Interview with Paulo Bento

Paulo Bento has been working as an entrepreneur, business developer, consultant and trainer since nearly 20 years ago. After graduating with honors from Jones International University with an MBA with major in Entrepreneurship and a Course of E-Tutor he is starting also to work as an online facilitator in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Business Management and New Ventures.

In his Professional Experience he has been University Professor, Teacher, Visiting Professor to teach courses in e-learning format, Speaker, Trainer and Consultant for hundreds of organizations and thousands of participants.

Paulo founded and has been CEO of some consulting and training firms specialized in the areas of marketing / sales, digital marketing, management and internationalization. He had also functions of Internship Mentor, organized and coordinated several meetings and conferences. He is proficient in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French with several courses and diplomas taken in Europe and the USA. He is or was a Member and Founding Member of several academic and professional organizations.

Paulo was selected to integrate several outstanding publications worldwide including Who's Who in the World and received several awards such as Honor Award for Best Student. He had several articles published and books or manuals created. He has also coordinated and developed more than 30 projects on the Internet.

He founded and coordinated several online Professional Clubs. His hobbies include Sailing, Photography, Painting, Reading, Internet, Technologies and Traveling, having been in several countries in America and Europe.



When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

When I was a little kid, I had a small newsletter that I was accustomed to develop with the help of my lovely grandfather - he was a great person, full of enthusiasm, and was the “co-editor” of our newsletter that, after done, we usually sold for some cents to some family members. Another episode of that entrepreneurial spirit is that, as I was the best student in class from 6 to 10 years old, sometimes I produced some extra pictures and sold them to some classmates. A few years later, I graduated from Business School and, after working several years in the consulting industry and in the education and workshops/seminars sector, I decided to start my own firm, nearly eleven years ago. Now I am in my third firm, with several business units and plans to expand. Among those plans is next step, globalize the businesses, which is the present dream, that I hope to turn into a reality within 5 to 10 years from now.


What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur should be the freedom to dream and realize our dreams, freedom to learn, ability to create services and products that lead the society to better times, ability to make a difference in others lives. And to have the possibility of doing this at a global scale, what is easier to do today than anytime before.


What was the most difficult part in getting started?

The most difficult part in getting started should have been the steps to conquer enough market to have the business running without the need to go to the bank to ask for credit. Positive cash flow was always very important for me and sometimes that is not easy to achieve as we could have not enough sales or have some clients not paying on time, or costs higher than revenues.


What is the top skill (or skills) needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

In my opinion, the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur are persistence, perseverance and determination.


What motivates you and/or keeps you motivated?

What motivates me should be a strong faith in God and in the belief that we have a mission to make the life on Earth better. I believe also that the better you are the most is expected from you to make life better for others, especially for the ones who don’t have the same opportunities than you have. Said in other words, for me each day is a new opportunity to achieve better results and become stronger and closer to our main goals. And our goals should include ways of helping others to have faith in their capabilities and finding the best partnerships with other firms and professionals for mutual benefit. By the way we have a site on web dedicated to business partnerships, ! Better Partnerships ! at http://www.betterpartnerships.com, a project to which you can also be linked through LinkedIn.


What do you think is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

The major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else is like the difference between a tiger and a cat. Entrepreneurs want to be free and better than the others, take the risk; they should have the ability to fail and try again until they reach success, they should be self-motivated and those who work for someone else usually don’t have those traits of character and prefer to be accommodated to what life has for them.


What has been one of your failures, and what have you learned from it?

I don’t see failures as bad; usually I see failures as different ways of doing things that usually carry some opportunities with them that we have to explore in order of achieve even higher and better results than if we didn’t have those “failures”. Those “failures” are the best ways for us to learn.



Jack Welsh once said that "An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage." What are your thoughts on that quote?

I agree with that quote because in these fast times companies need to stay constantly offering new and better products or services and that is only possible by having a strong ability to learn and transform that learning into new and better products, services and methods. And all of that at a fast pace, as we are in the era of speed.


Greg Norman once said that “Our success is a direct result of knowing how to market a brand and having the right people representing the brand.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

That seems to be true as brand management and sales management are both crucial for any business to be successful.


Albert Einstein once said “I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

In my opinion both are important and, depending on the sector or phase of the economy, one can prevail over the other.



Excluding yours, what business or company do you admire?

There are many businesses and companies from different sectors and sizes that I truly admire, but if I have to choose one it seems to me that I would pick Disney, founded by a true entrepreneur that had a vision and a dream, fought for them, turned them into a reality and, with the companies and products he created helped and continue helping so many people to dream all over the world and to have faith in their dreams. And the dreams are, in my opinion, the basis for any entrepreneur to start the road to success. Other businesses and companies that I admire include Google, Yahoo, DreamWorks, LinkedIn, Rolls Royce, Porsche, Lego, Trump Organization, Lufthansa, NASA, private universities such as Jones International University, SCI-Arc, MIT, ISCTE, Babson College, Simon Fraser University, companies and institutions that have had a great role in starting and spreading the online education such as Jones International, Apollo Group, among some many others.


What was the most crucial thing you have done to grow your business?

The most crucial thing that I should have done (and still doing) to grow my business should have been to dream big and always tried to offer the best quality at a good price, stayed careful with money and cash flow and maximize marketing and sales as they are the basis of any business and, all that, with a good plan.


What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is just starting out?

The advice that I would give an entrepreneur who is just starting out should be that, before starting any new business, they need to evaluate all possibilities and opportunities, develop a good and easy to implement business plan and start to act, with discipline, hard work, stay strong in face of some disappointments that should happen, be very careful when choosing partners, partnerships, collaborators, and be ready to live a great adventure.



Company Description:

MINIMARK ®’s core strength and business focus is in enabling firms, products and services for the global market, including Internationalization and Localization, Consulting, Training and Coaching in the areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Business Strategy, General Management, Sales, Benchmarking, IT for Management, Excellence and Best Practices for national and international companies



Website:

Paulo Bento at http://www.paulobento.com



Other Websites:

! Better Partnerships ! at http://www.betterpartnerships.com
Minimark at http://www.minimark.pt

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