Work hard but be prepared for things not to go to plan, was the common insight shared by a handful of Luxembourg’s most high profile entrepreneurs at an inspirational event.
Hosted at 19 Avenue de la Liberté on 17 November, and organised by entrepreneurship support platform Nyuko with Spuerkeess bank, the event was a chance for the public to hear the origin stories and struggles of some of the country’s biggest names.
Nyuko director Lucile Barberet quizzed Bob Kneip, head of Kneip Management, Robert Goeres, managing director of Goeres Horlogerie, Stéphanie Jauquet, owner Cocottes and manager Um Plateau, and Carole Retter, partner at Moskito advertising agency, for 90 minutes on themes as broad as finding inspiration and dealing with imposter’s syndrome.
Entrepreneurs in the audience will not have been surprised by the long hours of work the speakers put into their respective businesses. Those of the panel who have children explained how this shift in lifestyle forced them to reconsider their priorities.
Robert Goeres talked about the challenge of living with dyslexia, particularly in school. He knew that he would be penalised in written exams and so always pursued subjects and courses in which the exams would be multiple choice, “to have the maximum chance of passing.” He said that he works around this difficulty by surrounding himself with people who have expertise in fields he is weak in.
Stéphanie Jauquet talked about the challenges of working with younger generations, especially family. She hired her nephew for a catering function only for him to arrive two hours late for work. The youngster was interested in starting his own company. She said: “I was so mad. I said to him: ‘what kind of example are you giving? Do you think these people will want to work with you again?’ When you see changing mentalities, that’s a real challenge!”.
Bob Kneip explained that he has imposter’s syndrome all of the time. He said: “I made the biggest mistakes when I had no doubts,” adding that his company invested a lot in transitioning from paper to digital only to realise that it wasn’t what the customer wanted. “When you have doubts, to my mind that’s a good sign,” he said.
Carole Retter echoed the difficulties of handling imposter’s syndrome. She was 29 when she took over the marketing agency. “Everyone was telling me ‘you’re so young’. I thought customers would tell me that they knew better,” she said. “Time and maturity” help Retter manage these doubts, as do having a positive attitude.