Starting Y
Starting Y

Episode 16 · 6 months ago

Peter takes us on his journey from a student to a multi business entrepreneur, in 10 years

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“This one conversation blew my mind. He was not only running one business but multiple businesses” Peter Hart, Entrepeneur 

Our Intro is based on Quantum Jazz’s piece “Orbiting a distant planet”, published under Creative Commons

Our Guest:

The Host:

  • Jörn is a podcaster, startup scout, consultant, and entrepreneur, who is based in Frankfurt, Germany. He has a      background of more than 12 years of management consulting, but spends most      of his time to help international investors and corporations to find,      cooperate and invest in startups in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He      hosts an English startup podcast, covering the German startup scene (https://linktr.ee/startupradio) You can learn more about Jörn      “Joe” here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joernmenninger/

You can suggest questions here, use #startingy

Twitter Michelle: https://twitter.com/salutemichelle

Twitter Jörn: https://twitter.com/JoeMenninger

Or send us a message via Anchor: https://anchor.fm/starting-y

This is a starting why podcast. Here we ask entrepreneurs, actors, investors in the native and hardest on the why why they are doing what they are doing, what motivates and drive them and why can't they stop? We will start in five hundred and four, three, two one. Folks, this is Joe from starting why. Today I welcome Peter here with me. Hey, Peter Hidin. Hi Joe, are you nice to be here? I'm doing great. Thank you. Yeah, totally my pleasure. We may tell our audience, who is first listening to us, that we have, I would say, quite some history. You've been a very early guest when I was running a Germans only podcast. I do believe the recording was twenty thirteen or twenty fourteen. Yeah, that was another very early stages of me being entrepreneur as well. I think it's nice to see you along the way and your company growing and keep in touch like I think every couple of years we do this. Now I think it's a third. Is this the third time? But it's tired to separated from the times we we met in person. Yeah, I do believe it's our fourth interview. First we had this Joe an only interview, then we had the interview on investing, Hassan, about your ai start up that you currently running, and then we had two third one. We will already talked about your mental framework on Start Break Dido entrepreneur tools. That's right, that's right. So well, glad to be here again. Yeah, totally my pleasure. As people can already guess, you're already for quite some time in the game, even though you're not old yet. Well, I turned thirty two a couple of days ago, so the clock is taking under radiations. Thanks. Just thirty two and already running for ten years your own businesses. How did you start out and why did you start out? So it's eight, eight years almost now, and I started out with one product, figuring out that I had with the mind now that we're talking about mindset today, I might set back then was I was working culprit and that did not suit me at the time because I still wanted to I had a lot of energy and wanted to create a lot of things and was searching for my place and this world and work wise, and so I went an engineering first and then I went into banking and once I figured it out that I want to do something by myself first and then maybe go back into a classic job my maybe later on when I'll have family or something like...

...that. That was my thought back because I didn't have much of a responsibility towards anyone, at least not a financial one. So I decided that that's going to be it for me, and it wasn't really that much like it would that was that way around. A lot of people have it the other way around, where they have an idea first and then they decide to become an entrepreneur and act on it. I decided to become an entrepreneur and was looking holistically at the options that are out there from my point of view back then, what I can do, and so I figured out that I want to start with something that's not a rocket, because that would take a lot of a lot of time about trust from investors. So I was looking for something where don't need to track record, you don't need and insane sums of money and you can start quickly. We made for our audience in order to get this joke. I tell them that at first you didn't want to take a rocket because you started studying aaronautics, aviation, in aerospace science. So you were on your path to become a real rocket scientist. That is true. That this true. It's right, but I thought it's that that's not a good start for me because I didn't have any contacts and I didn't have much of the capital. I had a couple of thousand euros and six and then I got borrowed by my family. I got bored K later on, but that was it. And so that would that was the point. And so I started with a with a beauty brand. started a beauty brand because I thought there's still some, some space for that on Amazon. I. So I thought was put something on Amazon, get some influencers, which was two thousand and thirteen. There was. It wasn't that big of a hype yet, make some social media and that was it. So that started my first and after shave for women, and from there on I kept building onto cash flows. We may add that this aftershave is actually a body after shave, so it's not for bearded women. It's it's a body after shave, and we've been discussing this in the past. But basically, how did you approach this problem? How did you come up with the project? Because you decide. Okay, I want to be an entrepreneur in with steps between you deciding to take your savings, to borrow some money and become an entrepreneur and actually figuring out the real product. What did you do there? Wi it like gut feeling? Did you use, as former rocket scientists, a lot of analytic tools, or was it somewhere in between? So I think the the more most complex part was indeed, and it's fits to the topic we're talking about today, was on the mindset part. So I had, like...

