Every so often, you hear a phrase that you think you’ve heard before. Whether you’ve actually heard it before is beside the point. What matters is that the saying resonates so well that it gives words to what you were thinking all along.
This happened to me recently when I heard the phrase is “nadie es profeta en su tierra”. Translated from Spanish, this means “nobody is a prophet in their own land”. Going somewhere new puts you into survival mode, and makes you make the best of things. It spurs you on.
And that phrase is so relevant to us at Bunny Studio.
Let me explain.
When all of us recently got together for our yearly retreat, we gathered from places all over the globe — Japan, South Africa, India, Brazil… it’s a long list. We all got together in Colombia — a foreign land for many of us — to learn and grow together. Critical to achieving those goals was the guidance of our company advisors.
Previously, we met Andres Barreto. Now, we’ll meet Tania Zapata, the one who shared that memorable phrase with me. Because sometimes, in order to grow and learn, in order to be a prophet, you need to go somewhere new.
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Meet Tania Zapata.
Tania is a Colombian-born entrepreneur based in the USA. She is currently the CEO of Akily, an app that provides developmental activities for parents to do one-on-one with their children.
Importantly for us, she is also the co-founder of Bunny Studio and Voice123, our sibling company, and current company advisor. She is also the first person who I have heard say that phrase — “nobody is a prophet in their own land”.
Tania brought this up when I asked about her experience as a foreign-born entrepreneur in the USA. An experience that, on the whole, has been supportive. “In the beginning, a few people did funnel their frustration into trying to offend us. But the large majority of people in this country [the USA] support and value entrepreneurship.”
It is Tania’s hard work and drive, in combination with the support she received in her adopted country, that has led to her success. As a business leader and entrepreneur, Tania has made her mark. So what advice does she have for young entrepreneurs?
Nadie es profeta en su tierra.
That question brings us back yet to that resonant phrase. In order to make the most change, you sometimes need to go somewhere new. But while there is value in going somewhere new, there is also risk.
“People get scared by risks”, Tania says, “but they don’t need to”. The solution isn’t to avoid taking risks, but to take smart ones. Know how much you’re willing to lose — always evaluate the worst case scenario — so that when you take a risk, it’s an informed one. If you lose, sure, it’s a blow, that’s undeniable. But you did your best, learned from the experience, and didn’t lose more than you bargained for. That, in its own way, is a positive outcome, too.
Something else that Tania underscores for young entrepreneurs is the importance of having and sustaining a support network. This is especially true if you work remotely. Working remotely can be isolating, and one of the ways we combat it is by having a yearly retreat, true. But it is up to each of us to keep friendships and professional relationships going, even if we’re separated from our colleagues by miles and time zones. In that same vein, Tania says, remember that it’s okay to rely on each other. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Support networks, whether physical or virtual, are crucial for personal happiness and growth.
Like most things in life, being an entrepreneur is about balance. Going somewhere new may bring new opportunities, but don’t forget your community.
For all the team members at Bunny Studio, meeting the company advisors was a chance to learn from their expertise. From Tania, we learned the value new surroundings as an impetus for growth. We also learned that support networks, whether in real life or virtually, are crucial. That’s advice that can be applied anywhere, not just in the business world.
Meeting our company advisors during the retreat was a chance for all of us to meet the people who started it all, as it were. They have helped shape the company from the very beginning. So, getting to know our advisors means getting to know our company better, too. Although we may be located all over the world, we work together as a team to make our customers happier. And we do it by following the advice of Tania and a few other people.
Want to meet the other advisors? Want to learn more about why we work the way we do? Stay tuned for the next installment.
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Please note this blog is a copy of the original published in Medium by Emmy Tither.