In 2009 we exchanged the corporate safety net for a less secure existence as independent entrepreneurs.
Some said: “Congratulations”
Others said: “Are you crazy or what!?”
Now, in 2019, we can happily look back at ten very rewarding years of genuine entrepreneurship. I can only recommend it. Here is what I feel is required to be happy and successful as an entrepreneur:
1. Being honest
Never pretend. You don’t know everything, and you don’t even need to. Better admit you do not have an immediate answer, but will do whatever is in your means to do the best you can.
We make promises and keep them.
2. Being consistent
Always be consistent in what you say and what you do. Don’t say things you do not mean, just for the sake of pleasing others. Understand what is required and do what is required, even if it makes you less popular for a while.
3. Staying humble
Stay humble when you look back at successful projects. You are not more important than anyone else. You may have some great ideas or an excellent approach, but you must acknowledge you need others to make a project a success. Praise the people you work with and work for. Make them shine and make yourself superfluous.
It is our signature to move on to new challenges.
4. Being respectful
Show respect to everyone, also to those who do not respect you. Not everyone sees the value you bring to the table. It is their choice not to see it. Don’t argue with people who call you names. Understand they surely have their own battles to fight.
We respect feelings.
5. Keeping things simple
Everyone can make things complex. That’s easy. Always try to come up with solutions that reduce complexity. Make complex stuff simple again. It takes time and courage, but it pays off.
Simplicity is in our genes. Our customers adore this.
6. Avoiding assumptions
When you make assumptions, you fully rely on your own knowledge and interpretations, which are based on your past experiences. The danger is that you make connections that may not even exist. Instead of jumping to conclusions, rather show genuine interest for people and ask questions. Lots of questions, until you get it.
We ask lots of questions when people tell us their business is completely different from anyone else’s… Seriously.
7. Being kind and generous
Don’t get angry when things do not go the way you want. Control your anger levels, and stay kind, no matter what happens that you do not like at first sight. Everyone can make mistakes. Forgive and forget. Every issue, big or small, can be solved with some empathy and the willingness to communicate. Give what you can without the intention of getting anything back.
This is in our opinion the main ingredient of true happiness.
8. Working for people, not for money
Not everything you do, is to be invoiced. Money is not the highest reward in life. Money is a means, not a goal. The main reward in business is the respect you get from customers and the word of mouth that spontaneously follows. Therefore, choose your customers carefully.
We only work for people we truly like.
9. Keep on learning
You are never too old to learn. You can start anytime. Keep on acquiring knowledge in domains that are out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of making sacrifices. It is part of the game.
We keep on investing in our education and share our learnings freely.
10. Being yourself
Get away from your desk and meet people in person, instead of texting or mailing them all the time. Smile and laugh a lot. Embrace surprises. Have fun. That is why we say “our office is where we are”, and not the other way around.
We are at peace with who we are and what we do.
So, does success happen by accident?
No, it doesn’t.
It is a cocktail of hard work and perseverance, the willingness to learn from failure, lots of studying, regular sacrifices, bits of luck, tons of fun, and most of all sincere passion for what you do.
Thank you, customers, partners and colleagues.
Cheers to another x years !