New Entrepreneur (NE):
Name & surname: Pablo Vílchez García
Sector of activity: Architecture
Did you already start your business? Yes
Name of business/website: Luz Arquitectos, www.luzarquitectos.es
Host Entrepreneur (HE):
Name & surname: Elena Lamata
Sector of activity: Architecture
Experience in running a business (in years): 5
Name of business/website: www.fundburo.net
Period of exchange: 10/03/2021 – 09/07/2021
Duration of exchange: 4 months
Is it mandatory to follow the established plan? What if the objective does not work? Are you a person with the ability to react?
I realise how difficult it was to carry two important jobs at the same time. Luz Arquitectos team, which took me 3 years to train. I am proud because we grow a philosophy that fits on us together with the brand. And Fundburo team, with Elena and Alex, who have opened their doors for me to offer me the possibility of learning from them and being able to form a fruitful professional relationship, and so I am grateful to them.
Fundbüro was looking for my experience on sustainable construction, and energy efficiency design. I also was looking for Luz Arquitectos to have a reference company to establish a collaboration in Germany.
Exited with my arrival, I wanted to show them my efficiency but I wasn’t enough. Years ago, I was used to work on elaborating floor prints, but now a days I am focused on marketing, networking, customer service, leadership, project management and project writing to provide differential value.
To find a new goal, I organized a meeting where the entire Luz Arquitectos team would introduce themselves to the entire Fundbüro team. It was an important moment so that they could better understand the mission of Luz Arquitectos and the bases of our philosophy. This way they could get to know me better.
In April, even if the main project where I was going to work on was cancelled and the covid situation reduce the office occupation to 50%, we keep control of the tasks through a weekly one-hour face-to-face meeting. My work with them was good in this month thanks to explaining myself well in the meetings with Elena and being transparent. Also, the coaching sessions with Collette, with which I had a constant relationship, she made me see a way to improve: the lack of balance in my daily tasks. Although, working from home took me away from the Fundbüro work environment, it gives me the chance to keep working on my business plan, because new very important opportunities were entering in my company and I could not miss it.
In this second month, the result was that I spent days and days working from home. I was happy to be in a comfortable apartment, with good natural lighting and views, where I had space to do some maintenance physical exercise, cook healthy and work comfortably. And the most incredible thing happened. I know myself as a very outgoing person, this period of ERASMUS has allowed me to find a large part of my introvert that I did not know. And this introverted part I enjoy as much as my extroverted side.
In the third month, I had to put a lot of effort into finding out that my work for Elena could also be useful for the future of Luz Arquitectos and our mission, so how do I approach this task that I have been entrusted? How to make it as useful as possible? How to meet Fundbüro’s expectations? How can I be more efficient in my work? Conclusion: I don’t need to work more, I have to work better. A long May, I had an intense work with the exciting new projects of Luz Arquitectos, I struggle to find an efficient way of working for Fundbüro and I understood that my introverted part that helps me to work in detail to produce a better service to my clients.
I the final stretch of the program, Elena and I learnt a lot from the difficulties. In addition, I was feeling better than ever for the following reasons: I felt great about knowing better my ability on details thanks to my introversion; the coaching sessions with Collette were spectacular, she provides me with tools that I could use to improve my work; I realized that if an objective-task was not design SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time), it would cost me tremendous effort to fulfil it. Therefore, a long June, I detected the fruits that began to grow around Luz Arquitectos after 3 years of planting. I was starting to find business opportunities that I didn’t see before, and I knew what I have to do to capture those.
In short, in this 4-month period I have learned:
– That there is a market in Germany where I can add value. The result of this conclusion is that I am currently negotiating an offer with my first German client.
– That I can offer remote services to other collaborating companies in Europe.
– I have understood the importance of details in architectural design so that they are part of the corporate image of the brand, Fundbüro are experts on it.
– Once again, the importance of having a well-defined objective.
– It doesn’t matter where you are, because it is possible to lead a team. Although it is important to balance between on site and online work.
– That one of the keys to communication is to transparently express your emotions to be yourself and be able to be understood, from both sides. And from there, to build professional relationships.