Why I became an entrepreneur?
I’m honored to be with you today at this great event organised by IdeaLab. Truth be told, this program has played a key role in my today’s success. And apparently, I’m now standing here to give you a quick overview of why I became an entrepreneur and how did I get going.
From early on, I’ve been motivated by two things in life: winning at all cost and having a say in what the future will look like. And in my book, there’s only two ways to really affect the world. You either invent something new. Or give millions of people an access to this new invention.
So, I always knew I’ll either become a scientist or an entrepreneur. But it seems I’m not melancholic enough to be a scientist. Thus, the only real choice was to become an entrepreneur.
How to become one?
But how to become one? Simple. Start doing something. Simply go and poke the box! Over and over again. Until you succeed. No matter what happens.
In my case, it all started with getting into network marketing, which is a great place to start your entrepreneurship career. First, you don’t need to have your own idea. Second, the product’s already there. You only need to start selling.
Don’t like selling? Tough luck, you’re constantly selling yourself. Even when applying for a job. But getting this experience of a lot of people saying: “NO!” is a crucial part of becoming an entrepreneur. You can either go sell books in the USA. Or help people buy commodities online. Doesn’t matter what it is. But start doing something, and Poke the box!
Hundreds of books, audio CDs, seminars and No’s later, I finally decided it’s time to start my own thing. But I did not have any idea to start working on. Non what so ever! Until I decided to simply copy something I had seen to work in the USA. A marketplace for all of us to share stuff we don’t use all the time. So, I applied to IdeaLab’s Kaleidoskoop to present this idea and get people join my team. And got ripped with feedback that it sucked. But there was another guy, who was doing a skill sharing marketplace. Coincidentally, he won the event. And he proposed we should co-operate.
We started. He faded away. But I kept on going. Still with no team, I decided to participate IdeaLab’s course: Startup Project. That’s where I found three developers to join my team. So I could finally start building my first business – a marketplace for construction workers. The team worked very hard and was asked to join a student accelerator program. But ultimately, we decided to close it down.
Why? Because I had also been accepted to a startup school in the USA, named Draper University. And on the first day, I was asked a simple question: “Is this idea something you want to pursue in your heart or in your head? Don’t answer. Just think about it.” It was the latter, so a decision was made. To find a new challenge. Thus, after returning to Estonia I attended a Garage48 event and came up with a new idea. Just to close it down a couple of weeks later to start working on the next one:
We first attended yet another Garage48 event. Then went through Startup Wise Guys accelerator. Got an award from Prototron. Raised a successful seed round from the crowd via Funderbeam. And are now getting ready to get cashflow positive and raise our A-Round.
What are we doing? Shipping all kinds of stuff across the world. Our first focus: To become every company’s outsourced logistics department.
And what’s the take out?
Just take the first step. It doesn’t matter how it looks like. But simply poke the box. And take use of all tools around you. IdeaLab. Garage48. Prototron. Ajujaht. BuildIt. Startup Wise Guys. Etc. But first, just go and take the first step.
On the 23rd of September, I was asked to give a speech at an event hosted by IdeaLab: “Idea Storm – 100 Ideas That Will Change The World”
In more detail, I was asked to give a motivational speech on the topic of “Why I Became an Entrepreneur?” to a bunch of university students. And this here was the script for this talk. Hope you liked it!