I have always dreamed of making a big impact. But unlike most young people, who are blamed for being impatient, time ago I was thinking I had been too much the opposite.
Before March 2016, I had never volunteered before. Not for a good cause, not to join a movement. Nothing. I was focused in “developing my skills” so that I would be someday prepared to make that big movement that was going to solve some of the biggest world’s problems.
I came to realize that that was not going to ever happen. At least not in the way I was thinking. I was never going to get such an idealistic level of preparation. Furthermore, I found myself in a position where I was not oriented towards “my purpose”.
In the other hand, what I did was to miss many opportunities to help others and to get involved and introduced into social movements because I thought that in my way I was “moving forward faster”. Thinking backwards, I was going pretty fast and focused, that’s for sure… but directionless.
During late 2015 while reading Muhammad Yunus’ book: Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs I became really inspired about his vision of businesses and economics and I started feeling the never-ending rush that characterizes every entrepreneur.
Three months later I had left a good position as a consultant and I was taking a plane from Madrid to Denpasar (Indonesia) to work for free for a small organization I barely knew anything about.
A new life. Seeking for new opportunities, expecting to gain a lot of experience in the field, to have an awesome time there and hoping to contribute at least a very little bit to improve a person’s life.
The experience was amazing, though not easy due to my limited experience as an entrepreneur and some non-expected restrictions.
I made all the beginner’s mistakes. I will not forget the main one. Lack of focus. We were offered many opportunities and I was trying to catch them all, and like when a dog is trying to catch many rabbits at a time, we were getting none. Thankfully we realized, we learnt and we improved the strategy.
We got the funds to build a workshop and to empower the youth to manufacture and market handicrafts. When I left, they started focusing on bamboo bikes. What I thought to be little and slow progress due to many obstacles and problems, just 1 year later seems to me like the best investment I could have ever made.
- Expertise in entrepreneurship and in sustainable development.
- The discovery and experience of how it feels to serve to a real and selfless purpose. (Note: It feels so damn good!)
- The happiest 6 months of my life.
- A big family in Indonesia.
- Better understanding of different cultures and religions.
- Useful work and progress.
Some news about the project. Before my departure:
- Opportunities Growing from the Earth
- EBPP PROMOTES BAMBOO CRAFTS PRODUCED BY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AT GREEN SCHOOL ECO FESTIVAL
- Building their Future with Bamboo
- Reports from the Field BAMBOO WORKSHOP PROGRESS UPDATE
- BAMBOO WORKSHOP NEARING COMPLETION
After my departure:
- BAMBOO WORKSHOP COMPLETE, READY FOR OPERATION
- REPORTS FROM THE FIELD: Update on Bamboo Workshop & Bamboo Bikes Project
- BUILDING EAST BALI BAMBOO BIKES – a layman’s report
- BAMBOO BIKES HELPING REDUCE POVERTY EAST BALI – Local Magazine
I decided and was starting my second “venture investment” even before finishing the previous one.
It was July-August 2016 and I was already starting to get ready for the next big movement. Coming back to Spain to become an “entrepreneur”.
It was my friend, business partner and successful entrepreneur Koh who offered me the opportunity and who was going to guide me through the unknown roads of the entrepreneurship.
Again, but with much fewer cash than 6 months earlier, I was entering a period of very limited income (unemployment benefits) and a very high degree of uncertainty.
This time I cannot say that the last where the happiest months of my life, but I can say I feel happy and proud of the decision I made.
Is not about reaching goals, but about having a system. If you have goals, you may win or lose. With a good system, you can only win.
What I got during the last 12 months.
- Free access to 3 Entrepreneurship supporting programs (quite highly valued).
- Contacts (AKA new friends), reputation and AWARENESS.
- Experience. A year ago I knew almost nothing about: entrepreneurship, business development, internet business, branding, marketing, communications… Now I know a little bit more than nothing.
- I have officially co-founded a business.
Awareness might be one of the biggest of my earnings. Awareness means that I am starting to understand what is happening in the world in different fields and not only in the one of my expertise. Awareness means diversification. But be careful. It can be very distracting! Because of it, side hustling became part of my routine. Side hustling is writing this article, building my blog, …
In November 2016 I discovered the blockchain through a TED talk. A small trigger, but enough to motivate me to start reading a lot about it (I am a person who does not read a lot, so this is a big thing for me).
Just for curiosity I started exchanging a few euros to bitcoin, what “forced me” to read more and more as if I were going to be capable of forecasting any possible crash (HA HA!)
A mixture of serendipity (I got to have dinner with a blockchain prodigy) + side hustling + high risk tolerance helped me to earn quite an interesting amount of money in the blockchain exchanges.
Lessons and a lot of reading came after I lost 30% of my earnings in less than 3 days. That experience got me through some kind of accelerated training program in “differentiation between investment and speculation”.
Currently, side hustling means to me taking advantage from European programs to go to Bulgaria to an intensive training in Social Innovation as it means to create a meetup in my hometown so that I can start a community of local social entrepreneurs.
Side hustling means to me also not taking my eyes apart from the Refugees Crisis nor the development opportunities that are emerging in Africa, South America and SE Asia.
Some thoughts to myself:
- Time ago I was feeling I was wasting my time. I thought I was being too patient. I do not think so anymore. Patience is not a problem but a strong point for long term thinking. One that I should keep and nurture.
- What I needed actually, was to re-direct my actions towards my purpose. I was feeling so much happier when acting towards my purpose.
- Calculate always the ROI of your investments. How much is the real cost of it? What’s the expected return measured not only in money but also in experience, knowledge, expertise, relationships, impact in others’ lives, impact in the environment, and/or anything that matters to you?