The story of Ricardo Teixeira | Karate world champion and entrepreneur

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Hello guys. So, I’m currently with Ricardo Teixeira. Hey Ricardo, what’s up man?

Ricardo Teixeira: I’m good.

Olivier Roland: You’re good, okay. Awesome.

So, you already saw Ricardo on this channel because I interview him a few years ago in Portugal about his career as a worldwide champion of karate. And in that interview, we explored also the relationship between becoming a worldwide champion and becoming an entrepreneur.

But, we didn’t have time to dig into your career as an entrepreneur. So, I thought let’s do another interview to speak about that because not only are you a worldwide champion of karate but you are also a successful entrepreneur.

Ricardo Teixeira: Okay.

Olivier Roland: So, for those who didn’t see the video about his career as a world champion, just click on the link somewhere, and be sure to watch that video because it’s awesome.

So, Ricardo.

Ricardo Teixeira: Hey.

Olivier Roland: Hey. So you were a worldwide champion of karate a few years ago.

ricardo teixeira worldwide champion of karate

Olivier Roland: like in 1995.

Ricardo Teixeira: In 1993.

Olivier Roland: 93 really?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Okay, wow. So, you were very young when you became a worldwide champion.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, I was 20 years old.

Olivier Roland: 20 years old.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah and the seniors were 21 so I was one year earlier.

Olivier Roland: Okay. At 20 years old, besides karate what did you do with your life?

Ricardo Teixeira: So if I go back a little bit, you know, rewind a little bit, I was studying computer science and I was passionate about computers. When I was nine years old, I watched… people, you don’t remember but people over 40 remember the Sinclair.

It was a Sinclair computer, it was 48K in terms of memory and I fell in love with that. And then, I did all my studies around that because I wanted to do something about that. And so, I studied all my life in Coimbra at the university.

Olivier Roland: It’s a private joke so yeah, okay. In this town in Portugal.

Ricardo Teixeira: I studied everything and I also did some freelance jobs like software developer or even word processor also in computers. And so, when I was 20 years old, the same time I was a world champion, I was doing some freelance jobs for some companies like…

Olivier Roland: To create software.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, that was the thing that I was doing.

Olivier Roland: So, you were a freelancer for some companies. So, you were already creating coding for them. But, that’s interesting because you were young and you were working as a freelancer for them, and how did you manage to get them as customers?

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh, it’s a good question. One of the things that I did is… Well, first of all, it was not common to have a kid in computers especially in the place where I was growing up. In that place, in the neighborhood. That’s why I was referenced by people about computers. That is one thing.

The other one is, I offered myself up to do these kinds of jobs because I wanted to have the experience. That’s one of the things that I see most of the time is that people, I can’t call it a mistake but it’s something that I incentivize people to do, which is work for free. You know?

Olivier Roland: Oh so, it was for free.

Ricardo Teixeira: Some of the jobs, I wanted to do it. Some of them, they paid in the end but I offered myself. I said, “Okay, I want to work with your company, I really would like to do this. So, if you don’t pay me, I would like to do it anyway”.

Olivier Roland: It’s motivation.

Ricardo Teixeira: Because I knew that that company would give me a lot of leverage for my future. For knowledge because I knew some people that were working there, I wanted to get that knowledge. And also in terms of a resume because they were like big companies, so I wanted to work with them. And most of the people, don’t have the patience to work or to get this kind of experience for free.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: Because it’s not for free, they are paying for our learning. Yeah, that’s one of the things that I did.

Olivier Roland: Okay so, you contacted a few of them and you didn’t work full-time for them. It was like a small job.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, because I was studying.

Olivier Roland: Did you work…? Did you have to go there because it was before the Internet? So, did you have to go to their office to work?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, yes but during the university, I already had an Amstrad computer, so…

Olivier Roland: Yeah. I’ve used that too a little bit, yeah.

Ricardo Teixeira: And so, I worked at home and I would bring in the source code.

Olivier Roland: So, you were coding on your Amstrad but for other machines.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: So, it was possible to do that.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was.

Olivier Roland: But you couldn’t test the program.

Ricardo Teixeira: Of course, no.

Olivier Roland: It was just text basically.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. And, I would bring it in and then test it there and…

Olivier Roland: That’s funny. That’s exactly what Bill Gates and Paul Allen did.

Ricardo Teixeira: Bill Gates did, I know.

Olivier Roland: Paul Allen did it for their first software, they coded it but they couldn’t test it.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: And then, they brought it to the…

Ricardo Teixeira: That is amazing what they did.

Olivier Roland: Yeah because it worked.

Ricardo Teixeira: That was amazing.

Olivier Roland: Anyway, so… Yeah okay, interesting.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, I did that because at the same time, for money, I was doing bodyguard work also. I was a bodyguard in passing, yes.

Olivier Roland: Because you were the fucking worldwide champion of Karate, so why not?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, because I needed the money and I had some skills so I used that. But anyway, I was doing that not only for the money but for the knowledge. I was thinking ahead, I was thinking like a few years ahead because I wanted to do something. I want to be entrepreneurial in that field.

Olivier Roland: In software development.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. I don’t know if it was software or network but especially software and I was a little bit involved with the coding.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, you started with this, and then what’s next?

Ricardo Teixeira: So what happened was, I graduated in 1995 I think. Yeah, I graduated and I was like “What should I do? Should I immediately open my firm, my company? Or should I work for others?

 

what should i do with graduated

Olivier Roland: Which is a question a lot of people ask themselves if they want to be entrepreneurs.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yes. Because the thing is, I was used to being in charge because I was a master in my dojo, so I was teaching 400 people already. And so…

Olivier Roland: You were teaching karate.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, teaching karate…

Olivier Roland: Were you making money with that?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, yes, I did make some money, yes.

Olivier Roland: You could live with that if you wanted to.

Ricardo Teixeira: I could. No, I could not scale well. Today, you could scale with the online courses and online side.

Olivier Roland: But not at that time.

Ricardo Teixeira: But not at that time. At that time…

Olivier Roland: I mean you could but… So, you have a trial management…

Ricardo Teixeira: Ah, it was very hard, yes. And also, we had to build like a pyramid with people that would work for me, that would teach and I would get a percentage but I never like that kind of thing.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, right.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, I never liked it. And for me, it was a question of giving me money, of course, people would give value because we know if people go for free, they don’t give value. And so, I was already a kind of entrepreneur.

