At a young age, I thought I had to become either a professional footballer or a Robin Hood type of a criminal doing good. The latter was not approved by my parents, but it’s something I still think about often. As an entrepreneur, I’m doing something similar to that – the Robin Hood stuff. Both of these titles break boundaries and take risks. Both of them try to leave a positive mark on the world. Leaving the world a better place than when you found it, resonates with me strongly.
You are not your company – you are just the one building it.
I’m one of the two founders and entrepreneurs at Laavu Performance. Laavu Performance offers psychological coaching for entrepreneurs and management. Most importantly, I’m the father of a 4 month-old girl named Maya.
The hardest part in entrepreneurship has been not associating myself with the startup I’m building. You are not your company – you are just the one building it. If your company is not doing great, it does not mean you are not doing great. It’s a difficult separation but an important one in the long run. It has been extremely good for my own well-being to be able to distinguish between the entrepreneurial self and personal self.
I have always been personally extremely demanding of myself and the work I do. It’s something that I’ve had to work with and around. Sometimes you can just enjoy the ride and not push yourself and the company to a breaking point, just because you have to.
It is also important to find friends or loved ones with whom you can share your wins and successes with.
This has been a challenge, because for me the most important thing as an entrepreneur is to build something new, something that is not yet available. This is exactly what we are doing with Laavu – on top of the company, we are building a new culture around work psychology.
If you’re even thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, do it. You do not need to be a superhuman and there is no “one size fits all” entrepreneurship. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. For me, the biggest help has been my therapist, with whom I have been able to understand and identify my own strengths and weaknesses. The fact that you know yourself as good as possible, allows you to build the most authentic-looking company, culture and values possible.
Another important help has also come from my own spouse, who is also one of the founders of Laavu. It is also important to find friends or loved ones with whom you can share your wins and successes with without having to experience jealousy, exclusion or other possible negative feelings. This also makes it easy to share worries and insecurities. Building a business can be lonely at times, and I would not be able to do this without my own network of trust.