From Vision to Venture: My Journey!

Justin Lewis
April 11, 2024

The Leap Into the Unknown

Before the wild idea of moving to Grenada even flickered into reality, my life was comfortably predictable. I had a steady job, a cozy home, and weekends predictably filled with friends, rock climbing, motorcycle riding, and food. Life was fun, life was steady, and if I’m being honest, life was also becoming a bit too routine. We were even about to buy a home...

Then in March 2023 everything changed, my wife dropped the bombshell—she had been accepted into veterinary school. Fantastic, right? Only catch: it was in Grenada. Yes, the southern most island in the Caribbean. This tiny island where the sun sets like a giant orange ball into the sea, and the beaches look like someone’s been dumping truckloads of postcard scenery all over the place. I was about to live out one of my dreams! I had always wanted to move to an island.

BBC Beach in the Morning!

Deciding to move to Grenada wasn’t like choosing to switch coffee brands (though, trust me, coffee was a serious consideration given my caffeine loyalty). It was a seismic shift. We were talking about selling everything we owned—yes, even the motorcycle. We were stepping into a whirlpool of uncertainties and “what ifs” that could either be the adventure of a lifetime or a spectacular flop.

The night we made the decision, we sat on our couch, surrounded by walls that had heard all our dreams and fears over past 3 years.

Selling everything? Check.

Leaving jobs? Check.

Moving to an island that was a mere speck on the map? Double check.

There was a thrilling rush in making that decision—an electric charge that you feel when you're doing something monumental. It was a leap of faith, bolstered by a hearty dose of naive optimism and a sprinkle of sheer madness.

So, with our bags packed, belongings sold, and farewells tearfully given, we boarded a plane. Destination: Grenada. Mission: Start a new life and somehow nurture a fledgling business from the ground up. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Stay tuned, because this leap into the unknown was just the beginning, and the true adventures were yet to unfold in the vibrant, challenging, and utterly unpredictable ways that only Grenadian life could offer.

Establishing a New Life in Grenada - "Sun, Sea, and Startups

As the plane touched down on the tarmac, a blast of tropical heat welcomed us like a warm, somewhat sweaty hug. Stepping off the plane, the immediate rush of humidity wasn't just a change in climate—it felt like stepping into a completely different world. Grenada wasn’t just new; it was a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and scents that I had only ever experienced through travel blogs and Instagram filters.

Our first days were a whirlwind of discovery. The island was a vibrant tapestry woven with bustling marketplaces where spices perfumed the air and the sea was so blue it looked photoshopped. I remember thinking,

"If I'm going to start a business, doing it in paradise isn't the worst idea."

But with the enchanting views came the real challenges of setting roots in unfamiliar soil.

View from our First Apartment at Sunset!

Adjusting to island life wasn't without its hiccups. Our first apartment was on top of a hill! Amazing view of our area, but we were half a mile from the closest bus stop, and without a car that meant we had walk!

In the States, half a mile is not so bad. However, a Grenadian mile is much different. The average temperature was about 98 to 100 degrees when we first moved in August. Back in the States, I would not even want to make the trek to my car. In Grenada, we would have to walk half a mile to get to the bus to go to the grocery store and then make that same hike back full of groceries! I am literally sweating just thinking about it now.

And if your like "Oh Justin, just make sure your apartment AC is on."

Air conditioning is less a luxury and more a whispered legend, spoken of in hushed, reverent tones here in Grenada! Truthfully AC is extremely expensive to run, so you just learn how to create airflow in your home and get use to the heat!

If my Husky can do it, We could too!

Brees Sun Baking

Professionally, the transition was equally jarring. The local business culture was a lively scene of entrepreneurs who were as warm and welcoming as they were fiercely passionate about their ventures. Despite the postcard-perfect surroundings, I quickly realized that running a business here would need more than just my ideas and some startup capital.

It required understanding the unique rhythm of island life, where relationships were the real currency of business.

Motivated by the local spirit and the necessity to adapt, I found my calling not in what I had left behind, but in what lay before me.

My original plan to work remotely for my old job back in the States had crumbled faster than a sandcastle at high tide. This setback, however, opened my eyes to the pressing needs around me. Financial literacy wasn't just an academic term; it was a vital skill that could transform lives.

