A family reunion for a 100-year-old aunt took Bob Urzua to San Juan del Sur for the first time. He fell in love with the place. The peace and tranquility attracted him immediately—he felt so good and calm on his trip.
Would he feel this way if he lived here all the time? He decided to find out.
Bob worked as the manager of nine Domino’s Pizza franchises in Connecticut, with responsibility for 250 employees. He lived the typical stressful corporate life…terrible commute…never-ending employee problems…and cold weather for six months every year.
Today, he has his own business on the beach in San Juan del Sur. The view of the bay from his “workplace” is spectacular, the ocean just a few feet from his doorstep.
“I love it here,” says Bob. “It’s everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I stroll into work in shorts and flip-flops at 11:00 a.m. My workers already have the place cleaned up in preparation for a new day.
“Look at the view—a golden sand beach, waves crashing, sunny weather almost every day and tons of great people coming to enjoy my place.”
Bob spent about $30,000 renovating the place and pays $1,000 a month rent. He calculates that it would cost at least 10 times more in the U.S., something he would never have been able to do.
Labor costs make businesses in Nicaragua unbelievably economical. “Compare $10 an hour in the U.S. to $10 a day here,” says Bob. “And I pay just $300 a month rent for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house. You can’t beat it. It’s so much easier to live here. And you get so much more.”
Bob enjoys talking with his customers—they are easy people to please.
“All the people who come here are on vacation or they’ve come here to live. So they’re all happy,” he says. “They don’t complain. My customers hail from all over the world—the United States, Canada, Europe…
“I walk here; there’s no traffic to deal with. I get to look at a magnificent beach all day long. I’m making a great living. I can walk home alone at 3:00 a.m. and not have to worry.”
Bob keeps his eye on everything because he wants his customers to be happy—just like he is.
“I’m a hands-on boss. I like to see what’s going on, like to give good service,” he says. “The work energizes me. I never want anyone to leave unhappy. If there’s a problem, I talk to the person. Heck, I may even give them things for free just to make sure they leave feeling good. I love my life here and my business is a big part of it.”
Best of all, Bob is his own boss in a beach community…living the dream.
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