Multi-millionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mathilde Vuillermoz, founder of the multi-sector company MV Worldwide, reveals what inspires her business achievements and career success.
What do you currently do?
I run a company called MV Worldwide, which is a platform for all of my entrepreneurial activities: startup investments, mostly in BioTech, FinTech and MedTech; off-market international real-estate deals on behalf of buyers and sellers; buying and trading cryptocurrencies; film financing; social media brand marketing campaigns; publishing; and the management of talent in the writing, social media and overall content-creating business.
In order to run this diverse and multi-faceted business structure I travel extensively, whilst building a portfolio of personal real-estate properties in order to have a ‘home base’ in the many different countries I visit. As an avid traveller, and someone who is absorbed in finance, I tend to view countries as ‘business transactions’ as opposed to homes. This means that the logistics of my real-estate purchases and travel plans are directly impacted by the benefit I can see financially in terms of business opportunity, asset management and taxes – which vary greatly from one country to the next.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
As I always say, you ‘do not choose entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship chooses you’. For me, the MV Worldwide business structure is the materialisation and merging of many interests I have had for a very long time. I love turning my passions and interests into concrete projects. This is what my MV Worldwide business structure is all about: my personal interests—combined under one single structure—that allows me to operate globally and travel independently as I wish.
I started in Hollywood as a film and literary agent. When I decided to start my own business, MV Worldwide was focused on the ‘book and film’ world exclusively. I then strategically incorporated many of the activities that I was doing in parallel which were financially profitable, and which I found of personal interests.
Who do you admire?
I don’t have a role model or someone I ‘admire’ in particular, because I don’t think it’s healthy to have one. We never know what goes on behind closed doors and we only ever get to see a glimpse of what people do (or do not) want to show. To illustrate my point, the line between a role model (admiring someone) and putting that person on a pedestal is very blurry. And when we put people on pedestals we are submitting to the idea that that person has greatness within them that we do not have within us.
I can tell you that I admire someone’s eloquence, their ability to lead; charisma; perseverance; multi-tasking skills, manners and so on. I believe each individual has their own set of unique skills. No one is that amazing and no one is that mediocre. I always get extremely suspicious when I read about/hear of someone who is either absolutely admired or someone who is really disliked. I always try to research in-depth and understand what the ulterior motive, the agenda, is behind this. Humans are extremely complex and appearances can absolutely not be trusted.
I have learned a lot from many people in different countries, some of whom I felt had skills I greatly admire—yet I do not consider them to be role models. They were just inspirational to me at certain moments in my life which enabled me to develop, and be aware of, my own potential. This is why I am always eager to meet new people who intrigue me and from whom I know I will learn and grow.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Not at all! Don’t get me wrong, I have made (and still make) decisions where the outcome is less than satisfying. But I have learned to accept that I am ‘perfectly imperfect’ and that’s what is important: to keep focusing on the goals I have set for myself and to learn as much as I can from the decisions I have made which did not turn out as expected.
I don’t look back. It’s not healthy and it’s energy consuming. I have no influence on the past, only on the present and the future. When I feel that I am starting to look back at a particular part of my life, if I can’t learn from it then I immediately close the door mentally and refocus on what is ahead; what I have control over and what can impact me positively.
I am someone who learns by doing. This involves a lot of risk-taking with a minimal amount of control over the outcome, so of course not everything will be perfect the first time around. What matters more to me personally is to execute the vision, stay the distance and survive the entrepreneurial journey. This may involve decision making that results in a less than perfect outcome, but I take full responsibility and I remain resilient and focused on accomplishing my goals. I love feeling like I’m in a race against myself. It is energizing and intellectually empowering!
What defines your way of doing business?
I believe in the interaction of instinct and energy. This is why I like to travel so much. Each geographic location has its very own distinct energy, some of which fits me better than others. This underpins my way of doing business as it allows me to draw on different kinds of inspiration from the different cultures—and the different people—I meet around the world. I have a clear vision when it comes to what I want to achieve. However, my vision is largely shaped by instinct and the network I build at an international level. Being emotionally receptive, and open to people and their different energies, is key to me, and having the ability to build a network of skilled individuals around me, whose energies complement mine, makes me feel like I am the best version of myself.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Most importantly, have a clear vision of what you wish to build and accomplish. Don’t follow trends blindly and out of fear of missing out. Be ultra-confident in your vision. Be resilient, work extremely hard, and don’t rely solely on motivation as this can be negatively affected by moods, and is therefore not enough to succeed. I often hear people say, “Do what you love and the rest will follow and fall into place.” This is the type of advice you would hear from a Disney movie with a happy ending! The world of entrepreneurship is way too cut-throat and competitive to simply rely on being passionate about what we do and life, by its very nature, is unpredictable.
Entrepreneurs need to be prepared to learn to love the many different problems and challenges generated by their business activities— and they need to be prepared to not only do what they love in order to reach their goals. The road to achieving the goals we set for ourselves and our business is not straight. It’s paved with obstacles, sacrifices, and frustrating failures, and being able to adapt and adjust when necessary is key.
Also, be humble and keep your own ego in check. Acknowledge that a poorly-made decision can result in a poor outcome. That’s OK. Learn from this, move on, and grow. And take responsibility. Finally, keep in mind that no matter what the business, it needs to be financially profitable. Numbers to me are essential. The harsh reality is that it takes a lot of perseverance and a ton of hustle to build a financially-profitable business capable of turning raw ideas and projects into tangible, functioning, successful money-making ventures.