The seeds for "Low Key Solutions" were sown in that thought. Driven by a desire to blend my background in finance with the urgent needs of my friends, family, community in the States and now in Grenada, I envisioned a business that wasn't just about profit, but about empowering people. It was time to turn this cocktail of challenges and opportunities into a recipe for something truly meaningful.

As I navigated through this new chapter, the foundation of what would become my business began to take shape, molded by the vibrant culture and the inspiring perseverance of the people I was now proud to call my neighbors.

Building Low Key Solutions: Cultivating a Relaxed Client Atmosphere

Welcome to Low Key Solutions, the brainchild of a sun-soaked dream and the realization that sometimes, the best businesses are born from the simplest desires to make life a little easier for those around us. At the heart of Low Key Solutions lies a mission: to demystify the complexities of financial management and bring a dash of laid-back Caribbean charm to the serious world of numbers and budgets.

From the outset, I wanted to ensure that walking into a financial counseling session felt as welcoming as sitting on the back porch with your best friend chatting over a drink. That meant rethinking the traditional stiff-upper-lip, suit-and-tie approach to financial advising. Here in Grenada, where the rhythm of life pulses to a calmer beat, my strategy was to infuse that same tranquility into my client sessions.

Imagine this: instead of a stark, intimidating office, our meetings take place in a cozy space, with local art adorning the walls and the subtle scent of nutmeg in the air—a nod to one of Grenada’s most famous exports. The goal is to make everyone feel at ease because I believe that a relaxed client is an open client, and openness leads to effective conversations about personal finances.

Each session kicks off with some actual conversation of what's going on! This isn’t just small talk; it's an essential part of our meeting where we catch up on life, discuss any new developments, and check in on how previous lessons from other sessions are playing out. It sets the tone for a friendly dialogue, easing into the more intensive part of our session with a sense of mutual understanding and comfort.

The importance of this relaxed environment cannot be overstated.

For many, discussions about money are fraught with anxiety and stress. By breaking down these barriers through a warm, engaging atmosphere, we tackle even the toughest financial issues with a sense of teamwork and optimism.

Grind! My "Office" and Favorite Coffee Shop

It’s in these settings that we delve into the nuts and bolts of financial planning. Whether it’s strategizing on saving for a dream home or planning for unexpected medical expenses, we do it with a vibe that says, "Yes, this is serious, but it’s also manageable." This approach not only alleviates the tension often associated with financial planning but also empowers clients to take active roles in managing their finances.

By embedding the essence of Grenada's laid-back lifestyle into Low Key Solutions, I've seen firsthand how a calm demeanor and a smile can transform daunting financial discussions into productive and enjoyable planning sessions. This is the core of our business model—where finance meets friendliness, and where every client leaves feeling not just informed, but also cared for.

Effective Financial Management Strategies

At the core of Low Key Solutions is a fundamental belief: financial wellness starts with understanding and managing the basics of your budget. One of the key strategies we employ to illuminate this path for our clients is what I affectionately call the "Justify Your Joy" exercise.

This isn't your average budget review. It's a dynamic, interactive session where each expense is scrutinized not just for its cost, but for the value and joy it brings into our clients' lives.

Here’s how it works:

Clients come in with a list of their monthly expenditures. We lay it all out, from the big-ticket items like rent and car payments to the smaller indulgences like that daily Starbucks run.

Then, one by one, we go through these expenses and ask, "Why is this important?" and "How does this contribute to your happiness and goals?"

This isn't about cutting out all the fun; it's about making sure every dollar spent is bringing real value.

This exercise has led to many eye-opening moments and, occasionally, some humorous revelations. One client realized he was spending an astonishing amount on gourmet coffee each month. The cost itself wasn’t as shocking as his reaction: "I could have bought a coffee plantation by now!" This light-hearted moment underscored a serious point: understanding where your money goes is the first step toward financial freedom.

Justifying Your Joy Can Lead to a Change in Legacy!

A standout success story from employing this strategy involves a client, we will call her Maria. When I first met Maria, she was overwhelmed by debt and unsure how she’d ever manage to save. Our first session involved the "Justify Your Joy" exercise, and it was a game-changer for her. We discovered numerous leaks in her budget—expenses that brought her little joy and did not align with her long-term goals.