I think everyone has, something that blocks them from from taking some steps and or everybody knows that feeling when you're jumping into something new and sometimes you feel a little like a lot is going to change or there's so much uncertainty, there's a lot of fears and a lot of things that can block you on the way. And for me the main thing was that I only had those six thousand euros and I was thinking, you're going to blow them into nothing instead of just making like a journey around the world and a classics, like a big, big you could have made. I could have made a big holiday out of that, and that was back then. That was that thought of just burning that away with some random idea was really kept me in check, and it was only the fear, because I hadn't found my place in the work world and my fear of not not fitting into the jobs that were available for me at the time that really kicked me over that, over that other fear of losing my heart. I got to say hard, hard earned money. I had made that money from waidering most so each dollar was was really work for and long nights and standing a lot, and so it didn't come out of the sky. So I that that was where my main constraints and then I decided to I was still studying. I decided to go on a ranch in the US and basically I went to Kansas and I was there for for three months and they put me on a horse, so I had a lot of time sitting on the Horse and, you know, hurting hrding cattle from from north to south and then sleeping outside. I had a lot of time to figure out what I want to do when I come back, and I had so much time. There is the thing. So basically, you booked something like a working holiday, travel and work something like that. Well, I will know it wasn't that much. It wasn't like that. I called, like I must have called like almost thirty ranches. It was probably three, and my offer was, look, guys, I'm going to come over, I got three months that you can do the s ideal. Going to come for three months, I'm going to work for free. You guys just give me a roof and something to eat and that's that's my deal, because I really want to wanted to do that and they're first of all, these guys were entrepreneurs, obviously, because they were running this, this whole place. It was a small family to adults and and their son. So they were running that and they're was like my first also interaction with someone who's running their own business and being very up close and getting rid of a lot of my questions, like also about mindset and a lot of time to think, because you spend hours and hours, for example, just searching for...

...a lost calf on your wars all alone, just having one direction and you're walking half the day, you're riding one way and then you turn around if you didn't find it and you go back and then you start out the next day in another direction. So do you have a lot of time and that you gave me the time. I think that's very important. You need some time to think. If you're all like garbaged up by media and everything, you barely have time in a day to think, and if you even go to sleep with your TV on and everything you you barely have time to think and plan and things out. That's an important thought. Would just like to increase that a little bit before we go out of the ranch mentally, because I also realize that you need time without any interruptions, without any meetingings. Would add it is I get most of my external meetings booked with an online tool with calentley. So basically I made room there and I can be very, very sure there's no one trying to reach me in this time. How you going to do it and what amount of time do you think is reasonable? For me, it's like every morning until twelve and after that I'm a little bit off for lunch, potentially external lunch, and then I'll be bookable until let's say seven, eight or nine in the evening. Obviously depends on a person. I can only speak for myself. I think the weekends do it for me mostly, so I really try to keep my weekends ask work free as possible. Obviously that doesn't work always. That's in my job, but I try to keep miss clean possible, take long walks but not take them off so that you can in order to shut myself or or shove in more information from other sources, like watching Netflix all day or stuff like that. The real quality time to think is just walking through the woods or or anything that doesn't create extra input so that you have time for your brain to think. There's a lot of fears, obviously, that occur when you take the path of having to make all of your decisions yourself, having barely any decisions like really taken away from you in the end. Obviously you can get help and get consulting from your employees or from your partners, but in the end you have a lot, a lot of decisions to take yourself, and there's obviously always a fear of taking the wrong one. There's always as an entrepreneur, you have limited amount of resources and if you overinvest you might dry out, if you underinvest, you might it not grow as fast as you...

...want. So you're always and in a very fine balance of decisionmaking, and that works best. If you ask me if you're if your mind is calm and relaxed and gets a lot of time to regenerate so you don't fall into a loop of that decisions, which great more stress and more fears, and that again creates even worst decisions. You want to you don't want to go down there. Obviously. I think every entrepreneur that has been around for a while has been there and you gotta Dig Yourself Out, get your head clear and look forward. And that's what I mean by time to think, really map out what to do, map out what the worst case is actually. I think that always helps your mindset a lot, mapping also out what is the worst case that can happen and figuring out that no matter what happens, you're still going to be alive and be able to do other things or do the whole thing again, and worst case and and that life goes on and at that thought keeps getting, I think, covered up once you're in a in a bad mindset, because any really panic as if the world will would end the next day, which is usually not the case. It's just you lose some money in the worst case. That is also something I had to learn in like the first one and a half years of being a Solo entrepreneur and I realized I can do a lot with outsourcing stuff. So you have to think through what should be done and then I use a mini job sides, crowds of thin sides or stuff like this, and get really small jobs, small routine jobs like, for example, editing videos, editing audios. That is something I get out of my way. I'm not relieved out the responsibility. I have to listen to every interview again, I have to watch every interview again, I have to do the show notes myself, but at least all the tedious work of editing, of forcing myself to do editing. That is what I've gotten out of the way, as well as many, many other little task just to do the same. As you said, get your mind free, get your mind a little bit slower, because otherwise you just go in overturn. That's what I also seen many entrepreneurs that they're working, work and work, and for me from time to time it was like that. I was working for three days a week until midnight, and that wasn't very healthy and I've felt it pretty soon, and I really like that you're also saying that is an important part. But sorry, we've been at on the rent in Kansas right now. I think we're enjoy what you just said that that's also big part of it. I mean, in the end it's on one there's two construction sites. Basically that's your working on. There is one the one is the mindset and one is the actual amount of loaded...

