My name’s Juanita but everybody calls me Jo cause it’s easier – and I love it. My job is spotting villas that are differently magnificent, complete them with butlers, chefs, cooking mammas, nannies, cleaners, gardeners to create a place where agencies send their clients from all over the world. My company is a business to business one, this means we speak to the professionals and not to the travelers, which makes my life so much easier I can’t believe nobody else does it in Europe. I have met presidents, models, rock singers, divas and football club owners, always in disguise – as Jo. I have learnt many things, the most important being money doesn’t buy happiness but gets you in incredible houses – we talk ten, twenty, forty, seventy, hundred thousand euros per week.
I have set up my first company because my curriculum vitae didn’t fit any job offer, that’s why I encourage anybody who gets rejected to start their own business and never surrender: if you are insistent to the point of noxious you will make it. That very first company failed and I got a video camera out of it – the one we bought with the company money. The second one got funded by the european community for a total amount of thirty thousand euros, which – I discovered after – me and my sister had to spend in advance. So, with barely a hundred euros in our pocket, we found ourselves compelled to expenses such as computers, printers, an office, software, hardware, assistance, taxes and all of that.
I didn’t have an idea of how you file your taxes return so I hired the least expensive fiscal advisor in the market, and this move provoked a series of penalties that I would after be found responsible for. I was like, so, I pay somebody to do a job, they do it crap and I am responsible for it: how can that happen? So that would be my first lesson in business: if you are an entrepreneur of any sort, even one with ninety euros as an entire capital (and an outstanding power mac that your father gave you together with a screen of 42′), you are responsible for every minutia. Basically you have to check everything or somebody, somehow, will screw you.
I probably should say that when starting a company you need to hire the best possible advisors in order to know what’s best for your company, however that’s bullshit: unless somebody gives you a present of a couple of hundred thousand euros to start with that you don’t have to return, you will have pennies in your pockets and will need to spend the least that you can, covering every possible job in your company. I have also noticed that those with dad and mum on their back rarely get to anything, really. Yes, they make some money, but that’s absolutely no point to being an entrepreneur, really: of course you need to pile cash in the bank, somehow, but what makes you fly is the heat, the itinerary that leads you from point zero up to the sky. To become important to your own very eyes. To prove to yourself that ideas count more than anything else and there’s no fiscal administration, State, person that can stop you. So my second lesson would be do not spend money you do not have and believe in your ideas, defend them, make them happen.
During my life and work experience I have met some amazing people who didn’t make it and some really atrocious human being who had a big car. I only work and hang out with people that are worth sharing something with as I cannot stand those who show each step of their career, they are to me the equivalent of a wig compared to natural hair. I also signed a contract with myself after the first big booking I have received that says I can not buy myself a BMW. I love BMWs. I think they are sleek wonderful machines and would love to own one. So I am still driving the old family ford car, named Carlotta, and sharing it with my little sister eventually. I feel tempted any now and then to get somewhere and buy me a great car and I am not sure I will keep with my promise, but I giggle every time one of my friends shake their heads in desperation talking about their kids very expensive education, their wives love for luxury items and, yes, their car yearly outstanding costs: they are miserable in their own richness.
I think a lot of humans build their cages day by day, while I want to be free to relocate in 24 hours, with nothing attached to my travel than my new project, life. So my third hint is be free, because life is wonderful and worth living per se. If you are not free, if you are pushing hard so you can buy better and bigger things, I doubt you will ever be an entrepreneur that really counts in this world. I am not either. Yet.