Over the next six months, Maria took control of her finances with the principles we discussed.

She cut down unnecessary spending, redirected her savings towards an emergency fund, and even started investing a small amount each month.

The joy in her eyes when she told me, "I never thought I’d see my bank account grow like this!" was the kind of reward that money can't buy.

These strategies aren’t just about austerity or pinching pennies. They're about making informed, mindful decisions that align financial habits with personal happiness and goals. By teaching clients to manage their money in a way that enhances their lives, we’re not just crafting budgets—we're crafting pathways to peace of mind and financial stability.

Navigating Serious Discussions with Ease

While Low Key Solutions champions a laid-back and approachable method for handling finances, don't be mistaken—we tackle the hard questions head-on.

Our initial casual chats set a comfortable stage, but they also build a foundation of trust and openness, crucial when the time comes to dive into more profound financial discussions.

Navigating the transition from light-hearted catch-ups to serious financial planning is an art form in itself. It requires a keen sense of timing and empathy, understanding when a client is ready to shift gears. The key here is maintaining the friendly rapport while gradually introducing more complex topics, such as debt management, investment strategies, or retirement planning. This approach ensures that clients remain relaxed and receptive, even when facing potentially stressful financial realities.

The impact of maintaining a relaxed atmosphere cannot be underestimated. It allows for smoother, more productive discussions and helps prevent clients from feeling overwhelmed. One specific technique we use is to always circle back to personal goals and aspirations whenever we touch on a particularly challenging topic. This keeps the conversation positive and forward-looking, reminding clients of the bigger picture and the reasons behind making tough financial decisions.

Feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive, reinforcing the effectiveness of this approach. Many have shared how this method not only helped them feel more comfortable discussing their finances but also empowered them to make significant changes in their financial behaviors.

One client told me, "I used to dread looking at my bank statements, but now I feel like I’m having a chat with a friend who genuinely wants to help me succeed."

Client's Personal Testimonial

This feedback shapes and refines our counseling techniques continuously. By listening to what works and what could be improved, Low Key Solutions stays dynamic and responsive to our clients' needs.

It's about creating an environment where serious financial planning feels less like a chore and more like a collaborative journey towards a brighter, more secure future.

In this way, Low Key Solutions not only addresses the numbers but also nurtures the human side of financial planning, ensuring that clients leave each session not just with a plan, but with a renewed sense of confidence and control over their financial destinies.

Vision for the Future of Low Key Solutions

Low Key Solutions of Today!

As Low Key Solutions continues to evolve, our aspirations extend far beyond the current suite of financial coaching services. My vision for the future is to transform Low Key into a holistic support center, a beacon for anyone seeking guidance not just on financial matters but in various aspects of their lives.

Expanded Services

The next phase involves broadening our scope to include personal development coaching and job interview preparation. In a few years, I want to even open the doors for Mental Health and Marriage Counseling.

Each of these services is designed to address the diverse needs of our clients, recognizing that financial health is often intertwined with emotional well-being and personal relationships.

  1. Personal Development Coaching: Empowering individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals will be another key focus. Whether it's career advancement or personal fulfillment, we want to support our clients in all walks of life.
  2. Job Interview Coaching: As part of our commitment to comprehensive support, assisting clients in securing employment through effective interview techniques will further enable financial stability.

A few years Later...

  1. Mental Health Counseling: Recognizing the stress and anxiety that financial difficulties can bring, integrating mental health support will provide our clients with the tools to manage stress effectively while navigating their financial journeys.
  2. Marriage Counseling: Money issues are frequently cited as a common cause of marital strife. By offering marriage counseling, we aim to help couples build a stronger, more understanding relationship around their finances and beyond.

Holistic Approach

The overarching goal is to make Low Key Solutions a place where people can find help for a variety of challenges, all under one roof. This holistic approach not only simplifies access to necessary services but also creates a community of support, reinforcing our core mission of empowering individuals.

Steps Towards Expansion

Achieving this expansion involves several strategic steps:

  • Education and Certification: Continuing education for myself and future staff is critical. As I progress through my Master's in Counseling, the insights and skills gained will directly enhance the services we offer.
  • Community Engagement: Building stronger connections within the local community and beyond is essential. We plan to host workshops, seminars, and other outreach programs to educate and engage people on the importance of holistic well-being.