I was being an entrepreneur. I was always trying to look to those who ask “Okay, how can I do it in a faster way, how can I do it? The experience would be great for the student not only the martial arts but also the things around that. Like for example, we would send every three months information to the parents saying, how are they? What could they improve? We will ask about the school, so it…

Olivier Roland: So, you went all the way.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yeah.

Olivier Roland: Like the way farther and most graduate schools.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yeah. We were totally different. And, we will do like for example, every time there is an event, imagine that Saturday and Sunday, during the weekend we have an event. We would do a press release before during and after. So, that would help us to get in the press and at the same time get more clients, more students. So that was a way to look to the entrepreneurship also, definitely. And when I was graduated, my mother sent an application with my resumé to…

Olivier Roland: Your CV?

Ricardo Teixeira: CV, yeah. To the, I don’t know if… it’s not government but also it’s not private, it’s where they have the Stats.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Okay, it’s the…

Olivier Roland: Like the office of statistics of Portugal.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Which doesn’t sound like the most exciting job ever!

Ricardo Teixeira: No, but it was a software developer.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh, okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was a software developer and it was interesting. I cannot say that it was not interesting. But the funny part was,

Olivier Roland: Wait, your dojo, it was your company?

Ricardo Teixeira: Legally, it was not a company, it was myself.

Olivier Roland: But you were already selling yourself and so.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: You were already an entrepreneur.

Ricardo Teixeira: Of course.

Olivier Roland: When you graduated.

Ricardo Teixeira: I had two schools. At the same time, I was selling also the kimonos, the belts, the gloves. I was selling that also inside the dojo. So, I was already an entrepreneur in my dojo, I was feeling that side. So to go and work for a person would be like a totally different game. So, I was not used to it.

Olivier Roland: So, your mother sent your CV to the government basically…

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly, because she would say it’s a perfect job, it’s secure and everything, you know parents. And so, she sent that. I was like “I don’t know if I’m going” but suddenly I saw that there were 400 people applying for that. So, I said “Okay”.

Olivier Roland: Oh four hundred but they selected you.

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, yes. Yes but what applied to me was “Okay 400 people”

Olivier Roland: That’s competition.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. So, I was like “Okay, let’s see how I go”. I went through the phases. It was like two days complete like eight hours. I’ve never done anything like that. So, it was a good experience at the same time.

I went for eight hours and they selected three people. I was one of the three and then they all got a live interview with, you know, all the bosses and everything and then they select me. But after ten months, I quit because I was working from nine to five there but I would stay from five to seven, eight there. Because I was like “Okay, I don’t want to go home I want to do this”.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Ricardo Teixeira: And also, people start to complain a little bit. They were like…

Olivier Roland: He’s working too much.

Ricardo Teixeira: He’s working too much, yeah.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. That’s a common complaint with this kind of organization. You don’t want to stand out too much.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. So, I stopped.

But anyway, I build my company in the middle of this and it’s one of the things that sometimes I say to people “Okay, if you want to have a company and you have your job, okay just keep your job until you feel secure and work after job”. That’s what I started to do after the job because I saw that it was hard and I was getting enemies.

So what I started to do is from five to ten – eleven, I start to build my company. I start to, you know, the papers, the… I start to understand. I didn’t know anything about hardware, you know. How to build a computer? So, I start to build computers, I start to understand a little bit more.

Olivier Roland: Really but why because your goal was to build a software company. Right?

how to start your business company

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. Well, my goal was to have a technology company. I was not sure if it was software because I knew that hardware and software I needed to understand even though I could make some money. But in my mind, I thought “Okay, the money is in the software, in the software business” but I need to understand the machine, I need to understand how it works.

Olivier Roland: For the record, what language did you learn at school?

Ricardo Teixeira: At school? Oh, the first was Pascal. It was Pascal, which was cool. We also had a little bit of Basic.

Olivier Roland: Because it was the base.

Ricardo Teixeira: It’s not good because there’s a lot of defects, Pascal was really good. And then, we started to learn C, and at university we had a lot of languages.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Because the idea in the university was to understand how the language works and not go deep into one language.

Olivier Roland: Okay. All right, so you begin to study part-time after work. How to create your company. Then?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. And so, and then after 10 months, I just had two or three clients that I was gathering through my friends.

Olivier Roland: Were they asking you to create software for them?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well at that time, it was more like “Oh, I want this computer”. It was selling hardware because it was easier.

Olivier Roland: I started like that too, yeah.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was easier because developing software, it takes more time.

Olivier Roland: Yeah right.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, that was the easiest part. After 10 months, I was like “Okay, I need to do this full-time”.

So, I quit. They were a little bit surprised because they were expecting me to go another year. I quit, of course, my parents were like “aaaargh…” but it was a good call. It was a good call.

Olivier Roland: Because…

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, because I was not happy. I was not happy there. And I was feeling that even though the life of entrepreneurs has a lot of ups and downs, I usually said that we are gladiators because when we go to the field, we don’t know if we are going to kill or be killed.

But at the end of the day, we control our faith, our destiny. And, I was not feeling that when I was working there. I was just, you know… And I think it is possible to work with some money and feeling happy but I was like in a cage. Too many rules, too many things that I could not do even if I would improve.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. So, it was not an environment for an entrepreneur.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh no. No, no.

Olivier Roland: When you decided to quit did you already or were you making money with your…?

Ricardo Teixeira: A little bit.

Olivier Roland: A little bit but not,

Ricardo Teixeira: But not sufficiently.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, you were not in hurry.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, on the risk.

Olivier Roland: But did you still have your dojo because I don’t see…

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yes, I have.

Olivier Roland: How could you still have your dojo and your job and build your business?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, one of the things that I learned through times, it’s time management.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: I learned how to prioritize and also the some of the principles that we start to know the name that I didn’t know at that time, you know, like Parkinson’s law or Pareto law, that stuff.

Olivier Roland: So, you learn how to be more productive.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. And that was something that I always had in my life here. I always have a lot of things at the same time. I remember when I was a boy scout which was amazing also for an entrepreneur. I advise you if you have kids.

