During the third lecture this year, Escola Internacional de Alphaville’s High School students had the opportunity to hear about Felipe Boddini Von Zuben’s professional path at yet another lecture focused on outstanding individuals within their fields, in relation to the subject Entrepreneurship & Life Projects, which aims at offering different points of view about careers and the work market, therefore giving these youngsters a more pluralist vision into the possibilities and specifications of each kind of profession.
At 23, Felipe has a very impressive CV, despite the fact that he’s still a student – currently enrolled in the economy course at FAAP (Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado) – and co-founder and partner at SOMARE Advisory (www.somareadvisory.com) – as well as the experience gained by working with AMCHAM Brasil and Integra Global in management and commercial relationships, business development and commercial contacts.
During a very dynamic interview, Felipe addressed his professional choices, in a language which was very accessible to the youngsters in the audience. He also explained why he chose to become an entrepreneur and stressed some important things the students might need to waiver in order to achieve certain objectives in their professional lives.
Here’s a summary of his lecture:
Entrepreneurship is not only about looking to the future and thinking about innovations, it’s also about standing up and making your objectives come true.
In order to do this, one needs information, and there are two types of information: short-term ones, which you see everyday in the papers, and which need to be read and taken advantage of on the same day; and there are also the long-term ones, which you acquire from reading books which are relevant to your field of choice as well as for the acquisition of knowledge.
After you read the first one, you won’t be able to stop. Books have a lot of information contained within their pages, which will be useful not only at present but also at specific situations. For example, you might be sitting at a table, talking, and a very familiar topic pops up, which you know about because you had access to it in a book you’ve read. You will throw that at the table and it will make all the difference.
If you know people you will get anywhere. Knowing someone at the right position saves a lot of time when it comes to sending your CVs out, writing essays and taking part in group dynamics. Do nourish your friendships.
You won’t get these from books or newspapers. People themselves will give you these precious pieces of information. That’s why I say you can never know too many people.
Class A currently represents, in Brazil, 0.5% of its population. We have 30 billionaires, who hold 70% of the country’s net profit, and over 137 thousand millionaires, who have a net profit of over one million Reais. Our country is very uneven. Only 8% of the population has access to higher education. You are very privileged for being part of this minority. And you should value what you have, making it last.
Studying for Learning:
Today, 78.6% of the entrepreneurs in Brazil have been studying for over five years. This is a different entrepreneur profile from what we’re used to. We don’t see individuals who used to have nothing and then build themselves an empire from scratch; what we see now are well-educated people who have great references. There are five entrepreneurs per ‘opportunity’, which is a very good thing for you.
Be the minority: the minority studies more, dedicate themselves more. Try not to be ordinary. The world doesn’t need any more ordinary people who all dress the same, who practice entrepreneurship the same way as everyone else.
I think that if you have rich parents then you should start on your path early so you can think about strategies to become even richer in the long run. In order to do this, you should take advantage of the environment you’re in, which means understanding that you come from a very well-positioned family and that you live in a developing country called Brazil.
Passion for work:
I always say that people should change jobs as soon as they realize that, when Sunday night comes, they say to themselves: “Aw, it’s Monday tomorrow…” This unsatisfied employee will ruin the company’s value, for they will do a very poor job.
In case you think about having partners at your company, choose people who have the same profile as you.
A bank, for example, is a place where you will find very little opportunities for learning and developing your skills, for you’ll have to follow that company’s way of thinking, which is different from working at places like Google or Facebook, places where you have to be creative all the time, and where you’ll actually find opportunities for learning.
They are part of our lives, but they also present us the danger of losing our focus, in case you use it too intensively. No one can perform five tasks at the same time with 100% focus.
It’s the only subject that deals with number and it’s considered a Human Science.
Ego and Money:
Egos can be very big within the financial world and they can also be very disgusting, to the point of a person thinking that they are better than you because they earn more money.
When I told my parents I’d become an entrepreneur, the only reason why they didn’t kick me out of their house is because I had already moved out. It was an alien idea to them; they wanted me to find a traditional type of job, climb up the career ladder, get married, have children and, at 50-something, start enjoying the benefits of my retirement years.
You will have to study a lot at university, and you won’t enjoy all the subjects: you will enjoy 30% of them, you will hate 50% of them and you will come to terms with 50% of them. Studying will become common place and, as time goes by, people will be left behind, and only the strong ones will make it through.
I only use 10% of what I learned during my university years in my professional life.
Universities and MBAs don’t make a difference these days.
Every choice you make ultimately means you’re resigning from something else. For example, you might have to prioritize a job interview instead of going out the night before. You can’t have everything. 90% of my friends are the same age as me, and it’s hard to get several phone calls on my mobile from people inviting me to go out and have to turn them down because I have an important appointment the next day. But I feel happy for making these choices.