Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Nate Suppaiah > www.AlternativeLatinInvestor.com
Nate Suppaiah, Founder, Alternative Latin Investor.
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Find something you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life.
Jobs I've had in the past were just that, jobs, which were a necessary part of my life in order to survive. As an entrepreneur, work is part of my live and vice-versa, where I live, who I work with, what I do, learn, how I act, are all an integral part of my work and life which are one. I find this the most fulfilling way to live and a lifestyle that is not offered by working for other people.
What did inspire you to start your business?
Moving from Beijing to Buenos Aires I found a lack of 'real jobs' with adequate compensation. In addition for the past 12 years I have been traveling the world collecting a seemingly random set of skills, stock broker in Chicago, paramedic in Montana, propaganda writer for the Chinese Ministry of Culture, management consultant, the list goes on. Starting my own business gave me an opportunity to apply ALL of my skills, not only the ones a company would deem necessary.
How did you finance it?
In the beginning I used savings from the China days, then freelance journalism, financing might become an issue as we continue to grow and have a larger internal infrastructure to support.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
The fear of letting down my team keeps the candle lit at both ends.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Starting from scratch with no solid background in internet media. We've had to learn from zero how to do most things, i.e. deal with programmers, attract media coverage, search engine optimization, etc. In the long run this will make us a much stronger, self-reliant company, but in the short run it takes a great deal of time, patience and faith.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Without sounding overconfident, we have learned from every mistake we have made, making us grow and learn at an exponential rate, rather than a linear one free of mistakes. Taking this into consideration, there is nothing we have done which I would change. I couldn't be more proud of what our team has accomplished in 12 months.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a pilot, see the world, have no ties. Just need to learn how to fly and I'm there.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Howard Hughes, Richard Branson, Hugh Heffner: The saw a need, they filled it, but NEVER conformed. Hipocracy should be a deadly sin, these fellows acted in success prior to it. That is to say, if success means changing who you are, I don’t want it.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch. Middle of the day, people have had time to get themselves together, but aren't too tired or ready to go home. After a lunch meeting both parties can still go back to the office confer with colleagues, and get back to you in the same day. Unlike breakfast its acceptable to have wine. This is for a mutually beneficial meeting, for a client, dinner is best, to wine and dine. Breakfast works well at conferences or if person is just visiting your city, brunch works quite well.
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Since the age of 17 I have never lived in the same city for more than 3 years. In addition it is difficult to give personal relationships the work and attention they require when your work is never done.
What is your favorite quote?
Only those who risk going too far can possibly know how far one can go.
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Have never been conventional, couldn't say
Biggest mistake made?
Spending a year in pre-med pretending to want to be a doctor.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
The commercial application of an invention is innovation. We have the product, we have the team, we have the look, but are just starting to monetize these factors. Until that time we have yet to innovate.
About the Company:
Alternative Latin Investor is the first bimonthly digital magazine providing information on alternative assets classes in Latin America
For free access to the full contents of the magazine and special reports visit http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com/
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