The people you meet being a first time entrepreneur

One of the first keys to succeed as an entrepreneur is to go out there, show up at events, take networking seriously, and become a connector in the startup community of your city.

In the last 3 years of being very active in the Barcelona startup scene, I’ve come across people from all backgrounds, from a lot of countries, and observed a wide diversity of ways of thinking and doing things.

This is a small recompilation of some of the types of people I’ve met in the last 4 years:

Entrepreneurs with great momentum behind them, that have achieved success risking everything and doing crazy stuff, being in the right place at the right moment, and taking full advantage of every opportunity that presented itself or that they managed to take.

Entrepreneurs that after experiencing some success (and sometimes even without it) that become arrogant, treating others like they are inferior and their time is less valuable. This transformation is especially true for those that go to the VC side, and it’s unbelievable how quickly they forget what’s being in the entrepreneur side, and start doing to fellow entrepreneurs the bad things they once had to suffer.

Startup founders that honestly want to help you, not only for what you ask for, but also take the time to think of the people they could connect you to or other ways to help you overcome problems that may not be in your radar yet.

Entrepreneurs that fall in love with failure, and keep failing time and time again, and recommending failure as something necessary for everyone to learn.

Amazing people that without expecting anything in return go the extra mile to help everyone around them succeed. These rare and awesome people have a true sense of community, and are the most generous people you’ll ever met. They always give first and do whatever is at their hands to help you, even if you don’t ask for it.

The athletes that have successfully translated into the business world the toughness, the discipline, the team spirit, and the winner mentality that are required to overcome the challenges you face in both training and competition in sports.

Pseudo-professionals that only care about making money themselves, taking advantage of people’s trust or lack of knowledge/experience dealing with whatever they do.

The professionals with a lifetime dedicated to their business, that even though they have a wealth of experience, have worked with hundreds (or thousands) of clients, and are perhaps approaching the last years of their careers, they still keep an open mind and learn new things with a humble approach.

The people that come from a rich family, but choose to work and live (apparently) like normal people. Even though sometimes are very intelligent people, they pretend to understand what’s really like living for most people, who doesn’t have their backs covered when you fail or waste all your money in expensive bullshit.

Wealthy people that become business angels or VCs without ever having founded a single company (or even worked at a startup), and sell themselves as ‘smart money’.

Investors that give aggressive, disrespectful feedback with the excuse of being ‘direct and honest’, thinking that after a 5 minutes pitch somehow they know better the market and have a better understanding of the needs of the customers than the entrepreneurs that have been focused and put months (or years) of work to solve a market problem and build a service/product for their customers.

Seasoned CEOs that seem to like talking to young entrepreneurs, sometimes giving advice that wasn’t asked for, but that look for any excuse to avoid to actually do something (and not just talking) as simple as an introduction or send an email to help.

Supposed startups mentors that not only know how to fool first-time entrepreneurs, but they’re also able to get into well-known startup accelerators.

People that don’t give equity the value and respect it deserves. Not only talent that join a startup focus almost exclusively on cash only, I’ve seen too many startup founders give up equity like it’s something cheap, without thinking twice about the long term consequences of that decision (with so many stories of entrepreneurs that end up selling their startup without making money).

Energetic people that love the startup world, but are lost without a mission to pursue or a startup to join.

Corporate managers with a closed mind that seem incapable of understanding the need of innovation and trying new ways of doing things to solve problems more efficiently.

Corporate ambassadors that talk like robots when pitching their company to university students, and can’t tell you the values of their corporate culture when you ask them.

Corporate leaders that understand that change is inevitable, and that is better to work with innovative startups instead of trying to do everything possible to kill them.

C-level managers hired because they look good on paper and know how to sell themselves, but clearly lack the leadership skills needed for the role and responsibility that goes with their title.

The very few entrepreneurs that build a corporation from a small startup, and that have had real success, but that didn’t change who they are, what they do, and how they behave toward other people. These are the ones that make great mentors and investors.

The people that think networking is just throwing and collecting business cards.

The fans that silently talk to others about you and your company, and help spread your vision/mission.

The university students that for some mysterious reason believe they will learn and grow more if their first job is in a big corporation, instead of in a startup.

The people that come to you after a public pitch or presentation, and tell you that your story has inspired them.

The students that ask you to do an internship in your startup without even taking the time to read about your company and try your product/service.

High school students that surprise you when they say they want to be like you in the future, and politely ask for your advice.

As you can see, there’s a good mix of people you’ll come across in your entrepreneurship journey (or in any other career path you choose).

What’s been your experience meeting people?

Adrià Hernández

Founder & CEO Physem