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Tag Archives: business partner

What It’s Like To Be An Entrepreneur in Mexico

I wake up every day and sit down on my bed for some minutes, meditating, and thinking: “what I will do today?”Then, I rapidly check my twitter feed and e-mail, just to know what happened when I was sleeping, after that… I know it’s time to get moving.

In the bus, on my way to the office, I imagine where other passengers are going and sometimes what they do. Maybe they’re going to school or maybe going for some groceries but at the end they’re probably also going to work. At the moment I arrive at my office, everything inside me changes. I’m not longer a random guy in the bus, but the CEO of my own business. An entrepreneur.

Funny to say it, few years ago I had no intention to become one. During college I was studying to maybe go and work for a big IT company here in Mexico. Actually, some of my friends convince me to start a business, at the end it failed, but the damage was done, ever since the only thing I wanted was to be an entrepreneur. Along the way I have met other people like me, with dreams of creating their own business. In a way it helped that my university promoted this entrepreneurial spirit to their students but when you go outside, to the real world, this mentality is almost non-existent.

Don’t get me wrong, Mexico is a country that is continually growing.  In recent years big corporations, the government and other institutions have started to promote the creation of new businesses. But, there’s a big difference between the entrepreneurial culture that I’ve received and gained and the culture of the Mexican.

Most Mexicans work to survive, each day at a time.

There are a lot of small businesses owners, but also there’re many businesses that develop in the informal sector; and this derivate from the idea of having more money to spend instead of creating value as a brand or business.

But, these small businesses are the ones that really develop new jobs and improve life’s quality for society.

Sure, here in Mexico we have entrepreneurs as successful as Carlos Slim, Ricardo Salinas and Emilio Azcarraga. Opportunities exist but the biggest problem that I’ve found, and maybe other entrepreneurs from Latin American or developing countries could agree on, is the lack of vision. Not trying to dream big and not seeing the bigger picture are two things that make businesses and good ideas fail.

It’s hard to find people with that kind of vision, but when you find it, everything flows smoothly. It’s not about looking for people with good skills in certain area, it helps, but it’s completely useless if they don’t have the drive and the commitment to be entrepreneurs.

The bright side is that things in Mexico are changing, more and more youngsters want to become entrepreneurs, they enlist on college groups or associations which promote entrepreneurship. Government is doing its part too: creating new institutes and giving more funds.

So, what is it like to be a Mexican young entrepreneur? It’s really challenging, we’re trying to change society paradigms, which were established by our parents, changing the way Mexicans see our country and making things happen. I’m glad to have found friends with the same interest than me, and creating new ideas as time goes by.

Business is business in every part of the world, my advices to all young entrepreneurs who are trying to create and/or grow their businesses is:

Do it for a good reason

Not for the money, not for being your own boss, but really for something that will create a value in people’s life.

Gather a good team

Not only friends or family, but also look for someone who can add value to your ideas, someone from you can grow.

Find a mentor

A mentor could help you with some initial problems in business, learn from him/her.

Believe

You gotta believe in your idea, in what you’re doing. Belief will encourage your partners and workers.

And the most important one…. Get things done.

That last point is what differentiates successful business people and mere business owners.

It really doesn’t matter which country you live in, if you really think that you can make it, you will, it’s a matter of time, perseverance, hard work and belief.

Cristopher Ramírez is a Mexican entrepreneur and small business investor. Passionate writer in entrepreneurship and motivation articles for local papers, college magazine and the blog he founded. You can follow him in Twitter.

The 12 Step Checklist For A Successful Business Partnership

A successful business partnership has many similarities with a successful marriage. In some ways it is even more challenging to build such a partnership.

The first question you should ask yourself is, “Do you really need a partner?” If you can create a viable business without a partner you are probably well advised to take that route. It may be that a partner is essential to complement your talents, to sell to customers, to help handle the work load or to bring needed financing. In that case, you and that partner should consider together whether it will work for you both by going through the following checklist.

It is often said that you learn more from your failures than from your successes. At one time in my life I was one of two equal partners in an R&D start up, which eventually involved VC (venture capital) partners. This checklist reflects that learning experience combined with what others have set out in similar checklists.

You should consider every one of the twelve items in this list in an honest and open way with your partner before either of you commit to the partnership. The more critical elements in that real life situation are discussed in the case study that follows the checklist.

Key Partner Attributes

1. Absolute trust in each other

This is rightly set as the #1 condition since without it disaster may well occur at some time in the future. One boss I had said that this meant you would be comfortable in leaving your wallet (or handbag) for safe keeping with your partner. I think that is an excellent test of your trust. The ultimate condition here is that such trust will be durable even if circumstances go awry.

2. Complementary skills

If you both have the same skill set, then the reason for the partnership is somewhat weaker. When skills are complementary, much richer creativity is possible and you have the benefit of different points of view.

3. Compatible working habits

Nothing will sap motivation faster than feeling your partner is not pulling his/her weight. You do not need to follow the same work schedule and indeed different work schedules may give better coverage to satisfy customer needs. Each partner should feel that there is a fair division of labor.

4. Good communication

Nothing will erode that absolute trust faster than a failure to communicate important news or decisions. With modern technology and smart phones there is no excuse for not staying in touch on important issues.