The 7 Things Nobody Taught You About What it Means to be an Entrepreneur

Last week – Mexico City received over 1,000 young students from all over the global including local students, Americans and Brazilian youth to the Changemaker Festival.

The event was held in Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe where conferences, workshops and panels took place throughout a day filled with incredible inspirational speakers that would forever change the lives of these young looking to become an entrepreneur. With the purpose was to inspire and motivate young people to become the next heroes to help solve the main problems in their community and globally. In addition to helping them develop business skills and technological knowledge through workshops and conferences for free.

Among the many incredible entrepreneurs that came to motivate the crowd included Ana Victoria García , founder of Victoria 147 a platform dedicated to help and promote young women everywhere to achieve their dreams; Daniel Gómez , founder of Solben ; Adolfo Cano , co-founder of Cultura Colectiva a digital platform of media and news that is disrupting the market, Ahmad Askar, CEO and founder of Hult Prize Foundation -a global learning platform that enables the new generation to deliver social change through education and entrepreneurship; as well as the general director of Interbrand , Isabel Blasco , who shared with the attendees the main challenges they can face once they start their business.

Among the talks, one that resonated with me the most was the last panel of the night, truly worth the wait and sun that could be felt throughout the Campus, was “Advice of a Lifetime, CEO Panel”. Here, 9 CEO’s of different cultural, economic and geopolitical backgrounds that have grown professionally in their distinct industries gave the harsh reality of what it means to be “an Entrepreneur” and answers the real questions out there. Here are, the top 7:

  1. Stop worrying about all the external factors – they are ‘excuses’ holding you back. Focus on your product, what you are selling and the client. The rest (this would include legal, political and other factors within your market/location). Don’t keep them from distracting you to launch.
  2. “How much seed-money would you recommend to get before launching?” somebody in the crowd asked, the experts answer “The minimum, or it will all go in stupid costs. Just focus on the minimum you need to survive, the rest is for show.”
  3. Being an entrepreneur isn’t about following steps 1 through 5 and. There is no designated formula or handbook – the ride will be different for each and every one of you, ups and downs, twists and more. Being an entrepreneur is an abstract painting – so just pick up the brush and start the journey.
  4. When making a decision, be prepared for all the possible consequences that may come with it. Calmly assume the worst and prepare – that way you know that no matter what happens, the decision you are making today is still the best one.
  5. Entrepreneurship is a loop of problem after problem, with the only difference being that each problem is bigger than the previous one. And this is a good sign.
  6. If you find yourself surrounded by negative people it’s probably because there is something negative within you. Don’t start a business you are unsure of, not passionate about or for the wrong reasons. If your focus is profit – it will not be enough to thrive.
  7. Finally, the hardest truth of all: the best entrepreneurs know when its time to hire a ‘new’ CEO and step aside for the sake of the company.

These were a few of many more lessons that were taught throughout the day by professionals with more than 10+ years in the business. There were also book giveaways from two of the speakers – Daniel Gomez “The Abstract of Entrepreneurship” and Ana Victoria’s “Them: The Story of Entrepreneurship as Told by Women“.

Overall, the event brought harsh realities to some but inspired the vast majority to continue forward in their journey and push through the obstacles that may come. Personally, (I do not consider myself an entrepreneur per say) they opened my eyes about the world of today, how society works and the future of business that will prevail no matter what. Throughout the talks I might of shed a tear in some subjects that touched too close to home – but as the day progressed and we came to the closing panel I had learned more in a day than I had in classes in Business School. You might trip, fall and even bleed – but that is simply the way the world is.

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