by Leigh Crews
I use the term Trophy Life to describe the result of giving dreams their wings. Having a trophy life isn’t about material abundance, though I’m NOT saying wealth is bad. Trophy life is more about contentment. About consciously choosing and then being happy with the choice, whatever comes. It’s an acceptance of the past and maximization of the present. My trophy life will look different than your trophy life. When you live according to your values and give your dreams their wings to fly, your trophy life will take shape spontaneously.
My former boss, Kike Santander, although trained as a physician and surgeon, chose to follow his true passion, music. He worked in the hospital by day and played nights and weekends in clubs and bars. He came to the US from Cali, Colombia in 1994, giving up medicine to follow his dream full time. He wrote commercial jingles until his “zero to hero” moment, as he describes it. He was asked to compose for Gloria Estefan and ended up writing all 10 songs on her sixth album, Abriendo Puertas (1995). When it hit big, Estefan got her second Grammy and Kike got his first. It was the beginning of an impressive collection of Grammy’s and other accolades that have followed.
Living the dream, Kike has performed with Gloria for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, written or produced songs for Jennifer Lopez (Let’s Get Loud–a group fitness staple), Carlos Santana, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony and many more, with over 700 songs and 25 million album sales worldwide to his credit. On top of it all, he is a devoted husband and father, a genuinely decent and humble man. Family is as much a part of Kike’s trophy life as his music.
Kike Santander let go of the security of being a respected physician and reached for what gave him contentment. He started from zero more than once, and ultimately gave his dream its wings to fly. Kike speaks for himself in this interview from the 2011 BMI Awards Ceremony, where he received the prestigious Presidents Award.