Humility is the most important lesson for entrepreneurs.
That’s what founder and CEO of MovoCash Eric Solis said to a crowd at Startup Grind Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday evening.
The gathering was held in celebration of the one-year anniversary for Startup Grind’s SCV chapter, which is part of 450 other groups that nurture startup ecosystems through events and partnerships with organizations like Google for Entrepreneurs or, locally, the SCV Economic Development Corp.
“This is our one-year celebration,” said organizer James McKinney, vice president of strategic growth at Status Not Quo. “We do this because we believe that out here in the SCV we have an incredible entrepreneurial base…”
With audience members at different entrepreneurial stages, Solis gave them the rundown on how MovoCash came to be, a neo-bank that allows users to instantly send and spend money from their mobile device, without having to have a bank account.
But first, he advised on humility.
“Just because you think it so doesn’t make it so,” he said. “You need to listen to people. You need to find smart people, and you need to listen to your team. Remember, the more you can keep your feet on the ground, the better off you’ll be in the long run.”
The second most important lesson, he said, is to be true to one’s vision. “Doesn’t mean you don’t change your strategy or your execution plan,” Solis said. “Being true to your vision is so important because if you’re not locked in, you’re going to be moved by a lot of people that come your way.”
He followed that by saying, “Be careful who you take money from. This matters because, at the end of the day, they have a vision as well; and if they don’t align with your vision, then you’ll be moved.”
Solis said he knew entrepreneurship would be part of his adult life as a child. He entered the business world at 18 years old, helping lead his mother’s shoe company. His startup momentum kicked into gear at the age of 27 when he founded Solis Investment Group, followed by an internet company in the 1990s that still operates today.
Then in 2014, Solis started MovoCash in the SCV, before temporarily moving to Palo Alto.
While he has found much success in what he calls, “the next generation prepaid card,” he said his journey was not the easiest.
Today, he is encouraging those behind a startup to ignore the size of giants in the industry and say, “I’m going into the promised land, and I’m going to get the fruit. Just because there are giants there, they started at some point where you are now. They weren’t born giants.”
For those questioning whether money ensures success, the MovoCash founder answered, “No.”
“Money only does one thing: heightens your responsibility for execution,” he said. “It’s not the money that causes one to click into a successful mindset. You have to have that way before the money comes.”
For more information about Startup Grind, visit startupgrind.com/santa-clarita.