Mentors and mentees – Becoming from entrepreneur also to entrepreneur.
Zoltán Fábián's grandparents have been already entrepreneurs, so it was no coincidence that by getting his first diploma he has been already working for the business of his family. After that no wonder he has his own family business with her wife and his 29 years older son. As a bike rider, he thinks that an entrepreneur needs to train a lot in his professional field and to know when to put the bar higher. Moreover, never give up!
How did you become an entrepreneur and what kind of business or businesses do you have?
We started as a family business and still we have also a family business. My parents started their own business in the early '90s, to which - I could say - I grew up in. It was an educational consulting company, we made strategies and we localized, that is, we adapted foreign methods and solutions to the Hungarian conditions.
Was it quite clear that you were going to work for this business?
I had also other ideas and I was involved in a variety of projects in the family business. Many times, I was employed by another company as well, because we did not work like someone realized his idea, became a managing director and then did it for 20 years. At that time, five members of the family have been charged in our company, in addition to my parents and myself, my sister and her husband. Who was just facing a new challenge, gave the relay baton to the person then running the business. We are and we were not working in a very classic form, but rather we could be defined as a community of intellectual partners.
How did the generational change take place in your business?
Since the model itself is not traditional, the change of generation was also not classic. Generally, it happens than the parents set up a business, elapse few decades they become old and they pass the business on to their child or children. At us it happened that our parents gradually had less work in the company while we had more and more. New projects, new clients were coming, managed already alone by me. A few years ago, we founded new businesses, my family situation also changed, I created a company with my wife as well.
What kind of business do you carry?
Our activities are very similar to those of my parents' company, we deal with expertise, consulting, project management, strategy development and marketing and sales services. We're older now, but later the younger generation will carry the company forward. Previously, the older boy was the managing director, but now he is working on a large project needing all his time and manpower.
I feel like you have the business in your veins. Why is it good to act as an entrepreneur? Wouldn't it be easier to go to a workplace, do what you need, get paid, and watch TV calmly?
I'm just an entrepreneur in order not to live like that. There are always challenges, inspiration, issues to realize, and of course many failures as well. There is an all-day hustle and bustle.
I think, it is very respectable when somebody decides to help others. Why did you want to help others and not just to deal with your own affairs?
We are not completely "normal" in this either: we have never built only our own business. We have always cooperated and worked together with others thus helping development and growth of other companies. I was and I am, for example, close to non-profit organizations. It is natural that we are experiencing, learning and seeing a lot, from that we want to pass on something to others. For the reason that it will be good also for me even if it is good for those around me. By the way, I really like to deal with people, so mentoring is also important to me in this regard.
With so much activity, how do you even have time for this activity?
I am sure that there is much to learn from the mentoring process, to get new inspiration, to create new relationships. So, it's worth to spend time and to devote energy on it. I'll watch even less TV ...
What do you think what are your own strengths?
I have worked already in many fields, where I have met with a wide range of clients, company cultures and business activities. From strategic and market planning, through the coordination of developments up to the management of company, I have done a lot of things, therefore I have experiences in a variety of industries. Our consulting services and our other main activities are performed in telecommunication, IT, financial sector and in transport developments. This is also because many large companies „have been hunting me down”, so I have many years of experience as employee.
How do you imagine working together with a mentee?
By no means, I do not want to be a „pretentious people”, because a mentor does not have the perfect knowledge for this. I think a good mentor would rather put questions, inspire, „throw balls”, briefly, he thinks together with the mentee.
What did your wife say about the undertaking another task as well?
She knows exactly that my eyes are shining the most when I am dealing with company development. She is aware of how important is this to me and she supports me in that.
Have you already had a mentee?
Yes, I already know that I will help three young entrepreneurs.
When would you be satisfied with your mentoring performance?
If my mentees were to say even after five years as well that this one year was worth it.