Fernanda Alvarez Key success aspects towards Entrepreneurship

Automatic Summary

Success Factors for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Welcome to today's highly engaging session. We had an insightful conversation at the Women Tech Global Conference about the key aspects of entrepreneurial success. Our platform gathered women techies across the globe, from students to entrepreneurs, all were ready to share experiences and learn.

About the Speaker

Our inspirational speaker was Fernan Alvarez, a seasoned entrepreneur since 2015, hailing from Mexico and currently helping German and European companies bloom internationally by leveraging the right talent. She is the founder of International Talent, a forum designed to aid international talent in experiencing a professional soft landing in Germany. Her two-decade professional journey witnessed leading diverse projects and tasks for various organizations and studying in places like Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, while also living in India and working in Thailand.

Her key focus for the session was to share some common mistakes she encountered during her entrepreneurial journey and what she learned.

Common Mistakes in the Entrepreneurial Journey

Through her experience of interviewing thousands of individuals, Fernan outlined these frequent mistakes:

  • Lack of preparation: This includes not understanding your strengths, weaknesses, likes, or dislikes, and not researching your market.
  • Not testing enough: It's essential to move step by step, run tests, and adjust your idea based on results.
  • Not adding value: Entrepreneurs should focus on the problem they're solving and how their solution contributes to resolving it.
  • Negative attitude: The attitude problem often leads to giving up, which is a primary reason many startups fail.
  • Overemphasis on solutions, neglect of revenue: Entrepreneurs often focus on fancy solutions rather than prioritizing quick invoicing.

The Entrepreneurial Journey: The Circle of Business Life

Fernan strongly believes that entrepreneurial success is a progressive realization of a robust idea, which she describes as a recurring circle of definition, testing, and realization.

Doing Business in Germany

During the session, Fernan highlighted why Germany is an ideal location to do business or engage with German companies. Here's why:

  • Strong economy: Germany, with its sustainable businesses, business-friendly policies, and highly educated workforce, serves as Europe's hub.
  • Talent acquisition: Due to the gap left by retiring baby boomers, Germany needs more workforce, providing opportunities for freelancers.
  • Diversity: Germany is home to over 10 million people from different countries, making it a diverse market.
  • Organization: Germany's very organized infrastructure offers clear access to clients.
  • Stability: Amidst the post-COVID climate, Germany has proven its stability.

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Fernan shared several tips based on her experiences for aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • Focus on analogue: Balance the consumer's journey with digitalization first before considering digital solutions.
  • Know your audience: Establish who will pay for your product or service and address their needs.
  • Solving problems is key: Identify the problem you're solving and how you can contribute a solution to it.
  • Positive, patient attitude: Maintaining a positive mood can keep you motivated.
  • Start small and grow: Fernan advises starting within your professional expertise and network and gradually branching out.
  • Test your ideas: Consistently put your ideas to the test and learn from the feedback.
  • Realization: Implement your ideas and continuously reassess them for improvement.

Feel free to contact Fernan Alvarez and explore the ways she can assist you in your professional pursuits. She can offer personalized advice, introduce you to new contacts, provide assessment of your profile and match your skills with suitable job opportunities in Germany.

Video Transcription

So welcome. And thank you for joining. And many thanks for the Women Tech Global Conference for the great organization. I want to start um talking about um wait a second, I'm not. Yeah, it's here.Uh I will talk about the success aspects towards entrepreneurship and I will start talking about myself and talking about you. So please take one minute to write down. Where are you from? And um yes, your professional status, whether you're a student employee uh looking for a job, starting a business. Um Please, hello from India. Just write down. Where are you from? Are you a student? Are you working? Are you looking for a job looking to start a business? Don't be shy? Great, Hola from Spain Austria. Hello, Claudia Klein. Oh, starting a business after 20 years. OK, I know that. Hi from Morocco Poo. Great. So I will start uh talking a little bit about myself. Um I'm Fernan Alvarez, originally from Mexico and I'm an entrepreneur since um 2015, I help home companies to bloom internationally through choosing correct talent. So that means I provide digital solutions for German European companies. I'm also founding a new forum called international talent meant to help international talent to experience a professional soft landing in Germany. Hello from Pakistan Guttentag from Germany.

I have more than I have more than 20 years of experience of professional experience working for different types of organizations, leading different types of projects and tasks. My academic background is uh I studied international business. I uh did later on a masters degree in global studies.

