When extreme success killed his business, Thiago Silva transitioned into a thriving career in digital marketing. His entrepreneurial background proved to be beneficial in this new endeavour.
I always had a passion for magazines since an early age. I used to produce magazines—by hand—and distribute it to my friends when I was 10 years old. That dormant tinder was ignited when Lucas Socio, a friend who was also enrolled in a magazine production class at SFU, called me and asked: “Do you want to start a Brazilian magazine with me?”. Coincidently, that was an idea I had been putting off for a few years so I immediately said “yes”. The next day we met for dinner at Roxy Burger on Granville Street and as we munched on our Canadian Roxy Burger, Brazilian Vibe was born.
We learned a lot about running a business from internet searches, countless sales calls/visits to potential advertisers, and from our mentor, Stewart Marshall. We also learned that running a business means you are on the clock 24/7/365. There is no punching out when you’re your own boss. We ran the magazine for six years and were profitable from the very first issue, but ultimately what killed the business was its tremendous success. The experience of running a business and a team of 14 writers, coupled with our quarterly issues that became a “living portfolio” of our work, lead to several job opportunities for us in much bigger projects and institutions.
Today, I work for the largest education company in the world and run a team of marketing managers that support a business unit comprised of 5 clients. It’s just like running my own business but within a much bigger business. In my role as Associate Director, Marketing, I have to take the lead, identify the problems, work in teams to find the solutions and make decisions. Just like my Brazilian Vibe days.
The most important lesson I gained from this experience was that when you approach your job with an entrepreneurial lens, instead of a task/checklist approach, you are more likely to succeed and advance in your career. Today’s companies are looking for employees who can be entrepreneurial within their organizations, so the skills I learned running my own company enabled me to run my business unit as I would my own business and achieve great success.