The following applies to entrepreneurship: people learn by doing. By making mistakes or doing things differently next time, a company can flourish. In Lesson learned , entrepreneurs share how they themselves have become wise through damage and shame. This week: Founder of iLost Hanneke Stegweg keeps her goals in focus by dancing away from everything.
- Entrepreneur: Hanneke Stegweg
- Founded company: iLost
- Lesson learned: zoom out and reflect on what you are doing
Hanneke Stegweg started the online platform iLost in 2013 to return found objects to the owner. Seven years later, thanks to her company, 150.00 objects have been found and she has gained many experiences as an entrepreneur.
Her lesson from recent years: Don't lose yourself in the little things. "You can keep yourself busy with all sorts of things and sell that to yourself, of course. But maybe you shouldn't send an email to that important customer in the United States, even though it is very exciting?"
Do you have a concrete example where you have kept your goal in mind?
"I once participated in an investment round and I was already at the table to sign and collect 1 million euros for iLost. But something in me said you shouldn't do this and then I called it off. I then kept my goal in mind very well. With that decision I remained true to myself and how I want to build this company. "
"In principle, such an investment is fantastic, of course. But it also has to be right in relation to the amount of shares you give away. We already experienced a big increase anyway. And I also doubted whether this investor was not too early. Because you have also someone on board who will find something about everything, of course. It's not just about money. You really enter into a relationship with such an investor. "
“I sent an email to Amazon's technical director. I was scared, but I thought: I'm just going to ask. ” Hanneke Stegweg
"Another example where I had my goal in mind was when I sent an email to Amazon's technical director. I was terrified, but thought I'd just ask if he would like to help think through the technical part."
"Two weeks later I received an email: shall we have a beer and talk about it? This month I am in the Netherlands. During that conversation with him, he taught me to really focus. He told us not have to deposit on all countries at the same time, for example. Just saying no from time to time can help enormously. Then I decided to focus only on the Netherlands first, and growth has started. "
Hanneke Stegweg with a lost and found skateboard. (Photo: private photo)
Are there any concrete actions you take to maintain a focused mindset?
"Dancing helps me a lot. Corona or not, I have to dance. I dance in the living room, at a party or in the garden. Then I feel my body and all thoughts sink away. Then I suddenly know what course I am I have to go sailing. I often do that when I have to take an important step. "
“I keep the laptop out as much as possible one day a week and go to the beach or on a terrace for coffee.” Hanneke Stegweg
"I also have Creation Monday every Monday. That is a day that I am never at the office. I prefer to take out the laptop as much as possible and then go to the beach or on a terrace to drink coffee. consider my goals and how I can realize my vision. "
Besides the difficulties, what are the highlights of your entrepreneurial career?
"Of course you must always remember highlights. I will never forget that we had made our first match with iLost. A lady had found her wallet again. Someone once found the watch of his deceased brother via iLost. The pride that I then feeling for my team makes it all really special. "
Despite the setbacks being an entrepreneur, is it still worth it to you?
"The nice thing about being an entrepreneur is that it seems that you always have a new job. First you do everything on your own and you are the accountant, seller and you are working on how the website should work. In the next phase you will again much more management. It's really about the adventure. As soon as I can no longer learn, I start looking for a new hobby. "