“If you don’t work for your dreams, someone else will hire you to work for theirs”.- Steve Jobs
Sitting at your desk in the office, or these days at home, have you ever questioned your entrepreneurial skills, or thought that you will not succeed because you have not invented a new wheel, or simply concluded that you are a tireless worker but never see yourself developing your own business idea?
Carlos García Ottati developed a prosperous working career. He started as an analyst, worked as an intern at Amazon, consulted for McKinsey and ran Linio’s operation in Mexico, before making it big in the entrepreneurial ecosystem with KAVAK, the first Mexican unicorn. Like Carlos, each of the company founders has different backgrounds and experiences that allow them to be successful in the world of entrepreneurship.
To be successful you don’t need to invent something that is going to change the world, the important thing is to find the factor that differentiates you from other products or services on the market, and in this way create or solve a consumer need.
However, the question arises, are there characteristics or factors that differentiate successful entrepreneurs?
The first factor that differentiates entrepreneurs is risk-taking. Every entrepreneur needs to get out of their comfort zone and look for a project that they are passionate about. Leaving the comfort zone and taking the leap into the void is not something that many people are willing to do. The traditional person, as a rule, does not take risks, but rather seeks stability in a job position that allows them to grow and satisfy their economic needs.
Anyone can be an entrepreneur and when they have work experience the impact they can have on their entrepreneurship is greater compared to people who are just graduating from university. Entrepreneurs prepare themselves during their professional life. They can be in a corporation, in a startup, in the government, or in an association. Each organization provides knowledge and different experiences that are valuable when creating your own company. There is no direct or unique path to entrepreneurship.
Steve Jobs is a prime example of a disruptive entrepreneur, who had a creative mind and no fear of innovation. In his career at Apple, he encouraged the development of new ideas, led his team to think outside the box and created objects that have revolutionized the market for more than 30 years. He had the creativity and courage to make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world, not only for its financial performance, but also for its great capacity for innovation.
Another characteristic of entrepreneurs is that they not only have a strategic vision, but also the ability to execute. Consider Jeff Bezzos, who as CEO of Amazon revolutionized e-commerce and last-mile delivery. He had the ability to transform his idea and take it into the real world.
Productivity is one of the characteristics of entrepreneurs. When building a company, they seek to have a financial return, benefiting their investors and their team. A clear example is Coinbase, which in just a few years has become the marketplace of reference for trading crypto-assets and has also had the ability to monetize this growth. In fact, the company was publicly listed on the stock exchange, reaching a significant capitalization value.
Entrepreneurs require strategic thinking capable of understanding market trends, consumer preferences, technological revolution, and disruptive business models to capture a market. Elon Musk perfectly describes this kind of entrepreneur, he has had the ability to create multiple companies in different industry sectors (automotive, fintech, aeronautics, etc.) and be successful.
Entrepreneurs are resilient by nature. In the world of entrepreneurship, it is easier for them to fail than to succeed, which is why they must have an inner motivation far superior to that of the average person and an ability to continually reinvent themselves. Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, who lived for many years on government subsidies, was self-taught, applied several times for jobs at Facebook and Twitter, spent several years developing the app that sold for more than USD 19 billion, he had to learn to fall and get up many times.
The success of a good entrepreneur comes with having a good team. Therefore, the founding team must be oriented towards teamwork, sharing goals, successes, and failures. Examples of this are the new unicorns who have managed to form an excellent team of founders that has led them to success, such as the members of Nubank, Addi and Bitso. Today, many of these teams are multicultural, with a diversity of gender, experiences, and complementary backgrounds.
The path to becoming an entrepreneur is generally not a straight line. There are multiple professions and careers that can lead you to the world of successful entrepreneurship. What is required today is talent, commitment, risk-taking and a lot of self-leadership to become an entrepreneur. As new unicorns emerge, it is a support to create new entrepreneurs. However, each person must make his or her own way in this world of entrepreneurship.
If you want to know a little more about your entrepreneurial profile, you can start by identifying in which areas you are creative in the following link: https://mycreativetype.com/
“I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work”.- Thomas Alva Edison
Hector Shibata. Director of Investments & Portfolio at ACV a global Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund and Adjunct Professor for Entrepreneurial Finance.
Catalina Ruiz. VC Investor at AC Ventures
ACV is an international Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund investing globally in Startups & VC funds.
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