Never forget August 18

August 18

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Can You Face the 6 Hard Truths of Entrepreneurship?

“It’s a common occurrence in the startup world: A critical decision has to be made, one that will affect everything that comes after it, and may determine the fate of the company. It could be a decision whether to let a partner go or invest in a new technology. But the founder won’t consider all the options, even refusing to make what to virtually everyone else seems like the right decision. The startup flounders for a while longer. Then it fails.”
Great article by Eran Dror. He gives the six most crucial hard truths when advising entrepreneurs.

The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship

Good article by John Rampton

“Every entrepreneur will experience the real price of entrepreneurship at some point in his startup career. If you haven’t yet, you will. It’s hard. It’s something I’ve had to deal with several times since quitting my job years back. The real psychological price of entrepreneurship can be too much for some to take.”

Read all about it on http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244159

Hercules Academy

As fans kept on asking to help them improve corporate wellbeing the whole year long, we started looking for solutions. We discovered that the Corporate Wellbeing market is very fragmented with specialists only focussing on certain aspects of wellbeing. Some focus on body, others on mind, some on nutrition and some on social aspects, but nobody on the big picture.

So we decided to create our own holistic approach, based on the experience of true Olympians. Former Olympian Serge Haubourdin joined the club to become managing partner of the Hercules Academy. We tested the approach on a few major fans and on our own team. And it works! Find our brochure here and let me know if you want us to help you reach your Corporate Wellbeing targets for 2015.

Dealing with failure

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:

Photo: Like (& Share) of the Day...

Belgium is surreal

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.