Future Impact

By broadening our service offerings, Low Key Solutions aims to address the comprehensive needs of our clients, ensuring they have access to all the resources they need to succeed. This isn't just about growing a business—it's about creating a community hub that fosters resilience, understanding, and progress for everyone we serve.

Through these initiatives, Low Key Solutions will continue to innovate and adapt, ensuring that our clients' needs are met with the utmost care and expertise, and that our impact resonates as a model for holistic financial and personal wellness services globally.

Community Impact and Engagement

Meeting up with Friends!

The relationship between Low Key Solutions and our community is a vibrant and dynamic interaction that grows stronger with each passing day. From the outset, our mission has been not just about providing services, but about being an integral part of our community's fabric, contributing positively.

Community Reception of Services

The reception of Low Key Solutions by our community has been amazing.

Clients often express how the blend of professional financial advice with a personal, caring touch has made a significant difference in their lives. This positive feedback fuels our commitment and drives us to continually enhance our offerings.

Community Involvement and Future Engagement

Our vision extends beyond just serving the community; we aim to actively engage with it. Plans are underway to host financial literacy workshops, Personal Development seminars, and Job Interview Coaching.

These initiatives are designed not only to educate but also to create spaces for open dialogue and mutual support among community members.

Personal Reflections on Community Influence

Living and working in Grenada has profoundly influenced both my professional outlook and personal life.

The kindness, resilience, and encouragement of the Grenadian people have been instrumental in shaping the philosophy of Low Key Solutions. This experience has taught me that true success is measured not by profit margins, but by the positive impact we have on people’s lives.

Conclusion - "Reflections on a Journey of Growth and Impact"

As we look back on the journey from the decision to move to Grenada, to the establishment and upcoming expansion of Low Key Solutions, it's clear that this adventure has been about much more than business. It's been a transformative experience, weaving together personal growth, professional development, and community impact.

Recap of the Journey

From the initial leap of selling everything and moving to an unknown land, to navigating the complexities of starting a new business in a foreign culture, every step has been a lesson in resilience and adaptability. These early days of setting up Low Key Solutions taught me the importance of understanding and integrating into the local community, not just as a business owner but as a fellow citizen eager to contribute.

Reflections on Personal Growth

This journey has reshaped my understanding of what it means to lead a fulfilling life. The challenges and successes have taught me that personal growth often comes from the most unexpected experiences. My relationship with my wife has deepened, my connections with new friends and clients have enriched my life, and my role in the community has given me a profound sense of purpose.

Professional Development

Professionally, the evolution from a financial coach to an aspiring counselor with a broader vision reflects my commitment to meeting the holistic needs of our clients. The education I'm pursuing in counseling is not just an academic endeavor but a strategic step towards enhancing the services we offer at Low Key Solutions. This expansion is not merely growth but a response to the clear needs and potential we see every day in our interactions.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, the future of Low Key Solutions is bright with the promise of becoming a comprehensive support center that stands as a testament to the power of community-focused business. We are poised to not only continue our financial coaching but also to provide mental health support, relationship counseling, and personal development, all under one roof.

Closing Thoughts

The importance of resilience, community support, and the drive to help others has never been clearer to me. As we move forward, these principles will remain at the heart of everything we do at Low Key Solutions. We are more than a business; we are a part of a community that we love and are committed to serving.

In closing, I invite everyone who has followed this journey, shared in our challenges, and celebrated our successes to continue with us on this exciting path. Together, we are not just building a business; we are crafting a brighter future for all who come through our doors. Thank you for being a part of our story.

Until next time... Cheers!

My Philosophy

Financial success is rooted in empowerment and confidence. I'm here to guide you on a journey where you not only gain knowledge but also emerge with the unwavering confidence to conquer your financial goals.

Financial empowerment

I measure success by your confidence levels. Completing our program means finishing with the self-assurance to make the most of your financial future.

Tailored solutions

One-size-fits-all? Not here. I'm all about tailoring solutions to your specific financial goals.

Ready to transform your finances?

Contact me today for a free discovery call to see how I can best help your unique situation.
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