There’s No Magic Pill To Make You an EntrepreneurBy Ana Ramos | Fri, 09/03/2021 - 12:54
When you talk about entrepreneurship, it’s very common to find polarizing trains of thought. There are those who try to promote an optimistic vision to emerging companies and then there are those who offer an idea that runs counter to the first, which is that businesses need more than good intentions.
The reality is that being a successful entrepreneur is more than securing a round of funding, being able to successfully market your product or developing products and services that people need. Part of the triumph of entrepreneurship is invisible to the public. It’s a process carried out in silence and without spectators; the strength, compromise and even sacrifices needed to start a business are the foundation of everything but are almost always overlooked by the majority.
For four years, I worked for one of the most successful venture capital funds in Germany (Vorwerk Ventures) analyzing, evaluating, and deciding the fate of millions of invested euros of different startups, all of them related to the use of intensive technology and scientific statistics. Many of these companies were from Latin America and many were specializing in beauty products.
That’s when I realized that the beauty and health-wellness industry in Latin America was valued close to US$34 billion annually. I started to get a crazy idea, like one of those crazy ideas that come to you when you are 9,000km from your home: “And if I launch my own beauty start-up?”
To be an entrepreneur is not easy work. Despite the fact there are no official statistics about the registration and follow-up for start-ups in Mexico, according to some studies by analysts and organizations, more than half of these start-ups do not survive their first year and more than 70 percent fail within two years.
Is there a pattern behind a successful entrepreneurship? There are diverse factors that intervene in the success or failure of an emerging company. Factors that start with the beginning of the idea of the business and run all the way to the geographical and socio-cultural aspects of the region that directly impact its development.
One element that could be obvious, and it’s of the utmost importance in any start-up, is the entrepreneur behind the idea. So, what characteristics do entrepreneurs possess that allow them to survive and create unicorns?
The entrepreneurs who distinguish themselves in the world of business are ambitious, hard-working and are very conscious of the situation and context of the world. They are excellent salespeople, not only of products but also of ideas and dreams.
When I decided to act on my crazy idea, I analyzed the market with determination. I looked for alternatives and, above all, a good business partner who shared my vision. Every day that passed, a new strategy arose for the construction of a beauty-spa app that would bring it to your home. It would make life easier for the people of my chaotic city, Mexico City, because they wouldn’t have to drive or put themselves in traffic.
Creators of unicorns have the impetus of transforming the world, of changing the status quo. They are also conscious that the work isn’t easy. To be an entrepreneur is hard. That means having unscheduled work hours, making personal sacrifices and, above all, to face the never-ending challenges that arise on a daily basis. The path of entrepreneurship is a roller coaster full of ups and downs and incertitude in the face of an unknown future.
In other words, an entrepreneur should learn to adapt to any situation without losing focus, despite the challenges or the difficulties that present themselves in the company. Those who decide to take the path of building their own start-up should consider themselves a leader capable of taking the reins and changing the route if necessary as they navigate an ever-changing path.
When I found the method to my madness, I worked double shifts, during the day in Germany and at night in Mexico. Thanks to the generosity of my family and friends, I secured my first round of funding. I was going to be able to return to my country full time. Some friends and acquaintances didn’t believe I was about to leave my promising life in Berlin to return to chase what they called “a dream.”
In 2018, I founded Glitzi, an app for spa and beauty services delivered to your home. I founded it together with my partner, Luis Vázquez, who is the genius behind the technology and the programming of the app. We now have a staff of more than 35 valuable people who are the daily proof that this “dream” is tangible.
The successful entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily those with the most experience or those with the most knowledge but those who have survived all the obstacles they have faced. They are like bugs that mutate to adapt and survive.
Today more than ever, many entrepreneurs know the importance of resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of the business world, closing many paths that were considered safe but, on the other hand, it opened new models of business and encouraged some who already had achieved a certain amount of development but had not consolidated that.
Considering all this, to be an entrepreneur is hard, yes, but like many things, it is the only path to new horizons, such as new forms of developing products or innovating services, telling inspirational stories and convincing consumers and investors that it is possible to transform the world with revolutionary ideas.