The Ultimate Underdog: Rags to Riches & Nothing to Nobel Prize

Magdalena De La Cruz Cook Garcia, or Magie Cook for short, is an immigrant and entrepreneur who was born in an orphanage in Mexico, growing up in poverty along with 68 brothers and sisters. 

She missed her opportunity to play basketball for the Mexican National Team when she broke her collarbone, and shortly after, she immigrated to the US on a basketball scholarship at the University of Charleston. After obtaining her college degree and not being able to find a job, Magie became homeless and lived on the streets. Months after, she entered a Fresh Salsa competition for the State of West Virginia and won unanimously. With $800, she started Maggie’s All Natural Fresh Salsa’s & Dips, a company she grew into a multi-million dollar business before selling it to Campbell’s in 2015. 

Soon after, she went back to Mexico and helped save 31 orphaned children who were on the verge of falling into drug cartel hands. And now, she’s dedicating her professional life to helping others create breakthroughs and inspiring them to live better, more fulfilling lives.

Magie is the author of “Mindful Success: How to Use Your Mind to Transform Your Life,” and in 2013, she began working with the AOF Hollywood Dreams International Film Festival to make a feature film about her story.

What Brett asks:

  • [01:40] Let’s talk about your early childhood, growing up in an orphanage.
  • [11:20] Do you think your belief and hope came as a result of your experiences? Or was that a gift you were born with?
  • [12:55] What was it like having someone express concern and care for you, but having the abuse happening at the same time?
  • [16:14] What was that dynamic with 68 brothers and sisters?
  • [21:25] How did you arrive at believing in a place of love?
  • [30:45] Let’s shift to your life in the U.S.
  • [37:15] Tell us about your journey with Maggie’s Salsa.
  • [46:10] Now what? What are you doing with all of the success that you’ve had?


Lessons for intentional living:

  • People often ask Magie, how come you’re not in prison or doing drugs? How did you do it? And she tells them “it’s just because I had this mindset of, I want to end my suffering, I have hope, and I’m strong.” We have incredible power when we can wield our inner voice as a tool to create the reality we desire, but it has to be rooted in an emotion as powerful as hope. Manifestation is not as simple as making a dream board.
  • One way to develop this kind of mindset, to harness the power within, is through meditation. “ I started just meditating, and feeling this joy and this inner happiness, and thinking about light, and light and love, and how it’s so powerful that if we allow it to come in. And I always meditate, have meditative light coming in from the top of my head into my body, down through my feet.” If we envelop ourselves in this light, Magie says, light also emanates from us, and it actually changes us. And when it changes us, we begin to change the people, the places, and the circumstances around us.