Dare to be out there! Our entrepreneurial journey with The Active Place

Almost a year ago, we (Jessica and Pauline) started our entrepreneurship journey with our startup The Active Place. We are not experts, neither entrepreneurship gurus nor business consultants. We are explorers, and we want to share with you our ups and downs, and learnings from this incredibly tough but rewarding journey. We hope to inspire you to get started with your ideas, get moving and realize your dreams. So hang in there, and enjoy!

How it all started

Right after the two of us met at our final internship, we discovered our shared love for action sports, early morning swim sessions, and the wish to become entrepreneurs ourselves. Quickly afterwards, we started a so-called “Entrepreneurship Wednesdays”, an evening of cooking nice dinner and talking about our startup ideas. And wow, there was no shortage of ideas that’s for sure. It came to the point we thought, why not get started? We knew it would not be easy. But hey, we knew we were in for the long ride! After a wasteful weekend spent browsing the internet instead of being outdoors riding down that crazy hill or jumping in the freezing water, The Active Place was born. Full of motivation, we were ready to face the challenges ahead.

Spring arrived and with it endless outdoor opportunities... #canoe #theactiveplace #outside #sweden #outdoor #paddling #activeweekend

Spring arrived and with it endless outdoor opportunities… #canoe #theactiveplace #outside #sweden #outdoor #paddling #activeweekend

In a few words, The Active place is an online platform providing data on all action and outdoor sports possibilities based on your location. Wherever you are, you can find cool activities to enjoy an active lifestyle and go on new sportive adventures. We believe that outdoor and action sports bring people together and make you live and enjoy the moment. It is all about that sense of fulfillment.

It’s not always pink with rainbows and unicorns but together we can achieve everything

Of course, starting a business always brings challenges. We decided to develop an online based startup but we are not techies as we are both coming from a business background. Therefore, our first challenge was to find a way to get the website done. We started with the help of a programmer friend who couldn’t pursue with us, and soon had to find another solution. Currently, we are working with a freelancer but we are looking for a programmer, stoked about our startup mission, ready to make things happen and who is a sports-mad as well, to join our team. PS: If you recognize yourself in this description and want to know more about the possibilities, give us a call 😉

Besides the technical challenges, we are also dealing with this tricky phase when it comes to financing: between the idea and the first prototype. The question we ask ourselves is: ‘When is the right time to present the business to investors?’ We would love to know how you did it! At the moment, our solution is to have part-time jobs, while bringing our project to the next level and finding funds. Therefore, we sometimes face a time shortage. But as we are super motivated, we don’t mind spending our evenings, weekends and sometimes nights on it.

Astonished by nature. Pure sense of freedom. Spring is on its way! @thysr #skimboarding #sunset #peaceful #daretobeoutthere #theactiveplace #beautifulmoments #beach

Astonished by nature. Pure sense of freedom. Spring is on its way!
@thysr #skimboarding #sunset #peaceful #daretobeoutthere #theactiveplace #beautifulmoments #beach

The world of women entrepreneurship

Being two rather young and short women, it happens that people underestimated our capabilities. But what they don’t know is that this lightens our fire even more. We are girls, yes, but we know where we want to go and are driven to work very hard to get there. However, we must say that we mainly met a lot of great people, who have been very supportive and we are extremely grateful for that.

Besides, we are starting a business in the action and outdoor sports world which is mainly dominated by man. We are here to prove that it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman. You can just as much enjoy outdoor sports and go on sportive adventures if you are 1.60m tall and enjoy wearing heels on a Saturday night!

Get started with your entrepreneurship journey, you won’t regret it

We also get the frustration of creating huge excel lists, spending hours on sending emails or doing that last minute job your boss just dropped on your table right at the end of the day. To be honest, as an entrepreneur you have to do even more excel lists, send more emails and do more of those last minute jobs. However, and here is a huge difference, working for something you are passionate about changes your attitude on all these little frustrating tasks. We get excited when doing “boring” tasks because we know that they bring us further towards our goal. You have to be ready to spend lots and lots of hours on your project and be ready to make your friends a little angry because you never have time to see them.

