Monday 9 December 2019

What I wish I'd known: You really need to act and get things done ...

Tiago S Mascarenhas, co-founder, SEDA College

Tiago S Mascarenhas
Tiago S Mascarenhas

Stepping into the unknown can be difficult, but this plays a large part in any entrepreneur's business journey.

Fear of the unknown should never hold you back when pursuing your goals. Coming from a comfortable job in a Brazilian Bank, I was quite tentative about travelling to Ireland in order to pursue a career in education and establish my business.

I moved to Dublin in 2006 where I began to plan the development of a business which would eventually become SEDA College in 2009. Quite some time passed during the planning process and you always question your plans and ideas. When the time came to set up SEDA, I still wasn't 100pc confident in the business model. A lot was beginning to happen in Ireland including the recession and there was a lot of uncertainty in the Irish education sector. I decided to just jump in head first and set up the business and perfect the plan along the way.

The old cliché of "actions speak louder than words" ran through my head regularly as, even in the beginning, we still planned a lot and discussed the running of a successful business rather than actually running the business to the best of its ability.

At university we're told that planning is the main tool for success, but in the real world where deadlines exist, costs rise and fall and being ahead of the game is essential, you really need to act and get things done. Of course, things can occasionally go wrong, but at the very least you've made a start and the imperfections can be ironed out along the way.

With no credit, little capital and the fact we were new to the sector, we faced a lot of obstacles. Once you lose the fear, develop the confidence in your idea and the knowledge that it's okay to build the business over time rather than establish the perfect business immediately, it's much easier to attain your goals. This was something I also learned over time having watched and studied other entrepreneurs as they expressed their ability to overcome similar barriers within their businesses.

Jumping straight in also allowed me to take advantage of factors that I had not previously thought of. For example, coming from Brazil myself meant I could identify with international students and what they really needed from an English language school. As many students move to Ireland from the other side of the world, providing a strong support system for them was something I was committed to supplying.

SEDA College has now developed a solid reputation for being caring, supportive and attentive to the needs of our international students and eight years later, we welcome 1,200 students from over 40 different countries through the door every year.

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