I have studied in Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, lived in India and worked in Thailand. So I love traveling, adapting to new cultures. I'm married since um 15 years ago and I have two wonderful kids. I'm passionate about sports and I'm a bit personal meditator. So I see that uh where are you from and mainly what do you do and what we're looking for? That's great. Um In my professional life, I have experienced um different type of types of interviews because I, I used to help companies entering into the German market. I also at the moment help candidates to look for a job. So I have interviewed thousands of people and I want to share with you first, the most common mistakes. The first one is lack of preparation, right? I mean lack of preparation even also to, to present that means not knowing yourself, your dislikes your strengths, your weaknesses and not knowing your market. Where are you going? OK. Where are you applying? What are you landing, et cetera? So for instance, many Latin American companies came to me wanting to sell products in Germany, arriving late or without any agenda. So this is of course a no go another uh problem. Another mistake was not testing enough. That means that if you want to sell, for instance, honey, you can start selling the product in bulk, right, without selling your brand. So testing means just going step by step, little by little and then transforming, correcting your idea. Uh The third one is not adding value.

Most of people, most of us, we love ourselves and we think only about ourselves and uh instead of thinking externally which type of problem I'm solving, right? How can I add value to that problem? And how big is it that problem and how my solution, my product, my service is contributing to that problem um to resolve it, of course, um negative attitude. Many CEO S like Elon Musk says, one of the main reasons why start ups fail is because of we humans an attitude problem. So a negative attitude links to giving up right? Costs last but not least entrepreneurs focus sometimes on fancy solutions rather on invoicing rapidly. Therefore, my agenda for today is uh I want to talk a little bit about my story to to inspire you. Perhaps you can relate with it, then we will talk about market niches and your your s uh about the German market. I want to motivate you to do business with Germans. Or with German companies last, but not least I will, we will talk about the nice circle of life of every business idea. And later on we can talk to each other and we'll have a question and answer session, hopefully. So let us start each of us.

And I mean, I'm sure each of us we have a story to tell a fantastic path full of challenges and magic moments that lead us to special circumstances. Me personally, I strongly believe that each foreign woman can succeed professionally wherever she is, whether it's in Germany and somewhere else. I live in Germany. And my short story goes like this 2005, I decided to stay in Germany after my master program. And um I just landed because I just fell in love with a German guy and it can be also difficult to live in Germany, right? It is also easy to dislike Germany. By then I didn't speak a German German work. Everything was too complicated, bureaucratic. Um the whole system um 2005 was a not easy year for everybody. So therefore how I set my uh a goal right? To learn German as fast as possible. I set a goal to create a positive environment for me and to build a strategy to apply for jobs. Um But mostly it was the positive attitude that helped me out. So I started working for different companies. Uh When uh I, when I arrived, I was first in Dusseldorf, I worked for Metro, I worked for another construction company and then I worked for a utilities company. And then I switched it. I was diplomatic and helping my country and working in the Economic Ministry here in Germany. It was a great job and you will wonder well, if it was so great, why it comes? I, I am uh I, I decided to become an entrepreneur.

So um I remember clearly it was 2013 back then my job working um uh for the Economic Ministry. It was my dream imagine being Mexican here in Germany. I was representing uh many industries and going to many events. It was a very spontaneous job. Uh full of surprises, nice surprises, bad surprises sometimes. Um and also very demanding, very stressful. So it was a weekend 2013, I did, I, I received a phone call from my boss in, in Mexico uh requesting me demanding to be at the World Economic Forum because there was a big Mexican delegation coming and I had to be there, right to support it. It was great. Of course, I felt flattered and I felt like OK, that's great. One of my first um what was what I'm going to do with my son because my husband was also working. So I need to find a nanny in the next 24 hours because I have to go there otherwise they will fire me. So I, I realized that it was my trigger. I don't know whether you have felt in your life. This kind of triggers this moment that, you know, I have to do something this is not sustainable anymore. This is not the type of life that I want for myself. I cannot combine it. I felt very, very stressful and definitely I was not enjoying it anymore.

