Sometimes it has to be no more rarara but more work ethic. Sometimes we don’t need any more motivation but simply need to take (more) action.
I’ll keep it short and am sorry for having not posted the last days. I delivered a leadership development workshop in english over the weekend and worked the other days relentlessly to get my offers out. Therefore today a short post and a video via Gary Vee!
And in case you have no clue who you are but want to increase your self-awareness – drop me a message or get in touch here. I specialised in personality assessments to increase strategic self-awareness 🙂
Fear – I guess this is a big one. Everyone who has ever tried something new has experienced fear. Everyone who has ever stepped out his or her comfort zone has felt scared. I believe maybe everyone who has started the entrepreneurial journey has experienced fears at one point or another.
I certainly know that I did. For a pretty long time. I was scared to start my own company. To start from scratch. To take full responsibility.
The fear to start
I guess the biggest fear I had was to actually start. It took me a while from deciding I would like to start my own company to actually start my own company. But it wasn’t done with that step. Having a company and still being full-time employed did simply not feel right. But with having done the step of picking a name, registering the company, having a website published I forced myself into getting real.
And while doing so I still scared. I am still am. Everyday is new adventure. But at some point my desire to work full-time on my dream was simply bigger than my fear. The desire and purpose simply overweight my fears. And then everything just happened…
Where the magic happens…
The magic does not happen in our comfort zones. It’s a cosy, beautiful place but to spark the magic we need to grow. This is what I truly believe. And starting from the moment I was totally bought into my idea the magic became feasible. The moment I was totally certain that I can do it, the fear backed off. The moment I was committed to this project and truly believed in myself other people started believing in me.
I mean, certainly the journey is still super fresh and there is still fear. And a lot of overwhelming but there is no more doubt on the big thing.
For me getting into action mode, which started right after full commitment there were simply no more room for too many fears. A bit of risk aversion and stuff is alright. And you certainly do not want to become blind for risks and errors and all this stuff. Simply to avoid massive failure. But with throwing yourself into action you can change fears into seizable risks. Those sizeable risks are manageable.
And I guess this is one of the most rewarding things just now. To know I am no longer hiding but am taking action. Taking full responsibility and continuously stepping out of my comfort zone.
The truth is I believe everything that scares us is a pretty good sign to have a closer look. Because if something can cause such a strong emotion like fear it might be a dream that is truly important to you.
Don’t give up! 🙂 When I can step up to my fears, you can too!
“The necessity of networking” sounds pretty serious… I know… and I truly believe networking IS needed to be taken serious. Absolutely serious!
This is a lesson I hard to learn. I mean, I always knew that networking is important. But I didn’t know that it’s actually that essential. When you are in sales and recruiting as I have been for roughly 10 years networks are the source for your referrals and recommendation. But when you build a company networking is one of the number one tasks to do.
Networking in Germany
I always had the feeling that in Germany networking was essential especially for the very high hierarchy levels. You know I’m talking about these cliche weekends and off-sites where managing directors, C-level and board members close the biggest deals while playing golf. I mean obviously this is not the real world. I mean. This is part of the real world but only half of it. Also in Germany there are many, many opportunities to network in professional environments like organised clubs (Rotaract, Lions, Rotary etc. etc.). But how many of us do really do this? I used to be in networking organisations since I was in school. On a regular basis. Actually on a regular on-off basis… it simply didn’t have this much of a relevance. It was no priority.
Networking in the UK
Since I moved to the UK and especially since I started my company I learnt to understand that networking is one of the most, if not the single most important thing to do when you are in business. And when you want to succeed. I find myself going to networking events at 7 am in the morning. And guess what I am not the only one. For many people this is a priority appointment during office hours. I also network a lot with likeminded people via Facebook groups or other professional networking groups like LinkedIn. I have received already so many incredible inputs. My thinking was challenged. I can pick a brain at any given time. I can deliver value to other people. I can be of help. It’s incredible. The results I achieved by simply talking and interacting with people are incredibly amazing.
