Friday, February 4, 2011

Vale La Pena

It's 2:37am local time Buenos Aires, Argentina. The freshly brewed yerba mate injects caffeine to keep my brain cranking away at the Biking BA business plan. This has been a work in progress for over 4 months, has changed over 30 times. The end goal? To get investment into our company.

The process, many nights like this analyzing the risks of investing in this simple business. Remember my talks about keeping things simple? I do my best to practice what I preach. This has been a challenging project. And that's why I love it. I take a second to step back and look at my life....

Here I sit, a 26 year old kid with some ambition to create something much larger than myself. It's a Friday night, no wait, 2:38am Saturday morning. The friends are out partying and I'm sitting here looking at potential risk analysis charts, SWOT analyses and many other theoretical business practices that we can make practical in our business. Is it worth it (vale la pena)? Who knows, who cares. This is where I chose to be at this point of my life and I must say, no complaints. Putting in this extra work, even if it doesn't lead to results and goals desired, is part of growing. It's about the journey, not the destination. The last 100 days or so that I've been in Buenos Aires trying to start a business has been the most educational time of my life. Everyday, I'm amazed at what I don't know. I feel that I know less every day.

How cool is that? Everyday, class is back in session. The name of this course... life! It's tough kid, life isn't for wimps I've heard. What is being learned by trying to start a business in Argentina?

Patience, first and foremost. This has to be one of the most inefficient countries on the globe. The exchange rate is 4 pesos to the 1dollar, it also takes 4 times as long to do what takes 1 time in the states--> patience!

Communication. From calling manufacturers to emailing vendors in Spanish, this has been one of the most challenging... yet rewarding.

Creativity. With limited resources financially speaking, we are forced to make the most of what we have. For example with the limited amount of bikes in stock, we've put out the idea of bike sponsorships. People or companies sponsor a bike and get their name on the bike. We will also put ads on our rental bikes and charge a low monthly advertising fee for the mobile ad space. This will help with some extra cashflow in the meantime--> un poco creativity.
By the way, a special thanks to those who have already sponsored a bike!

These are just a few lessons one may learn in pursuing a passionate project.

In our case, even if our company doesn't end up where we envisioned it, we will certainly be better than before because the journey has far more significance than the destination in this classroom called life. Happy learning!