When Nothing is Possible, then do the Impossible
This article has been written by Barbara Belvisi, co-founder of Hardware Club and daphnipolitan.
When I left my job in 2012 to start my own venture, it made no sense for most people around me. I was well paid, with a promising career in finance and tons of jobs opportunities. But the entrepreneurial voice inside me was too strong. When many are telling you that your dreams are unrealistic, then it’s time to prove how wrong they are.
I was 27 and wanted to start my own venture firm — what a weird dream that the one to be a VC! But my passion was in hardware, robots and science fiction and I wanted to build a venture firm for hardware entrepreneurs. During a year, I worked by myself and travelled a lot to meet entrepreneurs, understand their needs and what it would take to build this new venture firm. Then my cofounder joined me and together, moved by our passion, we started dreaming of building this community of hardware entrepreneurs and provide them with all the resources they need to succeed. And against the odds, we did it.
After two years of hard work, Hardware Club became the largest community of hardware startups worldwide, gathering now 250 startups, in 30 countries, with a network of 120 corporates partners — among them Foxconn, Best Buy, Amazon and Harrods — and we are now investing in a new company every month. But that’s just the beginning of the story.
None of this would have be possible without passion, team and very hard work. And from all companies we’ve been working with, those are always the three elements that make the impossible achievable. My first advice to entrepreneurs, as an entrepreneur myself and an investor that have met thousands of founders, is to focus on what you are passionate about. The road is full of pitfalls and only the passion you have for what you’re doing will give you the strength to go through the storms you’ll experience.
Second is to gather an awesome team. No dream can succeed without a strong and dedicated team around you. Your job has a founder is to find and keep talented people, sharing your vision and ambition, so together you can reach the unreachable. I’m very proud of my team and I know how much they contributed to our achievements.
Third advice is work hard but don’t burn yourself. You will need your body and your brain to work at their maximum capacity. So try to take time for you, your family and treat yourself well. Do sport and eat healthy, really.
But most important, never surrender and always remember that “it always seems impossible until it’s done” (Nelson Mandela). Now it’s all in your hands!