I became an entrepreneur under duress in 1993 when I became unemployed from my day job at the time. Getting a job seemed impossible as a blind person and in the middle of the deepest recession. I could have retired on disability right away, but I decided to give it a try. I had nothing to lose. I was unemployed for exactly one day before starting a business. Getting fired eventually proved to be the biggest stroke of luck in my life.
I have a Master of Science and I am a Doctor of Engineering. I have worked at a lighting factory where I also did my thesis. I have also completed a degree on rehabilitation; I became acquainted with the possibilities of light rehabilitation in my studies. In my own company, I was able to combine my work experience and my special expertise in the functionality of light.
You need to have the courage to try something new and take controlled risks.
The company name Innojok consists of the words “Inno” (= innovative) and “jok” (=Jokiniemi). I founded the company with the intention of employing only myself and when I was starting up, I didn’t know what the company was going to make. A business plan is good to have, but on the other hand, you need to have the courage to try something new and take controlled risks. You must also be able to end things in time if they don’t work out. I’ve done a lot of experiments that have completely failed, but looking back, I could have been even bolder.
Entrepreneurship attracts due to the freedom, and responsibility, to make decisions. Even when there is a team around, you are the one directing everything. It is up to you what kind of network you manage to gather around. In the best possible situation, you get to decide with whom and what you do, and not every decision must be made under duress.
Money must never be the motivator. You need to have the professionalism and passion for what you do, as cliché as it sounds.
An entrepreneur needs to understand that work is done for the benefit of the company. In the beginning, everything you bill should be invested into the company to make it as solvent as possible. At its best a company can be so successful that it allows a fairly good standard of living. However, money must never be the motivator. You need to have the professionalism and passion for what you do, as cliché as it sounds.