I was recently interviewed by Global InvestHer about being an entrepreneur (amongst) many other things. Global InvestHer is a boutique consultancy that focuses on helping women entrepreneurs develop their businesses, as well as helping multinationals grow their women talent by creating environments for them to thrive in.
Here’s a snippet:
1. Who is your role model as an entrepreneur?
A lot of people inspire me for a lot of different reasons. People like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, because they created completely new categories that didn’t exist before, people that can invent new fields. I really admire a lot of initiatives I see on Kickstarter, like the Pebble watch, people who are defying business models and bringing products to market in a completely new way. Women that are leading in tech companies, like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, I consider them ‘intrapraneurs’ because they are bringing that same entrepreneurial spirit into big businesses and it’s nice to see them have this type of visibility. I find inspiration in anybody who is doing anything creative or new, following their passion, that resonates with me.
I’m always looking for stories of people doing that. Even someone like Coco Chanel. She was a businesswoman at a time when it wasn’t acceptable. She started her own hat shop and had the courage to reinvent women’s fashion at a time when everyone was dressed in tight corsets. She went back to simplicity and a classic timelessness, that to this day, we still see her influence. Then I also admire somebody like Oprah who came from nothing and has built an empire and I find that very inspiring. From our generation, I think of people like Maria Furleo and Robyn Scott. I’m lucky to know a lot of amazing young women. So I really can’t just pick one person! I feel it’s a nicer way to go through life when you get doses of inspiration from several people, because nobody is perfect and I hesitate to put one person on that pedestal. This way, everyone who is doing things, it makes it seem more attainable, I find really motivating.
2. What is your greatest achievement to date?
To be able to design my life exactly the way that I want it. It took a lot of hard work, sacrifices, planning and stress, but at the end of the day, I design my time, chose the projects I want to work on, do the things I’m interested in and get to live in the city I’ve dreamed of living in since I was seven years old. So I really consider my greatest achievement is that I have designed a life that matches exactly what I want. I’ve always known the way I wanted to live, that I wanted to work for myself (after working for other people!), that I wanted the experience of living abroad.
Someone once gave me a very good piece of advice, ‘you just need to know where you want to go, and how you get there will figure itself out’. I never concerned myself with the HOW, just the WHAT. I do this exercise where you picture what would a day in your perfect life feel like – how do you feel to get up in the morning, what do you do? For me it was an amazing office at home, having coffee, walking my dog, sitting at my desk, running my own hours, living in this city. 6 years ago I did an exercise with my now husband where we each drew a picture of what our lives would look like through the lens of a home office. So we drew desks together, window with the Eiffel tower, I drew a shelf with books with my name on it. At that time it was a fun dreaming exercise and when we emptied out our storage when moving to Paris, I found it and looked at it and said, everything in this picture has come true! I’m really a big visualisation and manifestation person. Every year on my birthday I pick the 2-3 things I want to get done this year and every couple of months I check in and see how I’m doing.
For the rest of the interview, click here.