Um The job that I used to love. So um on the right side, you see a nice image. Uh I, I went every, every day after lunch thinking about um how to quit, how to start my ideas and how to be uh the chess player and not the little chess piece in a in a big game, right? Um So taking such a decision uh means also to do a deeper analysis. So my recommendation to you is to look for external factors, external characteristics where you want to land your business. This is something that you hear in every business school for me, it was just to go into the practical points. What is the market? What are the characteristics, what the market is needing? For instance, in Germany, the healthcare sector needs a lot of people, the technical expertise, there's a huge lack of technical expertise in Germany, interns managers, uh internet and online sector are very demanded. And on the right side, what is also very important is to look inside to do an internal analysis which I will recommend you to to who was a most this analysis consisting, writing down, really writing down your strength, your expertise, the type of lifestyle that you want for yourself and for your family.

If it is the case, which kind of network do you have? And how can you help to achieve uh how can this network help you to achieve these goals? Once you have done this analysis, take the decision to take the decision to be entrepreneur. I would rather recommend you to go to the easiest way. So that means first to think what have you done in your professional experience? For instance, if you're in the it sector and you have developed any software for many years, so go in that state, go go in this direction, talk with the people that have, that you have worked with and perhaps you can find clients in the in this area. And then later on, you can just be more creative and go a little bit uh broaden, but this will uh help you to minimize the risk and also will feel confident in my case. Um I just stayed with the companies that I used to help in the Economic Ministry and they went a little bit more creative and helped them with the talent that they needed going into another country. So for instance, a small medium size companies in Germany are going to North America or Mexico and invest, I'm helping them with the talent um talent search So these companies I already had contact, I had my network, it was my strength and this was my easiest step to go.

OK. So after all this analysis, what my intention is also to motivate you and to explain you the big advantages that Germany has. Can you see the, the, the letters? I think so? Right. They are not that small. Um, um I guess most of you, you don't live in Germany but you are curious about it. Why, why I'm talking about uh Germany? Well, it's the place that I, I live and I see many, many advantages and there are five reasons why you can do or why you should do business with Germans or with German companies. First is a, it's a great strong stable economy. Germany is the hub in Europe for sustainable businesses. Germany has a great mix of transparent business culture, highly educated workforce and the start of friendly policies. Second, Germany needs talent. So right now in the area of working online, virtual teams and so on, Germany needs to fill the gap from baby boomers that are retiring and that is impossible to fill it. So Germany is in the need of hiring people. And um one way is of course freelancers. Third Germany is more diverse than ever. Um More than 10 million people from different countries call Germany their home. So this means also access of new markets, thousands of new markets. Fourth Germany is a very well organized uh economy.

So you should take the advantages of such a well organized company, uh um uh country um infrastructure and the structure itself. You can find so many organizations regionally sit in cities and so on. So that means access to clients five stability. I mean, after COVID, everybody wants to have a stable economy. So this is what you can find in Germany and also in German companies. So the last point in our agendas and I hope it will take less than five minutes is that I strongly believe that success is the progressive realization of a great idea. So progressive means, success is a progress, not a destination. It is something that you experience broadly over time. So this is the famous circle where I'm talking about this process as a circle, it's a never ending and it's repeating all the time because every time you test something and you implement it, you might realize that you have to redefine things, certain things. But yeah, let us have a look on each first definition. We we talk about it and the idea and how to become entrepreneur and so on. Here are my key lessons learned uh focus on analog, analog instead of digital digitalization.

The first step, I mean, this is a women global tech um conference, right? Of course, it's great to use technology. But first, you have to think about the process and the customer experience of your future clients or your current clients. And then later on you add the digital solution focus who will pay your product on service. Sometimes we focus more on the nice things behind it, your website, but focus more your time, your energy, your cost and everything on who is going to pay for that service. Focus on solving the problem. How big is your problem? People for the notes, this is related to a positive and patient attitude. Be positive every day, start very open narrow later, I start very open listening to clients, listening to companies and then you can narrow it later.

Think American are German, that means be brave but be wise profit. What is profit revenue minus cost again, think about your cost. OK? Um Last but not least. Well, the second one is test and for me, testing is imagine you have five work days and you can test your idea like this with five actions every day, calling a potential client posting something, researching about something at the end of the year, you will have 1200 actions instead of doing them in one month or in one week.

