For 2 straight days, most of the stories that I heard at WeXchange 2015 in Monterrey were stories of failure and it was awe-inspiring. It was my first time in Monterrey and, hence, my first time visiting the famous Tecnológico de Monterrey.

WeXchange 2015 - Katia

Katia, our Creative Director, at the entrance of Tecnológico de Monterrey before WeXchange.

The theme of the event was about meeting the 2 best friends that every entrepreneur should know very well: Fear and Failure. And as most of the entrepreneurs in Latin America are aware, failure is still a taboo. So, to hear all these people talk about the insights, the stories, the ups and downs, the lefts and rights, the well prepared business plans, the numbers pointing in the right direction and still they had faced failure, was mind-blowing.

Every speaker shared so much valuable information with us that each one deserves its own article, so I’ll try to recap the key learnings.

 

Fearless Facing Failure (“Sin miedo a soñar, sin miedo a fallar”)

 

WEXCHANGE – DAY 1

Blanca Treviño was the keynote speaker and her remarks were:

  • Entrepreneurs will always be at a disadvantage since there will always be people trying to scare them into not believing they can do it. That’s bullshit and they should see it as a challenge, because to undertake a new project will always be worth it if you are passionate about it.
  • In Latin America, we need to see more women and men entrepreneurs who are creating new companies and solving problems because today out of the Top 100 powerful companies in Latin America, only 2 are first generation owners.

Then we heard 3 stories in a section called “A Bumpy Road”.

1. Sue Heilbronner introduced us to our friends: Fear and Failure

  • How to manage fear and failure? Don’t quit your day job!
    • If you want to manage fear, you need to manage risk.
  • We need to feel all emotions authentically to be able to feel all of them. That means that we need to feel fear, anger, sadness in order to fully feel joy and creativity.
    • Recommendation: find a bench in a park and feel fear. Dive into fear. Get to know how fear works for you. Get friendly with fear.
  • Be a badass with a net
  • Failure is just like fear. Get to know your failures too and learn from them.

Sue’s Top 10 list: 

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2. Maria Noel Ache told us her journey and how she debunked many myths throughout her life.

  • Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
    • The story that made the most impact on me and most of the women at the event was the following: She had a medical condition in her heart that would make it impossible for her to do sports and have children. She also had uterine hypoplasia, which meant that her uterus was too small to grow a baby inside of it. What did she do? She got pregnant and lost 5 babies because with every pregnancy, her uterus would grow a little more and a little more, up until her 6th pregnancy she was able to deliver a healthy baby. She ended up having 4 children.

 

3. Mariquel Waingarten and Gaston Frydlewski co-founded a shoelace company with many ups and downs.

  • When you do something with love and creativity, even if it’s a trinket, it can impact the lives of many
  • The life of an entrepreneur is like living everyday riding a roller coaster