...you are carrying. And with what you just said to is that covering the second part, you know, reducing the load which you are confronted each day by outsourcing things so that you have more room for strategic decisions and, you know, to move on. But the first part, to pure minds, had part well back then, after I came back. I had my plan and was like, okay, once I get back, I'm going to start. So I came back and I remember sitting there being like Ding on, now I'm going to do this, and that's when my fears of losing the money that point, seemed huge to me, started and and I remember I was really stressed, even though I hadn't really done much yet. So, like, looking back, that's the thing. I wasn't even I didn't have any hadn't built anything that would, like, you know, be a self created responsibility. Yet just the thought of it was stressing me just as much as today when something really big is coming up or something big is going wrong or, you know, if there is a huge legal fight that is carrying on, and and back then that thought alone, but doing something was as stressy as really big things now, and that's basically in category one. How is your mindset at the point, and obviously grows with experience and you grow in it, but back then that was as worse that was. I was in a very bad place and I remember all I could do for the first couple of weeks or month even. That's too down. Thirteen back then was right. One email a day. That was already like and I was thinking, okay, Peter, you're kind of frozen because it's so like it was such a wild thought back then for me to start my own business. Like no one in my family had done that. Really it was like totally out of my my ver environment. None of my friends had done that. So I have no one where I could like, you know, relate to and be like, Oh, yeah, he did it and it's fine, it's only like external figures. And I was only so I forced myself to do one task a day at least because I knew I wanted it. I was just not in the mind said, you could say that required there was suitable at the time, because I was I had too much fear. So I forced myself to write one to the one task a day, right, one email day, find a new supplier or find a supplier for my product, one email day until I found one, you know, and then I have one call. And I carried on for quite a while. I could say they carried on for kind of while, and I was I had a lot of feelings come up once you go down on the Path and you notice that...

...your main thing, you got work on, is indeed your head, is indeed your mindset, because if my mind would have been in the right place, I could have written a hundred emails a day. You know so, but I'm fine with how it went. But I remember how much of a struggle for my brain and was at first to live with this thought of because once you're into entrepreneur you're you're basically in space, you're looking around and you can go anywhere. That amount of dimensions in which you can go, like directions, is also kind of home overwhelming. If you have a job and someone in the morning tells you what to do. You have a limited amount of directions you can go at day. That's also sourt of soothing, I find, and very comfortable I felt once I went out into space. I was like, all right, so that's what I am. You know, you start missing things once once they're gone, and and that's what I realized and that's something you got to put up with. And once you do that, you grow, obviously, and the space you are in as an entrepreneurs way beyond what the monopoly game squares allow. You Work and build a red house or greenhouse. Onto the fields you can basically build a barbershop or rocket station. You know, the limitless of the options can be overwhelming and I think that's a big thing. You grow. And so with the mindset exactly that's what you've been talking about, like this growing into this taking baby steps. That very, very much reminded me of when I started out, also very small steps, were very low intensity, and then they get better and better and better. For example, at one point I was publishing at start a Breakdoh, one interview a month and sometimes new swep ups. Now I'm down to one interview a week, sometimes additional episodes, special publication, bonus episodes, and once a month I do this startup news with Christian and you just get better to it, you just develop skills. It's the same with the emails. In the beginning I was overwhelmed, even though I was already having a full time job, when I had five emails. Now it's no exception. If I go back to the office Monday morning, I turn on my laptop and I see in my ai filter alone there more than two hundred emails. Actually, also this A. I feel there something that helps me a lot, because I just go after the headlines and everything I don't release from this A. I feel that I never have to read or see again. Right. And you also. You also started a whole new platform and everything you know. It's not it's growing like you. You're building your whole ecosystems all and it's nice, sister, every time I see I see you...