In the end, it all depends on what feels right for you. You are the one putting time and effort in it and when you need some time off, take it! Of course, you have tons of work that will be waiting for you but we believe in the Pareto principle, 80% of your outcomes comes from 20% of your inputs. Sometimes clearing your head brings you ten times further than pushing through the night.

At the end, when you see what you created and the project works, the feeling of accomplishment must be incredible! We are not quite there yet but we sure are working very hard for this moment to come. Whatever stage you are in with your startup, you can already be proud of yourself that you took the risk to try and got the courage to stray from the beaten tracks. You can do it!

The real reason. Just for the hell of it ??  #mountaineering #trekking #alpes #mountainview #expedition #theactiveplace

The real reason. Just for the hell of it ??
#mountaineering #trekking #alpes #mountainview #expedition #theactiveplace

Discover The Active Place and join us!

With our motto ‘Dare to be out there’, we want to encourage people to go outside and take new challenges. Not only in terms of doing outdoor sports but also in any other situations in life. We all know the saying ‘If you never try you’ll never know’ but every once in awhile somebody needs to remind us of that.  In the end, we simply want to empower people to be more active, be outside and face new challenges. Ourselves included! So go out and dare. Try to create the life you want to have and realise your dreams.

The very first version of our website will be ready soon, and we would love to have your feedback! If you want to know more about The Active Place, just would love to chat about entrepreneurship and action, outdoor sports or would be thrilled to join the team to bring The Active Place further, you can contact us at hello@theactiveplace.com

To see inspiring images of outdoor sports follow our Instagram and Facebook page! Feel free to send us some of your best action and outdoor sports images, we would love to feature you on our social media feed 😀
To find your next sportive adventure, a new hobby or a fun evening sports activity, check out www.theactiveplace.com

Co-written with my co-founder Jessica Eibert.  A special THANK YOU to Karl Krause and Hélène Dutfoy for their input.

Sports lover? Interested in starting your own start up? Questions about women Entrepreneurship? Feel free to post your questions or remarks in the comments and join the community to get in touch with us.

Pauline
Outdoor sports lover with a passion for surfing and camper trips

What the Balkans taught me

This little girl saw me first; we were firstly staring at each other, and then she went in and dragged her whole family out. Perhaps to check out the only Asian in town.

I stopped at a distance, and immediately put on a long focus lens that would enable me to take a shot at a distance without embarrassing each other.

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My anxiety was growing, as well as my curiosity. The second time we looked each other straight in the eye, I noticed that they were as curious as I am about them.

I did try to calm my nerves and gather the thoughts, I constantly felt, however, something unexpected would follow.

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One of them seemed to the age of 16, the age that teens should be responsible for the family legacy and answer for it. The infamous Kanun in Albanian translates to blood revenge, which has been there for more than five centuries, as a way of preserving cultural and legal identity. There are still thousands of children who are hiding in the house or even in the mountains to avoid the bullets from the ones who crave the revenge from the last generation.

The double-headed eagle on her shirt is borrowed from the banner of the Byzantine Empire; in this picture, it hardly can be linked to the flag of this country. Yes, this is Albania, black and white, a little rough, wild, and it doesn’t have much to do with the rest of the world with which we are familiar.

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I am always travelling around for all kinds of projects offered in Europe and Asia. For me, it seems to become the better way to travel, and to live in some new places. I had enrolled in an international project at the capital, Tirana, allowing me more opportunities to explore further this region.

Due to the poor air connection, I had to enter the country by boat from northern Greece. After entering from Sarande, a beautiful resort city in the south, I had some hassle with the taxi driver because he had no clue where I wanted to go. Fortunately, though, I managed to get on a bus and continued north.

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I found the bus spacious at the beginning, and then there are people coming from all the small villages which we drove through. Squeezing in the bus with some fellow travelers who seemed a little bit down at heel, I didn’t plan to engage in any conversation at all. All I confirmed to myself was that I will just sit rigidly in the middle, with this shabby bus driving through the treacherously winding roads. Unexpectedly, the grandpa in the front seat turned back his head,  ”China?”, well in Chinese. Out of courtesy, I replied with one of the only three words that I know in Albanian: Po, which is ”yes.”

