A month ago, in what appeared to be a normal Friday afternoon, I got news that would probably change the course of my life: the British Council called me to say I was selected as a YCE and should go to London in a couple of weeks to engage in a series of meetings, talks and to pitch my company to a group of extremely relevant judges in the literary industry in the hopes of winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Now... when I say this could change my life, I really mean it. Being in London gave me the opportunity to meet amazing entrepreneurs from around the world and to discuss with them problems and solutions that their businesses faced and still are facing. In other words, I was presented with one of the most valuable assets anyone can get: the experience of incredibly creative people from the UAE, South Africa, Russia, Spain, Colombia, China.
I also got to meet with companies from the UK that are in the middle of an ongoing struggle for innovation and definition of the future of the book industry. This means, basically, the formation of a new networking opportunity that I probably would not have been able to patch up from Brazil.
Around the London Book Fair, several business opportunities presented themselves from India, Korea, US. New doors were opened - and this, that can be described as short term business opportunities, is what fuels our day to day lives as entrepreneurs - what allows us to dream of bigger and brighter futures.
And, just last night, judges that I admire and consider absolutely trend setters considered me the entrepreneur as the year - an award that I most certainly will always keep close to my heart. This is also amazing not only for the award itself, but because it represents something that everyone who tries to innovate is always seeking: recognition.
When we put ourselves out to the risky jungle of new ideas in ultra competitive markets, we rarely have anything to grab to other than our own hopes. We also have our partners, staff and family - people that join us in our dreams, believing that we are pointing to the right direction (which is, in a word, scary).
Experience, network, business opportunities, market recognition. What else can someone who runs a business expect to get - in one week?
If one thing, I'd only wish that our staff back at Clube de Autores could come to participate in all of this - after all, they were the ones who actually made everything possible. But I understand it is now my job to make sure that this amazing experience can be converted into something bigger shared by all of us as a company.
The YCE Digital Publishing Entrepreneur of the Yearwas judged by Octavio Kulesz, Anna Rafferty, Julia Kingsford and Rohan Gunatillake.