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Student Spotlight

March 21, 2018

Some people start early and with Eduardo Rivas, “Lalo” as he is known, it went down somewhat like so. In some Primary School of Mexico City, at the age of 7, he started his first business, preparing and selling sandwiches to his little peers. An enterprise that he kept till Secondary School, when a first loss came knocking after finding that left over sangas from yesterday can have your schoolmates making more visits than normal to the toilet. At 12, Eduardo closed down his first business. Such is entrepreneur life and he knew it; you try and whether you succeed or fail. Failing can be, in many ways, also succeeding, and those first years as an young businessman just gave Eduardo a taste of what is like to run his own business. For the coming years of his life, that would be the dream constantly setting the directions of the journey. Down the road, he got a degree in Mechatronic Engineering, but at his first job, life showed him the other direction. As an intern for the multinational Chrysler, operating purchases, Eduardo rapidly found another door of the business that would suit him best. He left the company not long after. With a new north to his career, a new job found him the description that would stick. There it was, the Business (Transformation) Consultant.

The “Bread Bowl” enterprise

As some Steve Jobs-like saying might go, many a fail will come before success is achieved. And that’s nothing but a lot of hard work, grasshopper. Eduardo found that out. Entertaining ideas and more ideas, he and his partners came up with businesses such as day care for elder people to gardening for luxury houses. “At some point I saw myself dealing with 6 businesses at the same time, had periods of sleeping 3 hours a day”, he tells me not knowing well where to begin. The list goes long: a food truck that sold “bread bowls”, management of websites, pastry delivered to businesses, his own small business consultancy office. In the meantime and in parallel, the Business Consultant worked his way up in a consultancy company that deals with some big players in Mexico. For Eduardo, the will to explore new business landscapes and his love for travel summed to take the expedition elsewhere. He quit his solid job — “I was settled, had a good thing going” — as his dreams where not just as settled, and travelled to Australia. “The plan was to make a MBA, follow my field and keep exploring towards my own business”. On arrival, the first thing was to improve his English skills. Then apply for MBA’s and try for scholarships. Eduardo knew what he was seeking for — “I learnt a few things on that road and one of them was knowing where I wanted to be”. He ticked all the boxes and made his ways in Straya, working as a barman (“was one of my dream jobs”) and even in a food truck (“it was quite funny, working in someone’s food truck made me realise that with my own food truck back home, I had it all wrong”). He then found out about Insight Academy and came over for a visit. “I was looking to open my own business, and study something where I could actually develop it, work on my own ideas. It was the perfect match. I went for a first visit and ended up staying around over 4 hours.” He jumped on board, and it is fair to say the affair was mutual. In a few months, after pairing up his profile with our networks, Insight helped Eduardo to get an internship in one of the most prominent business consultation companies in the city. Not to mention, officially one of the best environments to work in Australia, that is, the Blue Rock Group office (in our opinion, one of the coolest offices you will see around). And they know entrepreneurship well. Eduardo joined the Business Intelligence team, a recently created department and after a month in the role, confesses, “it’s not an easy position, it’s a new field, but it’s very exciting, and challenging”. He feels more at ease, as if realising his choices are leading somewhere. “The best part that I’m doing my thing, what I know and love to do. It’s only 4 weeks, but I’m studying and preparing myself. I know I have a lot to offer”. We asked Eduardo what are his tips for the new entrepreneurs. Here’s what he said.
  • Focus – “Having focus is important, you can’t have 6 business projects like I did and succeed. Not even Superman can. It’s not a matter of strength, it’s a matter of time”.
  • Be humble – “Don’t be afraid to ask, to talk to people. Learn your environment, improve yourself”
  • Start from scratch – “There’s not a way to learn if not by doing — to have a food business you have to know how to cut an onion”.
  • Know where you going and let the others know it too – “It’s crucial to know where you want to be, where you heading to. It’s also crucial to let other people know that, because that’s how the connections begin.”

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