Olivier Roland: You were chatting about that today.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yes.

Olivier Roland: You’re saying being a Scout is like the best training to be an entrepreneur because they teach you how to be autonomous, to do stuff that most people would think is crazy but for a scout, it’s normal.

Ricardo Teixeira: I totally agree. Being a boy scout, I was almost 15 years and so I learned a lot, a lot there.

So, what was your question?

Olivier Roland: How did you have the time to do everything?

Ricardo Teixeira: Like I was saying, even when I was in school during high school and even university I had always a lot of friends in different because I never had my own group of friends. I had several groups because my idea was to meet a lot of people at the same time.

So, that was another thing that I started to do is with boy scouts, I started to meet a lot of people from the different parts of the country and some international. With karate, I started to meet a lot of people from other countries because I was doing international competitions. And so, I started to see that it was important to have these connections and I usually say that connection is the fifth principle to be unstoppable. That’s a thing that I teach in one of my courses.

So, I start to realize that “Okay I need to meet all of these people”. I start to develop also my network in the universe because I knew that in the end, it would pay off. Like I said, I started to learn a lot about time management to deal with this time and to deal with what was the priority for me. It was a really good school.

Olivier Roland: You decided to quit and you still don’t make sufficient money to live. So, what do you do?

Ricardo Teixeira: One of the things that I did is the pressure with money it’s a good pressure. It’s a good pressure because it makes us, you know, it’s like a kick in the butt.

Olivier Roland: But you were not in a position of danger because you were still living with your parents, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. I was going to say that.

Olivier Roland: It’s also important to say that.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, it is.

Olivier Roland: Because that’s also a myth that most people, a lot of people think that entrepreneurs are a bit Kamikaze, they take huge risk but usually it’s not true at all.

Ricardo Teixeira: It’s true.

Olivier Roland: They take like calculated risk and they have a Plan B, a Plan C, a Plan D, a plan Z if something goes wrong. You knew that in the worst case, you would be with your parents so you didn’t have to pay the rent and stuff like that. You knew you wouldn’t be on the street, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yeah. But at that time, when I start my company like almost like – I think it was only the first or only the second year, yeah I think it was the second year, my parents had a café and they sold the café.

So, there was a little bit risky because there was no income for my parents. I have my income and so there was a little bit risky in the beginning, at a certain point a big risk but we will get there. So, you were asking about the beginning was… remind me.

Olivier Roland: I mean, we were talking about the risk and also you would get the pressure. You had the pressure to make money. So, what did you do?

Ricardo Teixeira: One of the things that I realized is I needed some money to survive so I can build my software. And so, more or less at the same time, my master, my first master.

the pressure to make money

Olivier Roland: Your karate master.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, my first one had a legal issue. He had a divorce. And so I helped with that. So, I spent a lot of time with lawyers.

So, I start to realize that they needed help for management because they knew the technical part, the legal stuff, but the management, the billing, the client managing or the marketing, all that stuff, they don’t know shit.

Olivier Roland: Yeah,

Ricardo Teixeira: And so, I start to see that it was interesting to develop something there. But, as a single guy developing software and writing the code, and surviving at the same time would be hard. So, I did a little bit like a contract with my first master and he supplied me some money to survive at least for a certain period. That would help to… because I was trying to also get some help. Because I knew that to develop software alone, it would take me forever.

Olivier Roland: Forever, yeah.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. And so, I would have some help and with that money, I could hire two people and they would help me with the software. That’s how I started also. I usually say that I started from negative because I start by owing [something to] someone.

Olivier Roland: Why did your master pay you this money?

Ricardo Teixeira: I didn’t get it.

Olivier Roland: Why did your master pay you money?

Ricardo Teixeira: He just help me.

Olivier Roland: Okay, just to help.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, just to help. And, he didn’t give me a lot of money. No, he gave me a sufficient amount every month.

Olivier Roland: Your goal is to write your software for attorneys already. But, did you already have someone who was interested?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes because of the lawyers that were working with my master, they didn’t have anything.

Olivier Roland: So, you told them.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, I proposed it to them.

Olivier Roland: Okay. And they said, “Yes, but we need to see the software first”.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, no. What I proposed was “Okay, could you be my pilot client, my beta testing client and, in return, I will grant you the software and the maintenance and everything, forever.” Even today, they are our main, well they are also our lawyers, but they are our main testers.

Olivier Roland: Interesting, 20 years after.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, 21 years after.

Olivier Roland: They still don’t pay.

Ricardo Teixeira: No.

Olivier Roland: Wow. Okay, but you can ask them one billion questions if you want to. That’s the deal. What about these features, what do you think…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Ah, interesting. Okay, alright.

Ricardo Teixeira: They were amazing.

Olivier Roland: That’s a… I mean, it’s a long partnership. It seems interesting that it started like that. So, you begin to recruit people?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, I recruited two people.

Olivier Roland: But how? You didn’t have the money.

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, I didn’t have the money, so what I did is a percentage. I said, “Okay if we could sell this, you could get a percentage” and they were like… I think two of them, they were still students. They were working a little bit with me and at the same time.

Olivier Roland: Okay. It was like a part-time job.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. And I would give them very small money that I would… You know, only for their expenses in terms of the university. That’s how I started to build the software, yeah.

Olivier Roland: Awesome. What year was that?

Ricardo Teixeira: 1996.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, 1996 1997.

Olivier Roland: The Internet was beginning to rise but it was still…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. And to be honest, it took us almost two years to have a first version of the software.

Olivier Roland: But what did you do for two years?

Ricardo Teixeira: Because we were developing the stuff and we start to develop in a language called “FoxPro”.

FoxPro was a kind of database that Microsoft had for a long time. It was like a little bit in competition with Access. I don’t know if you know but anyway. So, we were developing that. But then, we faced a lot of challenges and the technology started to change and we realized that we had to change also that.

Olivier Roland: You had to develop again from scratch.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh, yes.

Olivier Roland: Oh my God. I’m sure it was like excruciating for you to make this decision.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was. It was like “Oh, we have to throw everything away”. But at the same time…

Olivier Roland: By the way, after how many months did you do this?

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh, probably one year.

Olivier Roland: Wow. So, one year of work, you had to trash it.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. But, we put that software in our partners, you know, our clients and partners.

