Things I learned by creating startups in latam
Investing in professional services to make your business outstanding is mandatory. It do matters if your business plan is formatted with the right style, but not only that actually it applies for many things like market studies, lawyers concepts, contracts, get it done by a pro. So don't be cheap. You can buy your way in by hiring the right consultants, coaches or advisors to get things done in the local way. In the end this experts what really offer you is their network. As a foreigner that's gold, you need that to be known, so rely on them. These first group of people you end up hiring will become the spoke person of your initiative, and you can reference them anywhere in your pitch, emails or investor meetings, so choose wisely your network.
Many people before you have come here to feed from the system, but of course you don't. You are a creator, an innovator, the hope for a generation and you are here for the only purpose of wealth creation. This region loves opportunities and relies on you to create jobs and support the system, create an income and pay taxes. In order to earn your place in this society, it is mandatory that you set yourself apart from the rest. How? With the mindset of a winner and winners don't need anything for free they earn what they deserve. You are a hard worker so that means that if you generate enought wealth you won't need assistance. But you don't approach the system to get things without giving back. Social aids are just not intended for you, that's for others who really are in need, and you are just in a priviledged possition, you just need to know that health and educations of course are served and I can help you understand that.
The main difference of being an entrepreneur and comming from a french tech company is that you have the power to make people dream that your idea can change the world. Now let me explain you one thing, and this is by no means a critic, it is more like a praise, France have built a story about their country, a brand people love and they are top players in many categories. Knowing and realizing that you are dealing with people that have been hearing for years that their country offers them the best things, then it actually demands much more creativity to be able to surprise a local. I mean that you will only start getting real echo on your ideas when you show people that you have a real potential for a breakthrough. If you don't have it no worries, you can still live here, but if you want to join the 'elite', you'll need to reinvent yourself and adapt to start a differently life, in a way that anyone will eventually start to take you seriously, I mean, you'll have to be able to talk in disrupting terms, talk me about real innovation, big ideas, world changing ambitions even though you might not have it made yet, you will always have to inspire people, make them feel your passion and invite them to share your vision, and if you achieve that you will earn your place in this continent.
Latam is a super rich region. Let me introduce you to a concept I call the Grid of Preconceived Wealth. For you and me, let's say that we have different appreciations on richness, for example, you can tell what seems too good or what is fair good, and we might have different points of view obviously biased by our previous awareness. You have that grid system in the head, allowing you to navigate rapidly whenever you need to make a decision. Well the fact is that you might have set the bar too low, and by doing that you just become unseen. It's a fact that people will evaluate you by the amount you are able to contribute in revenue from the first minutes of any conversation. If you bear with me what it means is that people will frame you rapidly based on their prejuices and will respond with different types of predefined assistance for you. If you don't know that grid you are basically out of the market. Understanding this categorization will allow you to know what is big enough as it is always more complicated to achieve and if you don't get it and if you end up putting the wrong numbers you will get stuck, meaning there were options of getting help but you just miss the opportunity.
When in Paris, Do as the Parisians Do. Learn the language, immerse in their traditions, study the history, attend to their gatterings, follow their habits, make some local friends and live more local than the locals. You know that. Well it's the same every where. Don't get surrounded only from people that can speak french or english. That's why I'm here for. If you need assistance navigating this with your startup, let's jump on an exploratory videocall and we'll develop a solution together.