Two days after this site showed some “balls” by publishing a post on Eike Batista’s ego (something that no one in the mainstream media has the courage to do, by the way), the very well respected New York Times (not a bunch of irresponsible bloggers like us) decided to corroborate with our post and said that Eike “points to himself for inspiration” (thanks to Riogringa.com for the tip). Inspiring, isn’t it?
And if someday, someone asks you, our dear readers, “what inspires you”? You should answer with no hesitation: “Myself”. Got it? That’s right, this is how we roll… and, by the way, our advice is to park your beat-up Ford Fiesta 2005 in your living room, that can also help bring your confidence level up a notch.
A couple of passages of the NYT text (our comments in bald):
“Brazilians think that I appeared in the year 2000 from scratch,” said Mr. Batista.
Mr. Batista surfaced in the gossip magazines only in the 1990s after he married the model and Carnival dancer Luma de Oliveira.
Mr. Batista has done anything but hide … he is also one of Brazil’s most public figures, a serial entrepreneur with boundless energy to sell himself and his country.
Selling Powerpoint presentations…
While President Dilma Rousseff has held up Mr. Batista as an example of private-sector execution, rival businessmen have contended that Mr. Batista’s chief skill was as a salesman, persuading investors to bet about $24 billion on his start-up companies in mining, oil, logistics, power generation and shipbuilding.
“They think he sells too many dreams and not enough reality,” said Olavo Monteiro de Carvalho, a former partner in an Amazon gold mine. (by the way, an insider at his MPX company told us that 90% of the company’s white collar employees are salesman and create powerpoint presentations full time for living … true story).
Show off … “just brutally show it”!
Brazilians remain divided on the man most simply know as Eike. Some view him as showy and a megalomaniac (no, not true!), scoffing at photos of him in pink ties and posing beside his $1 million Mercedes McLaren (ok, we have done a bit of that).
Mr. Batista is unapologetic, saying he is trying to break a cultural conservatism around wealth that his father was a part of, and teach Brazilians to look up to their entrepreneurs the way Americans do.
“I want to help a whole generation of Brazilians to be proud,” he said. “I am rich, yes. I have built it myself. I have not stolen it. Show it. Just brutally show it.”
Showing off his toys, achievements, money… and, of course, inspiring.
These days, Mr. Batista is fully unshackled. He travels the world in his $61 million Gulfstream jet, often giving talks, and interacts with his more than 539,600 Twitter followers, to whom he offers “educational phrases” meant to inspire.
In his office, he displays framed photos of his days as a champion powerboat racer and a sword given to him by a grateful Japanese partner in a gold deal.
He peppered his German-accented English — one of five languages he speaks fluently — with French phrases like “Voilà!” and “C’est la vie.”
Mr. Batista said his journey began as a “quest towards financial independence” and a burning desire to escape the shadow of his famous father…
He remains an avid swimmer and runner.
Better than his Dad…
The younger Mr. Batista said his father “did a lot of incredible things for Brazil,” but he was “never a risk taker.”
Building a fortune… on the back of his father
He persuaded a jeweler in Rio to lend him $500,000 — “for sure, they knew my father was important,” he said — and went to the Amazon.
With the loan, he began trading gold, acting as an intermediary between peasant miners and buyers in Rio and São Paulo. He said he made $6 million in a year and a half of trading.
… the machine started to run. Soon it was making $1 million a month.
Failing before succeeding… and of course, inspiring, like always
His father, fearing that his son risked being kidnapped, encouraged him to search outside the country. He tried it but failed in Russia, Greece, the Czech Republic, Ecuador and Venezuela, losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
He failed at other types of businesses, from jeeps to beer to perfume.
Now to some more “inspiring” …
These days he is obsessed with inspiring a new generation of Brazilian entrepreneurs to be risk takers like him. “We don’t need to only have the best soccer players in the world,” he said. “Why not have the best entrepreneur in the world?”
And, if you made any money in your life, you owe him…
“Real estate prices have tripled. People should pay me a commission.”
Our final note: Did you make a couple hundred thousands selling your condo in Rio? Just thank Eike Batista for it… after all, your dream and financial independence would not have been possible without him.