by Lorenzo Nuel C. Sanchez
Last June 18, we had entrepreneur and Filipino business coach Mr. Kyle Jarque join us for our fellows night. His talk was on The Basics of Entrepreneurship and his own journey as an entrepreneur.
He opened his talk by introducing himself, his humble beginnings as an entrepreneur, and the many mistakes he had to go through just to get to where is now.
His family background impacted him a lot on his journey, leading up to his work today as an entrepreneur and business coach. He describes his father as the type of guy who has worked at one job for most of his professional life and climbed up the corporate ladder. Though his father had the same vision for him, he did not see himself in that career path. Instead, he pursued another route — entrepreneurship. That, however, entailed being on his own at a young age.
As an entrepreneur, he started out with almost nothing and lost even more at the beginning. At one point, he even had to starve himself at times just to pay rent. But through his failures he learned and expanded his knowledge; this led him to take a more humble attitude and worked a 9 – 5 job at Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Because of that, he was able to save enough capital to put up his own business again, but this time on a much firmer foundation. And from then on he’s been a business coach on the side, sharing his experiences as well as the tips and techniques he picked up along the way to people who are wetting their feet in entrepreneurship.
The journey of Mr. Jarque as a young entrepreneur is truly inspiring, and we were very fortunate to have had him share to us some fundamental principles in entrepreneurship.
“Success is shabby; you will always need to adapt.” -Rajiv Taljera, a leading business coach in Asia.
The world of business is very dynamic; there are so many factors and trends that drive consumer behavior. Naturally, businesses must always be ready to adapt.
This principle is applicable to life in general. You never know what you will be given or what problems you will have to face, at times challenging your principles. A virtue to embody in such environments is humility. You have to know your limits, accept and learn from your failures; this is the way to develop a strong business conscience.
Accept that failures are an essential part of the game. Mr. Jarque warned us that failure is an inescapable ingredient for success and, “not failing is actually a bad thing”. In fact, with every failure comes an opportunity for growth. So one must not be afraid to try.
“A Bicycle wheel has spokes, if one of them is taken out, the wheel will break.”
While adaptability to different situations is a must, it must be coupled with a system that ensures the stability of your business.
Mr. Jarque used the image of a bicycle wheel and its spokes to illustrate the need for a coherent system in putting up and running a business. An owner must have a system for marketing, for sales, and for operations. These three pillars should be balanced and in unison with each other for a business to be firm and reliable, even over bumps.
With a coherent system and an adaptable mindset, you are off to a great start in your business.
However, that does not mean you will no longer have any major problems.
“There is a solution to any problem, all you need is to think of a plan”.
An essential part of the work of an entrepreneur is dealing with problems. It can be said that an entrepreneur is basically a problem solver. From planning to execution, you will meet problems. No matter how much foresight you put into a project, you’d still encounter problems. The task is not to wait for a perfect situation, but to look for solutions to overcome obstacles.
This is where much of the thinking happens. As an entrepreneur you have to be constantly thinking, planning, and revising until you are able to create a system that suits your goals.
And if you have difficulty finding solutions, don’t hesitate to consult a friend or a fellow entrepreneur, especially those who have had long experience in your field. In fact, from the planning stage to the daily operations, it is always helpful to learn from those who have gone before us. In this way, we broaden our perspectives, the pool from which we draw out ideas and solutions, which in turn aid in our decision making.
Once the foundations are set, you can now proceed with your plans.
“High energy…. take calculated risks”,
Execute, execute, execute! No matter how good the planning is, no matter how coherent the systems are, if you don’t actually do it, nothing will happen with your business.
According to Mr. Jarque, there are two (2) things that must be taken into account in the execution process: energy and motivation.
First, you need a great amount of energy. This is what allows you to keep on pushing forward, considering the difficulties that naturally go with putting up a business. Yet, apart from the daily hardships, entrepreneurship also entails fear which is natural because one goes out of his/her comfort zone. These factors consume a lot of energy. If you don’t address them properly, they can burn you out.
That is why it is important to think of ways of pressuring or motivating yourself. This is one way to sustain your energy.
He warned, however, of the tendency to take a “yolo” attitude in the execution part. Entrepreneurship indeed requires one to take risks, but these risks should be taken within reasonable limits. Execution then has to be accompanied with planning.
Business Success = Fitness x Network
He ended the talk with a few more tips for business success which he got from “The Formula,” a book by Albert Barabasi, a renowned physicist and a leading researcher in network science.
“Fitness” pertains to one’s ability to come up with unique ideas and to execute them at a fast pace. While “network” pertains to the people one knows or is in touch with. Multiply the two and you get the formula for a successful business.
You can increase your network by getting to know your customers or getting to know people who could increase your customer base. One example is getting involved with organizations like Universitas; that can open doors for an entrepreneur.
To summarize, to achieve business success one must be able to flesh out ideas quickly, translate them into reality, and get a lot of people to buy into it.
Entrepreneurship is difficult in itself, especially now with the ongoing pandemic, but with proper guidance and the right people, this reality is not impossible.
These five (5) points of basic entrepreneurship can actually be applied in solving our own problems, be it in business or in running a foundation such as Universitas. With this, we are truly grateful for the insights and the time shared to us by Mr. Kyle Jarque.
This event is only the first of the many talks for Universitas Fellows Night (UFN) this year. UFN is a series of talks exclusively given to those undergoing the Universitas Fellowship Program (UFP). The aim of this project is to expose our fellows to different fields of endeavour, since a principled leader also has to be well-rounded. -universitas.ph
NOTA BENE: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author and the speakers mentioned in the article, and not necessarily to the Foundation.