Olivier Roland: So, they could give you feedback.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, for sure. So, it was not I cannot say “Oh, it was totally thrown away”. No, we learned a lot. But in the terms of technology point, we had to develop again. So, we started to develop that.

In 1999, we are like the 1.0 version that we call in production, which means for the market. We start to sell that more or less in 1999. And in 2000, in Portugal, Microsoft used to do a kind of Oscars of software. They would do like a kind of  Gala. It was very cool for the geeks.

Olivier Roland: But you were invited?

Ricardo Teixeira: And then, we applied to this competition. We applied and we won.

Olivier Roland: Awesome.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was really cool that we won. At the same time, it was a cool year. This was 2000 and at the same time,

Olivier Roland: But so, wait. Because we went from 1996 to 2000, so four years.

Ricardo Teixeira: In 1997, it was the official opening of my company.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, one year of coding software that wasn’t used and one more year with a good language. Then finally, you finish the software. So, did you manage to sell it?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, we started to sell in 1999.

Olivier Roland: Okay. And how did you get your first customers?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, it was tough but mainly visiting them and direct mail.

Olivier Roland: You took that…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, Yellow Pages.

Olivier Roland: The Yellow Pages, exactly. And, you went to see them or did you call them?

Ricardo Teixeira: Both.

Olivier Roland: Are you a born seller?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, I wasn’t.

Olivier Roland: So, what did you do?

Ricardo Teixeira: I hated that. I hate that part but I had to visit them also. And also, I knew that I had to, you know, go to the market and see what would be the objections, what would be the key points because for sure one office was not enough to see the… It was not enough to see the sample of the market, to see the trends.

Because when we started to sell, immediately we started to see features that they don’t apply for the first one but applies for the second one.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: And most of these features that we started to see in the beginning are key features that would apply to everyone. That’s one of the things that were very important to get this feedback from the client. But I must mention that when you open the company also, there is an important key moment which is choosing the name of the company.

Olivier Roland: And?

Ricardo Teixeira: And I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the name of the company.

Olivier Roland: You are not the only one. It’s a big problem for a lot of entrepreneurs.

Ricardo Teixeira: It is. It is because it’s the branding and you want something… and I didn’t know much about marketing. I had a couple of books that I was reading because my first master enjoyed a lot about marketing. I still have the books that he gave me to study marketing.

I knew that I had to have a catchy name, a name that could catch and get attention. So, I come up with the Kamae. Kamae is a Japanese word connected with the martial arts to mean to be aware and to be in a standing position. I came up with this.

Olivier Roland: It’s not KIAI, it’s Kamae and we’ll go to KIAI next time.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, we’ll go there. That was a key moment because even today after 21 years, the name is still good in terms of getting attention. Of course, it has some issues also because sometimes we write with K and they write with C sometimes.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, nothing is perfect.

Olivier Roland: So, you get your first customers?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: So, you can pay your first employees with the percentage and everyone is happy?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well try to be, because it’s not still… it’s not a lot of revenue but we are strategic.

Olivier Roland: But you can make a living from it or not? For the first year?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Awesome.

Ricardo Teixeira: First year, no. We are in the third year… 1999.

Olivier Roland: Oh, okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: We are in the third year of the company when we released the software.

Olivier Roland: And you are still living with your parents?

Ricardo Teixeira: Good question, yes.

Olivier Roland: Wow and how old were you in 1999?

Ricardo Teixeira: I was…

Olivier Roland: 25 or 26?

Ricardo Teixeira: What’s the year, are we 18? So, 19… Yeah, 25.

Olivier Roland: 25.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. 24 or 25, around that.

Olivier Roland: 25. So I mean, it’s a good age and,

Ricardo Teixeira: It is.

Olivier Roland: Living with your parents was a smart choice. You’re their embodiment of the Start-upper. You didn’t start in your garage but more less, yes.

ricardo teixeira start to work in his balcony garage

Ricardo Teixeira: It wasn’t in the garage but it was the balcony.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was on the balcony.

Olivier Roland: You begin to sell copies in Portugal and then you apply for the Microsoft competition.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, and we won.

Olivier Roland: And you win. How many competitors did you have?

Ricardo Teixeira: A lot. I don’t know the exact number but I remember that it was hundreds.

Olivier Roland: Did you do something special to win that?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, and it was completely a surprise because we sent it and we totally forgot and I receive a letter a few months after, I receive a letter saying “Hey, you won this” and I was like “Cool”. There was a cheque also because it was a prize money. Not much, but it was prize money so I was like “Oh, cool”.

Olivier Roland: Did you go to an award ceremony or?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, we had an award ceremony. We still have the picture and all that stuff.

Olivier Roland: Awesome. Did it help you to put you on the map or not?

Ricardo Teixeira: Of course, yeah it helps. But, there was another thing that helped put us on the map.

Olivier Roland: What?

Ricardo Teixeira: Which was… because software is…, we were not selling a lot because we have to put this in perspective. Lawyers didn’t have computers at that time.

Olivier Roland: Okay, Wow. Crazy when you think about it.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. So, they were still having typing machines.

Olivier Roland: In 2000? Really?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Really?

Ricardo Teixeira: Typing of machines and some had computers but they only used like word processor and to have a system that would manage, it was something beyond their dreams. So, it was a hard sell.

Olivier Roland: Because they had to buy computers.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: For everyone.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. So, it was really hard because you usually had a computer or a typing machine for the secretary. You know, they would write on paper the contracts and she would type them. It was a hard sell but I knew that it was coming.

And in 2000, the government made a law, because the Internet was already in place, they released a law saying “Okay, you have to apply to the court electronically”. And so, that helped a lot.

Olivier Roland: So, the government helped.

Ricardo Teixeira: But that was not the key point. The key point was in more or less in 2000 also. Through a friend, I met a guy called Luis Matos and he’s one of the best magicians in the world. It happened by chance, I was like side by side at the same table and we were talking and we were doing some websites for people. I had a friend that was working with me and we were doing some websites.

And so, I said to this guy “Oh, why don’t we do your website for free and in return, we can use your image and you can use your name to publicize”. And he’s a really big name in Portugal, now in the world. He is a big name. His name is like David Copperfield or the same thing. He said “Yes”, he said “Okay”. We did that and a few months later, we had also  – it’s funny out these things disappear, but they were very good at that time – we had the Oscars also for the Internet.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Kind of Oscars like the best blogger, the best website. And so, we were elected the best website in the entertainment field.

