Fifteen years ago, Gennaro Tella founded what is now the largest sales management company in Italy. When he was starting out, however, nobody took him seriously. People didn’t see how what he was proposing would differ from a normal sales agency.
However, Gennaro’s vision was too clear for him to give up. He wanted to build the first sales clinic, and he was willing to see it to the end. For a while, he worked day and night on a presentation detailing what he had in mind. He then had it bound as a book and introduced it to what would later become his long-standing multinational client: American Express.
Gennaro waited for months before an opportunity opened up to illustrate the project to the client. He didn’t even have references at the time, so he was a risk for the decision-makers. In the end, however, the client decided in his favor, and he never looked back.
Years after that experience, Gennaro’s company, Attitude, has helped many managers gain a winning mentality, resilience, and an insistent desire to improve their own lives. Today, Attitude works with the largest multinationals in the world to assist them in developing sales strategies.
Although Gennaro is now a successful entrepreneur, his success did not arrive overnight. His journey included many failures that he chose to view as teaching opportunities. To him, failure is a better teacher than success can ever be. Because of the teachings he received, he built a successful multi-million euro company.
Gennaro defines success as a keychain with millions of keys. Each key can take you to the next level, but it’s up to you to learn how to use the keys. For him, becoming a successful entrepreneur required several keys.
The first key was developing a winning mentality. He says that a successful entrepreneur must be curious, resilient, and flexible. The business landscape is always changing, so you must be ready to change your strategies quickly to keep up with those changes. Being on the lookout for new business methodologies will help you prepare for change.
Handling diversity and doubt is the other key. Gennaro says that listening, observing, studying, and analyzing are important skills for an entrepreneur to gain. He adds, “I believe that the ability to listen and the analytical phases on numbers is fundamental to better manage the crucial input-output phases to dispel doubts or uncertainties.”
Building a winning team was the other factor. Gennaro ensured he was working with people who shared his vision. Because his biggest clients are multinationals, he preferred those with that background and those hungry to win. Diversity in a team is important to him. He says, “It is from integrating diversity that winning strategies are born.”
Once an idea is no longer being supported by one person, Gennaro says that’s when it becomes right. That’s when a business grows too. When the idea you had starts generating money and motivating your team, you are on the right path.
Entrepreneurship is an ongoing journey full of lessons. To people just starting out, Gennaro says instinct and reason are both important. He adds, “To start a business, you need vision and instinct, but to make it work, you need the right mix of both.”