Bruno Ciaramicoli Cabral, Founder and Director, The Number Group Ltd
Bruno Ciaramicoli Cabral is an entrepreneur with multiple businesses in the hospitality and real estate sectors, and he is author of a new book, 'Letters to Self'.
Bruno is currently a director at Number 90 Bar, Studio 9294, Gbl Studios, Main Yard Studios, Starlane Pizza Bar and Half Baked.
Bruno’s companies have won Time Out and Hackney Council awards for ‘the most innovative business’.
Bruno also has an organisation called the Global Dental Collective which focuses on mental health for dentists and is passionate about championing the wellbeing of entrepreneurs.
His recently self-published book, 'Letters to Self' is a collection of messages about self-growth relating to mind, body and soul. Bruno is a thought leader on business innovation, self-belief and using the mind-body-spirit connection to get ahead in life.
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
I’m originally from Brazil and from a young age I wanted to move away and explore the world. I moved to the UK aged 18 with very little money in my pocket and without speaking a word of English. My English was so bad I used to think people were speaking Japanese when they said ‘Hi’! I kept thinking ‘Why don't people say “Hello”? not realising that ‘Hi’ was another way people greet each other!
My first job was as a toilet cleaner in a club. After a few years my English got better so I was promoted to work at the bar. Eventually, I made it to management after 2 years. When I was 25, I opened my first company, Half Baked Records which completely exploded and from there I opened another seven businesses on the site of Number 90 Bar including Studio 9294, Gbl Studios, Main Yard Studios and Starlane Pizza Bar.
Was any one person who was instrumental in helping you get from where you started out, to where you are now?
It is very hard to name one person. I have had so many people help me along my journey. Many helped me without even knowing it. Pretty much every single boss or manager I’ve ever worked with has taught me something. I have always been very interested in learning how things are done and the more I observed what my employers were doing, the more I started to form my own opinion on what was right or wrong about their business or on their management style.
My first business partner Remi Landaz was a big part of all the companies I started as he was the only one who believed in my ideas and my potential. We also shared a common interest in wanting to build a business and make a living without working for other people.
Is there a particular piece of advice you were given in the early days of your business journey that you still benefit from today?
I would strongly recommend studying your competition to see what they are doing right and what they are getting wrong. Also, ask people questions to understand the gap in the market to help you decide where you will be directing your company towards.
The main advice I can give to other entrepreneurs is to listen to your gut feelings. No one else except you is able to feel if you are going in the right direction or not.
What is the most important lesson you've learned about leadership in your business journey so far?
The less you tell people the better! I Don’t share business ideas or ongoing projects with others until you have closed the deal. learned this the hard way. I have had many ideas and projects not go ahead because I either gave the idea away to someone else, I said too much about it or I lost the momentum and it never happened. If you have the energy to do something, don’t tell anyone, just go and do it!
What are the top three things you wish you'd known when you were just starting out?
Discipline is the key to success, don’t focus on the problem but only on the solutions and don’t try to explain to too many people what you want to build. You are the only one who knows where and how big you want to go. 1. Discipline is the key to success
2. Don’t focus on the problem but only on the solutions 3. Don’t try to explain to too many people what you want to build. You are the only one who knows where and how big you want to go
In your experience, what is the most effective way to build a strong network of mentors and advisors to guide you in your business endeavors?
Definitely going where they are going! I attend loads of courses, seminars and conferences to get the network I need to build my businesses. Be yourself because you are unique, and be honest about what you need and where you want to go.
How do you determine when it's time to pivot, and what factors should you consider in making that decision?
There is never a right time to start something new in my opinion, you just have to get it done once for all. Basically, you need to crack the egg and start the business right away. The issue for many people I have mentored in the past is that they are constantly trying to have the perfect business which doesn’t exist. You have to learn what is right or wrong, and get feedback from your customers and audience to make the business better. Don’t be afraid and just get it out!
How do you stay motivated and inspired during the business cycle of ups and downs?
Once you have your goals and plans, or an idea of where you want to be with your business, focus on WHY you started it rather than focusing on the problems or getting into other people's drama. Make sure to focus on the solutions for everything and anything. You are the pilot of this plane and no one else can fly it! So, make sure to balance your energy when it comes down to the issues facing your company. You are the centre point of it all and everyone will look up to you in order to move ahead.
Looking back, what one thing would you do differently if you could start your journey over again?
That’s a tricky question. Many things have happened my in life for a reason and I have learned so much from my mistakes which have made me who I am right now. The only thing I would have done differently is listen to myself more rather than to other people.