One of the virtues of the Balkans is enduring traditions, and it kept reminding me of all the historical scenes happened there. When you do have some knowledge about the culture, and respect it, and even mimic the way talking the language, the locals become the most hospitable people.

While living in some countries, especially in eastern European, and Balkan countries which have not been spoiled by the huge amount the tourists, as a foreigner, you do feel a sense of identity, in an absolutely positive way.

In fact, that grandpa was in Beijing in 1970, as some representative sent by Albanian Communist Party to China for the collaboration. This plane on the castle of the town Gjirokaster was given as a gift from the infamous Chinese Mao to” the Albanian People.”

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People here have gone through harsh times during the communism, and even now Albania is still struggling to enter a democratic path and way of institutional functioning. If one strolls between the cranes in the capital or the alleys of those outlying villages, seeing political leader pitching on the national TV will be something ubiquitous. Today many locals are opposing the party in power and their actions; I felt that the struggle of people to end communism finally started to hBave an impact on the economic growth and the beginning of political pluralism as well. When compared to the time of Hoxha, I had assumed things are way better before seeing this scene.

Living in those countries, it is surely chaotic. The transportation system is not expected to be on time; drivers try to squeeze in and go beyond others; food offered is not expected to be what we have eaten, and the language that people talk is not expected to be anything you can understand.

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We don’t live in an era when the most dramatic changes happen. The life is smooth, everything is organized, which give us the full reason not to understand the rest of the world and what are people are like in other places out of our comfort zone.

I believe not everyone was born to be at the places where you expect the trains come in 10 seconds. Probably I might fall into this category, that I need certain chaos in my life to push me forward. You might as well, which is not a bad thing, but just a matter what fits you the best.

Right, the disorder makes a better understanding of oneself, gets you fully inspired, but I wouldn’t work in a library with papers strewn about the floor and a cigarette in my ear. I only crave the flexibility to be not bound to some sorts of restrictions, and make an initiative of what hasn’t be done before, without having to send an e-mail with proper notice in advance.

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Yugoslavia and Tito have a significant impact on the peninsula. Albania wasn’t a part, but most of the rest countries are.(Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro) In Zagreb, I had a few opportunities, fortunately, that I could sit down, and listen to the complaints of two wise old men with some glasses of Croatian Rakija. Well, the younger generation is more Europeanized after joining the EU in 2013, who took advantage of the convenience of travelling and the Schengen Zone, and they went abroad travelling, working and studying. The old ones, instead, are left behind and not sure about the modern transformation of Croatia.

Today, with the strong foundation from Yugoslavia, plus the increasing tourism and foreign investments after joining EU, most of these countries have exceedingly good infrastructure. Mountain highways rise steeply from the Adriatic Sea, cross over the mountains, and keep these separated nations back to the connection

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Đurđevića Tara Bridge was built in 1940, across the second deepest canyon in the world. The bridge was blown up during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1946. Tara bridge has an essential role in connecting Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia.

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Many Balkan countries haven’t recovered from years of civil wars and territory disputes. Yugoslavia was the wealthiest country in the Eastern Europe, and its citizens travelled through the Europe, had their vacation houses near the beach. Then endless wars came, they became used to queuing for a few slices of bread. In the modern times, Europe finally opened its market to the Balkans, but it seems that only western business titans obtain the benefits. Income is still low, but prices go up.

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The EU often preaches in an authoritative tone that Balkan countries should create peace future, build and maintain a friendly neighbouring relationship to satisfy the EU’s candidate requirements. However, countries here are trapped deep in bureaucracy and corruption and standing at the crossroads in the game of geopolitics between Russia and NATO.

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At the top of the Lovcen mountains in Montenegro, other five neighbouring countries are also visible: Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania.

Speaking of these countries as the Balkans, one should not forget to look back. Without the understanding history, it is not possible to step forward. The time advances amidst the turbulence, but lies, legends, stories, propaganda, and myths successfully imprison us in the past.

