortunately for Ivan and his wife, the financial crisis of 2008 abruptly sent them careening off course into poverty and debt. Ivan was let go from his job just before the couple could celebrate their first anniversary. The competition in his field and his relative lack of experience resulted in a lengthy stint of unemployment and struggle. Ivan and Monika lost their house, their car, and any positive credit history they had established. Their life was in ruins. As if the stress levels weren’t high enough, the couple moved back to Tijuana only to discover that Monika was pregnant with their first child. The desperate situation incensed Ivan to come to realize he must focus his efforts on becoming 100% self-sufficient and self-employed.

At this point, Ivan was merely dabbling in a multi-level marketing endeavor, making a worrisome $500 a month and barely able to afford his small house in Tijuana. Truly committed to one another, the couple held tight and gritted their teeth for years as Ivan slowly began to establish more consistent employment, while always developing his entrepreneurial goals on the side. In 2011, Ivan finally began making significant income through his MLM enterprise. By spending every waking hour outside his full time job focusing on his goals, he was exponentially increasing his income through his own efforts. By 2012 he “fired his boss” and has not worked beneath anyone since. The rocky road that Ivan and Monika traversed to achieve the level of success they enjoy has forever grounded them, and shaped their ultimate goal: to help a billion people.

His focus is training and developing people in the realms of leadership, personal development, finances, and communication. “When I train people my focus is to be a bridge and help them to go from where they are, to where they want to go.” He explains. When asked for his top tips for readers looking to achieve the success he has realized, one of the main pieces of advice he offered was this: find a coach and a mentor.

“Who are you listening to? You need a mentor in the industry where you desire to be successful. There are two ways of learning in life, by mentors and their experience, or by your own experience only. It will be less painful to learn from mentors, as it’s wisdom you’re obtaining from somebody else’s experience.”

Ivan muses. Both he and his wife have sincerely shifted their focus from pulling themselves from the deep rut in which they were cast 12 years ago, and set their sight on making sure that those with a similar drive and passion for hard work and persistence need not go to such incredible lengths as them to also enjoy a piece of the American dream. To know more about Ivan Tapia, visit his Instagram.

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