Entrepreneurship 40+: Meet Régis Lauprete

When we read stories of start-ups in the sports industry a lot of the protagonists seem to be in their twenties. While there are plenty of young business founders, there’s also a big number of successful entrepreneurs who didn’t start their role before they turned 40. In our series “Entrepreneurship 40+”, we want to introduce you to some of these incredible personalities.

In our second edition, we had the pleasure to talk to Régis Lauprete who is the president of Magnitude which he found in 2018.

Introduction

Your Job / Company Name: 

MAGNITUDE, I’m the president of the company.

Your Field of Profession: 

I have 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Management and Top Management.

MAGNITUDE in 2-3 Sentences:

As an expert in sales support and sales force externalization, Magnitude develops and implements human and digital solutions to transpose brand commercial ambitions in-store, and to make live the brand consumer experience. We are specialized in the sports industry.

Careerwise, what have you been doing before you got self-employed?

I started my career in a commercial position. First in transport, before realising that this sector was not for me. As ex top athlete, I have always been passionate about sports, so I did all I could to become part of a sports brand. After a short period at Nike, I joined adidas for 7 years. This is where my career, and with it my skills and knowledge of the industry, evolved and I learned to understand the functioning of the market. I started as a sector manager, before taking on the role of a field manager, followed by Key Account Manager, before ending my career at adidas with an international KA position where I took care of one of the biggest accounts for the brand, Décathlon.

For reasons of life choice, I left adidas to join Diesel, as Sales Director Footwear and Bags. I worked there for 2 years, before joining G-Star for 4 years as Country manager of Footwear for France, Spain and Portugal, to launch and develop this new branch for the brand. I worked a very short period at Ralph Lauren. That was my last experience working for brands which allowed me, at 41, to understand that after all these years in which it had been my dream, I had no longer the wish to pursue my career in this kind of organisation.

What was your motivation to found your own business?

To play an active role in my own life in a much more direct way! I was looking at some entrepreneurial friends developing their project, and despite the uncertainty or the round-the-clock occupation of their job, I envied their freedom and their capacity to create their own fortune. I felt ready at this point. I would not have been able to accomplish my own business 10 years ago. For me it was a revelation at almost 45.

How did you move from an idea to execution?

It took me exactly three things:

  1. Externalisation of Sales Force has been in my area of expertise for years, so I had the knowledge and confidence to move forward with my idea.
  2. After helping some friends creating a similar business, I got a clear idea of how it is done.
  3. The moment I met my future partners provided the final push to get started.

How is your daily life as an entrepreneur?

It is never the same. It can be a day at the office or traveling. It always suits me because it is me who decides. I prefer that to an employment.

What’s the biggest reward(s) of having your own business?

The pleasure of building my team and working day to day with them in the atmosphere that I always dreamed of finding in my previous jobs! That’s a dream that became reality.

What, in your opinion, makes a successful entrepreneur?

Personally, I knew that it would be easier and in consequence more successful for me to integrate into a project in which I could use my already existent experience and network.
When you have only known salaried employment for years, becoming an entrepreneur is not a spontaneous decision, it cannot be improvised. Above all, you must be ready in your head. It’s better to start your own business, because it’s your desire, not because you want to run away from something like an unsatisfying job, but rather because you want to take on a more active role in your career. It is a state of mind. It cannot be controlled, it comes to you, and is reinforced through reflection on the project.

How do you think is it different to start an entrepreneurship over 40 than in your twenties?

At 40, if you perceive that if your professional evolution is not reaching the level of your expectation, it will be difficult to continue with the same ambition as before. While at your twenties you have so much time to grow in your role. Life aspirations are also very different in your 20s and your 40s.

For a lot of people, the fear of failure is the reason not to start their own business. What would you say to someone to convince them to go through with it anyway? Which impact did fear have on you?

I would not speak of fear. Being an entrepreneur is above all knowing how to trust yourself, knowing how to question yourself. I would rather speak of risk. The fear of failure paralyzes, while risk management can be very exciting. And failure is part of the entrepreneur’s experience, it strengthens them. So, my answer would be trust yourself. You are the only one who knows if you are ready for this adventure, and it is by listening to your inner voice that you will know if you are ready to go.


Interested in meeting other entrepreneurs? In our first part of Entrepreneurship 40+, we talked to Alban Le Pellec, the General Manager of the consulting agency All-Seasons.