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"I lived through [ a random story ] and made [ an outrageous amount of random “success” value ]. So here's how I did this. And you can too. Here's how: ⬇️"

Have you also come across these outrageously screaming posts on Social Media lately? From one minute to the other they were there and flooded my timeline like a tsunami. At the same time I noticed how after the hype about reading has dropped, writing now seems to be the new chic thing to do for every one who wants to convey that he or she has an entrepreneurial mindset. After all sharing your knowledge is the thing every entrepreneurship book and post talks about, right? But what are we actually sharing here? Is the content of those posts something of value? Who says what value is? Is it the numbers of likes and reposts? Also, what do you want to show with those posts? Most of those posts don't leave the impression to be too genuine, which doesn’t really pick my curiosity.

But everything serves for something good, right? For me it is what those posts made me think about: What is the sense of writing? Why are we spending time to create a text? For me personally, it is to make sense of the world. All those ideas flying around in my head need a place in a logical sequence. They connect to others and form a well formed reflection.

And I guess that's what bugs me about all those posts that look the same and basically say the same thing. I can’t see or distinguish the actual individual thought going into those posts. I don’t learn anything about the author - neither who he is not what she thinks. Because that’s the beauty and the pitfall of copy paste. It is easy, it frees brain space, you can concentrate on other things. You'll meet your metrics. But if you forget to add your personal notes to it, you leave your personality on the road. Because in the end it's not about meeting random metrics. It'll be your personality, your thoughts, your impressions that make all the difference in the world if you want to be a successful entrepreneur (whatever success means for you).

Tour d’Entrepreneurship

Tour d’Entrepreneurship
This summer I had some nice conversations about entrepreneurship and the daily struggle of "not fitting in a classical working environment" with my dear friend Minola, who writes a weekly blog about what daily activities tell her about change management. Also this summer I took quite some trips on my bike. Most of the trips took several hours, so that means you have quite some time to think about stuff. As an entrepreneur, I am not bound to a 9-to-5 schedule. So I can get in my saddle whenever I feel like it. For this article, I will copy her approach and tell you some of the thoughts that I had about what riding my bike told me about entrepreneurship.

First: brace yourselves

Biking, despite what we usually think of, is actually quite exhausting for the body. We just don’t notice it. The exhaustion normally doesn’t pick in very quickly. We ride with a bit of wind heading our way to cool us down or being in our back to help us forward. But put your bike on a home trainer and ride for an hour and you will see how exhausting it really is when the supporting factor - the wind - is missing.

Second: Know the territory

The territory that I mostly drove in the summer is not flat at all. Exploring the beautiful Atlantic coastline of Western France is quite a bit of work, that coastline is pretty hilly. It has more to do with Cornwall than with the Baltic Sea. After passing that terrain for several hours a day your legs will tell you what you’ve done the day after. I was close to giving up several times. But I went through with the goal in mind. What helps to persist is a general idea of what the guide posts are. Prepare the route, know the territory, and be prepared with water and snacks. Also, know what you’re capable of, but be honest to yourself and put a bit of a challenge in there!

Third: Know your energy levels

Going for several hours on a bike asks you to operate on a sustainable energy level. If you put all your energy into making the first big hill at your best time you will probably not last for the rest of your planned route. Sometimes it can be useful to save your energy - that you normally have at the beginning of a tour - and not turn your pedals too hard because that is what enables you to be in it for the long game.

Fourth: Keep a constant rhythm

Most of the secret to maintaining your energy levels comes from keeping a constant rhythm when pedalling. The constant rhythm is the best feedback loop for the territory you’re biking in. It tells you everything you need to know about the current elevation, the quality of the road etc. No matter what all the elaborate apps and GPS computers tell you about those parameters, those numbers are meaningless. We humans are really bad at interpreting numbers! Once you’re in it, the elevation is always higher or longer than expected. You’re constantly fighting to get up that little hill because you miscalculated.

Keeping a constant rhythm doesn’t necessarily mean putting more or less energy into your work to master the road. You have a little help here: your Gearbox! Changing gears is the most sustainable way to deal with those differences. So instead of putting more energy into it and risking losing your constant rhythm, you can simply switch gears, make the effort more bearable, and through that sustain your energy for a longer period.

