I’m Karin Nars, CEO of Dinolift Oy based in Loimaa. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people. Choose individuals that are different from you, that bring different perspectives, strengths, and qualities to the team. I have always wanted to hire people smarter than myself. If I succeed at that, our business will be more successful.
I am a second-generation family entrepreneur. I started my first own small business while on maternity leave but quit it after just a few years because the family business grew on me and I felt I could contribute there. Closing a business should not be seen as a failure – on the contrary. I believe that as an entrepreneur you must be prepared to make bold changes at times: to succeed you must be fully invested in the business. If not, it is time to move on. I learnt a lot from my first business that I have had huge benefits from in my current job, and I think it also gave me the needed courage to step into the role as CEO of Dinolift.
I believe that as an entrepreneur you must be prepared to make bold changes at times.
My father passed away in 2011 and I took over the responsibility of Dinolift. The succession came about faster than planned, and I wasn’t even sure what I was getting into. But worrying ahead of things doesn’t help, it might limit the possibility to seize opportunities. At Dinolift, the change in leadership was very clear: I had my father’s genes and some similarities with him but from an experience point of view we couldn’t have been further apart. Some changes were evident to happen. On the other hand, I shared my father’s values of ownership, long-term development, and trust as the foundation of everything.
People ask me if I was looked down upon coming in from the outside without much experience of a very male-dominated business. I believe that honesty and authenticity go a long way, it builds a confidential foundation for relationships, and that’s the essence of everything, regardless of gender or previous titles. I certainly know that ownership has helped me get a seat at some tables, but you have to handle that position with honour and care and not pretending to be anyone else than yourself. I have always tried to be authentic in all situations and openly admitted if I don’t know things.
I’d like to challenge the idea that an entrepreneur should always do something big and unique, or wait for a revolutionary business idea. As an entrepreneur, you can do exactly the same things as you would working for someone else. Start small and do your own thing! I think everyone can be an entrepreneur. Just take the leap.