"I am a digital fan, but I'm more a fan of my family," said Marta Cruz, Friday Founder Santiago de Chile. By Marta Cruz (Co-Founder, Nextperience & NXTP Labs)
Focus, consistency and passion are the three main ingredients to make a dream come true, and if we add imagination, courage and commitment, we will be able to grow and develop both at personal and professional level.
Considering that "an entrepreneur is someone who goes through life and suddenly detects a situation that he does not like or an unsolved problem and develops an idea to solve it", we may say that it all starts with a great deal of imagination that leads to what we call "idea" - an idea which you are passionate for and obsessed with and you're sure you will not stop until it becomes a reality.
When it comes time to implement it and make it work, you need a lot of courage, focus and consistency. Last but not least, we must make it grow - develop it to be viable over time, and for that, it’s essential to have great commitment and passion to really be of consequence to our lives and others.
I could not have undertaken this fascinating journey alone. My family, the one I built with my husband and gave us an incredible surplus - our three children was that necessary, unconditional company that relies on you as anyone does, and knows what makes you happy and is every day happy for your achievements.
During my corporate life, where my career started, my family had to endure endless hours of work, long absences by unexpected (and not so much) trips, courses, more courses and conference calls that, sometimes, kept me from being present at important moments like birthdays, child’s and father's days among others. Yet, always, they kept me company and I always had time to share, to enjoy family and even to study multiplication tables with my children. At this stage, my business venture requires a lot of attention and long hours of work and my family continues to accompany me.
The adventure of being an entrepreneur came to my life at an unusual age, I would say a little later than in the generality of cases... But it did, and it was almost like having my fourth child.
When I worked for a company I made it grow and at the same time, my team grew with me. When we founded Nextperience, we did it as and strong and solid team. Every member of the team brings something different and we believe, and reality proves it, that together we are much more than the sum of individuals.
My encounter with technology was natural. In 2002, I was working for MRM as Regional Director for Latin America and CEO of the office in Argentina when the group set the strategic direction for the next 5 years and defined that, given the strong advance of technology, the emergence of new media, the need to offer content in a different way, and the imminent emergence of other forms of relationship between brands and consumers, we should start the conversion from all offline relationship marketing agencies of the group to digital marketing agencies.
It was a rich period for me since it became the basis for developing my first venture. After several meetings with Martin Hassan, who had been part of my team at MRM for over 8 years and Ariel Arrieta, a well-known Internet entrepreneur, we began to implement the dream called Nextperience, a digital marketing agency aimed to change the business model of agencies of its kind by charging our services according to the value we added to our client and not for the worked hours.
Shortly after launch, and already providing services to several major brands and startups in the Internet world, we realized that the founding team needed a finance specialist. That's how we decided to immediately ask Francisco Coronel to join us as our CFO. It would not be so easy to change the agencies business model, at least not entirely.
We called Gonzalo Costa and found NXTPLabs where we can add value and receive, in return, a portion of the value we added. To do this, we set up an investment fund, the basis of NXTP Labs, which aims to support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America.
How do we support them? We add to a training and coaching program an extensive network of mentors who open new horizons to them, accompany them and pass knowledge and experience down to them. We also provide money investment and office space where they can share and learn from other startups attending at the program at the same time.
Our focus in helping companies is we do best - getting customers through the online channel and for that, we provide all the support from Nextperience, my first venture, and we accompany them in the process of learning, growth and development.
Thus, I became an entrepreneur who not only has her business, but also bets on the entrepreneurial world sharing all her experience and expertise with other entrepreneurs just starting this fascinating trip of making a dream come true and that in addition they become companies that makes a ROI + (positive ROI).
Finally and most importantly, it is clear that I could not have walked through the path that brought me here without focusing and being consistent with each and every one of the choices I made, but above all, if it hadn’t been for my life partners: my husband, Lazarus, and my children: Leila, Karen and Brian who are the product of the passion I have for life.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Marta Cruz is co-founder of Nextperience and NXTP Labs. She spent 8 years at MRM Worldwide, the McCann Worldgroup’s digital agency as their Regional Director for Latin America and CEO for the office in Argentina. She managed accounts like HP, Intel, Coca-Cola, GM, Hilton Hotel, Nortel, Microsoft and MasterCard, among others. She holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Buenos Aires. Follow her on Twitter at @marta_cruz.