Q&A With My Entrepreneur Dad And MeAn Interview
For her studies, my daughter Lia needed an interview partner on the subject of entrepreneurship. I was more than happy to jump in, as this is always a nice opportunity to reflect on yourself. Here is the full interview:
At what age did you discover your talent for entrepreneurship?
Well, I don’t think that you discover your talent for entrepreneurship unless you already are an entrepreneur for some years. I never cared about this term anyway, because my idea of an entrepreneur was something that I did not want to be. I just did what I wanted to do. One day I realized that what I do is living my life as an entrepreneur – and it had nothing to do with my former idea of the term.
What would you define as your own pros and cons of being an entrepreneur?
The biggest pro is that you have the freedom to do whatever you like. This is also the most significant con because it has its price. You are responsible for your decisions, your actions, your investments – whether financial or time. You choose which way to go and when to go it. You have to make the decisions, and most of the time it’s a good idea to not postpone decisions. You are in charge. Always. It’s intriguing, but sometimes also exhausting.
How do you choose with whom you work with?
I try to choose only positive people, that see chances, not obstacles. It’s easier to solve problems with persons that see the glass half full. These are usually the persons that have a high energy level and are very productive because they don’t spend too much energy on fear and self-doubt.
The biggest personal outcome for you? (How did being an entrepreneur influence your personality?)
I am happy with what I am, with what I do and what I achieved so far.
And maybe a bit harder to answer: How did your personality influence your success in entrepreneurship?
I think success is more natural to reach when you are happy and confident. I see a lot of people that are not happy and not confident because they are not successful. But how can you become successful when you are not confident that what you are doing is the right thing? With this mindset, you put the obstacles in your own way. Can being successful make you happy, or is being successful just a consequence of being happy?
How do you know when you have the right idea for something you start?
There is no right or wrong. If you are really interested in something, then start working on it. If it turns out to be not so good after a while, stop it and let it go. You’ve learned something on the way, this is your reward. Don’t be afraid to fail with something. How can you tell if you will succeed if you have not tried it at least once?
Be open to new ideas, let them grow and change, visualize your goals along the way. Be prepared to change your ways and don’t forget to enjoy every change. Because every change implies new possibilities. I like to call myself a possibilitarian, because this is what I do. I see the opportunities in everything that happens.
How do you think can one develop an entrepreneurial attitude?
Be curious, be positive. Meditate. Be conscious of yourself and the world around you. Always try to improve yourself. Don’t overthink, start to do and adjust on the way. Be prepared to fail. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from others. And most importantly: Don’t give up.
What are some things you would’ve loved to know earlier but no one told you about entrepreneurship?
There is no such thing because I can’t think of living my life differently. Sometimes it feels lonely because in the end you are responsible and you have to make the decisions. So maybe it is good advice to find others you trust, and that accompany you on the way with an open ear and a second opinion. But in the end, it remains to be an adventure. And it’s fun.
(Header image by Ralf Schönenberg)