Two years ago, my partner and I decided to startup a business called BuzzInc with little more than the dream of making BuzzInc reality. Our only previous attempt to launch a web service agency was less than 6 months of life, where I worked at night because it still needed a job to keep me day. We had no money, no office, no equipment.
Despite all logic evidence against me, the desire to give life to this idea gave me the guts for a January afternoon in 2014 into the office of my then boss and, with his heart in his throat nerves , quit my job.
Since then, I have enjoyed and suffered, but above all, I learned more than I had ever imagined. Here are some tips for those who dream of venturing into the wonderful world of social entrepreneurship.
1. Educate yourself. Then throw yourself.
One of the first things I learned as an entrepreneur is that I had to start learning, accelerated way, everything you need to realize this idea. I wanted to start a program to identify talented young people who had not yet had the opportunity to access quality higher education, training them as the best web developers, and connect with companies that may use them. My desire was immense, my knowledge, no. He knew nothing of selecting talent, very little technology, almost no educational models and even fewer job placement process.
The first decision I made to my almost-full ignorance was not afraid, and I realized all I could learn with some creativity and effort. I identified my acquaintances (and also the not so) they knew of these issues. I wrote and shamelessness I asked some of their time for coffees and meetings. I prepared to get the most out of each. I bought several books. I read and took notes of the main lessons. I went to all relevant event I could about these issues. I asked for. No less important, I learned to move comfortably in environments where they do not know everything, where I do not feel as prepared as I wanted, and where more than once, we must resort to improvisation.
I decided that my preparation time was important, but should not last too. Fortunately I did. As I started working on creating BuzzInc, he began the process of learning faster than I lived. I think what I still undertake more surprising is discovering the infinite capacity we have as human beings to learn.
2. Find partners. Everything is better in good company.
Alone, it would have been impossible to BuzzInc reality. Stop me in the street to look young interested in learning development would probably not be very effective. Get to learn web development myself to dictate the class either. Rent a separate room when one sun had not realized BuzzInc maybe we would have brought ruin before you start.
I have made many mistakes in the process of taking BuzzInc forward, but I think one of the things I did do right from the start was to have the best allies nearby. We started in a classroom provided by a co-working space with a friend willing to teach me developer, and thanks to the confidence of social organizations that chose to believe that what we were offering young people from their communities was genuine.
All these, and many more, were part of making BuzzInc possible.
On the road since then, nothing I’ve built myself. Although people sometimes look at us with strange eyes, in the leadership of BuzzInc are my husband and my best friends, starting with my partners – better known as the shaman – another married couple. Expand the project to Chile and Mexico thanks to Marisol and Gabi, two of my great friends joined mastery. If we are breaking the traditional rules of how is undertaken or not, I do not know, but I do not doubt for a moment is that I have the best seatmates on this roller coaster.
3. Learn to expose. Although hard, it is worth.
One of the things I took when BuzzInc started to become known was expose in public. I’m not shy, but let’s say I’m not a fan of exposure. See my face in a magazine I was a don’t-know-how strange. As good famous victim of the impostor syndrome, could not explain how he got there, and had recurring nightmares become someone who spoke all the time herself.
I remember the first time I did an interview in a medium, I did not dare share in the Fan-page BuzzInc. Then I regretted – the note was cute and was made with love – but sometimes lessons are late. It took me start talking and lose my shame, but eventually I discovered that it is perhaps the most powerful tool we have. Each entrepreneur is a story, and share is part of our work.
Since then me with the idea of being the face that represented BuzzInc, I decided to do all the opportunities that existed, and while it has not been easy, fortunately I have not suffered by taste. I’ve made dozens of public appearances, some to hundreds and thousands more virtually. Believe me, every time I get just as nervous, but the sweat and hours of practice have been worthwhile. Every opportunity to tell our story has brought more good things to BuzzInc.
4. Learn to ask for help. We all need from time to time.
Most entrepreneurs start and raring few things. We spent our savings, we work without limits, and went every day to the streets to sell our dream. This process, month after month, always ends spend the bill. In my experience, to avoid complete collapse, it is important to learn to ask for help.
Personally, learn to ask for help has been one of the things that has cost me. In fact, I still fail in this much more than I would like. I have always considered a strong independent woman. From 18 live alone, I remain economically from the 21, and I think – although I am lucky they have not been too many – I have learned to solve problems that put my life.
Now, my almost 30, there are days where I think anguish total disappearance of my savings, and weeks where I work 70 hours and I realize that every area of my life has been captured by BuzzInc. There, the help of my friends and family is more valuable than ever. I think all entrepreneurs go through this at one time or another. Anguish no longer shared the same but it is always more bearable.
5. Keep your cause close to the heart. Always.
I always say that a social entrepreneur, despite all its challenges, is so far the best things that ever happened in my life. I’m convinced that’s because I love with every part of my being what BuzzInc represents: a chance to shine for hundreds of layers girls who have not yet had. This makes me stand every day, helps me to live happily despite the constant presence of uncertainty, and makes me think that really, anything is possible. That despite living in a country where life risks across the street, where the lack of tolerance for diversity sometimes embarrasses me, and where politics is too much like a tragicomedy; There are so many good things to do that we can not dedicate our lives to something else to start doing them.
The road is not easy, but I assure you it will be worth.