Svetlana shares her story with you down below. Before we get to her, I want to set the stage.

Our vision is to manage a portfolio of ventures that invite people to live more meaningful and harmonious lives.

The venture that helps us realize this vision is the Sagrada real estate group. If you missed the last email, here is a link to the PDF with details on our first village project.

If you have been with us at any point in the last 15 years, you know that we invented a way – a method – for the evolution of people, organizations, and societies. We are applying this method to real estate.

I’d like you to meet Svetlana. She is my co-founder of the Sagrada real estate group:

I came to America from Russia 18 years ago. I started my life over from scratch. Here I am on the day I arrived to the United States. I’m on the left and that’s my mother sitting next to me.

Svetlana comes to America 2006

My first job was as an intern in a tax office. Today, I am a licensed CPA with a Master’s Degree. Last year, I left the professional world as the CFO of a private jet company.

Svetlana on private jet 2022

Before leaving my job, I was physically, psychologically, and emotionally tied to never-ending notifications and communication threads. It seemed as if the higher my position and salary was, the more involved I was, and the more I had to pay for it with my complete attachment and uninterrupted commitment.

Svetlana drinking dessert 2023

I became successful in doing something and being someone I did not actually enjoy.

As a head of a department, as supportive and inspiring I tried to be, at any given moment I still represented the interests of the company which were mainly and traditionally about productivity, profits and cost reduction. We didn’t have an ongoing method to manage the impact we had on the people in the company, let alone our impact on the environment and society.

I do understand the purpose of a company is to make money. This is how things have been done since the beginning. I am also noticing the way we manage companies can negatively impact the people in the company and the communities surrounding the company.

I like the way Daniel frames this opportunity,

“The fundamental principles that govern the way we participate in the free market are ill-equipped to serve our evolving needs.”

At Sagrada, we’re exploring a new way of building companies that both make money and an impact. I’ll talk more about this later in my story.

Here I am in my early stages of practicing meditation.

Svetlana meditating 2019

I began my personal healing journey a few years ago at a retreat in Costa Rica. This was my first time away from my emails, sadly, in years. Simply “unplugging” and being in nature gave me a different feeling of reality.

I began to notice how numb I had become. I could see there was some sort of fog in how I saw the world. The skies were finally starting to clear up. I started to appreciate taking things slow, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face, and feeling the breeze of the air touching my skin.

Svetlana legs on beach

I remember the moment I was shaken up by two strong desires: to live somewhere warm and to have the freedom of more time to myself. This led me to another realization: I would likely leave my job and disconnect from many people close to me.

Svetlana holding flower

I am fortunate to have a story of awakening.

I see the person I am becoming as a result of my awakening as someone with new values and new motivations in life and work. The person I am becoming gets to work on a project like Sagrada – it’s not a project that’s aligned with my values – it’s a project that is my values.

We are building Sagrada as a representation of the people within the company. The values of the company exist only because we, the founders, are in touch with our own personal values. To define company values as if the company exists as a person is backwards.

“Companies don’t grow. People do.” —Daniel

Here we are with a business associate in Costa Rica.

Daniel Svetlana and Fidel at Carlos

In the teams we manage at Sagrada, we’d like to create a culture that invites people to be themselves. Like Daniel says,

“When we get to be ourselves – when we align around our individual purpose – we radiate a magnetic effect that attracts and unifies people around who we are and what we believe.”

We want people to feel safe to explore their purpose and find ways to bring their purpose into the work they do through Sagrada.

We invite you to show up in the company as you do for the world — as your true self — this is one of the bravest things a person can do.

Svetlana at lot

I see Daniel as one of these people. When I met Daniel, I was instantly captivated by the way he presented his vision and purpose. It can feel like he is speaking a different language while it also feels familiar.

Hearing him speak activates a part of me that has been longing to be seen, recognized, and explored – it’s the part of me that wants to make a meaningful impact on the world. I see Daniel as the person who not only finds the way, but is always ready to lead and show it to others.

Svetlana at LA coffee shop 2023

I’ll stop here for now.

I’m excited and terrified on how this will all play out, but I can tell you that I am going to show up everyday to find out. I look forward to seeing you on the path with us.

— Svetlana

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