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From Moving out of Home at 16 With No Money to #1 Rated Female Business Snapchat Influencer

How Viriginia Salas Kastilio made it against all odds.

Virginia Salas Kastilio’s life was not always peaches and traveling the world as a Snapchat Consultant and #1 Rated Female Snapchatter.

Salas Kastilio started off life constantly traveling to new schools (15 total in a short time) and having to speak three different languages, all at a young age. At the age of 15, she was completely on her own, supporting herself and facing tremendous financial burden.

For such a young person to have to fight her way out of two bankruptcies, this is truly an incredible story of how she made it as an entrepreneur and worked her way up to getting jobs at Apple and Oracle. She has also gone on to make quite the name for herself as a Snapchat Influencer.

Here are four big takeaways from my interview with Virginia Salas Kastilio.

Success as the Inspiration

“As strange as it may sound, whilst other girls my age shriek over bags and boys, I am obsessed with challenges. The more impossible something seems to me, the more it excites me,” said Salas Kastilio.

You don’t have to follow the standard path just because that’s what people do. In fact, I think it’s much more inspiring to break the mold and do something that others aren’t doing. That takes real courage.

Courage in entrepreneurship is especially scary for people. Many entrepreneurs like to piggyback off of something that is out there proven and working. It takes a lot more guts to innovate and do something never done before.

Stop Asking for Permission

“You do not need anyone’s permission to start a business, live your dream or go anywhere in the world that you wish to go. Too many people are waiting for the blessing from someone who is most likely less smart and much more afraid than they are,” said Salas Kastilio.

This is your life, your journey, your business. Why bother living someone else’s? None of us were put here on this earth to live someone else’s idea of what life or business should be. It’s easy to follow a path set out for you; it’s much more inspirational and challenging to make your own.

A lot of entrepreneurs seek external validation and permission from those more successful than them. It’s ok to get a confidence boost from a mentor, but at some point, you have to lace up your boots and get to work. Seeking permission and validation can become a self-limiting practice if you use it as an excuse not to execute on your dreams and ideas.

Everything Is Negotiable

Salas Kastilio faced a great predicament when she got her job at Apple. She could move away and take the job, or stay and finish school. She decided to do both. She convinced the majority of the professors to let her complete the courses online, but one of them would not budge. She negotiated and eventually got him to reduce the number of classes she would have to be physically present for.

“I began my impossible journey: taking four flights, two trains, and two busses each time, a 22-hour journey, to sit in a 1.5-hour entry level Sociology class. I spent over $10,000 in flights and hotels just to complete this one class. If I only missed one class, my entire investment would have been gone; it was a gamble,” says Salas Kastilio.

Salas Kastilio continued, “And on the second last class: I got to the airport and realised I forgot my passport at home. It was over; I was about to turn back, and I thought ‘No I got too far. I will at least try.’ And yes, I made four flights without a passport or ID. All I had were credit cards and an expired student card.”

Refuse to Give Up

It’s incredible what we are capable of when we refuse to give up. In Salas Kastilio’s case, a great example of that is traveling without her ID or passport. She had come this far, and she wasn’t about to give up now when she was right at the gate (literally and metaphorically.) This story reminds me that with real perseverance and never giving up, anything is possible.

“Try until the very last moment, the very last moment,” said Salas Kastilio.
At the end of the day, if you can bring relentless pursuit of your goal, with strategy and perseverance, nothing is going to stop you and Salas Kastilio is living proof of that.
Today, Salas Kastilio is the Snapchat Producer for BBC, CEO at Ginicanbreathe consulting, and helps brands launch and grow their Snapchat. Follow her on Snapchat at Ginicanbreathe.

Written by Brian D. Evans

Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world's top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.


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  1. This is A Really Amazing Story, it gives hope to alot of people who are going through hardships in life. You are a definition of a strong courageous determined young lady. Everyone has a story.

  2. I thank you for this amazing post! I am much older than Salas but identify on a personal level with her struggle and current victory. I however have not found that thing, that life’s ambition to drive me out of this rut of mediocrity. I love to travel, architecture, epicurean adventures and all things finance but fail to find inspiration through my love of those. She’s a true inspiration to those of us adhered to traditional models of “status quo-ist” of learning!!!

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