After migrating from Mexico to the US, Monica Orozco found a series of challenges, but nothing big enough to stop her journey to a better life. She had to clean houses, live paycheck to paycheck, and adapt to a new environment. But she knew she had a powerful talent: she could be extremely persuasive. In this interview, Monica reveals the journey of a woman who could sell sand in the desert.—J.L.

If you had to tell us your story, where would you begin?
In my childhood, definitely. I loved working with my grandparents at a little retail store they had in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico. My grandpa used to pay me with bubble gum, but then I sold all that bubble gum at school. I got in a lot of trouble for that, but I just loved sales and being in contact with people! After finishing high school, I went to study at University of Guadalajara, 160 miles away from Uruapan. Then, I started working at a big telephone company as a saleswoman and later I was promoted to sales manager. I got married and in 2000, my husband and I migrated to the United States, where our daughter was born some months later.