When you bring three well-known entrepreneurs together to talk about the fears they had when they decided to start their own businesses, it is inevitable that at some point the conversation will turn to the topic of financing… and the fear of not finding funding or of losing it.
Everyone has gone through it, from Julie Meyer, founder of Entrepreneur Country Global, to Pau García-Milà and Rodrigo del Prado, founders of Leaders University and BQ respectively; now great business owners and investors, these three entrepreneurs once had to deal with the lack of economic resources. From those experiences they shared with us some advice during FACE Entrepreneurship’s Madrid event, held during South Summit Madrid 2015.
Capital follows ideas
Julie Meyer knows what it’s like to arrive to a new city as a nobody and get started, basically, from zero. Today she is an authority in the world of investing in startups, and from the beginning she was clear on a key factor: capital follows ideas. “You have a secret, you understand something about the future and the job of people like me is to find you”. Thus, for this American “adopted” by Europe, the most important thing an entrepreneur should do first is to focus on developing their ideas because if they are good and there is a market for them, funding will eventually follow.
Rodrigo del Prado goes one step further, as he claims to have seen hundreds of cases of entrepreneurs who “have spent more time looking for funding than bettering their ideas.” For this expert in the ICT world, money and financing are “very important but not the goal.” Del Prado advises entrepreneurs to obtain enough funding for their company and to implement their ideas, but to always know clearly what the objective is.
As a note for those who feel the fear of failure, which is so common in anyone who decides to start a business, Del Prado downplays the mistakes that can be made when launching a startup but stresses the need to make them early and to learn as much as possible from them.
That’s exactly something which Pau García-Milà knows a thing or two about, who as a young entrepreneur has seen his companies in jeopardy more than once and for whom the fear of failure, in particular the fear of financing, are not all bad. Although those fears, in his words, “stink”, they force you to keep working hard and to not give up on something that you have invested your time, your passion and money.
These are just some of the ideas shared with us by entrepreneurship experts, who, like you, also had to learn to cope with financial challenges and the fears that come with starting up.