Spotlight with Camila Potenza – Mindset Ventures

With the ongoing initiative of building Withum’s Women in Financial Services group, we will continue to spotlight our women clients, friends and founders on their personal and professional experiences and successes.

This month, Withum’s Colleen Fay sat down with Camila Potenza from Mindset Ventures to discuss comfort zones and measuring success.

Q: As a working mom and founder, describe your worst working day. What did you learn from the experience and do you have advice for others?

A: Most working moms would agree that it is only possible to deal with our double shifts if we are extremely organized and efficient about our time. When things that are out of our control happen (and they usually happen quite often), it’s really tough to get through the day without having to leave something behind. For me personally, this is still very frustrating specially because I might be letting down someone else. But from my experience, something I learned from those situations is that I need to reprioritize things quickly and inform people about what is going on. Being a working mom does not mean we have to be super women and that it’s ok to show our vulnerabilities.

Q: What about your role pushes you outside of your comfort zone?

A: Since the decision I made to change careers after living in Silicon Valley, I feel that I’ve always been out of my comfort zone and probably this is what drives me to move forward. At Mindset Ventures, I have many hats. So, for instance, as the head of our value creation efforts, networking with people from several countries and different positions is extremely necessary. Although it can be very challenging (and I know there are many women that struggle with that), it makes me excel at social and emotional skills, besides allowing me to connect with many interesting people and learn different concepts and points of view from sharing experiences and knowledge. On the other hand, by leading operations, in addition to having to be extremely organized, disciplined and detail oriented, I have to be creative and open-minded specially when structuring new products. And, finally, by being a member of our investment committee, I need to analyze innovative entrepreneurs and businesses that are usually disrupting traditional industries and defying the status quo. I can say that it’s part of our mindset to be constantly pushed outside of our comfort zone.

Q: Who is your biggest role model? Do you have a story to share why they were so significant in your life?

A: I have many but today I would like to mention my grandmother (especially due to recent conflicts between Russia and Ukraine). She is Hungarian and, because of the war, she had no choice but abandon her country and move to Brazil. She was just a kid and everything she had and knew was destroyed. Her family had the strength to rebuild in a new country from scratch, and my great-grandmother, who was an Opera singer, pushed my grandmother to always think more of herself and encouraged her to create her own path and not be afraid of any challenges she could end up facing. And whenever I think about that and about the line of strong women I come from, I feel very moved and blessed for having such amazing role models in my life. She is an example of a power working mom, and a person who have always had strong values and the resilience to start over, without ever losing her feminine nature.

Q: How do you measure success both personal and professionally?

A: This is a very interesting question because it varies a lot from person to person. For me, it’s definitely not just about money, prizes, awards or recognitions. When I think about success, I usually look back trying to figure out if I made any progress towards my goals over the past years. It’s kind of a new year’s resolution exercise when you analyze the balance of the year that just ended and prepare yourself to write down your new objectives for the year to come. Of course, it sounds like a never-ending game but it’s also rewarding. When you think it through, you realize that you have already achieved success many times in your life and may achieve countless times more.

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