CHANGE MUST BE EMBRACED
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
By Georgia O’Connor
“Change in all things is inevitable. We can either embrace change or let it crush us.”
These are the words of Victor Jimenez, a successful entrepreneur who started many small businesses focused around his passions of fitness, cycling, business and marketing.
I was fascinated to hear Victor’s story and perspectives on entrepreneurship. He actually struggled in school. Early on, he was labeled with a learning disability. Many years later, he discovered that his perceived “weaknesses” were actually his greatest strengths. This particularly relates to his abilities to see things in a different light and connect disparate ideas.
“My middle school developed a curriculum for students with different ways of learning,” he said. “As soon as I was placed in this system, I did really well in school. This unique program was focused on the student's interests. I was interested in sailing, riding bikes and business, so I flourished.”
One of Victor’s first business ventures was when he was about nine years old and he sold catfish door to door! He used this and other experiences to eventually launch several successful businesses as an adult. He even built a business around one of his passions – cycling. He created a podcast that focused on cycling tips and actually made a good bit of money by building an audience and attracting paid sponsors. He used his podcast to sell online courses around cycling. Now he is helping other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through his different coaching services.
Tips on innovation
I was really interested to hear Victor’s advice for students like me who want to perhaps create our own businesses. Here was the advice that he shared:
1. Embrace change. With constant change, it's easy to close our minds off to new ways of thinking. We must consciously work to keep our minds open.
2. Value relationships. We help ourselves by helping each other, according to Victor. “It gives us meaning. Every interaction we have makes us more human. Relationships are more important than making money or getting to the top."
3. Keep it simple. Simplicity is always the better road in any aspect of our lives.
4. Non-stop learning. No matter the circumstances, everything is an opportunity to learn.
5. Eighty percent is good enough (well in most cases seventy is enough). Striving for perfection is great, but we have to share our thoughts, ideas and products for them to be of value.
I was most impressed to hear how Victor created a business around one of his hobbies in cycling. I personally never believed that I could create a business around my own personal interests. It was inspiring to hear Victor share this point of view and actually has me thinking about doing the same. I am a huge basketball fan and always had this idea to work in the sport. However, it felt unrealistic. I am going to start a basketball podcast on how to coach young children about fundamentals. Maybe a business could develop from this.
I always had this idea that the most successful entrepreneurs did very well in school. Talking to Victor, I learned otherwise. I came away encouraged by how Victor succeeded despite having difficulties throughout his education. A bad grade isn’t the end of the world and I need to make sure that I am exposing myself to lots of different ideas as I consider various career paths.
As I approach a world in which technology is bringing lots of changes and impacting jobs, I really valued what Victor said about learning. It is certainly true that people have always needed to adapt. I need to continually be looking for new sources of knowledge. Here are some proactive ways I intend to do this:
- Read at least one biography per month about a sports entrepreneur.
- Subscribe to Google News alerts about sports business and communications.
- Subscribe to newsletters from companies that are of interest to.
Change is inevitable. Continuous learning is what has enabled societies to evolve over time. I look forward to doing my part to contribute to positive progress.
Connect with Victor on LinkedIn and learn more at his website: www.victorjimenez.co.
Georgia O’Connoris a student at Lakewood High School in South Carolina.