So it's a constant task to do things for your business. You don't have to do everything in one day. You don't have to waste all your energy. You are also a human being, but it's a progressive task. Then realization in this third step, realizing um is the implementation of of your testing and your idea. And that doesn't mean that you, that you end here. It will start again because after you realize that you can implement certain ideas, certain services, then you need to reshape this idea. You need to test again and you need to, well, then again, go with the circle. Remember it's a circle you, it means that you learn in every step of realization, you never end because you learn to have experience. And at the end of the day, I can tell you from my own experience that you have the great chance to be successful. Whenever you understand this key circle, these key messages of testing, realizing and the definition. Thank you very much. I will appreciate. If we have five whole minutes to talk about yourself. Please ask questions and also what do you need? I see that there are many people posting about what they are needing and what you are looking. I see from Spain based in UK looking for a new job, which type of job in di a how can I help you? Don't be shy.

I'm I'm writing here my email address even though I have in my presentation, another email, I won't send you my private and you can always contact me and tell me what exactly do you need in this fabulous market. What do you need that? I introduce you to somebody, uh an assessment of, of your profile and how easy it is to find a job. Please let me know. Um I see internship opportunity for summer 2012 in automotive engineering. Send me your, your CV China, please. I'm Jasmine G software engineering with nine years of experience looking for a full time opportunity in Europe. I mean, my first advice to all of you is uh to start or trying to learn German. I mean, this is a huge advantage Germany, as I said, is a great market in Europe. So you can start learning a little bit of German and getting to know what are the, the, uh, opportunities, ah, how can you stay motivated after many consecutive notes? Um, don't get obsessed. Uh, name is your name. I don't know, you didn't write your name but, uh, don't get obsessed. This is the, the key message and this is my personal recommendation. That means that, uh, if you receive a no, go out and go for a jog, go jogging, go talking to somebody else, forget about the topic and then just start from zero next day.

Um, meditate, try to do something, you know, the day has 24 hours, try to work the hours that you have and then just go out. Don't get obsessed and it will flow. It's also a combination of spirituality, um, being fit, being healthy with yourself and then also every day do something. I mean, I have my discipline that every day I have to do something for lead generation. Every day. I have to write down the five potential clients that I need to talk. So don't be shy, talk to people and this is the way of overcoming this consecutive. No. How did you learn a new language along with working and trying to learn French along with? Um Yes, Megan. Um This is, this is hard to first you have to realize that you don't need to learn it perfect, right? Um This is very important. Uh So just um speak it, try to speak it, try to overcome your fears, speak it, listening to the radio, uh Carolina. Thank you. Do you know how hard it would be to offer work visa after COVID for non European? No, actually it's easier because uh well, at least in Germany, it's going to be easier because the lack of, of workers in certain, in certain positions, in certain expertise. I think I have uh to leave soon anyway. So great job Fernanda Mojo connects me.

OK, you can connect with me. Always uh Jasmine also really think after COVID they will want to build new products. Yes, exactly. Claudia, this is, this is the, this is the attitude, I mean, I was focusing on, on recruitment, right? And I always offer the digital part of it. Some clients denied, I don't want the digital part. I will focus only on the the uh traditional recruitment. But now after COVID, I, I can actually offer my strength, I can offer the service at the same price uh for the things that I do and the things that are actually needed. I'm a job max. Well, leadership trainer, I'm focused on the qui working professionals with leadership skills to launch, learn how can I get clients from Germany? Um First know your, your, your market, you can, you can look at me, please contact me and um first you need to segment Germany is a very well organized uh society. So if you focus on the group that you want, then you can start building your database and trying to to talk to people, go to events at least also online after COVID brings a lot of opportunities, right? Uh Do you recommend to implement but look after me, please.

Uh Winnie Fred, do you recommend to implement routines during the day to improve productivity? It just depends, it's a tailor made thing, right? I'm I'm not really a routine person. I don't like it. However, I I realize it that it really helps, right? It really helps to every day at least 30 minutes to do something for my knowledge because as an entrepreneur, nobody is paying for your own knowledge, for your own uh growth, right? So I I take online courses or I read certain articles and 30 minutes, I have to do it whatever, even if it is at the toilet or wherever I have to do it, I have to do my exercise. This is a most otherwise I will get crazy. So yes, do your routines according to your own needs. And I think um this is the timing, right? I think I have to leave. It was 20 minutes. Um If you have more questions, please um contact me, I will be glad to try to help you and believe me or not, you will make. Thank you very much.