Think Ambitiously | It’s All About Having a Clear Vision

portrait of Lucia Gallardo
Lucia Gallardo is the Founder & CEO of Emerge, impact-as-a-service solutions, Lucia Gallardo juggles her time between squeezing in her daily nap, knowing all things Bitcoin, NFTs, SDGs, and blockchain whilst fostering inclusion through technology. She walks through her experience in working at the National Angel Investor Network and falling in love with the power of technology to address complex social problems. Her company was born based on our innate desire to help and create social change. She applied for her International Development Degree from McGill serving as a board member for Rainforest Partnerships, Women’s Entrepreneur Global, and is a strategy consultant.

Defining the experience of an entrepreneur: refine, refine again, and then again. 

  • Lucia had a vision that was complex and layered. It included multiple products that addressed more than one problem – not the norm in the tech solution space. Explaining the company was the biggest challenge, so she had to continuously refine her messaging.
  • Where you start is not where you will end up. Lucia’s design studio began to take on requests and she took that as an opportunity to be really experimental with the solution and to reuse some components. 
  • Emerge became half consultancy half design studio over time, and it has evolved in terms of how they even define and describe the company while their commitment to playing with a frontier technology and democratizing access to this technology, social good, and the SDGs have stayed true.

 Advice on how to bootstrap.

  • For Lucia, bootstrapping was the only choice. She’s a female founder, Latina founder and is very cognizant of the limited venture capital and angel funding that actually goes to founders like her. If you didn’t really make that conscious choice to be bootstrapped, the second that you stop channeling all of your efforts into finding an investor and start channeling those efforts into finding your first customer. Your customer will understand the benefits to them, more so than an investor may understand. 
  • If the ROI and vision of your company is something that’s a little bit incompatible with traditional funding mechanisms, that’s okay. There are many types of funding opportunities. Many businesses require specific types of funding opportunities. 
  • Most importantly, find people around you who will be willing to support your vision, even if they do this one favour for you. It’s okay to ask for help to get there. You can build a very large company without outside capital. 

Tips for Time Management (Hint: It’s about your energy) 

  • A big turning point for Lucia was realizing that it was not about necessarily managing her time but understanding how she managed her energy. For someone with a curious brain, it’s really important for her to work on different types of projects. 
  • Take Saturday off completely! Pursuing other interests outside of work may inspire something at work. Spend a day at a museum or reading a book or going to the beach or, you know, on a boat or whatever.
  • Time Block or Time Box so you have deep creative work time. Context switching can be draining. Whether it’s days or afternoons, ensure that you are protecting your deep work.