School of Business Hosts Second Entrepreneur Lecture of Semester with Carlos Camelo

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the School of Business sponsored the second of its Entrepreneur Lecture Series with Carlos Camelo, President and Senior Restaurant Consultant of the Lion Chaser Development Group. During his lecture, Mr. Camelo shared his story and gave some great advice on becoming a successful entrepreneur.  

Having immigrated from Columbia when he was five years old with his family in search of a better future, Mr. Camelo recalled that he often heard people stress the importance of going to school and getting an education. However, he always wondered about what came after school. Camelo originally planned to become a high school math teacher and basketball coach, but after his first year of college, he decided to leave when he realized he was unable to take the courses he was really interested in taking. This is when he started exploring the path toward entrepreneurship. Carlos was aware that he would have to work hard to be an entrepreneur. He also became aware that he did not fit into the regular mold of a true employee, and he was accepting of that.  

Mr. Camelo shared three ingredients for being an entrepreneur: 

  • The first ingredient is to not be afraid of failure. It is a common misconception that the opposite of failure is courage, but the true opposite of fear is faith.  
  • The second ingredient is to be a big dreamer and have a big vision. From an early age, people are taught to compare themselves to others. However, innovators who have big dreams and big visions have nothing to compare their ideas to.  
  • The third ingredient is to become comfortable with being vulnerable. It is important to become comfortable with saying “I don’t know,” and it is important to ask questions.  

Throughout the lecture, Mr. Camelo never shied away from sharing his failures along with his successes. After he had an opportunity to own a restaurant at the age of twenty-four, he was forced to sell the business after just one year because of poor business decisions. Here, he stressed the importance of stopping and analyzing what has been learned and what was done wrong after failing. Carlos realized that he had tried to do everything on his own and had not sought advice from others who were more experienced and knowledgeable than him.  

Around 2006, Mr. Camelo started a painting and construction company in Florida. Despite not being an expert in the field, the company grew rapidly. He attributes this to his willingness to just start and learn along the way. Carlos explained that, too often, people who aspire to be entrepreneurs wait until everything is ready. Instead of waiting until he had learned all there was to know about the construction industry, he started his business and learned along the way. Unfortunately, the economy crashed in 2008, and Mr. Camelo was confronted with a non-paying major customer, which forced him to close his painting business and return to working in the restaurant industry.  

A few years later, Carlos found employment in the software industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and he got laid off from his job. A week later, he made the decision to start his current company, the Lion Chaser Development Group.

The company has since grown into a multimillion-dollar company with clients in seven countries and a consulting branch.  

Sprinkled throughout his lecture, Mr. Camelo provided attendees with important advice that they can take with them to be entrepreneurs. This advice included: 

  • Ask what the biggest need or problem is and solve it  
  • Be comfortable with uncomfortable conversations  
  • Entrepreneurs are solution seekers, not excuse finders. Entrepreneurs see opportunities 
  • You do not know what is going to happen, so you must do your best every day  
  • Networking is very important, and relationships are the key to building a business  
  • Money cannot be a factor in the decisions you make, and you cannot be afraid of going backward in status  
  • The next time you doubt yourself ask yourself “why can’t you?” Ask yourself what the truth is in what you are about to say.
  • Because you are a leader does not mean you are going to lead in every area of your life 
  • The most important resource one can have is a mentor  
  • Know what your weakness is  

Mr. Camelo ended his lecture by providing his three dos and don’ts of entrepreneurship, which are connected to each other. He stressed that all entrepreneurs need to have faith, a vision, and a mentor. As for his do nots, Mr. Camelo recommends that all entrepreneurs should release having fear, trying to fit in a box, and doing everything on their own.  

 

Last Updated on November 2nd, 2022.