Many people struggle with it. Especially entrepreneurs in Europe, where it’s “not done” to fail and where the underdog always gets the sympathy. Or perfectionists. The problem with fear to fail or insecurity is that it can kill you. If you are afraid of failure, you don’t take risks and nothing will happen. Here’s a great article from James Caan about his lessons learned.
How I look at failure? First of all, I know I fail constantly. When failure is happening: attack the problem, don’t run away because it will get worse the longer you wait. Look it in the eyes. Pretty scary I know, but next time it happens you won’t be. Try to fix it on the spot as much as you can to really understand the source of the problem and not the result. Once you did the quick fix: Don’t change the dream, change the plan! And most importantly: I DON’T CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!
Here’s a good one I borrowed from Dave Crane:
Posted in Emotions, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, Uncategorized
Tagged Entrepreneurship, failure, Fear, insecurity, james caan, perfectionism
I hear so many Belgian start-up entrepreneurs or companies that want to expand globally complain about the non-existence of Belgian Venture Capital and the lack of support from Belgian banks. I don’t complain, I confirm.
There has never been so much capital on Belgian bank accounts, but so called VC’s only invest in proven business (and then they need a majority of the shares for 100K, and most of them can’t even follow through) and Belgian banks require a balance sheet of the past 3 years to get 100K… (which you don’t have and if you have it, it shows that you are investing and they bloody hate that). Oh and by the way, if you are going to use that money for international expansion you’ll scare the hell out of them. Oh and don’t ask them their balance sheet of the past years by the way….
Most Belgians even think you can become a global brand on the cashflow of your existing business. Get real! Ripping of your existing customers to finance your investments??? I don’t think so!
It’s surreal – I know – but that’s why Magritte was so successful. It is what it is. Don’t complain and don’t try to change that culture. It’s naive, it will drain you and take your focus away.
Go find capital in other parts of the world. They will understand you. Start from your strengths, to name a few:
- Belgium has the best Universities in the world, even though others have better marketing.
- Belgians can easily work with all nationalities. We can easily lead a very diverse team without posing a threat to all the big ego’s from the big countries. We have one of the smallest and most complex countries in the world, so I guess we can manage everything.
- Belgians are humble and hard workers. They get things done, while others talk about it.
- Belgians are the perfect mix of North and South. Structure from the North and good life from the South.
- A lot of great things started in Belgium and were bought by big countries. Is that a problem for you as an entrepreneur? Why should it be? Let your baby grow! You want to be a global brand anyway, so why would you care? You won’t get any appreciation for what you did in Belgium anyway. Is that a problem for the Belgian government? It probably is, but they don’t care and you shouldn’t. They have other things to do like making sure you pay all your taxes.
So to all Belgian entrepreneurs (and no, that’s not the managers who work in big companies and claim to be entrepreneurs because it’s the new sexy): buy a ticket to UK, US or AE and convince venture capital there. It’s the only way!
Good luck! You’ve got my support and let me know how it went.
Want loyal, dedicated, and passionate employees? Be a loyal, dedicated, and passionate boss. Here are some tools to develop well-being in your workplace through better communication.
Check out this post by Andrew Newberg MD
It’s September. Start of the last quarter of the year for many of us. Never too late to become a compassionate boss!
“Focus, Most Important”, wisdom from mister Miyagi. “Your Focus Needs More Focus”, wisdom from mister Han. Thank you Karate Kid!
Focus is one of the 4 things in our mantra that I had to coach the most in all the business I worked. I believe it’s one of the most difficult things to learn because it’s about getting motivation from pain and people tend to avoid that. People like to do things that don’t hurt them. It’s about saying no to the things that take your focus away. It’s about spotting the excuses.
I believe a big dream helps, but it’s much more than that. Surrounding yourself with a great team that aims for world class performance and being supported by a network that wants you to achieve that dream is crucial. Looking at how top athletes did it always helps. Here’s a good one from Michael Jordan.
Exactly one year ago Herculean cvba, the holding company of all Hercules Trophy companies around the world, bought the remaining shares of Hercules Trophy Belgium.
As Inge and me decided to go fulltime for Hercules Trophy in 2010 and started Herculean cvba, we felt extremely uncomfortable with the vision of the 2 other shareholders (and vice versa). To avoid unnecessary frictions in our home market, we made the bold decision to do a management buy-out. The investors of Herculean cvba supported us 200% in our ideas. Without any bad emotions we completed the transaction in only 2 months time. Rest assure: after 13 years of collaboration, this requires a lot of maturity from all sides and I’m still grateful that everybody kept their coolness. The two former shareholders even visited this year’s edition and saw what we always wanted to implement was a huge improvement for a concept that already was awesome.
Now you know why we were able to design the new Hercules Trophy from scratch. And it worked! We kept the good stuff and added a lot of new features that confirmed our position of coolest sportainment festival on the planet.
Looking back, it’s best decision we’ve ever taken – for the fans and for us – but back in the days we faced many many many many doubts and fears and during the past year many hurdles crossed our path. So if you think that these type of strategy changes are easy, think again. I love the graph below by the way.
Antwerp, June 7th 2013. Yves Vekemans, President and CEO of Herculean cvba, has decided to end his contract as CMO and member of the executive committee of Special Olympics 2014.
“I learned a lot on this worldwide movement in the past 1.5 years. I worked in many different sectors during my career, but never experienced the very specific culture of non-profit organizations. It’s amazing to meet so many authentic and engaged people who give all their energy on a daily basis. I’m glad I could help build a great team and a vision for Special Olympics 2014. We managed to get a lot of new believers on board. The project is now getting into execution mode and that would require too much of my time to do it right. With the international expansion of Hercules Trophy, that’s impossible to do”, says Vekemans.
Vekemans adds: “I’m convinced that the current team holds all the cards to make a big success of SO2014. Not a simple job in these difficult economical conditions in a country where sport or charity is not part of the culture. It was heartwarming to see that there are still companies and people with a good heart. People who really care about Special Olympics.”
“The board of SO2014 understands and respects the choice of Yves and wants to thank him for his input, ideas and positive energy. The team will take over and focus on the success of the games. The board whishes Yves a lot of success in the future expansion of Hercules Trophy”, says Catalina Daniels CEO van Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Summergames 2014.
“I will always remain a supporter of Special Olympics and the organization can always count on my support. Now it’s time to focus on the growth of Hercules Trophy in the Middle East, USA, Africa, Europe and Australia. Implementing such a massive growth in 3 years time was a true Herculean effort!”