Why should your business partners be men?

I never thought of my self as a feminist, but I always believed in sisterhood, on the girl’s power and helping each other to rise up, so how did I end up with business partners as men?

We all have our definitions, our prejudices and our own pre-conceived notions of what should be what.

I never really believed in burning our bras but I agreed that as females, we should feel empowered to do whatever the hell we wanted. Having said that, naked pictures on Instagram, wanting to be a housewife, trying to find the cure for cancer or even being the first female to land on Mars are all valid options.

Being a feminist, for me, is having a girls club leaving the doors open for whoever wants to get in, and not judging the ones that want to decline that invitation.

I am very supportive of diverse movements because #MeToo, and I know that there is a lot going on for the Women that feel that #TimesUp. I stand with them undeniably.

This perspective has allowed me to create products made by women to women. Maybe because I love to help them and I never had that growing up. I was born in an Era where mobile devices were not mainstream.

Well, isn’t it a bit surprising that my biggest ventures were created with men as partners? My latest has 5 men and me. I love it because their perspective and way of working are very different.

Here is what I learned about business working with men on a path to create a $20 million dollars venture.

1) Metrics

Conversion rates, Analytics, Money in & out are always present in the discussions. Better yet, there isn’t any discussion that doesn’t approach the numbers side. They believe that if it can’t be measured it can’t be done, and if for some reason the numbers aren’t working, nothing else is.

2) The End-game is Money

It was never his baby. It was a money-making machine. Those guys always referred to this as a potential $10 million dollar company, since before day zero. I probably thought about making $1 million at a certain point in my life. Never had my girls club discussing if it was going to be $10 millions of dollars.

3) Thinking Big

I was lucky enough to start on day 0. I and the Founder discussed the idea and three weeks in the pilot tests were being executed and I stepped in. Since that day the conversation revolved around making a $10 million dollar company. Having a good exit strategy and bringing the people that would help make that happen to the team.

4) Connections

The Founder is a very smart and well-connected man. He started the engines and called everyone – being everyone the key people – to help out validating his vision. Even before having the company was formed he brought and convinced his later investors of the idea, the project and how everything was gonna happen.

5) Decisiveness

There was no time for making bad choices.  Any choice had to be done quickly and confidently. I usually think three or four times before making a decision. It’s not bad, however in this fast-paced environment it is so important to go fast. The goal is to have a margin of error and correcting it on the go.

6) Risk

There was always a risk. Meaning that they could lose all the money invested. The biggest takeaway from them? Loosing was always part of the game, they accepted it as part of the success and never thought deeply about it. It was a fact, implied in the business.

7) Entering with a Bang

It’s a lot like the Fast & Furious car races. You enter and try to eat up the market aiming for the win. Of course, numbers are very important, but going for it it’s fundamental.

8) Continuous Focus

I am a girl, I tend to do multiple things at once. My attention is always spread along coordinating and rearranging things. The Founder had a one-mind track. He was focused 24/7 on developing the business, checking ideas and reading all around it.

9) Testing

Tweaking – Testing again – I never test, I want everything perfect. And most of the times, it’s not happening because nothing is ever perfect. By using the TTT method he was able to keep constantly changing and adapting the results to the customer’s needs. The business is for people – so if they are buying and satisfied the business grows exponentially.

10) Motivation as a key

Being the (ground zero employee) the Founder quickly decided that I was on board by giving me a percentage and making sure I could buy in the company. I have heard the podcast (Honest tea on NPR) where they said some of the early stage employers are the ones who also became a millionaire. It’s true that good teams make excellent projects and produce amazing results. They were never in doubt or afraid of giving to their people what they deserved.

After this process, I feel like the utmost lesson for me was that for them a business it’s a bit like driving. You put the GPS and it adjusts according to your wrong turns, traffic or even your choices on how the best way to get there is. You can’t really print a Google Maps and expect it to take you there if something changes along the way, like a roadblock, a natural disaster and so on.

From now on, adjusting the drive without fearing the direction is a practice to be included in my daily challenges.

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