The path to entrepreneurship
In this video, Mike Koedinger shares a few anecdotes about his path to entrepreneurship:
- a great pride
- a support he may have missed
- a mistake he regrets
Mike Koedinger is the founder of Maison Moderne, the leading independent media company in Luxembourg, since 1994. Find him on maisonmoderne.com.
Subtitles are available in english and french.
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Transcription de l'intervention de Mike Koedinger
The path to entrepreneurship
Clearly the right decision in life to claim ground in the economic terrain in a market such as Luxembourg, which is both a country and a business capital.
What kind of support were you missing?
There wasn’t much talk about that stuff back then so I wasn’t missing anything but I think it would have been helpful to have people with more experience, more adult to oversee things and give advice. Even if at that age, you like to do it your own way. But although I didn’t have any institutional aid, let’s say, I did have people from the trade who helped me out, who were older than me and gave me their views, their advice, etc. But that was just the luck of people you meet.
A mistake you regret?
I don’t regret any mistakes, not in the sense that I don’t want to learn, but in the sense that I’m happy to have committed them early along my course… each one at its own time. We still make some now and probably still will in the future. But the consequences, when they’re not too serious… for the company but still serious at the time, you learn. And as an entrepreneur, when you make a mistake, you might not have an N+1 to react it… but the sanction is in your results, the sanction is in the loss of talent, the sanction is immediate and the more serious it is, the better you retain it. So every mistake is worth making at the time to make sure it doesn’t happen again later.
A piece of advice?
I think starting a business is a significant effort that you need to handle yourself, that your entourage has to accept and endure. It’s never short term. So if you’re not passionate about what you want to do, not entirely convinced by an idea that others perhaps find strange, it’s not going to work. So I’d say if you want to open a butcher shop or if you want to open a restaurant, a media or a tech company, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong decision. Not often will you find an area that’s unoccupied, vacant and where the market will say “Please come, we need you.” So you’ll always need to fight, you’ll always need to show up with stronger ideas, a better way or working. All that needs to be done so you shouldn’t wait for… you shouldn’t wait for Santa because he won’t come. You have to be convinced of your idea, full of enthusiasm and go for it, take the plunge… don’t worry about the mess you might make and don’t give up. And you’ll get there. Even if there’s no room, you’ll make room.