Waffle Afterthoughts, a personal recollection of  Miami’s elite Networking event #WafflesAfterWork.

Two things impacted me the most about this past June’s WafflesAfterWork at LiveNinja HQ which presented startup Clutch Prep. Johnny Betancourt, Co-Founder, President & Organic Tutor was in the house and graced the crowd with some amazing pieces of advice for young business owners getting their companies off the ground. Those were “People over idea” and “Hustle over Hype”.

Everyone tends to wish they are at the right place, at the right time for the next BIG idea. It’s what fuels networking in the startup scene. It was truly refreshing to hear from a successful founder that to succeed you must believe in“FIRST who, THEN what.”Johnny continued to suggest that,“The number one thing that any entrepreneur can do is to meet and work with as many intelligent people as you possibly can.” This way when the right opportunity presents itself, you can be a part of that Founding Team.

LiveNinja HQ presentation stage ready for Cluth Prep’s Co-Founder Johnny Betancourt

LiveNinja HQ presentation stage ready for Cluth Prep’s Co-Founder Johnny Betancourt

Hard work is something that anyone attempting to build their own company knows all too well (at least we hope they do). It’s tempting to sometimes want to seek investment money to prove to the world that what you’ve been up to is the next revolutionary idea. Sometimes taking this idea to the next level too early in the development stages of your business could actually end up being detrimental. With his point of “Hustle over Hype”, Johnny expressed his opinion on searching for funding early on. He explained, “Work hard to validate and if necessary bootstrap your idea”. He emphasized the need to make sure the idea has a solid proven foundation from which you can scale upon. Any deviation from this could be a mistake.

In Clutch Prep’s early days tutoring at FIU, the company’s entire 1st semester revenue was re-invested in growth by renting a coworking office and in hiring more tutors. When you properly allocate resources and focus on long-term growth, having a strategy plays a key role. They played their cards right and have now since experienced what it’s like to go from “side-gig” to a full blown expanding startup!

Everyone wants to “arrive” as soon as a couple of months have gone by and things are going well. Fight the urge, work like hell, put people first and maybe one day, you too can move into Wynwood.

Welcome home Clutch Prep!

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