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The entrepreneurial journey: “You always have to keep in mind what’s best for the business. So emotions don’t take over.”

@Adam

This post is also available in: Danish

The ecstasy coincides with the signing of the investment agreement, but it can quickly turn into a trip to the coal cellar if product development fails or the market turns.

All entrepreneurs experience big ups and downs. We focus on them in “The Entrepreneur Journey”, where every week an inspiring entrepreneur gets the opportunity to share their experiences, challenges and triumphs from startup life.

What is it that you come from that has brought you to where you are now?

I come from a background in music, film and later construction, but I started as an entrepreneur in 2016 and worked in tech for 8 years. I founded the company Canvas Planner in 2014, which later became part of the company Future Work.

My curiosity and desire to learn has driven me forward and kept me an entrepreneur. Personally, I like security, but I also have a natural sense of skepticism, which may set me apart from the classic entrepreneur. This makes me a little bit reluctant, but on the other hand, in some contexts I’m willing to take risks, which compensates for that.

As a result, I’ve teamed up with my sister Nanna Ulsøe, who fits well into the box “as the classic entrepreneur”. And together with our third founder Nanna Munkholm, who I met through the female founders and creators network, we started the AI company Roccai in 2022.

What is one thing you’ve learned from your entrepreneurial journey that you would like to pass on to others?

One thing that stands out among all the things I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey is being able to shut out thoughts that don’t need to occupy the here and now. Being an entrepreneur is demanding, which is why it’s important. I couldn’t at first, but I’ve learned it over the years.

Also read: Three promising AI startups: They’re worth keeping an eye on

I use a technique where everything I’m thinking about is stuffed into a box and then I sit on it so it doesn’t open when I’m not using it. I use it especially before I go out to speak in front of a crowd or when I’m sitting in the evening with my family.

If I hadn’t learned it, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here today because the burnout would have caught up with me.

What are the three biggest fuck-ups you’ve made on your trip?

It’s hard for me to answer definitively, but my first fuck up is that in a previous startup I spent too much time with something that couldn’t scale up. I’ve learned that you have to be critical about closing something in time.

I have tended to have too much faith in others. You meet many people along the way and it’s important not to have too much faith in everyone you meet. I’ve burned my fingers on that and have learned that it’s important to maintain a natural skepticism.

You have to be able to handle mistakes. I couldn’t at first. I spent too much time hitting myself over the head and it limited me a lot. Today I see them as something positive because I gain new knowledge that can be used in the future.

If you could give yourself three pieces of advice before jumping into entrepreneurship, what would they be?

I would have liked to know before I took the plunge as an entrepreneur that you should always have what’s best for the business in mind, so emotions don’t take over. Disagreements will undoubtedly arise, but you need to take yourself out of the equation so that decision making can be much more painless.

“If you going to eat shit, don’t nipple” – If there’s something you just don’t want to do, just get it done right away, otherwise it just piles up. It’s still not something I’m good at, but I’m working on it.

I would have liked to have known from the start that I should trust my gut feeling more. Of course, you should listen to advice from others, but it’s important to include yourself. If your gut is not there, don’t do it. Ultimately, you are accountable for the decisions you make.

Where do we go from here?

I will continue to build on Roccai. We have a great team, which in addition to Nanna and Nanna consists of 5 employees. Beyond that, my goal is to keep learning and stay curious, because that’s what drives me.

It’s amazing to get up and learn something new every day with a great team. So I will continue to do so.

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