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It doesn’t matter whether you are in Belgrade, Zagreb, Prishtina, Sarajevo or Podgorica, walking in the fancy old town, crossing the beautiful European architectures, you will suddenly bump into a ruin of a factory or an abandoned station.

Steel rebars and concrete collapsed from a side, and the small, young trees grown on another side are the surprise.

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Thank you for reading

Summit

 

About running a (ad-)venture that resembles your love

Senoa woods,

My name is Jermo de Lange and I am one of the co-founders of Senoa Wood. We have started our small (ad-)venture a few years ago. In here I will share my story and vision of my company and the steps we took.

The start of our company is still one of the best stories I like to share. Together with my good friend Maxim van der Mast, Co-founder of Senoa Woods and who joins me on every crazy trip, we were siting together, exhausted after a heavy Autumn surf session in our local town, Domburg (Netherlands). The daily school and internships hit us just as hard as the Beaufort-9-windspeed-made waves that crush onto us.

Always out there. Always surfing

Always out there. Always surfing

So we were driving back home with a very relaxed mind state. The one you get after sporting extensively. And along the road we started to brainstorm. In the past we made Skateboards, Longboards, Skimboards and we decided to think of our next challenge that we can make with our hands. Then I flashed back to a very small, somewhat hidden, store I was in France a very long time ago. This shop only sold handmade wooden products in every shape that you could imagine. And in one corner of the shop was a bucket with wooden bracelets. They were so awesome I just bought two of them. Not that I could actually wear them, because they were for women, but the way they were manufactured was amazing.

After telling Maxim this story he got really excited. However it did not stop there. We decided we wanted to make the bracelets as personal as it could get. Meaning that we want to produce bracelets in the same way as the wooden boards are produced as I mentioned before.

So we got home, grabbed a piece of scrape wood and sawed our first bracelet. After we sanded it down roughly, we put it on. However, it looked awful.

In the coming weeks, both Maxim and me could not let the idea of wooden bracelets go. Without informing each other we kept working on this idea. Until two weeks later, we started to brainstorm again. Maxim came up with the idea of shaping the bracelets in a way that has not been done to wooden bracelets before. I started work on the ideas of making the bracelets eco friendly. This day is the birth of Senoa Wood.

Senoa 7

After we made a prototype or five, we started to wear it and see if we got any reactions. Before this day, I have actually never worn a bracelet and chopped off festival bracelets as fast as possible. Despite the usual ‘getting use to’ , our friends responded so enthusiastic that we had a small business immediately.

After we sold the bracelets to our friends, we sold them to their friends and later on to their friends. But then it became winter again. We had no sales anymore and the motivation slowly faded away. Next year we decided that we wanted to continue Senoa Wood. In the meantime we ‘hired’ our good friend Thijs Rentier, who is a very talented graphic designer to tackle our social media, website and icons. This step gave us an extra boost and we saw our friends grow enthusiastic again about our new appearance and range of products. We started to visit people that wanted to buy our products and we made them as customized as possible.

Senoa 1

However, the main problem we were facing was that social media was not really active and people found it hard to buy our bracelets online. This made us decide we wanted to exhibit on creative markets. We have exhibited on Swanmarket (a lifestyle market in Rotterdam for creative designs and crafts) and The Market of Tomorrow a few times already.

Our stand at the Swanmarket

Our stand at the Swanmarket

Now it is time to start the growth again for next year. Because we very much live for the day, we will brainstorm any time soon, to tackle our 2016 plans for this summer.

Looking back on this story, I found out that we already created quite some history with Senoa Wood over the past few years. If I take a step back and view the process from a bird eye perspective. I can explain some struggles that we had over the past few years.

Mainly I can sum up the two very most important things that correlate to each other in a way:

  • Determination
  • Consistency
  • Making your company work, all comes down to your determination.  Once you let it slip for a few seconds it won’t succeed anymore. This is the biggest struggle for Senoa Wood. We are three young entrepreneurs that mainly run on solar energy. Therefore winter is killing.

    My life statement: “Make a decision, go for it to the fullest. Afterwards you can judge whether it was a good or bad decision.” I see people often making a decision, but not pursue this decision to fullest. Most people call them dreamers. Once you have a dream, make it your goal and commit to it.

