In this episode I talk to Neil Haapamaki, a boutique hotel owner in Mexico. Neil and his wife Sara found themselves living a life in Toronto, Ontario that they hadn’t envisioned at that point in their lives.
They had good jobs and were surrounded by friends and family but the dream of following an entrepreneurial path in a foreign country was ever-present. Neil was working long hours for the Toronto International Film Festival and Sara was an Executive Director of a chain of spas. Their dreaming for something different drove them to extensively research and meticulously execute their plan to open The Diplomat Boutique Hotel in Merida Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula.
“You know, why not. We can do this. We can do this better.”
In this episode we discuss…
What their lives looked like in the corporate world of Toronto.
What planted the seed of living as an expat in a foreign country and opening a hotel.
Evaluating 30 different properties in Merida before choosing the very last one they looked at.
Liquidating all of their assets in Canada to make the move possible.
Managing a chaotic renovation from a personal residence to a luxury hotel with a VERY rough estimate on the total cost.
Embracing a HUGE learning curve, building a businesses from scratch and fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Do they have enough money? Do they have enough time? What is ‘ceiling fan’ in Spanish, wait, in Mayan?
Neil Haapamaki talks entrepreneurship with Go Hunt Life.
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