Gründerfoyer 23/01/13 with Thorsten Rehling from blau.de

On 23.01 I attended to a great event hosted by Dresden-Exists. They invited Thorsten Rehling of blau.de to speak about his career as an entrepreneur. I want to present some of his learnings here:

  • Think twice! The first solution that comes to your mind might not be the best.
  • “No” means “yet another impuls needed” (Nein = Noch ein Impuls nötig). Thorsten explained how you get around “brick walls” (“No”s) easily when you are just persistent enough. Brick walls are there for a reason: To keep other people out. Those, who do not want a thing badly enough. Please see this awesome speech by Randy Pausch.
  • Another Thorsten quote: “No one knows the market better than the entrepreneur himself”. Do not let investors or BAs fool you. You know shit when it comes to your market.
  • Complexity is a real opportunity. Complex markets or products are sometimes easier to execute. Thorsten founded Germany’s first private mobile telephone network. Quite a complex thing to do.
  • Sales is everything (self-explenatory)
  • Their recruitment strategy was: “Ambition, efficiency and no jerks”. He explained how his team had a great spirit and made 100 times of the sales their biggest competitor did. Blau.de had a sales team of 10 people. Their competitor had 100 people. So team spirit is quite important.

Oh, nice detail: He did his MBA in the US where he took an entrepreneurship class, met his co-founders and had the idea for his first venture. He was also part of the early Ebay team, directly reporting to the CEO. While still in entrepreneurship class he met Sergey Brin and Larry Page while they pitched their idea of what would later become Google in their class. Holy god!

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Goal-Setting 2013!

Jeah, I finished this year’s process of goal setting! I made three categories of different aspects of life which are important to me as a person:

  1. Personal life-Goals
  2. Career based-Goals
  3. Social activity-Goals

I then thought of 12 achievable, but hard goals (not necessarily four per category). Then I listed each goal and made a list of what

  • The person I have to be to fulfill my goal, what kind of personality is needed or what mindset it needs to achieve the goal
  • I will be doing achieving this goal, what are the main tasks connected to my goal?
  • I will be having or what do I have to have to achieve the goal

An easy example: As I posted in December dreams have to specific to the utmost degree, I will start like this:

Goal: I want to lose 10 Kilos this year and I want to eat healthy stuff.

  • Be: Willing to play sports 2-3 times a week, take a walk more often (instead of a car/train), getting out of the personal comfort zone (“It is too cold/hot outside to play sports”)
  • Doing: Play sports 2 times a week, read about healthy food and start cooking, count calories and take a one hour walk at least once a week
  • Having: A better understanding and feeling for one own’s body, more self-esteem and I feel more attractive to the opposite sex. Also I will have worked a lot and actually SEE and FEEL the rewards, which is a great thing!

You can do that with nearly every goal. Some are doable within a year, some are not. Set realistic but hard goals! Overachieving feels great, too.

Some productivity goals for:

  • Leechblock: You can block certain websites in Firefox for time-spans and days of your liking. It blocks news sites as well as Facebook from Monday-Saturday from 8-18 for me. This regulated my internet behaviour and made me more productive.
  • HabitForge: It reminds daily via Email of your goals and asks if you succeeded today in achieve your goal. In the example from above it would ask: “Did you eat healthy today and at least took a walk or played sports?”. You can click “Yes” or “No”. 20 “Yes” answers in a row (daily!) will make the goal disappear (because you changed behaviour patterns then). A “No” will set your yes-counter back to 0. Awesome!