Olivier Roland: Entertainment?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, because he’s a magician.

Olivier Roland: Oh, yeah. Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: I remembered that we were developing the website and there was a time frame for applying to this competition. We were developing until like 7:00 a.m. You know, developing like tricks on the web using the technology at that time.

It was very interactive, the website. So, we won that. We started to use his name also as a client reference for small companies like us, it was awesome. It was very awesome.

Olivier Roland: It’s interesting and you built slowly your “fame”, your reputation in Portugal using awards and also interesting customers. This customer didn’t pay, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, he didn’t pay.

Olivier Roland: You have this habit of working for free in exchange for experience and also testimonials and this, I mean my dear Rebels Intelligents, it’s something you can do too. Just try to work for free. Of course, it’s not the goal of your life but,

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, of course.

Olivier Roland: But just to get experience and testimonials, and it will help to start the machine.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, especially the testimonial is something with big authority because the idea here with my – now he is my friend – but the idea with him was like he was a big authority. You know, people would look to him as a reference and he is still a reference. That builds immediately a transfer of authority to us. So, it was a good thing.

My idea was “Okay, let’s build the business in different areas”. We can have first a revenue to survive and second we don’t know where the trends go because we know that the lawyers would start slowly because of the… you know the market, so they get used to it.

And the Internet was blowing up and websites, and at the same time, we got a small investment, this was in 2001. We got a small investment from someone that I knew in karate in the United States that invested to build a billing software for entrepreneurs.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: That was another key moment because we developed the software in 2002, it was faster. In 2002, we released the software and we didn’t have the money for the marketing.

So I said “Okay, how can I put the software in front of everyone with almost zero money?” and “How can I do this launch in a very effective way where I don’t have to manage with logistics, I don’t have to manage with the invoicing, I only have to manage with the maintenance or technical support of the software?”

That was the question that was in my head. And I wanted to reach as much possible, as many people as possible. So, I was one day walking in the street of Lisbon and I realized that there were a lot of, what it called, kiosks?

Olivier Roland: Yes.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, kiosks. And so, there’s a place where they…

Olivier Roland: Sell newspapers.

Ricardo Teixeira: Sell newspapers. I was watching and there are everywhere. I was like everywhere. So, I realized…

Olivier Roland: I think it’s a bit less everywhere now but it was at that time.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it’s true. At that time, they have…

Olivier Roland: They had a massive, it was a massive distribution.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. And they had like 15,000 spots. There were like two or three distribution companies. So, I contact one of them and I managed to have a contract of distribution to those spots. And for me, to produce 15,000 CDs or 30,000 because I want to put two CDs in every spot.

Olivier Roland: That’s a lot.

Ricardo Teixeira: 30,000. No, it was not a lot because if you make the math thirty thousand times maybe like one euro, maybe less, it was less, the production of the CD. It was a CD and a placard. So, I got with less than 25,000 euros, a national visibility.

Olivier Roland: Did it help?

Ricardo Teixeira: We did one million.

Olivier Roland: One million of sales. Wow, it’s crazy.

Ricardo Teixeira: It was amazing.

Olivier Roland: Okay, but the software was for who?

Ricardo Teixeira: For entrepreneurs but small business owners.

Olivier Roland: So, it was to do billing.

Ricardo Teixeira: Do billing, inventory…

Olivier Roland: It was like a magazine with 2 CDs?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, like a board. We had the board because I knew that I had to show the CDs and they have to be big because when we are compared with the newspapers, you put a newspaper like this, and you know, these newspapers are not seen. So, I want to put something big on the CD. The big was always like the marketing.

Olivier Roland: That’s smart. Thinking outside of the box, yeah.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, what they do?

They would put like behind because also the price was very… It costs like, I’m translating so, and it was less than 25 euros. It was around 30 euros. 30 euros which is very cheap for software at that time.

Olivier Roland: It’s very cheap but it was support included or not?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, for 60 days.

Olivier Roland: Okay. You got a lot of emails.

Ricardo Teixeira: Not much, but we got a lot of phone calls.

Olivier Roland: Was it the software where you had the photo of the dog?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was that one.

Olivier Roland: Okay, tell us about the dog. Why you did that because it’s very interesting.

Ricardo Teixeira: The thing is, I wanted to put this software as, you know, do a big launch with this. And also, in terms of marketing again, I was trying to set up an image that could give credibility. At that time, I had a German shepherd, a German shepherd dog. I realize, one day, I was with him and I realized “Okay, what if I put the name of the… our software are always with the prefix of the name of the company. So, it’s always Kamae, Gest is management in Portuguese so Kamae Gest or Kamae Law. Law, of law or Kamae Bank which was a software for banks, anyway.

So, what if I put Kamae Gest “the best friend of your business”?

Olivier Roland: That’s awesome with a photo of you and your dog.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: That’s a good marketing trick, I mean. And you came up with the idea.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. I came up with the idea. I had a friend again in the martial arts world, a friend who was a photographer.

Olivier Roland: As you can see, the story of Ricardo is like “I had a friend and something amazing happened.” It seems also I mean, just as a sign note to be like, to have friends and to talk with them and it gives you ideas, creativity.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes because to be alone is… Nobody wins alone.

Olivier Roland: You got the idea of putting the dog and it also helped you.

Ricardo Teixeira: It helped a lot for the sales.

Olivier Roland: And you made one million euros of sales.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: Because people connect…

Olivier Roland: To basically, every company in Portugal bought your software?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, but because a lot of people bought only for curiosity also. And the thing is, I knew because I read it in some books, I knew that “Okay, I need to have seven to nine touching points, so the person buys by impulse”. And so, the idea is to go through a kiosk and they go like “Okay, I see this”. I put in the subconscious and then they buy and that really happened, that really happened.

Olivier Roland: But is it when also you had this big problem with a distributor?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. That’s the second phase.

Olivier Roland: Okay, so tell us about this story because it’s amazing and it’s a good example of the rollercoaster in the entrepreneurs’ life.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh, yes. So, I do this launch. The launch is amazing, it’s like… we are selling like crazy but I did a beginner’s mistake. I put all the eggs in the same basket, so whatever was they got the money but they were in…

Olivier Roland: Who got the money?