We are living a connected world. You can simply reach out to every one you want. It’s as simple as this. Only drop a message. How cool is that please?
Seriously I am totally bought into the whole networking hype and I think it should be an essential topic in school “how to network properly and why”.
A while ago I met an old friend I studied with back in 2006. We kicked off our careers at the same bank and had equal opportunities. The main difference is that I have left the bank after six years and she stayed. Along with her some other colleagues have stayed with the bank and celebrate now their 10th anniversary.
So I have a direct comparison of what title and salary I would be on right now.
But I left.
Was it worth it?
When I left the bank to join a startup company many people thought I would have lost my mind. Maybe I did. Do I regret it? Not at all.
Financially I might have gone a huge step back. Especially with now having founded a startup company there is no such benefits as paid holidays, paid insurance, expensive incentives and bonuses etc.
But I guess it’s not all about a financial aspect. Journeys like mine will always loose when the benchmark is prestige or money.
Most startups fail and will never be successful. So, my decisions to get into business on my own was also risky – in every aspect.
Why did I do it?
I did it anyways and would do it over and over again as I used my 20-ies to gain experiences. To try out different industries, to figure out what I enjoy doing and also what I definitely hate doing.
I went back to University and I did this in a different country. Two things I wanted to do forever and would have regret if I wouldn’t have done them.
For me the whole thing isn’t too frustrating anyways as I had never the aspiration to have a quick win. I am in it to win it. I am in it for the long run.
I truly believe legacy over currency.
All this blogging stuff I definitely don’t do to become rich. Or to become famous. This would actually freak me out if I would because I sometime don’t even know whether anyone is reading this. If you do, please give me a hint so I know I am not alone.
Legacy over currency
Of course I want to make money – preferably a lot. But I believe you have to put the work into it. And I want to do this by delivering great customer experiences, great products and great service.
Therefore I guess I might no longer be comparable to my colleagues from earlier days and that’s fine. I would make any decision over and over again. And to answer the question: Yes, I truly believe it is worth it. I am creating the life I want. It sometimes sucks, it can be lonely but so does employee life. Je ne regret de rien.
It’s MyNutShare’s birthday week – whoop whoop 🙂 I registered this blog in September 2015 and my very first post went online on September 26th last year.
Can’t believe it’s been a whole year already.
Anyways, back to basics… Today it’s about startup struggle.
On Saturday we met an acquaintance for breakfast and a walk and talk. He teaches entrepreneurship on one of the leading business universities. The question “is entrepreneurship teachable?” came up … I guess it depends on the course and it’s content. When you want to teach someone the DNA to be an entrepreneur, the mindset, the hustle I believe it’s hopeless. There is literally no point in doing so. But if teaching entrepreneurship does mean teaching the toolkit, the business necessities needed to run and build successful companies I think there is absolutely a point. It surely does help to understand what makes businesses successful, how to test markets etc.
Startup struggle – it’s real
Another thing that came up was that most startups struggle with exact the same things.
So many of us struggle to focus and worry about stuff that is either not relevant and / or will never happen. Therefore it might be a good idea to challenge the mindset’s in some courses. To challenge overthinking and teach brainstorming techniques etc. – to get away from the formal educational paths and teach stuff that matters to aspiring entrepreneurs.
5 things to quit right now
In line to the above point I came across a pic today on Instagram which states “5 things to quit right now” (source unknown).
Do you know the African proverb “it needs a village to raise a child”?
This is what it feels like to start a company. It’s a bit like raising a child. Watching the baby making the first steps. Being proud. Being worried…
You will be challenged – constantly. It’s hard. And in the same time it’s a lot of fun! But entrepreneurship is for sure not for everybody. And therefore you will come across many people who won’t understand what the heck you are doing. Your friends who are not on the same journey as you are might not realise that you are changing your life. Your friends might not be interested because it’s not for them. It’s not a lifestyle model they can handle.