    My life statement: “Make a decision, go for it to the fullest. Afterwards you can judge whether it was a good or bad decision.”

    This brings us to the second most import thing; Consistency. You can see consistency as a commitment you make to yourself. Once you tell that you are going to post on your Facebook every week, you make this commitment, that by the way has been proven to work.

    Try to be as consistent as possible. For us this is quite hard, because at Senoa Wood we are only consistent for a few months every year. But these months prove to be the most successful and fulfilling ones over the year.

    Dream big, set your goals

    Jermo de Lange

    Jermo
    Hi there, my name is Jermo de Lange. I am Dutch and I enjoy life. Why is that? because i try to squeeze every stoked moment out of life that i can find. Follow my experience on the blog.

    Learning from the Vietnamese

    It was nothing less than after a 7-months student exchange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that I decided to realize my upcoming 5-months internship in Vietnam. And so it was that in midst of the Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro I took a plane to the other side of the world to jump in at the deep end in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. I wanted the cultural punch in the face – and I got it.

    Having arrived at Hanoi Airport and mastered my first extensive linguistic difficulties, I finally managed to get myself into a taxi and to be brought to my new temporary home, in the middle of a chaotic suburb of Hanoi. I was dropped off in one of the most dynamic places I had ever seen, next to a pig being roasted on the sidewalk and an entire street staring at me. “Welcome to Vietnam” I mumbled and almost got killed by a herd of scooters.

    What I learned in those first couple of days was that the clocks tick differently here. Life has a different rhythm, people have much different values and traditions are maintained. The potential for personal development seemed to be enormous.

     

    Suburban Street Hanoi

     

    My internship boss generously invited me to spend the first couple of weeks living with his family at his own house. Within the first two days in the house literally everyone from daughter to grandfather asked me to stay for the entire five months, during which I could be taught Vietnamese and in return give the family a better understanding of Western culture. For my family it was self-evident to host me for as much time as I wanted, to provide me with food and to help me in my day-to-day life. Not because I am a foreigner, but because I am their guest. It was sheer impossible to skip one of their many daily meals or to prevent the refill of my drink. I have rarely ever experienced such warm-hearted hospitality – and for that I didn’t even need to understand a word of what they were saying. Vietnamese solidarity is something I learned a lot from and never want to forget about.

     

    Family Dinner Hanoi

     

    And solidarity continued as soon as I got to work for the first time. Every colleague would individually offer me his or her help and each of my minor issues was considered everybody’s own. Amazing! During lunch break I would be taken to the most authentic places and given the most exotic food – food as good as food can get, in seemingly infinite variations, healthy, nutritious and for an absurdly low price.

     

    Street Food Hanoi

     

    The most striking observation surely was the incredible number of scooters and the apparent non-existence of traffic rules. In order to survive in traffic mania you approach the intersection with medium speed, honk more than the other motorists and find your way through the jumble. Against all odds, accidents only seem to occur to those that allow sanity to prevail (namely foreigners). On day 2, my host family liberally decided I was ready to ride a motorbike myself. “You don’t know how to drive here? Naah, you’ll be fine!”

    And what appears to be something as explicit as traffic translates perfectly to social life. You don’t need a strict set of rules, marked paths for you to stick to. Consideration is key. Vietnamese seem to have understood that and live happily in unstructured mutual consideration. Why don’t we do, too?

     

    Hanoi Traffic

     

    My experience in Vietnam so far has been both impressive and instructive. Without doubt, it takes some time and a certain degree of adaptability to get used to things, especially if you’re from a western country where pretty much everything is fundamentally different. Nevertheless, I am amazed by the kindness and openness of the Vietnamese people. Be it the way they share whatever is in their hands, the open-heartedness with which they welcome you to their society or their mutual consideration – I would advise any other society to take a leaf out of Vietnam’s book. And even though I have only touched upon the surface of an unimaginably complex culture, I am convinced that we all could learn from their culture’s values and viewpoints.

