Being an Entrepreneur

This post is also available in: ES (Spanish)

Being an Entrepreneur

In Spain, for a long time, schools and universities did not introduce knowledge of economics or entrepreneurship. Future workers were not trained to develop their own projects, but rather to work for a company or for the state. Possibly this rationale, as well as the lack of facilitating policies, have been some of the factors, along with many others, of the high unemployment rate that is a constant in our country compared to others around us.

In the field of technology, which is what concerns consultancies such as GENESIS Biomed, the representative territory par excellence is undoubtedly Silicon Valley. This hub, which began to take shape during the Second World War as a technological research area for large companies (Fairchild Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard), was transformed in the 1980s into an ecosystem for the creation of start-ups with minimal resources and a high growth potential, characterised by its high technological component. In this way, and in the following decades, companies such as Apple, Google, PayPal, Tesla, etc., were born.

The successes of these companies, born out of the visionary ideas of young people who initially had few economic resources to carry them out, have made the education system reflect. It has decided to renew the theoretical frameworks, pedagogical content and teaching methodologies so that students receive a “business and entrepreneurship education” to train people in skills that enable them to be the protagonists of their own lives and lead the development of their communities by taking advantage of opportunities for the creation of business projects.

But in addition to training, which is fundamental, the entrepreneur must also have a series of qualities to enable his or her project to prosper and not fail, as happens in 95% of cases, because training alone is not enough.

And what are these qualities? Here are some of them:

Resilience: Entrepreneurship is a tortuous path where it is very important to have the capacity to recover from complicated situations and to continue moving towards the future. The entrepreneur must take advantage of the difficulties to obtain a benefit that will allow him/her to obtain useful resources for the future.

Change management: Change is something that is present in life and has to be adapted to. Planning is a hypothetical situation of the future that in most cases does not become reality. As Heraclitus said, “there is nothing permanent except change”. Situations such as the Lehman Brothers crisis that led to an unprecedented crisis, the irruption of COVID or the current invasion of Ukraine are clear examples of how it is impossible to predict what is going to happen. The entrepreneur must be able to anticipate changes and propose contingency measures.

Communication: An entrepreneur has to deal with all stakeholders in the ecosystem, in this case in healthcare, including investors, suppliers, patient associations, etc. Knowing how to adapt your discourse and register to each of them is important. You have to be empathetic with some and demanding and decisive with others. Knowing how to convey information clearly and unequivocally is important.

Financial skills: An idea can be wonderful, but in the end, it always leads to the need for financial resources to carry it out. Having financial knowledge is essential to be able to move the project forward and not get bogged down by financing issues. Understanding financial terms, drawing up a balance sheet, profit and loss account, forecasts, ratios, etc. is essential.

Pragmatism: When one undertakes a project, especially in the biomedical field, it is necessary not to be carried away by feelings and to evaluate the evolution of the project in a realistic and pragmatic way. When we move in the health area, often the development of the drug or product does not turn out as we wish and, although we must be persistent in certain aspects, we must also know how to make decisions when we see that the evolution is not as expected and that this path is leading us to the abyss. Not reaching the goal cannot be interpreted as a failure, but as a learning process, the factors that influence the development of the project are so varied that sometimes you have to assume that you have done everything possible but that you have to abandon the project before the financial debts drag you down to a point of no return.

Mental balance: We have already mentioned that the path of entrepreneurship is a tortuous path that, although it allows you to develop your interests and enjoy moments of great satisfaction, it also has moments of uncertainty, stress, and uneasiness. Having a mental balance is very important to be able to face these situations. This is where the family commitment that accompanies the entrepreneur is also very important. The support of the family is important to be able to cope with these situations and also to understand the long hours and commitment to the project that entrepreneurship and the creation of a company entails.

Creativity: the search for creative solutions in the face of adversity is a very important quality of the entrepreneur. Knowing how to find a way out when there seems to be none, finding the nook and cranny through which to slip out of the problem is fundamental.

Management of technological tools: Nowadays technology covers all areas, so it is very important to be updated in existing or new tools that can allow us to better manage our resources and save time in the management of the company. This, together with defined work processes, supports a systematic and orderly work that will allow us to better control situations.

These qualities are some of the main ones, but there are others such as patience, self-confidence and, above all, passion, without which any goal in life is unattainable.

So now you know, dear reader, if you possess these qualities, don’t be discouraged and start a business … 

Entrepreneurial qualities
Resilience
Change management
Communication
Financial skills
Pragmatism
Mental balance
Creativity
Management of technological tools
Patience, self-confidence, passion