José Manuel is a businessman who saw a radical change in his life when he met Jesus Christ. Here he shares his story.
My name is José Manuel, I am 47 years old, married with two children (11 and 9 years old) and I currently live in the province of Valencia (Spain) with my family.
I am trained in marketing and I have a Maste’s Degree in Business Management. I am also a certified coach specialised in executive coaching.
My professional career has been developed within the commercial field. I have spent 23 years working in multinationals in the sales departments. For many years I have been a salesperson, holding the positions of sales manager, sales director and general manager in four multinationals in the industrial sector. I have worked in Spain, Portugal and also spent four years developing an important project in Brazil for a German multinational, where I was responsible for a sales network of 240 people.
Although when I was young I loved motorbikes and I even studied an automotive technician, it was at the age of 19 that I entered the world of sales. I called for a job that was advertised in a newspaper, I was hired. From the beginning I started to earn important commissions.
[destacate] Even though at 35 I had come much further than I could have imagined, I was not satisfied.[/destacate]From that moment on, I discovered my potential as a salesman and I focused all my attention, my efforts and my energy on becoming the best salesman. In the companies I worked for, I always strived to be the best, that was my goal. At the age of 22, I was already managing a team of 6 salesmen, all of them older than me.
I continued to look for my “success”. Success for me meant earning a lot of money, owning my own house and driving a nice car. Even though at 35 I had come much further than I could have imagined, I was not satisfied. I wanted more, I wanted the position of CEO, my ambition knew no bounds.
In 2012, as a consequence of the global economic crisis, the situation in the company I was in was very delicate, so my position was no longer sustainable. In that quest to reach higher positions, I volunteered to move to Brazil to start an important project there.
I started a new life in a new country with my wife and two children. I still saw the opportunity to grow professionally, to be even more important and to earn a lot of money. I dreamed of a life of ostentation in Brazil, I had put all my identity in my position and in my work.
Everything seemed to be going great when my life took a 180-degree turn. I had been suffering from headaches for some time and my relationship with my wife had become increasingly distant, and it was all caused by my headaches. I was diagnosed with a brain tumour at a very advanced stage. A tumour that was already almost 8 centimetres in diameter and had caused hydrocephalus.
[destacate]I said, "brother, I'm going to die". Then something happened that would change my life forever[/destacate]
I spoke to my brother Oscar on the phone and told him: “Brother, I'm going to die”. Then something happened that would change my life forever: he told me about Jesus Christ. That very night I accepted Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour. That night the Holy Spirit showed me that I was not the person I thought I was. I became aware of my sins and that I had been living a meaningless life. I broke down and cried a lot, but finally I felt clean, and full of peace.
The whole process of the pre-operative, the very complex surgery and the radiotherapy treatment afterwards was a success, against all odds, I had no sequelae. My family and I suffered a lot, but God used the whole process to transform me and us as a family.
When the treatment was over, I went back to “normal life”, but I was already a different person. My outlook on life had changed. I returned to my job with new values and thinking about all that God had done for me and all that I had promised to him and to myself.
After a time of struggle and conflict with myself, we decided that we had to return to Spain. We prayed about it and a door opened that allowed me to return to my family and a job, as I was offered a position as a commercial director in Spain.
In my new position, from the beginning, I had directives from the general manager to act contrary to the values of the Kingdom of God. For a while, I agreed, for fear of losing my job, but I felt terrible, I was not at peace with God.
In my prayers, the Lord revealed to me how I had sinned, I asked God for help in prayer to face the situation with courage, to stand up in front of my superior and tell him that I was not willing to continue engaging in manipulation and deception. The Lord gave me the courage to do so and days later I was fired, even though my sales results were the best in Europe.
[destacate]After being fired, strangely enough, I felt liberated.[/destacate]At that moment, strangely enough, I felt liberated. I remembered all the promises I had made to God, where I told him I would change my life, devote more time to my family, be a messenger of the gospel, and stop striving for positions, possessions or status.
After much thought and prayer, I decided to create my own company, and in 2017 I started Ventagy, my business project. Despite having had important offers with tempting conditions, I have felt that God’s direction in my life has changed. I decided to become an entrepreneur in order to be able to own my time, to be able to dedicate more time to God and my family, and although I also seek success with my business, it is not the centre of my life.
I help companies to improve the skills of their teams and their sales management, through consulting, training and executive coaching. I see my current job as a real mission field and I feel that what I do I do for God. I have found meaning in what I do, and although it has not been easy, I am very happy and grateful to God for everything.
José Manuel Castellón, a businessman in Spain. This article was translated with permission from the 'Líderes Empresariales' (Business Leaders) initiative of the Spanish evangelical business network Tres-e.