10 years and big news

At the top of the Villarrica Volcano

Rob and Ange at the top of the Villarrica Volcano near Pucon, Chile.

(The photo above is from our honeymoon … 10 years ago)

10 years and big news

You could say that today is an important day for my wife and I.
We have put up with each other been married for 10 years.

Not a bad feat in this day and age where marriages seem to be more disposable.

But it is not only 10 years of Marriage that we are celebrating.

We are officially announcing our semi-retirement! Yes, that’s correct, and no, we are not old.

When I was younger I thought…
I don’t want to work for anyone else when I’m 30 (achieved – we started our first company)
I want to retire when I’m 40 (I turned that last month, ouch, and we are now tidying up some loose ends and we’ll be semi-retired very soon)

How did we do it?

Many people see me, Rob W, as the head or mastermind or whatever of Woodward Chile, mainly because it has my surname. However, I have always stated that Angelica and I got married and started our first company the same month (February) and that the company’s success has been the work of both of us.

It wasn’t easy

We started without any money, you know, getting married the same month, and even had to go into debt the first months due to our then innocence about doing business in Chile. There was a point were we literally only had an hallulla (a type of Chilean bread) for dinner, with nothing on it, and we had to sleep at the office because we didn’t have the $300 or so Chilean pesos to catch the bus to Ange’s parents house where we were staying the first months. We didn’t/don’t have a rich family to bail us out, in fact, they didn’t know what we were going through at the time.

However we always knew it would work out and that’s what happened…. with a lot of hard work.

No, it wasn’t an overnight success and we were basically working from 9am to 9pm every day and then continuing at home. It was our life.

And, after 10 years of slaving away achieving constant growth (without ever having a salesperson), we got to the point where we can now pretty much retire.

Why not continue?

A study recently showed that one of the top regrets of people on their deathbed is that they wish they hadn’t worked so much.

Many people worry too much about amassing more and more money and when they get it, it never seems to be enough so they work harder and harder then one day, having worked and worked endlessly, they either die or don’t get to enjoy it.
All this thanks to the latest disease called consumerism.

Well, we are different and want to spend more time with each other (outside of work) and with our kids. We both want to be there for them as they grow up and since what we do is VERY time consuming, it was time for a change while we were at our peak.

So, what about the next 10 years?

In reality even though we are semi-retired we will continue to be “working” on different projects and activities that interest us. Most of it helping helping people in one way or another. We will be…

1. Spending even more time with our children.
2. Creating material for people around the world to learn English and Spanish for free.
3. Helping couples with adoptions in Chile.
4. Creating content for our different websites about South America, New Zealand and the rest of the world, amongst others. We have always been interested in Travel and can now do it more.

So, 10 years down the track we have literally been together for better and for worse, through sickness and health and we’re still there for each other, just like at the beginning, just a wrinklier version and a tad more crazy.

How are your life goals coming along?

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10 Responses to “10 years and big news”

  1. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    I am so happy for you guys! I didn’t realize how tough it was to get started. Very inspirational, and good luck with your fun retirement plans. Hopefully, we’ll cross paths again on your travels.

    • Rob W. February 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie.
      And we didn’t even mention the inflatable bed that deflated every night nor the “shower” by boiling a jug of hot water.
      But that’s for another story. :)
      I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again somewhere, or at least I hope so.

  2. Eileen February 24, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    WOW! that is huge! I’m really excited for you. What a great gift to yourselves and your kids. Would love to talk to you more about this next stage of life. And now that you’ll have more time, I’m sure it will be easier to find a time to chat. What are you doing with the school?

    But most of all, congratulations!

    • Rob W. February 24, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Yep, I’m going to have time to do the photo safari/shoot of Santiago we’ve been meaning to do.
      And yes, we’ll have you over soon for a much needed catch up. Remember, Rob the master chef (or is that monster chef?) still owes you that dinner from last year and will be delighting (or scaring) your taste buds soon!

      We stopped doing English at the end of last year as a part of our plan (apart from IELTS prep – which I love and is too much fun to give up).
      Spanish finishes in a month or so. That part has been really hard to stop because we’ve met SO MANY cool people over all of these years and our current students keep asking us to continue giving classes. But owning Language schools consumes a lot of time and energy and it’s time to think of Ange and I and the kids.

      However, we’re looking for a little office nearby to store our 10 years of accumulated crap (it’s amazing what we’ve been finding) and have a physical place to write (and for tax reasons) instead of doing everything from home. There are many institutes that will be very happy that we’re closing physically, though little do they know what is coming up… mua ha haaa!

      • Eileen February 24, 2012 at 10:59 am #

        muahaha indeed! Can’t wait to hear what’s next. We should talk about that sometime! You surprised the bewhosis out of me, and I can’t wait to taste whatever it is you’re going to scare up, food-wise. Looking forward to checking out the new digs as well.

  3. Thornyrose February 24, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Congratulations, Rob and Ange! You guys have achieved the South “American Dream.” Mazel-tov!

    • Rob W. February 24, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Ha ha ha South American Dream … That is so funny!

  4. Sara February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Congratulations! Ten years and a successful business! Way to go :)

  5. Shane May 22, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Congratulations. It’s really good to read something like this, the humble beginnings and the like. You’re story is truly inspiring for those people who’s just starting out a small business. What other advice can you give for someone or people who’s still starting a business? Thanks for sharing.

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