Ricardo Teixeira: The distribution company. But, they were on the verge of bankruptcy and I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that, so they went bankrupt and I didn’t receive the money.

Olivier Roland: My goodness.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, that was really tough.

Olivier Roland: It’s bad because you had to pay for the CDs, you had to do the support for 60 days, you knew you had one million waiting for you and you couldn’t get it.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes,

Olivier Roland: My God. The second stage of your life, I’m sure, it was like a mess.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, it was. It was because, at that time, we had 12 people in the company because we grew very fast in terms of developers that we needed and also at the technical support because we knew that we’ll have a lot of people. So, I did this bet like, you know, 60 days or 90 days before selling because we knew that we were going to ramp up with this. Because I was sure that was the technique that was going to win.

Olivier Roland: It was true.

Ricardo Teixeira: And it was true, but…

Olivier Roland: There was something bad in the system. So, what did you do?

Ricardo Teixeira: What I did is, first of all, when this happened, I could go bankrupt because I didn’t have the money to sustain myself. I was betting a lot, and the other doing the website and selling the software for lawyers, it wasn’t enough to hold the rest of the team. So, I had to make some difficult calls because we had to survive.

The two options were going bankrupt and, at that time, it was a smart choice because I would not be blacklisted, but I have one thing from martial arts that is, sometimes it’s terrible, which is an honor. Honor is one of my biggest values. And so, to have that kind of failure and there is a lot of, you know, Elon Musk and a lot of people that have already had bankrupt companies and they just bounce back in a very successful way. But I didn’t want that on my record.

And at the same time, I had like 10 to 12 people around me that I didn’t want to let them down like saying “Okay, we are going to stop so go away, thank you very much”. I didn’t want to do that. And the other option was trying to come up with an idea to survive. So what happened was, first I was doing something with the banks trying to survive. And all my bank accounts are negative and my parents were very helpful and they mortgaged their house.

Olivier Roland: You were still living with your parents at that time?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Well, you stayed a long time.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. It was the last year that I was with them.

Olivier Roland: It was in 2002, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Because I was dating already with my wife.

Olivier Roland: You were 27.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was more or less that.

Olivier Roland: Okay, interesting. So, they mortgage their house. Wow.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. They mortgage their house.

Olivier Roland: It’s scary, then you took a lot of risk. But you knew also that the business model was right because…

things that can break the heart

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, but that was really tough. That decision almost broke my heart. It was tough. And the year that they did this, I stopped teaching martial arts because I needed total focus on the business. So that was the year that I stopped the dojos, I put the dojos to some of the students and I totally focused on the company. That was really important to do that.

Olivier Roland: Did you still have access to the kiosks through another distribution company?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, that’s what I did. So, I try to apply the same thing. Of course, it would be difficult because in the first there was a new one. Even though we could manage, we could manage to have some results and for almost one year, I think we did like half a million.

Olivier Roland: So, not bad.

Ricardo Teixeira: Not bad, we started to recover.

Olivier Roland: Just to be clear about that, you never got the one million back, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: No.

Olivier Roland: Never.

Ricardo Teixeira: Never.

Olivier Roland: Did you try the court? Well when it’s bankrupt, it’s bankrupt.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Companies like yours are at the bottom…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, my debt was like the least because they were a big group, so…

Olivier Roland: First, they pay the state then the employees and the bank employees, yes. All the providers are like… Yeah.

Ricardo Teixeira: I think when they do the split, they would give us like 15 euros or something. So, I was not going to spend money and time on lawyers and all that stuff anyway. That was tough. But during the time from that bankruptcy to get the new contract, it took us like eight months because the contracts with these kinds of companies that have distribution, it takes a lot of time.

Olivier Roland: The new distribution company. At this time, maybe you were more conscious about their financial health.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, and trying to find information. Something that I didn’t do, you know, calling the banks, trying to get some information, all that stuff.

Olivier Roland: Can you do that? The banks, they cannot give you…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, but they do.

Olivier Roland: You had some influence.

Ricardo Teixeira: They do. Give me the… give me the information. We apply the force, that’s what we call due diligence. That’s what we call due diligence and everyone smart enough should do that.

So, I started to have a negotiation with this company. But during, there are always times you know, eight-nine months and probably, it took us one year to put the software again on the market. We had to survive. So, I had to make another very difficult call.

As you know, the VAT at that time, I think it was like nineteen percent or seventeen percent, now it’s twenty-three in our country. But at that time, it was like 17 or 18 and plus some other taxes. So, I had to make a difficult call, I would pay the state, the government, or I would pay my employees.

Olivier Roland: Oh, so you paid your employees but the State was not happy.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, I did that call. During the next like three or four years, because I was trying to recover and when you have like a big debt, you try to recover and you try to pay. You try to receive but what you receive is not enough to pay for everything. So, you have always this…

Even though you are trying to put lower, you have this battle in terms of cash flow, in terms of everything. Because I then realized that I could sell when I have the distribution there with the company, I could sell not only the software but I could sell courses. And, I started to sell courses. So before selling courses online, I sold courses offline on a CD. I realized that people were buying and with those courses, I think in like in two years, we did 1.5 million which was really amazing.

Olivier Roland: So, you made really like good money

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah at that time but…

Olivier Roland: And you could pay the State too.

Ricardo Teixeira: No, not yet. I could pay a little bit but not what was owed.

Olivier Roland: Did you negotiate with them so you could have a payment plan?

Ricardo Teixeira: The plan was, because the government was not like they didn’t have the process and the workflow in places, they would take time. So I was like “Okay, let’s use that time”. When they will send me a letter or something like that, we’ll handle it. So, I usually say that one battle at a time. We cannot win the war with just one battle, let’s go for it.

From 2003 to 2006, we had this battle and in 2006, they came for me of course saying “Okay, you need to pay” plus forty per cent, plus…

Olivier Roland: Forty?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. Plus this, plus this, plus this. So, I was like “Oh…”

Olivier Roland: Do you have to use the force again?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, but this was a tough call again because this was the second time in my life that I was like on the verge again of bankruptcy because we were paying but we couldn’t pay the rest, so we’re like “oh shit”.