You will probably come across a couple of people who show no interest at all. Who are busy living their own lives and maybe simply forget to ask how it’s going. That’s life. That’s it.
Find your village, your tribe
You will need supporters. But these supporters do not necessarily need to be the people you know for ages. It might be even good sometimes to keep some things sometimes a bit separate.
But when you get on the entrepreneurial journey you will come across so, so many people who will support you.
I would have never ever imagined that I will build quickly so intense, deep business relationships based on the mindset of being on the same journey. But it happened. Pretty often.
You might move to another village
The people you will meet during your entrepreneurial journey might not be the people who are in it for the long run. It might not be long lasting relationships but there will be relationships. There will be touching points, there will be mentoring, there will be sparring.
It’s an amazing journey to go and the support is massive.
Even so many people who are not keen to become an entrepreneur themselves but who are interested on the startup story can be uber supportive.
Go out there, make contacts, share your story. We are all humans. We all have something to tell, to teach and to be happy about. The entrepreneurial journey can be lonely sometimes – but it doesn’t have to be all the time. Get close to the people that do you good and empower you.
I guess becoming self-employed, building a company, becoming an entrepreneur, taking full responsibility is a big step and a huge change. Taking full responsibility does also include and affect other areas of a life. One of those is becoming (more) healthy.
Taking full responsibility
By controlling time one has the chance to create a life and schedule that can help you become healthier.
Regular exercise is one great way for me to keep your mind fresh and kickoff my day. I love for example spinning classes early hours in the morning for a pumped and active start.
Getting enough sleep and establishing a bedtime or end of the day routine can be an amazing way to calm down and get enough rest.
How many hours of sleep do you need?
A great way to get a good rest can be a digital free time before bed time. This includes reading – not via iPad or iPhone but with a proper book. Or maybe listening to some music rather than watching TV. There are many healthy choices to pick from.
How often a day / week do you have “me time”? Time only for yourself – without any distractions from notifications or anything else?
I love food. And I love fruits. To also get my daily greens I love to mix them with some fruits in healthy juices.
Here are some of my current fav recipes. In case you have some other fav receipts please share them with me! Would love to try them out.
How often do you get interrupted by a push notification on your phone?
Me pretty often. I love my phone. And I also love games. So I was very much pleased to find out there is an easy and fun way to keep my focus, reduce distraction and keep my phone away from me.
There is this productivity app …
I am currently using for the first time (just now, while writing this post) and guess I will really like it.
It’s called FOREST
It basically combines behaving productive with a reward and a fun element. Or how Nir Eyal in his book “Hooked” would describe it “pleasure seeking behavior becomes pain alleviating behavior”. What this means the product (App) helps you to avoid pain of procrastination and being inefficient by continuously checking your phone. Inefficiency is particularly painful, when you are self-employed and don’t get a fixed salary but get paid for delivering real value.
It does so by rewarding you (pleasure seeking) of doing unpleasant behaviour (not touching my phone although I want to). The reward in this case is you can plant a tree. Sounds weird? Well, it is, but it’s fun – gamers might like it. To actually get the cool trees you need to spend using the app for a certain amount of time.
Planting trees sounds nice but what’s the use?
Over time this tree planing thing can help you to form the new habit of limiting the amount of time spending on our phones. Or in other words – reducing the amount of time wasted by playing Candy Crush and co..
For everyone who is not too much into games this app has also offers the opportunity to invest the earned rewards in real value.
Charity bit: sponsor and plan real trees
Spending enough time being productive without wasting time on your phone you will collect coins as rewards. You can use these coins either to build a beautiful fake garden or do something great and deliver real value. The app has a charitable function where you can use the collected coins to let plant real trees – for a healthier, cleaner and greener environment. Sounds amazing? Well, I guess it kind of is. I actually should have been paid for this post 😉 But I believe sharing is caring and when someone comes up with such great product it’s definitely worth sharing it with you.
Do you know similar cool techs that help keep productivity up? Let me know! Keen to check those out.