Fifth: Be flexible 

Even with the best preparation, even with the best training, even with the best circumstances there might come a time when you just can’t. Or where continuing might even still be possible, but at what costs? If you don’t take breaks when you need them you are risking serious injuries to your body parts. When you have really passed your limits stopping might be the smarter - healthier - solution. You should always ask yourself: Is it worth it? And stopping if the answer is no is not a shameful thing but a clever and considerate decision.

So what does all of that have to do with entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship, like biking those roads, is not an easy ride in the park, but quite the opposite. And not just sometimes, but most of the time. As an entrepreneur, you work and work and work for that one little result. You strive towards that one little goal that will then bear all the joy in the world for you. But the wind will not always blow in your favour!

Most of us are in it for the long game. We didn’t become entrepreneurs because the idea of leading a business feels so good to us. We became entrepreneurs because the idea of bringing an idea to life, caring for it, nurturing it, see it grow appealed so much to us and we are willing to give up on certain things, such as financial security or our comfort zone.

And the road to bringing that idea to a growth phase is quite the journey. We are ready and prepared to invest some blood, sweat, and tears. But if we set foot on the playing field without knowing the terrain, we make it so much harder for us. We have to be aware of our energy levels to be able to play the long game. There’s no shame in taking time to get your idea out there if that means you don’t burn out right after the start. If we don’t give ourselves a break every once in a while, we will make it so much more destructive for our bodies. And if we are not flexible enough we will run into So! Many! Dead! Ends!

Also, it doesn’t always have to be a fight. There’s nothing wrong if you don’t achieve everything yourself, but you get help which allows you to switch the gears. Consider very well what you put your energy into and what your support system can deliver.

What others wrote

No text I ever write just comes out of my brain from some form of abyss. I am not that genius creative. I read a lot of stuff that forms my opinion. Not all of it makes it into my articles. Some things are just a brain tickler. So I will share good pieces with you, so maybe they also tickle your brain.
Those of you who started having sleepless nights because of all the horror stories out there about how we will all be out of our jobs soon: You can go back to sleep and have sweet dreams. While yes, machines will replace much of our work today, it pays off to take a deeper look into *what* types of work machines are replacing. And if you can handle complexity and context and are not too bad with emotions - you'll be fine!
The people shaping the reputation of the Tech world from Silicon Valley are genius men. (Yes, basically all men). They came up with good ideas or made it possible that those ideas thrived. And we respect them rightly for their ideas. But we worship them for everything they do because of their ideas which leads to a very distorted understanding of who they are as persons. Turns out: One thing is definitely off the list. Most of them turn out to be horrible bosses and the influence their leadership style has on our working world is nothing to cheer about.
Ever planned a vacation and felt like after that last week of work you deserved your time off even more? Chances are it was not just an illusion. We do indeed work harder before our holidays. Out of sentiment for our co-workers or false pride ("Nobody can do the job as well as I") we tend to leave nothing behind - and actually make our need for relaxation even bigger.

A word from...
Steve Silberman

"The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think" - Harper Lee
This month I want to recommend you "NeuroTribes" by Steve Silberman
Book Cover NeuroTribes
All our brains are different. We all think and feel different. And still there are some brains who do not just think differently, but that are literally wired differently. For quite a while - because that was not "normal" - we regarded those different wired brains as weird, atypical, eligible for a treatment.
NeuroTribes goes into the history of how we formed our (misguided) public image of Neurodiversity and why it is long overdue that we embrace the possibilities different ways of thinking offer us!

The Good News

Remember last month's story about plants who produce their own aspirin? Well, obviously they are willing to share their healing powers. Who would have guessed? Well, probably everyone. But sometimes we need a gentle reminder on all the amazingness that nature sets around us. So yes, this is a pledge for more greenery between the brutality of our concrete cities!
That's it for this month. Thanks for reading the 14th Edition and for your support. Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. All feedback welcome!
And on a last note, just to let you know: This newsletter, as any, was made by the loving support of snacks, coffee, and the vastness of the internet.
We actively want to bring in colours, not just lighten the place up! We want to create the space, where ideas from other dimensions are included, where thoughts outside of the black and white realm find a touchpoint with the spectrum. We want to explore possibilities how our society can be a better one when we don’t fight the unknown but embrace it with open arms and a curious mind. It is an offer to think differently. It’s an offer for different views, opinions and insights so that the “One Size Fits All” story of technology becomes a range of various stories that show us the immense beauty of digitalization.
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