We had this also in front of us but then, something happened. And when we try to focus on solutions instead of the problems, there is always something happening. And what happened was, we receive an email from Angola.

Olivier Roland: Angola.

Ricardo Teixeira: Angola, yes.

Olivier Roland: Because Angola also speaks…

Ricardo Teixeira: It speaks Portuguese. I receive an email from a company and I had at that time an uncle working in Angola. He was a missionary and I sent that email to him saying “Hey, do you know this company?” And he replies back saying “That’s not a company, that’s the company in Angola”. So, we start to negotiate with them.

Olivier Roland: What did they ask you?

Ricardo Teixeira: They asked me for information about the legal software.

Olivier Roland: The software, okay.

Ricardo Teixeira: The legal one. Because they have a department, at that time, they had like three licenses and I was like “Three licenses, come on”. But then, I realized it was like 120 licenses. And in Angola at that time, it was 10 times the price, the usual price. So, we would like times 10.

If something would cost like 1 000 euros, it was a hundred there because there was also some risk. You know, Angola was… It had got out of a war and there were some risks, some security risks. So, we started with this company and we started a negotiation and we got a huge contract. I cannot say the value but we got a huge contract that helps us to get over this challenge.

Olivier Roland: So, you managed to pay the government? Did you have to pay the 40 percent?

Ricardo Teixeira: No. We had to pay that 40 percent but we managed to pay like in agreement.

Olivier Roland: With a payment plan.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, with a payment plan because I didn’t want to pay for everything and I’m zero again. And, I have to deliver this Software, and I have to travel to Angola, and I have to… Because we always need money to …

Olivier Roland: Right, to rent the company.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. So, but then I realized “Okay, if I sell to Angola, I can sell to other countries” because sometimes, we are so into our business,

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: That we lose completely, we are like this, you know.

Olivier Roland: You realize you could first like selling Portuguese speaking countries but also other languages, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. So, I started “Okay. Maybe this legal stuff, this legal solution that we developed, maybe it applies to other countries”. So, I started to go to conferences in other countries and I started to deal with lawyers in other countries. I start to realize “Shit, this is equal for everyone”. The same pains, same objections, same needs. I start to realize “Okay, I think we can sell in other countries.” Of course we went from countries that were first with the same language.

Olivier Roland: So, you meet also Mozambique, Brazil?

Ricardo Teixeira: Mozambique, Cap Vert, Brazil. Then it started also with Spain and suddenly, we had also a Portuguese guy that bought our software and he was from Macau.

Olivier Roland: Where we are right now.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: Okay, because Macau was a Portuguese country like city for 500 years.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. Yes, it was given by the Chinese because the Portuguese helped them to…

Olivier Roland: The emperor?

Ricardo Teixeira: No, helped them deal with pirates.

Olivier Roland: Ah, okay. And then, Portugal gave it back to China in 1990.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. There was a lawyer also from my town that knew a little bit about me. But you know, it’s on the internet and all that stuff and they bought the software. But I didn’t come to Macau, I think for two years, after they buy because I was totally focused on those countries in Africa.

And Africa was booming, you know? We could sell… like I said, we could sell something that costs five thousand dollars in over five thousand euros in Portugal. It would cost like fifty thousand there. So, it was a great opportunity and I was traveling there a lot. But anyway.

Then we came here and then we started to translate our software into Chinese. We already had the software in English and we start to sell here, in Macau.

Olivier Roland: That’s great. And now, you have a successful software company. You have how many employees in Portugal?

Ricardo Teixeira: We have 20 now.

Olivier Roland: 20, wow. I mean, I had a …

Ricardo Teixeira: We expect because for a long time and this is very important. For a long time, I decided not to grow my company. So, if I have something that… I imagined that I have a software project and the software project would involve getting more than three or four developers. I would subcontract. I would subcontract them, especially through oDesk at that time. Subcontract them and they would work. We would do the job and that’s it.

That also was some important that I realized which is, most of the software companies, they started to develop services. Building customized software for other companies. But I realized that those projects, always, don’t hand over on time. They always go over budget. So, I realized I need a product. I need a product, I need to develop something that I could sell if I sell one or if I sell one thousand, it’s almost the same cost for me.

So, I was always looking for that. Even when something would show up, you know, a big product to develop from zero, I would be careful. Because, we had a couple of software that we developed from zero but it was a pain in the ass because sometimes, there were some disagreements with the client even though we had everything in writing. But it was …emotional, even in terms of management, there are our emotions. It was difficult.

I thought “Okay, product. I want a product to sell.” So, I made a decision that I didn’t want to grow the company organically for a long time. I said “Okay, I don’t want” because I have to deal with employees, I have to deal with the cash every month. I had already passed for two key moments like I told you, two key moments that I didn’t like at all.

So, I didn’t want to grow but until a certain point, until a certain point like two years ago more or less, two years ago. And one of our friends, Jason Friedman that…

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: I know you already interview him.

Olivier Roland: Exactly.

Ricardo Teixeira: So, I don’t know if it’s already online or not.

Olivier Roland: I think it will be online when this video will be released, yes.

Ricardo Teixeira: Okay. And I was up with Jason and Jason grew his company from zero to 150 million dollars. And I asked him “What was the one thing, the one thing that made the total difference of growing the company?” And he said, “One particular thing which was decision.” We decided to grow.

That was almost like an “ahah” moment because I knew by myself that I didn’t want to grow and I was like debating myself. Should I grow or I should not grow? And, that was hurting my company.

So, I gathered my core team. I have like four people that deal with the sales, financial, that stuff and I said to them “Okay, we are going to grow.” We are going to grow, so we have a plan for this next 12 to 18 eight months to double the team.

Olivier Roland: Wow, awesome.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. Because we had a couple of projects going on.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, you had this big project of launching your software in the cloud.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: In how many languages?

Ricardo Teixeira: Eight.

Olivier Roland: Eight languages. Using the product launch formula?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah. Using PLF.

Olivier Roland: Which will be something new for you?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes.

Olivier Roland: And what’s also interesting is you started a side business; where you were selling law courses. So, the new bestselling product so far in this field is your product about “How to be unstoppable”, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Like where you take what you learn to become a world champion to…

Ricardo Teixeira: And an entrepreneur.

