A Growth Story, Part 2 – The Entrepreneur and the Shock

See also: A Growth Story, Part 1 – The Kid and The Brain

My growth obsession translated directly to my professional life. As a creative and content-first person, I graduated in Journalism and Communications at Cásper Líbero, one of the most prestigious colleges in Brazil.

I always aimed to work with lots of different markets, positions, and endeavors, from economy reporter to sports videomaker, from business analyst to creative ad copywriter, to have a good overall sense before choosing where to go.

But right after I graduated, I and some colleagues decided to build our own business – Esporte Universitario Net, a specialized college sports website.

We had awesome mugs!

The site got big, and we partnered with Bandeirantes, a major Brazilian radio station, in an in-depth weekly 1-hour program about sports (that’s where my love with radio and podcasts started). Also, we created KOPA Comunicação, a small digital agency, to support sports clients – we’ve worked with the Brazilian branch global FIFA Interactive World Cup!

It all lasted 3 years, with my partners and me learning absolutely on the fly on how to manage a small company end to end – from the creative part to all managerial and financial duties. The agency ended in 2014 – a few months after an episode that would genuinely get into my mind.

I was presenting to one of our leading prospects, on a project that could save our whole year. And the plan was impressive: live coverage, pictures, video, text, and everything we offered in an excellent presentation.

The director of the company heard me patiently before asking a simple question:

“Loved the project. But then, what? What business results will I get?”.

It was about business results. Not the marketing and social media results (engagement and whatnot), but about business results. I mean dollars or any trace that could back them.

And I didn’t know. Lost the client, then ‘lost’ the agency. It isn’t glorious to fail. It isn’t a time you feel pretty well. But you learn a lot, and one thing I internalized: no one would know more about metrics that myself.

In retrospect, that might have one of the best things that happened to me. Years later, I’ve learned that this behavior is a leading indicator of a Growth Mindset (from Carol Dweck’s “Mindset” book).

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