Paul Breloff is not the first venture capitalist to make the jump to becoming an entrepreneur. Paul’s journey as an investor and operator has always focused on microfinance and financial inclusion, looking at business models that promote access to opportunity for people.
“I saw over and over again this challenge of we give companies money and their next problem immediately became people and how inefficient and broken the hiring market was."
One of the world's biggest challenges is around inequality and the sense of purpose that comes from decent work. There are more people entering the workforce in sub-Saharan Africa in the next ten years than the rest of the world combined. There are over 1 million people entering the workforce every month in India.”
One of the hard lessons that Paul learned as an entrepreneur came from the process rather than the people side of building a company.
“I underestimated the importance of spending those early months digging into what is the problem we want to solve. What are the dimensions [and] talking to a lot of people? We probably too quickly jumped. [We] see the problem, let's jump at the solution and go.”
Finally, I posed my “mindset” question to Paul; How much of our success is innate skill and talent, and how much is based on your mindset? Here is Paul’s answer.
“People overestimate these innate qualities and underestimate the soft factors like work ethic and determination and keeping a positive attitude. Focusing on the mental side, the mindset is critical for getting that right.”
The IronCEO RapidFire interview is part of The MindsetCEO coaching service. My goal is to discover the mindset needed to become an entrepreneur and build great companies with impact. I want to get insights and advice from my guests to share with you, first-time or long-time CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs. We can all learn from each other's stories, challenges, and struggles on the road to success!