Leonardo Wehe is a successful Argentine businessman and investor who has built a powerful business group in sectors such as real estate, pharmaceuticals, and technology, among many others. In addition, he is recognized for being one of the investors of the popular television program Shark Tank in its Colombian version.
We had the opportunity to interview him recently to talk about entrepreneurship, investment, and business. Here are the main lessons we learned from the interview …
1#. Give yourself the opportunity to work for others before creating your company
Today many young people want to create their own companies and refuse to work for others, which from a certain perspective is interesting because they develop an entrepreneurial mentality; However, Leonardo considers it important to have the opportunity to work in an established company to learn processes, build relationships and gain experience that we can then use as a basis to build our business projects.
“The good thing about working for another person in a company is that you learn processes that you will never learn by launching yourself. Before starting your own company, at least between 18 and 30 years of age you must have had a good work experience working for other people … and I hope you get a bad boss so you know exactly what you don’t have to do the day you’re boss. “
2#. Undertake where you have an advantage
If you are going to start for the first time, it is best to do it in an industry in which you already have contacts and experience, because this will give you an advantage and will make things much easier for you.
“My first business was in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry because my family was already in the chemical industry, so I took advantage of the opportunity and the contacts I had. To start doing something that you already have one foot ahead of the rest because you have connections, it is fantastic.”
3#. Build relationships
One of the greatest assets of the entrepreneur is his relationships. Before creating your company, you should make contacts with people from whom you can learn and with whom you will later have the possibility of doing business.
“When you start very young, the only contacts you have are your family and friends, that is why it is important to go out to work and make contacts to generate a much larger network than tomorrow, when you are decided that you want to do something for yourself. Mind you, you are going to have many more contacts that are going to be an advantage for you. “
4#. Grow at your own pace and according to your goals
The vast majority of entrepreneurs are obsessed with growing fast, getting funding, and expanding around the world; However, the successful investor considers this a mistake, since each business and each entrepreneur must find its own growth rate and expand according to its own interests. If the business is going to expand, let it be to bring greater value to the market and increase its profitability.
“It is a serious mistake to think that everything needs to expand. There are times when it is not necessary to take a company to investment rounds or to internationalize it. The important thing is that, whatever you get involved in, it is profitable.”
5#. Most likely you will go wrong
The entrepreneurs tend to be very optimistic, which leads to over-estimate the potential of our business. Leonardo advises putting your feet on the ground and being aware that the chances of failure are very high. When you see things that way, you tend to take a much more realistic and measured position concerning your business, which leads you to analyze aspects that you may not have been considering from an optimistic perspective.
“It’s probably going to go bad for you. If you start a business, the standard is not that it goes well, but that it does badly. When you take that into account, you take precautions, you are more prudent and you try harder.”
6#. More important than the idea is the execution
Rather than obsessing over finding a good idea, make sure you acquire the knowledge, tools, and experience to enable you to successfully run your venture. If you are not prepared to develop your business, you will hardly be successful no matter how good your idea is.
“You can’t imagine the amount of mediocre ideas that turn out well because they were executed well and the amount of wonderful ideas that end up being a disaster because they were executed poorly.”
7#. Use your brain to solve problems
A creative and exercised mind is of great help when it comes to the undertaking, that is why it is important that you constantly challenge yourself and learn to solve problems, otherwise, you will give up at the first difficulty you face. Surely you will receive many “NO” in your way, but you can not stay blocked or give up. You have to be prepared to do things yourself because on many occasions you will have to fight alone.
“Today you have access to a lot of information. The more you do the exercise of figuring things out for yourself, the more you start to use your brain in a way that is problem-solving. When you do start out, you can’t depend on seeking help.”
8#. You have to understand that business is a jungle
For Leonardo, business is a jungle that demands ambition and strategy from entrepreneurs. If you don’t go out and eat the world, the world will eat you.
“When you have a business, you will have a competitor … And what I want the most every night, is not that my competitor does badly, but that I can steal business and create entry barriers so that competitors do not enter It’s a jungle, you must understand it and behave for what it really is, because the weight that is entering my pocket is not entering someone else. You have to read Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’. “
9#. Don’t just read business literature
Generally, entrepreneurs tend to read about business, personal development, leadership, finance, and other topics of a business interest; However, Leonardo considers that we should not limit ourselves in that way, but rather encourage ourselves to explore various topics that allow us to have a broader vision of everything. The important thing is that you read about topics that you are passionate about.
“Read something interesting. Read novels, read about history … read about interesting things so that you know more and have more topics of conversation. Rich people talk about golf, about culture; they do not talk about the business of what they work every day. It is good that you expand your mind, expand your brain away from what you do every day. “
Interview with Leonardo Wehe, Shark Tank investor
Here we share the complete interview we conducted with Leonardo Wehe so that you can extract more lessons on entrepreneurship, investments, and business:
What do you think of these business lessons? What was your favorite? Leave us your comments and contributions on the subject!