Every person has a natural ability to create solutions when facing difficult problems. To this type of skill, we usually assign several names. Creativity and entrepreneurship are just two of them.
Saturated or not, conversations about entrepreneurship can pass several messages, but they are not always interpreted in the right way. The act of entrepreneurship is surrounded by myths far from reality.
It is important to leave aside the belief that only those who have money, investments or lots of luck can be entrepreneurs. In fact, don’t even think that entrepreneurs are only those who open a business and have absurd revenues from it.
Today we will present a more realistic reflection on what it is, in fact, entrepreneurship. Bringing an opinion on the subject is the Brazilian Claudio Landsberg, businessman and founder of Casa Group, a franchise of vending machine that started in a garage.
After reformulating a product with more than 100 years of history, Landsberg launched in the market something that managed to reach specific tribes and that provided a differential when vending machines were no longer a novelty.
Currently, the business has 24 different types of vending machines, with presence in 23 brands of hotels, more than 1300 machines in the United States alone, and with franchises present in three other countries: Italy, Portugal and Brazil.
Myths don’t last forever.
For a long time, entrepreneurship was considered a plan B or C for those who lost their jobs or could not find opportunities in the job market.
“In the most emerging countries, culture makes you believe that we need to fulfill steps in life. To go to college, get a job, or get a government job and earn a lot of money until you retire. If everything goes wrong, then we think about entrepreneurship”, comments Landsberg.
But not long ago that this idea changed, and many people are already emerging with proposals to innovate what is no longer a novelty. However, the businessman notes that there is still a long way for entrepreneurship to be a more present conversation in the routine of various cultures.
“To me, entrepreneurship is the shortest way to reduce unemployment, but it’s not just that. It is a master spring that drives the economy in any place and depends on governments and people who understand this to happen.”
Those who think that the biggest obstacle to entrepreneurship is the local economy are mistaken. What really prevents the emergence of good ideas is the fear of failure.
“We need to keep in mind that failures and successes will always be seen with judgment. Now that the pandemic has brought us a look inside, those who can see the ‘glass half full’ can also understand where opportunities are and cannot hesitate to go after them”, he advises.
It may not be simple, but…
The basic of entrepreneurship is to think of products and services that are differentiated, able to lead to the so-called Blue Ocean, where an idea delivers much more than the traditional and works without becoming a commodity.
In addition to seeing opportunities, entrepreneurship requires study and a little instinct. “This is why this is a fundamental matter in any educational institution. If people understand how the act of entrepreneurship works, they also understand how it can bring contributions to society”, reinforces Landsberg.
Knowing that consumption is modifiable and never goes back again to be what was one day, the new ideas will only emerge when we observe this type of situation. This is why the businessman relates the emergence of novelties with the high levels of unemployment. A need ends up bringing up others.
So, if a crisis is able to move people, what can’t culture and basic education do?
Unfortunately, it is in education that our entrepreneurial instinct can “freeze”. At least, in the most traditional molds of it, that see the success of people based on passive work and nothing creative.
Despite this, many schools started to understand that entrepreneurship is the key to transform realities and pass this message without “pushing” the student to open a business. The incentive is to make a difference wherever the student acts in the future.
“Innovation is not only used to generate novelties in services or products. It also stimulates intrapreneurship, in which people are entrepreneurs within their jobs”, explains Landsberg.
“They will not open a business, but they will see possibilities of changes in processes, products, to bring new concepts to the company in which they act”, he adds.
To him, the fact is: when we feel like entrepreneurs, even though we are employees, there are more opportunities for growth within the company, unlike those who follow the job description, and don’t go beyond.
Moreover, Landsberg also recalls that innovation is frequently mistaken with the contribution of cutting-edge technology and investment of lots of money when, in fact, it can be a small change in a process or comprehension of something that has been done the same way for a long time.
And why talk about entrepreneurship?
Landsberg answers this question with a technical point: any entrepreneurial project has a learning and growth curve. It is necessary to be ready for the initial moments and have a base to invest, but it doesn’t necessarily mean having a big bank account to make the idea work out.
“Many businesses emerge with very little or just with an idea. It is necessary to study and to have a plan with milestones to evaluate the victories, the points off the curve and what needs to be corrected. True success happens only when we know where we are and where we want to go”, he recalls.
Therefore, having money is just a factor, but it is not the secret to success. In fact, for the entrepreneur, everything related to entrepreneurship needs “feet on the ground and eyes on the stars”.
“Nobody needs to be ashamed of not having a big cash flow to start or not having a well-structured place. Start where it is possible, in your room, in your garage, in your work desk. Just have the desire to change what you think can be changed”, he advises.
A final tip from Landsberg is to know that there are no short cuts. In any situation, a good dose of resilience and the pleasure of realization will be more essential than having money to invest.
After that, can you still see entrepreneurship through the perspective of myths? Tell us what makes you unsure when innovating.