Olivier Roland: Entrepreneur, to 20 people to have more energy, to be more motivated.

Ricardo Teixeira: Especially to break through.

Olivier Roland: To breakthrough.

Ricardo Teixeira: Especially to break through.

Olivier Roland: So, they have a word that…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. Not only breakthrough but break through and build a network around that.

Olivier Roland: It is guys so good to connect these people but you heard his story. But it’s like you heard. It is like “Yeah, I had this friend and this friend. He’s speaking with friends all the time.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, because it’s really important. People don’t think okay, I was not the world champion alone. Yes, I was the guy that was fighting in the middle but that was the result of a lot of people that helped me. So, it’s really important.

And so two years ago, I wanted to do something that could help people because I saw and also this was related to a big depression that Portugal had. Portugal had a depression which…

Olivier Roland: A crisis, you mean?

Ricardo Teixeira: And it was bailed out. You know, they have to borrow money to Portugal to survive.

Olivier Roland: To loan money, yeah. To give money as loan money, so…

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: Money to Portugal so it would not be bankrupt.

Ricardo Teixeira: Exactly. And so, I saw people totally depressed and they would not… You know, they were too focus on their own issues and their own challenge. I thought to myself and also I went to Brazil and I saw the same thing. So, I thought to myself “I think I could help.” I could help some people at least and also the entrepreneurs because I saw the entrepreneurs also totally not smiling and very difficult. And after passing by two moments that were very hard for me and I could manage, I said “Okay, I think I have the experience also to help with that.” Because in 2002, the day before I decided not to bankrupt, everyone like everyone around me…

Olivier Roland: Said “Do this” and maybe it was the most logical option but…

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah, it was a logical option.

Olivier Roland: And sometimes you have to make this kind of call.

Ricardo Teixeira: And sometimes you have to go through intuition even it doesn’t make sense, you know.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Ricardo Teixeira: Sometimes. But the thing is… So, what was I talking about?

Olivier Roland: I think it’s the fourth or fifth time you asked me that in this interview. Ricardo is very successful but, you know, he is a little bit…

Ricardo Teixeira: I was so talking about the two years before I saw this depression. I said, “Okay, I can do.” I think I can make a program where I’ll teach people how to be unstoppable.

Olivier Roland: You have this idea and that’s when you started to learn about the product launch in this kind of field.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes. I can help with that and use all the knowledge in terms of martial arts, applied in the “Western world” and in a different way. And so, I came up with this program that I started to sell. And at the same time, because it was… and the inner conflict is how do I position this inside the company? It’s always a battle but I realized that this was an amazing personal brand, amazing and it’s called the unstoppable KIAI. So, that’s why.

Olivier Roland: So finally.

Ricardo Teixeira: Okay.

Olivier Roland: Before we finish the interview, can you share with us what is your next big project?

ricardo teixeira the next big project

Ricardo Teixeira: Our biggest project that we have been developing for the last seven years, there is one thing sometimes it’s very important to have patience and to believe in the product or to believe in the project in this case. So, we had developed for the last seven years of software as a service because also we’ve been testing and doing some research in the market. And, we knew that if we were like three years before, because this process is applied to lawyers and so like three or four years ago, if we would talk about cloud to lawyers, they would say “Well, no. No way. I would not put my thing in the clouds.”

But things have been totally transforming. And now, it’s really a key moment to launch a kind of solution like this. So, we are going to launch a software as a service in eight languages for law firms of up to 20 people and it’s going to be one of our probably the biggest launch ever that we are going to do up to now.

Olivier Roland: And this time, we don’t have a distributor in the middle to take all your money.

Ricardo Teixeira: No. This time, even though the gateway payments will be different. We learn and we’re going to appeal a style and we expect to break some records in our groups.

Olivier Roland: Awesome, cool. And also, you plan to launch more online courses.

Ricardo Teixeira: Oh yes.

Olivier Roland: For your personal brand like unstoppable KIAI.

Ricardo Teixeira: Yes, because it’s almost like a snowball. We are seeing that for every launch, we are double or quadruple the last launch we could triple and so, we are seeing that there is a… Well, we are tuning our avatar every time and so things are going well and getting good. And the impact on people also is amazing. We have amazing case studies and one of the ideas is also to go to the English market this year, at the end of the year. That’s going to be our project.

Olivier Roland: Awesome. So, to finish this interview, because you know it was very long so people who are still watching, they are super motivated. They are like crazy, they are on fire.

Ricardo Teixeira: Okay.

Olivier Roland: Imagine like someone is still watching now, I think there are some people, and if you there putting the comments something a bit funny like…

Ricardo Teixeira: Like KIAI.

Olivier Roland: No, wait. Put in the comments that you like Ricardo’s hair. So, we will know you are watching until the end. Awesome, right?

Ricardo Teixeira: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: In French, just say “J’aime les cheveux de Ricardo”, “J’aime la coupe de cheveux de Ricardo”. That’s very good.

Okay, to these people that are still watching and they’re like “Oh yeah, it seems amazing, I also want to be an entrepreneur”, what would be your advice for people who are starting or who wants to start?

Ricardo Teixeira: Well, first is “Just do it, man.” Just do it, because sometimes, people take too much time in planning. They don’t do it and it’s important to do it because sometimes a lot of things that we say, even us with our experience, sometimes you say it is this way and it’s the other way.

So, you have to test, you have to do it. Test and learn from that. And so, I would say like “Just do it” but if you have some issues with your values like security is very important for you, okay, stay with your job for a certain period, get some cash flow, some reserves, and at the same time, work with the rest of the hours. Then, you just go, you just go for it.

So, just do it.

Olivier Roland: Just do it.

Okay, thank you man, it was awesome.

Thank you mes Rebelles Intelligents. I hope you enjoyed this amazing interview with Ricardo. So, you can go to check his English YouTube channel, we put a link somewhere in the description, in the comments somewhere. And also, don’t forget to watch this complementary video about how Ricardo became a worldwide champion of karate, and don’t forget to click on the button to subscribe to the channel.

Don’t forget, be intelligent, be a rebel, be part of the people who move their ass, and be part of the people who KIAI.

Ciao.

2 thoughts on “The story of Ricardo Teixeira | Karate world champion and entrepreneur

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