Being an entrepreneur has become something that is cool to say. And while the time passes it has become more and more mainstream. It’s something that you start hearing more often between the millennial generation, and that is really often seen in Social Media, and they make it seem to be really easy.
Being an entrepreneur is something that Universities and Companies are impulsing a lot through many cool programs that are helping entrepreneurs thrive.
But what does it really mean to be an entrepreneur?
It doesn’t mean that you studied a bachelor in business and you are now able to start your own company.
It doesn’t mean that you will be the next Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos.
It doesn’t mean that you will be a millionaire.
Being an entrepreneur means you have decided to solve one of the worlds’ or humanity’s problems, and that you’ve decided to do it through a business model.
It doesn’t mean that you have everything solved to run your idea, it means that you are starting an experimental journey where you will find the best way to do it.
It is not even having a company, being an entrepreneur for me is a way of life, where you become more aware of the problems people are experimenting, and you are constantly thinking of solutions to solve them.
I became an entrepreneur 3 years ago, and I had the wrong idea that I had to know everything about business and finance and many other topics in order to be able to thrive. I thought I was not ready to do what I was doing, but anyways the problem my co-founders and I wanted to solve was so big that we thought it was worth it to give it a chance.
During the road of entrepreneurship, I discovered and learned many things that made me grow in a personal and professional way.
First of all, it made me see the world with new eyes, see it in a way where almost any problem humanity faces may be solved by us.
It requires a group of people willing to do anything to make it happen, and by this, I don’t mean a group of experts, I mean a group of completely normal people that are a bit crazy to believe they are able to achieve anything.
If your team is willing to take any necessary risk to take your idea into action you will find the right way during the journey to do so.
Always having the feet in the ground and your head in the sky!
I also learned that you have to learn to ask for help and to be humble enough to know that you alone will never be able to do anything. But you have to be ambitious about this. If you think you need the help from the CEO of a company, go ahead and ask for his/her help, I learned that you always have the “no” for an answer, but if you risk it you might have the “yes”. I learned that if you have an honest purpose, and you are able to communicate it you will almost always have a positive answer. To be honest, during the last three years every time I asked for help the answer was yes. Having an extent and robust network of mentors that are always able to question you and bring you back to earth is key for you and your enterprise to be able to be successful.
The other big lesson that I learned with entrepreneurship was not to be afraid to start, you will never be ready enough to start selling if you don’t go outside and ask your costumers what they need. You have to validate and accept that you don’t have all the answers on your side. And on a desk or whiteboard, you will never be able to get those answers. The way we did it was to design small experiments and ALWAYS validate our ideas with our users and customers. It is important that you learn to fail fast because that way you will be able to iterate fast and get to the correct answer earlier. It’s also a way to invest less money to validate your idea and be able to gain early supporters on the cheapest way possible.
There are many platforms outside that are willing to help you thrive as an entrepreneur, there are incredible accelerator opportunities, boot camps, contests, challenges, and awards that can help you start, launch and maintain your road as an entrepreneur! It is something that amazingly all around the world you will find a handful of opportunities to apply for many different things! As an entrepreneur myself I was part of many different contests and programs, and to be honest, they were part of the best experiences of my life! They make you realize that you are not alone, that there are many people outside as crazy as you doing incredible things to make this world a better place. But be careful it can also be a big distraction from your main purpose that is to bring your company into action. You have to learn how to manage your time and decide how much time you will invest in each thing. Time is precious, every second counts!
One of the best advice I’ve received from another entrepreneur is to “bury your trophies”. They are amazing to know you have them and help you know that you have achieved a certain goal, but never rely on them to know how successful you are. They will only remind you of the past, not letting you pay attention to your future goals. Your true success is not an entrepreneurship prize, it is that your customers are buying and you are constantly growing.
One of the best gifts that entrepreneurship has brought me is the amazing people I’ve been able to meet thanks to it. Other amazing entrepreneurs, mentors, really important characters, people in vulnerable communities, friends and even friends that have become family. You never know who can you learn from, and sometimes it’s from the people you least expected. Be open to meet the most amount of people you can, to make valuable connections, and to also help others, you will never know when you will need someone else’s help.
But most of all treat everyone as a human being, you are not more or less than anyone, and if you meet people having that in mind you will be able to learn from anyone that is in front of you.
I know all this journey seems amazing and that it seems like it’s the perfect thing to do. But to be completely honest to be an entrepreneur is a thoughtful decision. It is a really bumpy road, it has really highs and real lows. It has many personal and professional challenges. Sometimes you will feel you can’t give more, you’ll feel your not enough for it, you’ll feel you should have just gone the other way and have a normal and safe job where you have a monthly salary and all the employee benefits your friends have.
But to be completely honest to be an entrepreneur is a tough decision. It is a really bumpy road, it has really highs and real lows. But to be honest all of it is worth it when you see that every action you do every day has a positive impact on the world, as small as it might seem you are being part of the solution and not part of the problem.
For me to be an entrepreneur means you are crazy enough to step out of the way things “normally” work and to think of a more human way to create solutions for the world’s biggest challenges.
For me being an entrepreneur makes you a little bit more human.