Gain momentum with passion; don’t run away from your dreams


Everything difficult is difficult because you believe it is so; you are what you think.

In 1990, when I was a child, I had a strong desire to be a race car driver. However, due to my family’s poor financial circumstances, it was far from possible, as race car drivers begin theirs career very young. I loved the feeling so much that I liked to imagine myself inside a race car, competing like a professional. I kept the feeling close to my heart and used the sensation to empower and speed up my personal development and achievements.

dsc09833-1Instead of crying and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to change the way I see things to make my dreams come true. I decided to have faith, even if it was to fulfill my dream just for a day or for a few minutes. Every day, I woke up and imagined myself in situations that I wanted to be in. When I was 21, I already knew a lot about cars, but only in theory. I wanted more, so I decided to work in car sales. After going to several car dealerships and distributing my resume, I was given the chance to work as a car salesperson at Volkswagen, who opened the door to the dreams of a girl who appeared fragile but who had a lot of determination. In three months, I learned a lot of new things and applied my knowledge successfully to help customers.

With the change in the control of the company, I received an invitation to work in a vehicle dealership in which the vehicles were powered by diesel. At the time, the concept was niche, and the dealership was even more male-dominated than the last. Still, I accepted the challenge, and I was the first woman to hold a salesperson position at the store and began selling 4×4 vehicles. At first, some customers were puzzled by my familiarity with the cars, knowledge of their technical aspects, and strong selling points.

To enrich my knowledge and sales potential, I orchestrated a strategy: to break the barrier between the shop and the garage, which exists in most dealerships. I sought the technical knowledge of mechanics and helpers to break this blockade, which was not easy. When I was faced with maintenance that I was unfamiliar with, they informed me of how to perform it, so I learned more and more. In this way, I became sophisticated and exceptional salesperson to with customers because I was familiar with their problems and how to solve them.


Besides having determination and focusing on what I wanted, another important factor that gave me the self-confidence to challenge and further develop myself in this very difficult job environment was my passion for motorsports; all of these things enabled me to achieve my objective to learn about cars. I have also experienced races and followed motorsports races, especially Formula1, with passion for my entire life.

dsc09977-1-1I have not achieved all of my goals yet; I may or may not, but I know that whatever happens is up to me. Life is made in moments; one day, everything can be fine, but, on another day, everything can be hard. Experiences are what life is about. You need goals to keep yourself going, and you need difficult moments to learn more about yourself. If you lose faith in yourself, you could lose everything.

Sometimes, it’s not easy to find the motivation to get out of bed, but think about doing something or not is the first step. What good is it to you if you don’t take action to achieve what you believe in? To motivate yourself to start your day, you need to have a dream that you are passionate about to get the energy and determination to go; otherwise, you are making the choice to survive instead of thrive. You will only discover how strong you are and how far you can go if you try

Although I am not going to race professionally in this life, I have experienced races, and I am happy to have tried it. Most importantly, I know I respect the first rule of being human: to be the best version of yourself.


Ana Paula Mendes




Ana Paula Araujo Mendes

Executive Strategic Advisor | Dedicated to Aerospace & Defense industry | International Institutional Relations Manager.