The idea that we have the power to share our story to the world its always been a tough one for me to digest. The capabilities and reach the internet has is astonishing, which to me personally is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to start working online, but before anything else, let’s start from the beginning.
My name is Efrain Herrera (but everyone calls me ‘Efra’), I am originally from Venezuela, South America and a quite a few years back, my family and I decided to move to London. To keep things simple and short, our lives were in danger, as many of Venezuelans would agree, the situation in my country have been catastrophic since the year 2006 onwards, the increase in corruption, delinquency, inflation and many more factors, impacted families like mine dramatically. However due to the nature of human beings to ensure safety and adapt, many families also decided to leave Venezuela and start a new life somewhere else in the world. You can imagine this is not an easy decision to make, all your possessions sold, all your friends waved goodbye, your financial stability gone, and off you go with your family to a completely foreign territory. A different language, new culture, new communities, different believes and perspectives, to me it was like I had moved to a different planet! In one hand, it was a paradise compared what I had lived in my 13 years in Venezuela, but on the other hand it was so different that I didn’t feel part of it and felt like I would never fit in. As you may know these are all normal thoughts after making such a radical move… I became depressed for about 6-8 months, this was during my first year of education here, and like any other kid I wanted to go ‘home’ but my real home! Deep down I knew that, that was not possible, but I thought that if I asked for it hard enough maybe it would become true. I simply struggled so much adapting to such a different culture that it made me question my own self-confidence, social skills, and strength of character; learning English, trying to make friends, and doing my best to understand why my mother and father had made such a decision, was tough. This has probably been the toughest part of my whole journey, the start.
The most painful 6 months’ pass, and I had found a way of coping with my reluctance to adapt to my new reality… Tennis… The sport of tennis offered the solution to all my problems, for example, I didn’t want to think about my whole ‘new life’ nonsense, I wanted to be present and forget about all my worries and sadness. I also wanted to avoid at all costs speaking English at the start, well in tennis you can’t speak but most importantly tennis in my opinion is like a universal form of communication, like art and music. No matter where you go, if you can play tennis you will find someone to play with, no speaking needed, no explanations, just playing. That’s exactly what I wanted. At the beginning (and to this day) I started playing with my dad, he had a good background of tennis when he was younger, reaching national standard at junior level, but for some strange reason we had never spoken about this part of his life until I turned 13 and migrated to England. My dad and I would go every day after school to the park, just to play, he would teach me the techniques, grips, movement, everything I know to this day is because of him. Until one day, destiny decided to place England’s N1 Junior player in the 80s, David Shann, next to me playing with his son. He was the head coach of the local tennis club in my area and he had invited me to train with him every Monday, I happily and exited accepted, and a few months pass, he also invited me to train with him on Wednesdays, a longer few months pass again and he invites me to his performance players training session on Sundays. So now I was training 3 times a week with former Junior number one in the whole of England and playing with my dad every other day to try and catch up with these amazing players at my local club. The story continues but my tennis journey is for another day 😊.
Fast-forward to March 2017 and I am now a national Player, competing and training full time, looking to start playing internationally. Just after 5 and half years of playing tennis… Even though this is a huge achievement on its own this far from where I want to be, and if you are an aspiring tennis player I stress you work every day, because it is possible, in fact, if you want to become a pro, then it’s necessary that you achieve your goal and dream of playing tennis professionally, especially if all the odds are against you, or if you have been told you started too late or you are not good enough (yet!), it is necessary you achieve your goal, not for the sake of your success, but to show and inspire others that is possible. If you want to follow my tennis journey on Instagram click here.
On the other hand, the financial side of things started to worry me, my parents had always funded me and until last year I had no sponsors and no external funding, so I decided to try and sort this out on my own. I could no longer bare seeing my parents working over-time and doing things they hated. I was (and still am!) as determined as ever to find and solution, and I did, ‘Online Marketing’. After studying for months and taking action, it is finally starting to come together and giving off rewards, I have reached 10 thousand followers on Instagram and I am generating money online, which is still nuts to me!!
To finish off, I am currently having the lifestyle that most 18 year olds, dream of having which means that if I can do it right now, you can. I had nothing, no laptop, no budget, just one tennis racquet and awful courts but if you ignore all the negatives and look for solutions everything is possible. I repeat, it’s not only possible but necessary that you achieve your life’s purpose and goals. I am just getting started and the potential is limitless be sure to follow my way to the top!
See you soon on part 2!
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (this is my new email, just for any of you guys has any questions or wants to share something with me, now I will answer immediately)