What are the differences between men and women in Business (if any)?
It might seem outdated to ask this question but then again it only takes a little research to realize that there is still a big difference between men and women in business. Men still seem to be the focus of most magazines and newspapers when it comes to telling stories about successful entrepreneurs. Is this simply because they are better than women, have more success than women and are better in business? I would dare say no to all of the above. However we have a very long history of women being the housewife and the man the provider and we still have to break down all these old ways and ideas. This also means that a lot of women have to start looking at themselves with different eyes and start trusting their abilities and ideas.
Once we start getting out of that old and dusty mindset we can begin to focus on ourselves and begin the journey of being successful businesswomen. We still need to fight harder to gain the respect from the male dominated society we live in however I believe we have both the strength and tenacity necessary and it is just a question of time before we will see a lot more women making it big!
Besides this I do think that women in general needs to learn to combine their ability to lead and work from the heart with more focus on the financial and strategic aspects of what we do. We cannot be afraid to be demanding and to go up against “the big guys”! We have to learn to live and think big if we want to have the same power as men do, with out losing our compassion….
Finally I think that there are more men than women who gets motivated simply by the idea of money and power, however I also think that women will be happier in the end because they only (in most cases) get driven by their deep passions and from there, money and power will follow.
What does being an (female) entrepreneur mean for you?
Being an entrepreneur means that I live my passion and my truth. It means that I have to work extremely hard and focused for what I believe in and want to create in life. It means that I create my own reality and often also make my own rules.
I think I was born an entrepreneur but it has taken me some time to really understand what that means and how I wanted to live out this natural ability…I love to think big and seem to have both the drive, the guts, the network and the will to make things happen. I love to lead and inspire people by example.
People and ideas is my inspiration and my fuel and I love to experience the high of creating successes together.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why?
There are a few people who have had a big impact on me as a leader. First of all my mother. She has always been an amazing teacher and she happens to have her own company teaching leadership and communication. So she gave and still gives me many good tools to work with! Secondly Osho who is an Indian philosopher has been a great inspiration. From him I got inspired to find my own truth and the inner strength it takes to be a rebel and not a follower. Finally I have and still get inspired by entrepreneurs like Donald Trump, Deepak Chopra, Bill & Melinda Gates, Richard Branson etc. because they all have a fire within and have come to success through their passion for what they do!
How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization? Where do the good ideas come from?
ArtRebels is all about creative thinking, it is our DNA. Every day is a brainstorm, a research and a creative action. The good ideas come from looking at what happens in the world around us and from being in it! We all have ideas the question is if we can turn them into actions…and even more so successful actions!
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Self esteem, a clear vision, a deep passion, a strong character, empathy and a good and fair nature.
What has been your biggest challenge? Biggest barrier you had to smash through as an entrepreneur?
Wow that’s a big question. I think the first thing you have to realize as an entrepreneur is that it is a life long commitment to challenges. You can never rest or get satisfied…as soon as you do you lose your momentum and your business will suffer. First there was the challenge of finding my true calling. Then there was the challenge of finding out how you start and build a real business. Then there was the challenge of working without a salary for 3 years (I made my living as a DJ in the weekends) while at the same time taking a big loan in the bank to run the company. Then there was recruiting and even more so leading employees and volunteers. The list is endless and ongoing and you have to love and embrace that just as much as anything else if you want to be a successful entrepreneur…I always stretch that nothing comes easy, it may look like that (that’s the art of it) but trust me, every successful person have worked hard to reach their goals and have overcome endless challenges!
What is the one behaviour or traits that you have seen derail a leaders’ career?
Being afraid or egotistic and as a result a bad leader. You cannot loose your temper or only think of yourself. Be demanding and tough but never an exploding bomb! Also you need to focus on the solutions not the problems, that will only drain the energy of the team…be positive and take action!
What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
Find your mentors and study them, get in contact with them and learn from them! I buy and read business books and magazines all the time and often find great inspiration in these as well as having my own mentors I can go to for good advise. Always try to better yourself.
How did you get started in this business? Previous failed ventures?
That’s a very long story…One thing led to the other kind of thing! I wouldn’t call them failures but more so learning experiences!
What is an average workday like for you?
Wake up 7.30. Eat breakfast and read mails and a few news. Go to the office or to a meeting. Then I usually have between 2-6 meetings every day. Between 50-100 mails, 10-20 phone calls, a brainstorm or two, I check in with our different projects and those who manages them and give my feedback and in between it all, I conceptualize and brainstorm on new projects, new clients or on how to deal with a certain challenge. Around 7 pm I go home and have dinner with my woman and relax a bit…then we either work until we go to bed, watch something online, read a book or hang out with friends.
When we do big productions I usually function as the overall project leader and spend a lot of time in the “field” combined with the above.
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
I think one of the most crucial things I have done so far was to get an investor/partner. I knew I needed someone with more business experience and also with strong financial, structural and strategic skills. It really did turn the business around in many ways and we became much more focused and also much more “hard core”. I have grown a lot as a businesswoman since he came into the business and I like to learn every day. I used to learn only by doing and even though that is often the best way to learn it can also be a very expensive and hard way to learn.
What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
I think my dad is a really bad adviser even though he also is an entrepreneur! He always used to ask me as soon as I got an idea “will it make money?” I found that to be such a party killer! Also he used to say that I couldn’t make money on creativity and that seems to be wrong too…. glad I didn’t listen!
What three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Find your passion, work hard and stay focused!
Looking back on how you started, what would have been your three genie wishes for starting out your career? What would have made life a hell of a lot easier?
I never look back I only look forward!
Why is it that you choose to be an Ambassador for We Unite?
Both because I came up with the idea and thus have a big passion for the project and also because I love to inspire and support entrepreneurs!