On this journey I am learning more than ever! It’s kind of cool and my nerdy self loves it. But it’s not always fun tho because when you are responsible for building a business you have no choice what to learn. You simply have to figure stuff out.
Learning about Social Media – the fun bits
Since I started this journey a year ago with my blog I levelled up my social media skills a lot. I started with a private Facebook page, a LinkedIn and a Xing profile and lots of no clue. Oh, I also had a not used Twitter and Instagram account.
In the meanwhile I run 4 Instagram pages, 2 Facebook “business” pages, 4 Twitter Accounts and also try to keep my other profiles up to date. Plus I write regular Blog posts, which I now also try to SEO optimise. Yes, I actually had no clue how the hack to do this until a couple of months. (SEO – search engine optimisation). I even have run my first paid ads.
Sounds like nothing special? For me it was. I never really bothered to much with Social Media and now got pretty addicted.
These kind of stuff are definitely the fun bits of being an one woman show.
Figuring everything out – also the not so cool bits
The bigger part of creating a business is of course not social media and stuff but to learn about taxes, registering a company, writing a business plan etc. This is another part of the journey that requires a lot of learning on the job and along the way.
I believe the only way to do it is to read a lot, stay informed and not to overthink stuff. In some cases like taxes these are necessities and needs to be done. So it’s best to just get into the action part asap.
Some other tasks like writing a business plan can actually be a lot fun. When you do it for yourself and for no one else, you can create an awesome roadmap and start getting concrete on where your journey shall lead you. Sometimes, especially when you write the plan for an investor pr a bank you will have to put it into a certain layout. But in most cases it’s just an amazing way to think things through, structure your thoughts and know where you are going.
The title of today’s post is “10x and other books” because I want to talk about books. Books are an absolute essential tool on everybody’s journey – especially on the entrepreneurial one.
I think I have read more books or listened to Audiobooks in the last 2 years than at any other given time. I’m not talking about crime, thriller or other “novels” but rather I mean non-fiction books. Sales books, books about creating wealth. Books about building a business. About efficiency and productivity. About personality and motivation. The list is long… A couple of fiction books as well – when I needed a time out. But mainly non-fiction books.
A couple of you might think this is boring shit – then this is the right time to stop reading this post.
Why I believe books are an essential tool for an entrepreneur
Because you can find every information you need to know! In a super structured way. To every topic. Without searching for info and waisting too much time researching topics. Sure, sometimes you have to do your research and it’s then the right thing to do. But there are literally books for every topic. Some don’t even go out of style or out of date. Some stuff is still relevant from 100 years ago.
Hate reading? Take an Audiobook
Another reason is that you pretty often don’t even have to read it yourself. You can listen to Audiobooks – someone is read out to you. How amazing is this please? You can listen to the books when you commute, do the laundry, use the crosstrainer or cook.
Still to lazy? Listen to a summary
Some books you done even have to read as a whole as there are amazing summaries out there with some key points. I even have a couple of them on my blog here. Like the one from Brian Tracy “Eat the frog”. Summaries like this are amazing when you just need a fresh up or when you want to get an idea whether the book is “right” for you.
Some books are worth reading tho
A couple of books you still should read. Absolutely read. One of them is “The 10x Rule” by Grant Cardone! I am currently listening to this book for the second time as it is an amazing motivational kick. It challenges your thinking about goal setting, middle class and competition. And action! Massive action! 10x action!
I have published a summary of the book earlier this year (you can check the summary out here). But I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone who has a dream and wants to get shit done. Who wants to get real. Who wants to be a big player.
Find people who inspire you and get inspired regularly, then take action!
Another inspirational leader on my journey so far is Gary Vaynerchuk! I have read / listened to all his books – currently finishing the “Thank you Economy”. And he is the man for everyone who doesn’t mind cursing. Who wants something real. Who wants to get inspired by real hustle and swag. I would recommend you his YouTube Videos or Ted Talks. I would recommend you the USC 2015 Keynote speak. Here is the link.