Why entrepreneur and not employee?
I don’t know if I decided to become an entrepreneur or if entrepreneurship picked me. I guess as a kid, I’ve always been creative and interested in making my own money. So without even thinking about it, I think I started doing it. I remember when I was 7 years old, I was a big fan of Lego and I remembered I wrote a letter asking whether I could be a retailer of Lego, for no other reason but to get hold of more Lego –obviously the consequence of it was to run a business and in that way become an entrepreneur! They did reply to me eventually but unfortunately said that I was too young to set up a Lego company. However I think that’s how it all started for me. I kept on doing things like that and the older I got, the wiser I became and I have now a more mature perspective of entrepreneurship. When I went to university, I started to build my network and got access to investors. I was able to take my dreams and my ideas even further and create actual companies.
I’ve directed a few smaller businesses before this one. The first business I started when I was 19 years old. I ran it for only 6 months as a local media company came and bought the business. Then I went to university and spent 10 years working for corporations. After those experiences, I eventually decided to come back to my entrepreneurial ‘roots’ and to launch my own business.
To be an entrepreneur means …
In terms of running my own business, one of the biggest enjoyments I get is to be in control of my own destiny, and in control of my own time. I am able to decide when I start working, and how long I work for and in what way I spend my hours during the day. In addition, being in line with your personal success and with your business is something that gives you great satisfaction. The conviction that we’re building a business that we think is making a big difference for a lot of people provides you with great satisfaction versus maybe working for a big corporation that’s somehow only looking for the money.
Your advice for potential young entrepreneurs ….
I think the best thing you can do is just start doing something. Write a business plan, be part of a business plan competition. Try to look out at opportunities, because the more you’ll try and fail, the better you’ll become in the end. So try 10 times, and you’ll succeed once. But if you wait for that one big idea or that one amazing opportunity, I think you’ll still be in the same situation in ten years’ time. So start now, and don’t be afraid to fail!
The interview was held on the occasion of the StartUp Europe Roadshow closing event, organised on the second day of UNCONVENTION 2014. For more interviews of this kind and the video summarising the interviews check HERE.
Christer Holloman is the Founder of Invoice House (Sweden), a new option for Invoice and Instalment Payments.