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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.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.