The story of a Filipino immigrant is one of the dreams, hard work, great sacrifice and the hope for a better future. For many Filipinos, Canada is one of the top countries when it comes to immigration, second to the United States. Despite Canada’s climate, access to free education, free health care and the endless economic opportunities, is no wonder why Filipinos choose to leave the tropical islands to experience all that Canada has to offer. “
This is the story of many Filipino Canadians and is no different for Cora Cristobal and her family of six. Her story, like the many before her, and those after, all have a common theme, the pursuit for a better life.
Although Cora was a self-made millionaire in the Philippines, amassing wealth in real estate, she had lost everything after being swindled by a crime syndicate. Cora did not want to expose her children to that environment, so starting a new life in a new country had so much appeal.
At least that was what Cora thought.
Starting over in a new country meant taking on jobs with lesser titles and pay, a challenge many immigrants face. As a CPA by profession who once had a successful career, taking on lower level jobs, can be a tough pill to swallow. However, having come from a poor family, Cora was not new to the value of hard work and was prepared to do what it takes to get back to the top, afterall she’s been here before. But Cora did not foresee that her world would be shattered again, but this time, on a personal level.
When Cora’s family experienced great trials, her marriage fell apart. Abandoned by her husband, raising four children alone, making only 35K a year, and a mountain of debt, Cora contemplated ending her life.
She knew this was not the answer and that she could not do that to her children.
It took alot of deep reflection and a spiritual connection to God for Cora to finally heal her heart and change her mindset so she could refocus and rebuild her dreams once more.
Today, Cora Cristobal is a successful real estate investor, with properties in North America and the Philippines. Cora has authored six books, is a mentor and the Founder of the Toronto Women’s Club whose mandate is to empower women to success. As a public speaker, Cora has shared stages with legends Brian Tracy, top motivational speaker and self development author; Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul; Robert G. Allen, Nothing Down in real estate guru; and Kevin Harrington, the “Original Shark”.
Far West Herald asked Cora Cristobal about her thoughts on success in the face of losing it all and what she did to turn her life around in a really big way.
1. What would you say helped you to overcome the challenges you faced in life, which eventually lead you to a path of success? Did you have an “aha moment” and what was it?
“My “aha” moment is when I realized these challenges are actually opportunities that led me to a new purpose and a new meaning to my life. This new path in turn led me to quit my 15 year old job to focus in building this new purpose and meaning that is now growing to impact many people’s lives, that is giving hope and empowerment to people.”
Cora cites that personal growth and spiritual transformation helped her to overcome her challenges, while developing good habits helped her in her path to success. Applying new habits like the 5 AM Club. Getting up early and going for a walk, doing daily meditations, affirmations and visualizations, journaling and writing things you are grateful for, goal-setting and planning her day, and reading are all part of her daily routine.
2. What would you say are the key success factors that helped you from earning $35K a year (single mom of four) to earning millions?
- Having a mentor
- Investing in myself
- Building my brand by building credibility through writing books and surrounding myself with legends and speaking on stages with legends.
- Investing in real estate
- Building great relationships, networking and collaborating with other successful people
- Staying spiritually grounded
3. What is your message to Filipino Canadians (particularly women) who are aspiring to reach the kind of success you have achieved?
- Find out and decide what you really want
- Build your vision and purpose around what you really want
- Set your goals around your vision and purpose
- Believe that everyone has power to become, do and have anything you want
- Invest in yourself and work hard at it
- Always be intentional while having genuine intentions
- Work with someone who already has what you want
- Hire a mentor who has achieved what you want to achieve
- Surround yourself with positive, successful and happy people
- Get rid of what you don’t want in your life (physical, mental, psychological, emotional)
- Do not give up and do whatever it takes
- Develop good habits like the being a member of the 5 AM Club (it’s free!)
- Work on your fears and limiting beliefs
- Be willing to take risks
Cora Cristobal believes that what you are today is the result of the decisions you made yesterday, so it’s important to think about the changes you want to make today that will shape your future. Cora is also a firm believer that success is 90% personal growth and transformation, while the other 10% is the how to, so it’s important to invest in yourself. Finally, anything is possible, and nothing is impossible and if she can do it, so can you.
Many Filipinos take the leap of faith to journey to a new country for a better life. While immigrating to a new country has its challenges, Cora Cristobal proved that despite that, and being a single mother in the face of great trials and hardship, that it is possible to achieve all your dreams. We all have the potential to achieve what we want, and not by luck, but by following a certain path. Cora’s message is truly one of hope, that everyone can do this. She deeply believes that to be successful you need to do what other successful people do, as they say “success leaves tracks” so follow the tracks. Often times, the road less traveled are the ones that should be “most often” traveled.
For more information about Cora Cristobal and the Toronto Women’s Club, visit https://torontowomensclub.com/