Greetings dear readers! I get asked a lot of questions about my business and my life as an entrepreneur…. what I do, where do I do it, how I do it, etc. So I find that every once in a while, it is extremely beneficial to take a moment to remind myself, how I got onto my journey, and to share that story, in a little more detail, with all of you.
I hope this post answers a lot of your questions. More importantly, I hope that it encourages you to push through the obstacles in life, and to remember the purpose behind which you are following your passion.
I think I have one of, if not the, most adventurous job in Financial services.
I joined my actual company in February 2013 to head the acquisition of new sites, and haven’t looked back to my last bitter experience in Geneva.
Basically, our company acquires small family hotels in France and recently Italy, then we improve them and later sell them off in stock market.
My job is very varied: I deal with owners, work with bankers and fund managers, agents and accountants to find the best hotels and best financial facilities to present to my company and business partners and then enter into negotiations with them in order to take them over.
Getting the best hotels in a highly-competitive market is very demanding.
I have just two weeks to discern whether a property makes a viable hotel and work out the costs of converting it before presenting it to my partners.
French market is very important to us and competing with everyone from small property dealers to international investors means you have to make quick decisions and work even more quickly to find the financial facility.
Entrepreneurship is all about contacts but before that, my presence in Europe came incredibly through a complete accident.
About 20 years ago, purely by a chance meeting with a Swiss gentleman in Tehran, he offered me a linguistic trip to Geneva; it was a baptism of fire, and I stayed there for many years after. I worked my way up from a very young immigrant entrepreneur to a head of multimillion Euro French company and all these adventures started with an unexpected meeting on a spring afternoon in a hotel in Tehran.
Leaving Switzerland to join my new groups in Paris was a big call and one I deliberated over for a long time.
Paris is a great place for business, but being part of a worldwide business environment in Geneva — which was easier to find investors from other countries beyond the mature, expensive Europeen market, and dealing with other unfinished problems (which remain unsolved until today) — was also very frustrating and depressing at times. But at same time I’m very thankful for learning hard lessons that forced me to the bottom of my existence, and the strength to rebuild myself, my life and my career.
It’s never easy, work/ life balance is a delicate art that after years in the business, I am still learning to how to manage. But I have to admit that I am heavily reliant on friends and family and their support. I live in South London but my office is in Paris. I have friends all around the world. My business partners are in East of France (close to German borders) so I am very lucky to get to go there and enjoy the beauty of Alsace. In addition, maintain my nutrition and my heavy training schedule. I have to organize my diary months in advance but face the fact that in my business, nothing is ever set in stone.
Entrepreneurship is all about people. It’s about contacts and networks. Build on those. People want to do business with those they trust — that’s the bottom line.
For me work without purpose is just a job, not the pursuit of your passion. I always try to develop a vision. I should know where I am now and where I want to be tomorrow and in the near future….. let your passion be your guide.