Get professional

A few months back, in Copenhagen, I had the privilege to work with a team of enthusiastic students and a startup (provided a project for our class at CBS) that at the time was known as Tangerine District. Tangerine District was in private beta for some time but now Tangerine District has now gone publicly live as Worksy.

Worksy is perfect for startups that are looking to manage their work in a professional way. It is an online community of entrepreneurs  combined with all the important tools and services a startup may need, such as CRM, website tools, calendars, e-mail etc. It helps you document and plan your activities as you push your startup forward.

Probably the best side to worksy is that it is free of charge (at least the limited version, which will easily get you started).

Check it out and become more professional.

CSE Lab

CSE (Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship) is a organization at Copenhagen Business School that promotes entrepreneurship to students and researchers at different universities. What they offer is something similar to what student entrepreneurship societies in Finland are doing. Nice work altogether. I would however like to see more early stage activities, since the most I have seen so far has been targeted towards established student ventures.

I encourage everybody interested in startups and entrepreneurship in Copenhagen to take a look at their upcoming events and activities since this is a great way to get connected. Also check out the different startups that are currently located at the lab. Some interesting concepts and ideas.

Here is a short video that was created at the CSE Lab a couple of months ago, during one of their Friday Networking Bars. 

Even I got to take part in the video. Thanks for that guys.

Winners

Winners are like athletes…

Like a world-class athlete, winners set their goals and milestones high. Not so high that achieving them would be impossible, but high enough to motivate you on your way to the top. I don’t believe that Usain Bolt was attempting to be in the top 10 fastest people on earth. He was targeting to be the fastest!

Also like athletes, winners are confident. Winners believe that they are the best in what they do. They know that what ever hits them, they’ll find a way to overcome the obstacles. However, there is a fine line between confidence and cockynes. Being cocky, probably won’t take you far. Keep in mind that your competitors are confident too and you might get surprised if you lower your guard. So be alert.

And just like athletes, winners work hard to achieve their goals. Winners constantly seek for possibilities to improve their skills and partner up with people who might be able to help them on their way to the top. Improve your skills and be on top of your game. Being humble and open to new influences can take you to an entirely new level.

And for me, Entrepreneurs are winners. Entrepreneurs (you don’t necessarily need to be a company founder or owner to be an entrepreneur) are confident. Successful entrepreneurs are humble and open to influences. They set goals, work hard to achieve them and consult coaches on the way to success.

Inspiration

A while has passed since my last post. Better be more active in the future. My post today is about my inspiration to entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs have different sources of inspiration. Just like any other people in the world, we are inspired by the achievements of others, by our heroes, by books, by videos, by quotes, by pictures, by events…… You can be inspired by pretty much anything.

For the past year, for me, there have been a couple of sources of inspiration. Firstly seeing my fellow student-entrepreneurs creating great ideas (like this one or this one), developing the ideas into novel and innovative business models and opportunities and later actually making their ideas turn into reality as products, services, apps etc. What inspires me most in these stories is not that they would be told by heroic people with super-human abilities and skills, but they are told by regular girls and regular guys. They only thing they had to posses was the self-confidence (don’t push it too far or you’ll turn out cocky) and belief in their visions. Obviously it takes hours of effort to understand your market, your customers and iterate your ideas, but still, the people who make it happen are not too different from you and me.

Being part of something that is possibly changing the course of a nation for the years to come is something that drives me to work with many of my ideas. As you may know, Finland is growing to become a start-up hub in the Scandinavian and Baltic region and maybe even in the whole of Europe. Steve Blank titled this “the Finnish Spring”. It has also been noted widely in media e.g. by Wired magazine and The Next Web. The possibility of looking back and saying I was part of that is something worth pursuing.

To end this post I want to give you all something that I find very inspirational. It is a simple video a friend of mine showed me on his laptop perhaps a year ago. Take a minute to watch it and perhaps you too will get inspired.

What is Failure?

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is easy, eh??

You just come up with an idea, team up with some of your mates, if it’s software you find a guy who writes some code, you talk to VC’s who fund you, you launch, you create a crowd around your vision, you maybe even change the world in the process, after a few years you either sell your company or you retire rich and famous, you will be remembered as a person who created something and above all you succeeded.

Well, I’ll be honest now. What I just wrote, is surely a description of how it is not going to be. And what it hasn’t been for successful entrepreneurs.

While starting up a company (or basically anything in life), you are bound to face obstacles. There will be a thousand good reasons to quit along the way, each far more tempting than the previous. The people telling you it can’t be done, will outnumber the people who believe in your  visions. You will probably even begin to doubt your visions. And this is only the first weeks of your new venture.

It’s all beginning to sound pretty daunting. What if you just give up. Instead you decide to go and work for [Enter company name here] or the boss you hated.  Would certainly be easier.

But here is the catch. People who give up, give in, take the easy road, blend into the crowd or abandon their dreams and visions are not entrepreneurs. They are not the people who create new realities or change the world. Visionaries, entrepreneurs and people who are truly successful FAIL, but they don’t give up.

Take a minute to think about the following quotes from Thomas Alva Edison

“I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
“I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.”
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

This is exactly the mindset entrepreneurs have. Failing early and failing often is a road to success. It is actually a possibility to learn what works and what doesn’t work. Failing is an opportunity to say “This didn’t work, let’s try the next thing.” And this is true to all aspects of a start-up. What I’m not saying is that you should bail out or jump ship. No. What you should do is take the resources you have and experiment with as many alternatives as possible. Don’t try to design a perfect company or product right away. Rely on trial and error. Recognize what works and what doesn’t work and here BE HONEST TO YOURSELF. It will save you time and money along the way. Have the guts to say to yourself that this isn’t working and do something about it as early as possible.

What ever you do, don’t give up. Don’t QUIT. You will never truly fail, if you keep trying. And before you know it, you actually might be on the road to success.

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If you agree with anything I wrote, Go and check out The National Failure Day on Facebook or their website. Spread the word, because to succeed, we all need to fail several times. Celebrate failure on October 13.