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What I learned from a billionaire

April 5, 2015

As I look back to the last two years, I have a great feeling of being lucky and blessed by making friends with a Forbes billionaire, an amazing mentor when I was at the age of 24. His name is Carlos Wizard Martins, a man with incredible faith and desire in helping people find success as well as peace in their life. He is a Brazilian entrepreneur and founder of Wizard Language schools and Grupo Multi, a company that offers franchises for professional courses. Grupo Multi was bought out by Pearson in 2013 over 700 million dollars.

 

He is the son of a truck driver and dressmaker. When he was 12, he and his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he showed great interest in ​​learning English with Mormon missionaries. In order to pursue his dream, he went to the United States with only $ 100 in his pocket. At 19, he served a religious mission in Portugal.

 

In the early 1980s he went back to the United States with his wife and young family to study at Brigham Young University, where

 

he received a degree in Computer Science and Statistics. He then worked as a computer systems analyst in Brazil. He soon realized he was earning more by teaching his colleagues English at home, so he started Wizard Language Institute in 1987, and through the years acquired 10 more brands and developed the top franchising system in Brazil. After he sold his company, he bought Mundo Verde— the largest healthy food company in Latin America.

 

Carlos is also a productive author of the best seller books in Brazil. In 2002, he wrote a self-help book entitled Vencendo a Propria Crise (Overcoming Personal Crisis). His recent book Desperte o milionário que há em você (Awake the Millionaire Within) was a Brazilian bestseller. It has been translated and published in English (on Amazon.com), Spanish, as well as most recently in Chinese.(Coming out in April, 2015)

 

How I met Mr Carlos is what I call a “destiny” based on his strong passion and enthusiasm in learning Chinese. I have always been admiring his talents and persistence ever since then). I was teaching Mandarin through Confucius Institute at UNESP in Brazil from 2012-2013 and was occasionally introduced to him while he was searching for teachers to improve his Chinese speaking. I am amazed by the way he practices Chinese: For a super busy businessman like him, he still finds a great amount of time learning Chinese by making full use of technology—all kinds of Chinese learning apps on his phone, asking native speakers to record texts for him to listen and practice with, and constantly getting himself involved in daily conversations with Chinese teachers. He even listens to Chinese songs and memorizes the lyrics with great curiosity! What else can make a teacher happy if she has a student who is proactive and diligent like Carlos? I feel I have a great responsibility and mission in helping him become proficient in our language, most importantly, know more about Chinese culture.

 

From him, I observed and learned the power of action, and if you are really into something, just take immediate action and go for it, with constant concentration, you will arrive somewhere. This is one of the most important features of being an entrepreneur. Nowadays, Carlos can not only speak Chinese with great ease but even negotiated successfully with Chinese taxi driver who wanted overcharge him in Beijng, lol!

 

Leaders have a sense of urgency.

 

Another great lesson from Carlos is no matter which environment you are living in, you should never forget that you can be a leader and get things done. I lived in Brazil, a pretty relaxed country with a typical Latin style. People are constantly in vacation and