     

     

     

     

    Fabio
    Travel and adventure enthusiastic German, 24 years old with passion for environmentalism and sustainability. Recently graduated in International Business & Languages at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and currently travelling the world (again). As of September I will be studying Int. Sustainably Management in Berlin / Paris. In the past 8 years I have lived in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands and that way I have gained a profound interest in the social and environmental well-being of those countries. I am very enthusiastic about Fypster because of its networking and sharing opportunities that facilitate the things that I am so passionate about! Please feel free to connect! ?

    Be creative, in life and in business! Interview with Pal-ID founder Pierre Michel

    Hi Pierre Michel! So, what is Pal-ID about and how did you come up with the idea?

    Pal-ID is a modular furniture concept made in pallets. Assemble the pieces together like a child’s building kit to create a vast variety of furniture and to transform it quickly.

    My friend Omar and I came up with the idea when we moved to our apartment in Paris. The city is expensive, and as students we were limited on budget. We couldn’t really afford new furniture, so we decided to build our own. We used pallets for that, and the outcome was so good that we thought: Other students would probably be interested in this as well. We looked into wooden kids’ toys which can be put together easily, so we contacted a producer and asked if he could produce the same just in bigger. He did, it worked out with the pallets, and Pal-ID was born.

    First day thinking

    That sounds similar to the story of AirBnB, out of a problem with financing a student flat, you made a business. It took them quite a while to have the first people sleeping on their mattresses. Who were your first customers and what did you do to get the next ones?

    Ha, the first paying customer was actually my mum. After that we sold some furniture to some friends. Our breakthrough was the cooperation with the Weather Festival, one of the most known festivals here in France. We provided them with a unique concept, and they loved it. Following that, we got more business partners and today we have about 14 business clients and many private households who buy our furniture. We also make some profit, but we reinvest most of it into our company.

    How did you figure out the roles and responsibilities in your team? Would you do it differently it for the next time? 

    Hard to define who is CEO in the beginning, just did all together in the beginning. I designed the website, but the rest in terms of production and promotion we just did together. Then my school allowed me to do one of my two mandatory internships at my business. Since I worked full-time and got very involved in all parts of the business, I then took the role of the CEO while my partner became head of product. My advice is to define at the beginning the role of each one in the team for avoiding double work and to see if each one has his place on the company. My third associate, Jonathan, has joined us at the beginning of our project. He was in charge of the legal stuff. Today, I think we are complementary in our skills. Omar is doing the design stuff, and he manages the production. Jonathan is still doing the legal stuff, but also the commercial part.

    What are your biggest professionally learning so far?

    One of the biggest learning for me was that there is no reason to be afraid of approaching older professionals or mature companies for partnerships and sales. In fact, I have experienced it as an advantage. We have gained many partners and generated also some sales because older professionals told us they liked our hunger and drive and said that they actually preferred working with us than with an established supplier because we needed to prove ourselves. And that is totally true! If I lose one client due to a bad service, it hurts me a lot and might even put my business on risk. Some established companies with many clients, however, might not care so much. Also, young people are often seen as more innovative and creative.

    Another learning experience was that the initial target group and business model may not be the most profitable one in the end. Let me explain: In our case we created Pal-ID when we faced a problems when we were students, so we thought students would also be the best target group. However after we had made our first products and calculated all the costs, we saw that the selling price is actually a significant expenditure for students. Still it is worth it as they can change the furniture, and adapt it to their needs. For us however the business clients are the main revenue driver. We also figured out that renting out our equipment for specific events is a very profitable thing for our clients and us. Today, we offer one of the best customer services: providing 3D realisation, doing transportation and setting up the furniture on the spot.

    And personally, what did you learn?

    Personally I learned many things, more than ever before. In a business it’s like in real life:  Shit happens. Sometimes you plan ahead just to figure out last minute that what you planned does not work out our, that you have forgotten about important details. I have definitely improved my problem solving abilities and the ability to find creative solutions. Also leading people and selling your product and company means going out of your comfort zone and that you have to develop a professional attitude to have credibility. This all is not easy, especially not in the beginning. But you grow into it, and with time you develop those necessary skills.

