When Laxman Paudyal came to the United States over 10 years ago as a foreign-exchange student from Nepal, he had a dream of one day owning his own small business.
After graduating from Brigham Young University in 2008, he joined the United States Army in 2010. He served in the Army for four years and gained his United States citizenship.
When a dream becomes reality
When his service time was completed in 2014, Laxman started to look for a small business he could purchase to achieve his dream. After finding an opportunity to purchase Carlos and Harley’s Fresh Mex Cantina in Eden, Utah, Laxman found a financing relationship that fit his needs. It was with Stearns Bank and SBA lender Doras Davila.
Laxman was first introduced to Doras through his broker in February 2016.
“I already had a small pita restaurant while I was in the military. But when I got out, I wanted to grow with a bigger restaurant. Luckily, I was able to buy Carlos and Harley’s,” Laxman said.
“Stearns Bank has been great to me. I think they would be a great bank to work with anybody who wishes to own a small business. They treated me well. I would definitely give them five stars.”
Carlos & Harley’s has enjoyed success since Laxman took over.
“It’s a really nice environment in the restaurant. Our employees are well-trained to serve our customers,” Laxman said. “We serve first-class meals. We have a super-friendly family environment. This is a great place to go and bring your family.”
The Significance Of Veterans Day
Veterans Day is fast approaching on Saturday, November 11. In addition to encouraging veterans to realize their dreams as business owners, Stearns Bank is actively supporting veteran causes.
During the week leading up to Veterans Day (November 6-10, 2017), all loan packaging fees and documentation fees collected by Stearns Bank, will be donated to Wounded Warrior Family Support as part of the Stearns Salutes campaign.
Veterans Day has taken on a special meaning for Laxman because of his service time. Laxman worked as a translator and linguist for the Army’s Special Forces, with expertise in five languages. He was deployed to different countries and trained soldiers of different backgrounds and cultures. He was also deployed to combat zones and worked professionally as a combat medic.
“I knew the military would be a good option for me after I graduated,” Laxman said. “I’m grateful and proud of the time I served, and I’m honored to represent this country.”
Q&A With Laxman Paudyal
Laxman answered questions about his time in the service and how it prepared him to be a successful small business owner.
Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you now?
A: Veterans Day is about honoring those who gave up their lives serving this country to have the freedom we have. For the veterans who were hurt in combat, it’s nice to honor them and give them the respect they deserve. I always feel honored around this time of year because of Veterans Day. I feel like we have done good work serving this country.
Q: How did your ability to speak 5 languages come in handy when in the Army?
A: It’s a good feeling to have that ability. I was raised in Nepal and we learned how to speak different languages. The military also spent a lot of time and money to help me get trained and it was a really good educational experience for me. I served in the Philippines and most of my duties revolved around building relationships between our militaries. I was grateful to be able to teach military style and train there while also learning the native language. Those soldiers over there became my friends.
Q: How did what you learned in the military apply in helping you become a successful small business owner?
A: Small business success is dependent on discipline. Being in the military, you always have to get things done in a timely manner. The military teaches you discipline, how to work hard and how to be successful in your role. It helps me treat my co-workers and peers with respect and helps me train them to work hard. I have integrated what I learned in the military into my personal life. I think it helps you stay a step ahead of everybody else.
Q: What is your best advice to any veteran who wants to become a small business owner?
A: My family had a business background and that’s why I decided to get into it. I saved money while I was deployed and brought it into use after I got out. I have high goals in life. If you don’t have high goals, you can’t be successful in my view. To achieve high goals, you need to work hard and put your heart, mind and soul into everything.
Q: What is the best way for people to honor veterans on Veterans Day?
A: What people need to understand is that freedom isn’t free. Veterans gave up their time and didn’t get to see their families for a long time. They gave up a lot for us to have this freedom. They were selfless, so you could have what you have. Veterans feel honored to have served, but they didn’t do it for nothing. They served a special purpose and should be admired for their service.
Please take the time to honor our veterans this Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11. To donate to the Wounded Warriors Family Support, visit www.wwfs.org.
Wounded Warriors Family Support’s mission is to provide support to families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations.