The activist, author and artist: 3 entrepreneurship lessons

October 6, 2016

The U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, held annually from September 15 to October 15, in honor of the men and women of Hispanic descent who have helped build our society and culture. The event began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, encompassing the anniversary of independence Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua (September 15), as well as Mexico and Chile’s independence celebrations (September 16 and 17). In 1988, the observation became a month-long celebration of Spanish, Mexican, Carribbean, and Central and South American history and contributions.

As a team of lifelong readers and learners, we strongly believe that understanding the past can help dictate the path of the future. Below are three quotes from Hispanic influencers who shaped global history, all of which today’s leaders and entrepreneurs can take to heart.

“Without fanaticism, we cannot accomplish anything.”

Eva Perón, former First Lady of Argentina

Eva Perón was an undeniably important part of Argentina’s political history, cemented during her term as First Lady from 1946 to 1952. Her support of working-class initiatives helped establish of the country’s first political party for women, under which she ran for Vice President in 1951. Her quote drives home the fact that leaders, both of countries and companies, must be unapologetically passionate about their endeavors. An equally important factor: they must be able to convey that passion to others in a relatable way.

Startup founders may be able to speak passionately about their product or mission, but they also need to give their audiences a reason to connect with their ideas – whether that missing link takes the form of visual content, relevant facts to support their messages, interactive campaigns or other creative assets.

“Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.” 

Gabriel García Márquez, author

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Personally, reading his 1967 novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” as a Spanish major in college was both challenging and rewarding; Márquez’s musings on alienation and reaching for unattainable goals drive home the importance of surrounding oneself with a team that will challenge ideas and bring focus to every mission.

For entrepreneurs, this need often manifests in hiring strategies. To attract star players, startups should consider whether their online presence and brand voice showcase team culture, demonstrate employee strengths and represent the company’s intended direction.

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

Frida Kahlo, visual artist

Frida Kahlo, an artist from Mexico City, was known for her self portraits and personal motivation. She worked hard to establish herself in a busy, male-dominated space and elevate her own voice, resulting in an internationally celebrated canon of work.

A business plan rarely follows a linear path, and startup leaders need to be flexible and patient. Having a strong communications response plan in place is a crucial way to preserve this flexibility, as is awareness that failure is ultimately part of success.

Whether you are beginning your journey as an entrepreneur or celebrating the success of your third company, remember to take a step back this Hispanic Heritage Month and consider lessons from the visionaries of the past.

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