I had a lot. I worked on a project for almost 4 months without sleep where half the team ended up with nervous breakdowns. When I finished my MBA in the US, with a large student loan to pay back, I managed to survive a massive downsizing of my company where every other person I had met was fired. And then, years later, I too had to fire half of the people in a difficult and heart-breaking restructuring process of a portfolio company.
I was in Athens when one of the city’s deadliest earthquakes hit. I climbed to the top of the World Trade Center the day before 9/11. I almost died in a motorcycle accident just before my university admissions. Ironically, that’s what got me in (long story).
So I realize that I have been lucky enough to overcome some tough moments in life. But at the same time, all of that made me stronger. And it’s in my DNA: I am adventurous, l enjoy the adrenaline of practicing several sports and driving fast cars. I am passionate for life, high energy and ambitious. I can deal with setbacks and I feel comfortable managing risks.
This has influenced the way I invest in, too. I like to make deals happen. Bring people together. Find creative structures to bridge the gap. Help companies grow and achieve more. I like to think big and take action. I’ve never settled for a single market. I’ve never wanted to be pigeon-holed as an investor for this or that kind of company. No. I’m proud of the dozens of companies I have invested in or supported throughout my life, across sectors, geographies and growth phases.
I’ve had a fantastic life. I worked at great firms such as McKinsey and Goldman Sachs. I lived and worked in more than 5 countries and in multicultural places like NYC and London. I learned from outstanding individuals. At Magnum Capital, currently, I back and help leapfrog the best Iberian private mid-market companies. If I could change anything, I wouldn’t. I’d do everything all over again. I love what I do.
And that’s my big piece of advice for whoever reads this, too:
There are a thousand excuses to ignore that drive you feel inside of you that’s telling you to set out on your own, start a business, become an entrepreneur. Ignore them all. Love what you do. Make your story.