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How Dozens Of Entrepreneurs Are Navigating Uncertain Waters – Part IX: How To Keep The Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

What we are experiencing today is unprecedented and offers us the opportunity to rethink our lives and the way we operate. Talking about our stories individually does not seem appropriate. What does seem appropriate is expressing our collective fears, anxieties, ideas and stories as we ride through this pandemic together.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
illustration: Studio Polenta

How do we – the entrepreneurs, freelancers and startup founders – deal with the situation on a daily basis? How do we organize ourselves to work remotely? What technological tools do we use? What are the risks and opportunities for us? Are we ready to telework? Are all sectors at a standstill or does digital technology allow for the continuity of work? These are questions we’ve decided to collectively explore in this special issue.

We are all at the starting line but we may not all reach the finish line. This is precisely why we have to stick together, support each other, and ask for help (if needed) to get through this crisis.

IX. How To Keep The Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

“Our company has been around way before this situation, and will hopefully also be there after this is all over. We consider this to be a short phase in the life cycle of our company where quick adaptation is required. Being able to pivot, adapt and act is a strength that we as a company will always need to have anyway.”
– Gilles Mangen, Clubee

“We were eagerly looking forward to our new office launch, especially when we have waited for so long. They say patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet. In the meantime, we are in hyper-creativity mode to come up with ideas for the business, our products, our clients and our teams. And since adaptability is the hallmark of entrepreneurs, we of all people should face this head on.”
– Bert Boerman, Governance.com

“I keep my entrepreneurial spirit up by constantly learning, reading and absorbing new ideas. The future has so much potential to create new business models, products and services that we haven’t seen before, partly because of the unprecedented technological advances and also because of the times we are facing now. These challenges give rise to new ways of thinking and there is nothing more exciting than creating a business model for something that has never been done before.”
– Genna Elvin, Tadaweb

“For us, it’s all about keeping a strong enthusiasm and not letting ourselves be bogged down by the current events. Change should be embraced, not feared. I like to think that a changing environment is good for stimulation and creativity, so there is no reason for this crisis to be any different. The coming weeks and months will be challenging, but we’ll get out of it even stronger!”
– Kevin Muller, Passbolt

“Keep talking with the team. We are in this together. I already had this feeling in the past, but now I am convinced seeing my team that if I were alive during the WWII, I would have been a resistant.”
– eLfy Pins, Supermiro + Helloboss

“We sell digital products and platforms and depend less on projects that tend to get delayed in times of a crisis, especially if they are deemed non-essential. Therefore, I think we are in a somewhat more comfortable position today, compared to many other businesses that are project-driven, or worse, depend on physical labour/points of sales. We will try to help others where we can… and I believe this kind of solidarity is also a good expression of the entrepreneurial spirit.”
– Raoul Mulheims, Finologee

“By always looking at the brighter side of things – the burnt-out individuals are recovering, communities are coming together and there is so much appreciation for all the things that we take for granted. Money is a mission-critical fuel for running the company, and that is why we always treated money as a scarce resource. We invariably spend the nights teaching ourselves everything – programming languages, design, marketing and all other business functions.

Right now, even with an astronomically low burn rate, we were able to make math less intimidating for pupils from thousands of schools – that is the reason for our high spirits.”
– Himadri Pathak, CheckMath

“Keeping my entrepreneurial spirit down. It’s not the time to fight the curve or deliver an impossible mission. Nature is healing, people need to follow the same process and we need to look into ourselves to accumulate the energy needed for recovery. It is the time to learn, understand and build strategies patiently and consequently. The survivors of today will be the winners of tomorrow.”
– Gosia Kramer, The Office

“Even in the worst moments of life, the spirit and soul remains constantly alert. Sometimes it is disturbing, but that is the way it is. I’m already thinking about what I could create if Warrigal doesn’t get through this crisis and I must admit that having the field of possibilities before me is quite exciting.”
– Johnny Lagneau, Warrigal

Read Part I: Working Remotely
Read Part II: Tech Tools Used
Read Part III: Fears
Read Part IV: Issues
Read Part V: Opportunities
Read Part VI: 24 Hours In A Life Of An Entrepreneur
Read Part VII: How To Face The Crisis Personally
Read Part VIII: How To Face The Crisis Professionally

This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine (special Covid edition “Hope”). Download now.

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