    Last year you did your exchange semester in Chile. How did you manage to keep the company running, as you are the CEO?

    It was very difficult for me, due to many reasons. Firstly, it was not easy to adapt to the new environment quickly and I suffered from a jet lag as well. I also had some problems communicating with my team back in France. I worked a lot during the first two months. After that I did less and less during the last months, finishing by almost doing nothing in the end. I had a great time in Chile though. It was an awesome experience. It was my last exchange and one of my last semesters at school. So, I preferred to enjoy it and to start working more vigorously when I came back. That’s slowed a lot our activity down but finally, it wasn’t a bad experience because I could move off my company and I was thinking about the strategy with an outside view. I think when you are a in business, it is always important to change the perspective sometimes to get some fresh ideas and reflect on the current situation. That was this moment for me and I realized that our previous strategy was not ideal. Following that, we have retargeted our company to a more profitable business: furniture renting for business clients.

    Weather Festival 2015How do you manage work and fun?

    It is not work, it is more like a hobby, a pleasure. Even though I spend most of free time on Pal-ID, I am not sacrificing on my fun. Generally, student budgets are tight, so its not like I could afford going out every day, I also would not want that. I enjoy having drinks and fun with my friends and in fact I do this very often. Mostly when I have to choose between doing school work and work for Pal-ID, I chose for Pal-ID. It’s more fun than school! However, right now I am writing my thesis, and I clearly have to focus on that as well, otherwise I have studied for nothing. I think it is important to have a good equilibrium between fun and work. It is a part of your motivation 😉

    What are the next steps for Pal-ID and what are your personal plans for the near future?

    We will invest in improving our products and developing new features and designs. Soon we will launch a crowd funding campaign for that and to get our brand even more exposed.
    My first goal is to finish my studies in July. After that we want to fully focus on Pal-ID and I am planning to set up distribution points in all major French cities, starting with Lyon this summer. I also want to improve the website to have something like the shoes’ conception of Nike ID’s website.

    What is your message to all those young people who have an idea while they are studying but hesitate to act on it?

    Start as soon as possible. When you are studying it’s the best time to get your idea of the ground. You are young, don’t need a lot of money and have a lot of time. I personally love the idea of being my own boss and to do things whenever I want them to happen. It’s more to express my intellectual freedom. I don’t want to have limitations in my creativity. While your studying you lay the basis for continuing your idea after your studies. Entrepreneurship is not teachable. But you learn from experiences. Don’t be afraid of failing because if you don’t win, you will learn for life. This is probably the most valuable part of it. I learned more in one year of having my business than in 4 years of school.

    How can people get in touch with you?

    They can get in touch with me through the community. Just send me personal message. It will be a pleasure to answer them. Each story is different, and each time you speak with an entrepreneur, you learn something about his story. ☺

    Thank you for this interview Pierre Michel and best of luck personally and professionally!

    Pierre-Michel
    French and Chilean, I am passionate about music, sport, traveling, entrepreneurship and going out with my friends. I am the Co-Founder of Pal-ID (http://pal-id.fr) , a new furniture brand. Soon, I will be graduated and I will be dedicated completely to my business and my hobbies ! Also, I have passed the last few years to produce music, techno music for picky guys 😉 I did two exchanges during my study for 1 year in total. The first one was in Singapore. I really enjoyed this part of the world, travelling a lot ! The last one was in Chile and it was so great. All of this different cultures taught me a lot of things, specially developing my open-minded. I hope to live in France and Chile the next year to have only summer. Bad weather is the only thing I hate !

    No more excuses, join The 1%

    I’m on the edge of a 100-meter high bridge in the middle of Ecuador. I’m mortified but I’m ready, it’s time to take the leap. I contemplate life one more time as I stare down in the roaring river that is flowing beneath my feet.
    As I finally jump, I feel an immediate and overwhelming relief set in. Adrenaline turns into dopamine when I’m dangling from the rope. My heartbeat drops below a hundred whilst the tension is leaving my body. I couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be more comfortable and I’ve never felt so alive! I am the 1%.

