The Entrepreneur’s DNA by Erik Brieva
Do you feel you were born with something special to be an entrepreneur or do you have the DNA?
Particularly Erik Brieva, founder of Bcombinator thinks that the entrepreneur is made and developed. As an example, we have him, who has managed to create about 16 successful companies over the years. He says all this based on the fact that he comes from a country “Cuba” where for 60 years it has been forbidden to do even the slightest business “the environment itself did not favour the entrepreneurial spirit”.
His first “illegal” business ventures in Cuba were selling lipstick, handicrafts, or using his father’s car to rent as a taxi. Necessity itself forced him to venture into the entrepreneurial universe. As time went by and when he arrived in Barcelona, at a barbecue with friends, the 5 founders of what was his first company came out: iSOCO, which after 2 years managed 140 people and worked for large corporations such as Grupo Planeta, lladró, Telefónica, el Corte inglés, Fnac, etc. and later sold it.
In this article, Erik shares the components of the DNA of a successful entrepreneur, starting from a common denominator: attitude. You can have all the attitude in the world but if you don’t channel it properly, that is, if you don’t acquire the skills, you won’t reach your goal. In total there are 10 aptitudes, which must be aligned to achieve success, the set of these make up the entrepreneur’s DNA:
- Tenacity: the most important attribute of an entrepreneur is that he is never willing to give up. If you set your mind to something, you have to do whatever it takes to get there. This aspect can generate a lot of stress, however, it is important to take the stress as something implicit since it will be present in a company from its creation to its growth. If you are tenacious, you will give your life for it until you get it.
- Instinct: to know when, how, and where the opportunities pass by, not only for the idea but in the day to day to deal with your colleagues and find solutions. It is very important “not to let the train pass by”, to be daring and try your luck in everything you do, in the end, ideas always come and go.
- Pivoting: it is not good enough to be tenacious and intelligent. You also need to make sure that you have a great product and a niche in the market for it, and that it is a big enough market. Knowing when your project needs to change or adapt to one market or another. This applies to everything, even teamwork to change the dynamics. The best entrepreneurs fine-tune their product and their business model until they find that slot.
Only 10% of entrepreneurs continue after 1 year.Erik Brieva, Founder of Bcombinator & CEO of Strands
- Resilience: being an entrepreneur is sexy… for those who don’t. It’s actually a brave, hard job where you find yourself full of self-doubt. You get up and you are better, you get up and you still have the energetic, creative, dynamic and inspiring spirit
- Inspiration: it is necessary to lead teams and convince others to move mountains when, by all means, they would not believe they could. How would you like your boss to be? An entrepreneur must be able to inspire others. You have to create a dynamic in the company so that everyone can inspire each other.
- Perspiration: Thomas Edison said, “genius is only 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”. It takes more than inspiration to lead a successful project, product, or service.
- Risk: if you’re not willing to go all-out or full-time, what you’re conveying to others is that you don’t have enough confidence in the idea or in yourself. Entrepreneurs are people who are willing to start a project in an act of faith, so why not stop and start.
- Detailed: get as close to perfection as possible but not to the extreme. If you are going to lead a project you need to be above all the details from the beginning, know its financial model, be involved in the product design, have a detailed understanding of the sales channel, etc.
- Competitive: here we play to win, otherwise why be competitive? The best entrepreneurs hate to lose. Whether in life or in business, they always play to win. Competitiveness consumes them. Sharing the market is not enough – you have to win every contract, hire every great employee, and sign with every partner. And it has to be done at the expense of the competition.
- Decision: make decisions, quickly and without turning things upside down. Entrepreneurs don’t “spin things”, they “do things”. This is what separates entrepreneurs from other workers, consultants, investors, and even some executives. Most have the luxury of “analysis”, of resting over the weekend and coming back fresh on Monday morning. Entrepreneurs face an avalanche of decision
The following two qualities are outside the decalogue but complement in some way the essence of the entrepreneur to succeed.
- Domain experience: not an absolute requirement. In fact, some people argue that super-successful companies come from people outside the industry who are willing to challenge conventional wisdom. But without a doubt, having experience and relationships in the domain gives an advantage. Better to start with this than from scratch.
- Integrity: Integrity and honesty are very important to build trust and gain the respect of all the people around you.
Based on all these qualities, Erik shares what would be the formula of the entrepreneur:
By having them all, success in your project will be guaranteed.