What It’s Like To Be An Entrepreneur in Mexico : Under30CEO What It’s Like To Be An Entrepreneur in Mexico : Under30CEO
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What It’s Like To Be An Entrepreneur in Mexico

| July 16, 2013 | 11 Comments

EntrepreneurI 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.

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Category: Entrepreneurship, Startup Advice

  • http://www.seleyenda.com/ Sergio Sala

    Quite connected on this, usually our society lacks of vision, because the role models are not giving the best advice. Televisa and mass media is just mexican crap.

    That’s why we are here to change this. I’m working on making a change that business is all about giving value while you create incomes.

    Long way to go, but I’m on it. And you, Cris.

    Muy cierto, Cristopher. Buen artículo :)

  • Mike Darche

    Thanks for sharing, Cristopher! It’s great to read about entrepreneurship in another culture. With all of the fast-paced media in the US, I never hear enough about these other perspectives. It sounds like the atmosphere for small business in Mexico is tough, but the future is growing brighter every day. Guys like you and @sergiosala:disqus are changing the game–keep it up!

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  • Melissa Krivachek

    Cristopher great article I think the most important aspect of this was the comment about getting things done. An action plan will always supersede a business, marketing, and sales plan. It isn’t just Mexico that doesn’t have a vision there are plenty of companies and entrepreneurs who while they would love to be successful struggle because they lack the clarity needed to become truly successful in any level of their business or life. Being an entrepreneur in and of itself is challenging and one of the most difficult things people will experience in their life but the journey, challenges, and obstacles make it worth the time, effort, and energy it takes! Cheers to many more successes on your journey.

  • Cate Costa

    Thanks for writing this article, Cris! I wish I had met you when I was in Mexico. I’m currently traveling through Latin America exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region through interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and others involved in the startup scene and a lot of the time the conversation turns to the lack of a culture of entrepreneurship. I would love it if you’d let me interview you so my readers/watchers could hear your thoughts. The blog is called Startup Nomad and you can check it out here: http://www.catecosta.com/category/startup-nomad/ If you’re willing to be interviewed (we can either do it via a Google+ Hangout or we can schedule it for the next time I’m in Mexico) hit me up on Twitter at @cate_costa:disqus . Thanks in advance!

  • Cate Costa

    Shameless plug, Mike, but if you like hearing about entrepreneurship in other cultures I have a blog that focuses on just that called Startup Nomad: http://www.catecosta.com/category/startup-nomad/. Feel free to check it out.

  • Mike Darche

    Haha so true, Cate. Wow your blog is exactly what I’m talking about! I’ll definitely keep up on it– thanks for letting me know!

  • Cate Costa

    You’re welcome, I’m glad you like it! The next few weeks I’ll be interviewing people in Santiago about “Chilecon Valley.”

  • http://www.viajeroemprendedor.com/ Viajero Emprendedor

    So great reading this!! It is amazing more and more latin americans are getting involved in a worldwide scenario!! Uncer30Ceo is an amazing company!!! You should try under30experiences! I was in Nicaragua and its a lifechanging experience!! I am from Mexico City and I know it´s hard to find people with vision and not only expecting to get money from the entrepreneurial experience!! I had been lucky to find 13 successful entrepreneurs (each week I have 1 more) that are passionate and are creating great brands!! and specially they love they work and they have the vision to make it grow! you can listen to the interviews in iTunes podcast as Viajero Emprendedor. Hope we can talk more !! Also I am so happy to read @cate_costa:disqus and @sergiosala:disqus in the comments below…two great guys!!

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