    TheStudentGeneration is all about getting out of the comfort zone, and my comfort zone just got a whole lot bigger. I have never been afraid of many things, but heights are among the few things I think are really scary. The natural thing to do when you see that you can jump off a terrifying bridge would be to turn around and do something that is within your comfort zone. You would most likely do the same things you always do; follow your routine, not breaking the pattern.
    If this applies to you, you’re missing out, big time! Suppose you turned around at the sight of that bridge, you might have had a pleasant day but you wouldn’t have nearly felt as alive as I felt that day. And even worse, you would miss the opportunity to overcome your biggest fear, and you don’t get opportunities like that every day, so it is up to you to jump at them.

    The natural thing to do when you see that you can jump off a terrifying bridge would be to turn around and do something that is within your comfort zone.

    I chose to jump, and I hope you will jump with me! Go find your biggest fear and overcome it (unless that fear is pyrophobia, then your fear is real, the author takes no responsibility for you jumping in a fire)! Only by facing your fears head on you can expand your comfort zone and become part of the 1%.
    As you’ve probably noticed I have been talking about the 1%, and then I’m not referring to the top 1% wealthiest people as we so often do. We shouldn’t care about being in that particular percent, we should care about a far more important 1%. I consider myself lucky to be in the most important 1% percent you could ever find yourself in. I am talking about the happiest one percent of people out there. People trying to enter the wealthiest percent often lose sight of the far more important happiest percent. I could know, not because I’m an unhappy billionaire, but because I wrote my Bachelor thesis on the effect of job industry on happiness, with wage as a moderator. In short, you’ll be miserable in all industries, just a little bit less in some. Wage doesn’t do much to happiness either (and after 100k in euros a year, it has almost no positive effect on happiness). So why bother joining the billionaires of this world when you can join the 1 percent that actually matters?

    I want you to join my 1% club. I want it to be our club. How do you join this seemingly exclusive club? Well, there are a number of things you can do, with jumping off bridges only one of them. It’s not all that hard, though. Being born in a first world country like me usually gets you in the top 10%, getting to the much harder to achieve 1% requires you to get on your feet (or off your feet when you decide to jump bridges). Getting in the 1% means strapping on your backpack, deciding where you want to go next and just doing it (Nike did not sponsor this piece). The 1% means being the director of your own life, not forcing yourself in a 9-5 quicksand job that you didn’t really want but the benefits were SO good that you just had to take it. The 1% is getting your phone stolen 3 times during your South-America trip (yes, that happened), and realizing that reading books is a far more relaxing and interesting pastime than reading the Buzzfeed’s “27 Things All Makeup Addicts Secretly Do But Won’t Admit” article.

    Not forcing yourself in a 9-5 quicksand job that you didn’t really want but the benefits were SO good that you just had to take it

    The 1% means moving to a city on the other side of the globe without housing and seeing that everything works itself out wonderfully. Getting in the 1% club means doing all those things you normally wouldn’t do because they are just not in your comfort zone. Today’s fears are tomorrow’s thrills.

    Ultimate freedom!
    Ultimate freedom!

    I want you to join the 1% club and I want you to advocate other people to join it as well. We all should jump at our opportunities and enlarge our comfort zones. Everyone deserves to be in the 1%, the 1% should become the 100%. TheStudentGeneration is here to inspire you guys to get from 1 to a 100, one jump at a time. We are the 1%!

    Daniel
    I am the Co-Founder of Fypster.
    Hope you guys are having fun here! Always happy to connect ?
    So a little bit about me: I love entrepreneurship, traveling, diving into different cultures and languages whilst having football as another big passion. I love to be surrounded by people who encourage me to think beyond my limits. I also like reading (non fiction) books and to enjoy culturally diverse food. A lot of it. (if I can afford it)
    When I am not working on some projects I love to spend quality time with my loved friends and family.
    Fun fact: I am German/Brazilian which means I have to deal with two very opposing forces in me.
    Before you ask: Even though I grew up in Germany, I always supported the brazilian national team a lot. So I witnessed the 7:1 in a Brazilian Restaurant having to drink many caipirinhas to be able to deal with the game.