• June 23, 2023

Achieve your goals even if you are facing a mountain of debt and your world is collapsing around you!

I recently watched an inspiring BBC TV show about Nick and Lesley Vallance. Her story teaches a lot about how to achieve your goals and dreams, even when your world is literally and metaphorically collapsing around you and you have a mountain of debt casting a shadow over your life.

Nick’s architecture business in Surrey had gone bankrupt. Instead of getting into his shell, Vallance’s thing is to take chances and venture out. They decided to move to Spain to convert a 400-year-old Andalusian palace into a boutique hotel and family home even though they knew nothing about running a hotel and could only speak a few words of Spanish.

They also had no income after their business collapsed! However, Lesley commented that you only get one chance in life and you have to take it. The Vallances had a budget of £250,000. With this money, they wanted to start over and face a new challenge in an attractive location.

Nick had twenty years of experience as an architect, which would help, but the challenge was still huge and would soon be even bigger.

They bought the palace and then had to wait four months to get permission to start converting it into a hotel. Their debts increased while they waited. Lesley commented that they should enjoy every day like the Spanish and not just worry about the delay.

Before the license was obtained, a large part of the building collapsed and six rooms of his hotel were taken away. This was probably due to demolition work being done by a neighbor!

The Vallances would have to redo all the paperwork and reapply for their license to adapt the palace. They would also have to spend even more money to strengthen the palace walls that had been shaken by the collapsing walls. At one point they were paying their builders £40,000 a month. His mountain of debts grew every day.

The neighbor refused to discuss compensation, so they had to start another important task in their lives: go to court for years and hopefully recover some money at some point in the future. They realized that they could not allow this negative path in their lives to disrupt the main path they were on: running the hotel.

They accepted the fact, in advance, that they may not get their money back. They also saw the silver lining in the fact that if the hotel had been opened before the collapse, people might have died.

They also had other problems. Money was very tight, especially after the great setbacks they had suffered. The construction bill had doubled to half a million pounds. They needed to borrow more money and they would get more in debt.

They planned to open the hotel in June, so they would start receiving some income to start paying off their debts. Nick said that he couldn’t afford to think negatively about what would happen if his project failed.

I had to believe that they would make it to the June deadline even though they had missed all previous deadlines since arriving in Spain. In the end, they too missed this deadline.

Nick clearly realized that he had taken a big risk: “I’ve never been one to duck a bet.” He wasn’t one to ignore a problem either. He did not bury his head in the sand, but went to work. He didn’t even think of giving up.

Lesley also had the philosophy that every problem has a solution. The children were not happy at a local Spanish school. The teacher was upset because they were not listening. “How can you listen if you don’t understand the language?” said one of the boys. After a year, the children were transferred to an international school where they were much happier.

The Vallance family maintained their positive attitude and after eighteen months of hard work, they felt they were closer to their dream. Lesley commented: “We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. My original dream of the hotel is there. We have achieved it.”

However, they would need 50% occupancy year round just to break even. They would have to learn how to market the hotel successfully. They were excited when they received their first reservation from your website. The booking fee of 90 euros was the first money they had earned in two years!

After two long and exhausting years, they were proud and excited about their palace hotel. In fact, they enjoyed running the hotel even though they had never done this type of work before. The sons, Harry and George, now seemed happy. They enjoyed their school and made friends. They spoke less of England.

Lesley’s language skills had improved as the locals did not speak English and she was willing to try to speak Spanish even when the native Spanish seemed baffled.

They still had huge debts to pay but their situation, thanks to their determination, hope and faith, had improved enormously. Lesley summed up his feelings: “I’m not that scared of life.”

She realized that having her family close to her was more important than anything else: “Nick and the happy kids feels pretty good, but I miss Marks and Spencer and the English sausages.”

An interviewer asked: “Have you achieved your dream?”

“Very close!” Nick said

Worries about money and debt can cause inaction, depression, and even suicide. Instead, Lesley and Nick ignored their money problems and embarked on a life of discovery and adventure. They had to get out of their comfort zones and learn new language, business and marketing skills.

At times their world seemed to be collapsing around them, but they kept going until they reached solid ground. This took much longer than they expected, but in the end their great courage, determination and persistence in the face of great challenges helped them achieve their dream.

Reaching your goals can take a lot longer and cost a lot more than you expected. You may also face big and unexpected problems. Things may seem much worse than when you started. You may feel like giving up, but if you keep going and are prepared to learn new skills, your dreams can and do come true.

I hope the adventure of the Vallance family in Spain encourages you and me to achieve our own dreams. If your dream is to make money online, it’s unlikely you’ll face the kind of debt that plagued the Vallances, but if you do have debt, their story shows that solutions can be found even when your debt is mind-boggling.

You can move a mountain of debt if you have the kind of faith that moves mountains described in the Bible or the kind of positive attitude the Vallance family displays. They did not allow their problems to paralyze them. They just kept working and applying their new skills until the mountain moved.

The Bible suggests that any of us can, with just a little bit of faith, move mountains and perform financial and other miracles.

If, like the Vallances, you find yourself facing massive debt, remember that mountains can be moved and financial miracles can and do happen all over the world. In the meantime, keep working steadily towards your goals.

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