...again, or we do this, I see how both of us grow in there there spaces. So I see. So we now back. You've been through this farm in Kansas, riding on horseback and getting cow and cattle ready. Then you came back and you take two very small baby steps into developing your first product. Then at one point it was successful and we did the interview and what happened then, because I do understand you also have now a company that does much more. At the time we called it Pithya when I interviewed you, but now in Linkedin your brand is swarm intelligence, and with that you're doing much more. Can you elaborate a little bit on the path you took there? That's right, yes, with of course. So the main next once I had found my piece with it, like I said, a couple of months, almost a year, for I found my piece with my new role, in my new path that took, and I, you know, started being on top of things. I met another another entrepreneur, and he told me that he had three companies. was like what? I was sitting next to them and I was like, what, three companies? How's that possible? That's outrageous. There was completely out of my universe to have multiple company knees like one person. How that makes sense, isn't that? How do you do that? You know, is how do you manage that? You know how you how you and where do you get the time from? What? What do you do? So I talked to him and he really blew my mind with this, just with saying this and for me was completely out here. So he said, well, he manages. That had little spark made me think about the idea of replicating the success of one product, one brand, because you can have it once it started, you can have it manage, you can add people and then obviously you can also keep on that and keep the folks, but you can also start more companies than one. That basically was the next big mindset change. When this was like, it blew my mind, the blue my mind. So I started a bunch of more brands, a sorry socks brand and the CBD brands, I started as detergent brand for men. I it collected up to leven brands and all of them had in common that they were mostly online focused and Trent focused. And so over the course of that we build our own software in house in order to keep all the brands well covered with with the newest trends, and we basically build already back then, a trend scouting machine that would take data from the Internet and aggregated and find new trends. And at some...

...point then we attracted bigger attention and one German billionaire saw an article and he decided to come along and and she said do you want to take the software and make a spinad? You know it's been off. So we created another company just for the software and have been developing it since. So we got into software through that and now it's a sad software and a lot of the companies are on our partners and user lists and we mostly do corporate that's that. But from a mindset perspective, the most important thing is just that little spark of someone telling me, Hey, you can have more in one company. that. So that's the next chapter. When I reflect a little bit from the outside. Was this the step when you decided to come from a place of being as entrepreneur with one company to a multi entrepreneur, to have a put folio of companies? Who's that the step you describing? Yes, exactly, that was, I think the next of the first big mind set part, I think, is once you you realize you're an entrepreneur now and you are able to direct your energy where you want to, into that space. The first big ever mindset is doing that and losing the fear or getting rid of some of the you're obviously never lose the fear totally, but making a deal with your fears and being able to work. And then the next big step for me was this thought of being able to expand, and so that was, I think, the second big mindset step. And can you share with us a few hints and tricks? You've learned to control something like almost a dozen of different businesses by now. Yes, so it's obviously it is resource allocation. It's an absolute resource allocation game. So where do you allocate your money and your time and where doesn't make most sense, and how do you deploy that in an efficient manner? So that's that's the game you're entering in, I think, when you decide to do that. It's obviously also the same game when you have one company, but that takes it to another level and I had to force myself in some ways to stop doing some things, to stop doing things that other people can do as well. Actually, I got to add that to in between, as that's also a mind step thing. My stefic, a mind no where you would call it.

We called this interview Peter Hart talking about mind steps. Yeah, how it myself or now, because I'm going to say it anyway. So that's a big, big mindset that you decide that you learn to let go and you learn that other people can do what you do as well and they do it in a different way, and some people get really irritated by that, and me that was for me as well as that's for you. If you're sort of a perfection person, you really have to let that go because other people do it in their way, but in the end you can't do it all you're by yourself, and internalizing that thought is, I think, for each person that wants to become an entrepreneur, something that they have to let go at some time, at some point in their career. For some people it's easier, for some people it's really hard. I think I was somewhere in between. But you gotta let it go because you can't do it all and you can't run run Amazon by yourself because it's very too much to do. You know, I would say you can try it for just one day and then you're done. Yeah, Jeff Faizos cannot answer all the customer calls. It's just impossible. But it would be very interesting what would happen if Jeff BESOS would be for she's one day under I'm Amazon customer. Hot like that won't be just amazing, but very important for me. Was How did you decide? What do you do and what do you don't do? Well, I think that that's it's a difficult question. I know that it's a question to because I don't want to go into the specifics because that's not I think you got to figure out which of my tasks can I package in a way that someone else can do them? That's an easy one. With customer messages, even though, if you love Your Business, it's also you really want your customers to get the best answers on to their questions as possible. And if someone you know, if that yourself, you know the business best, so you have any probably love it the most within the company from all persons. So you are gonna Answer Your customer messages from your perspective in the best way possible. And let's stick to that little example. Even that is hard to give away because you see someone else answering your customers and you look at the message and you're like to do this a little bit kinder maybe, and lot that person ask three questions and you only answer too and you get really stuck on that but it's the way the things are. If it's your own there is no one ever, or barely no one ever. Can Be Really Lucky, which I was, but with some of my crew you can't count...

...on anyone loving your business as much as you do. That has to really internalize that, because otherwise you won't be able to let go, because you always see the difference in quality and the difference in love between you doing a task and someone else. So that's those other things. It's usually always with all these things in growing it's inner fine and you and the way it's called, it an inner, inner debate, and if you manage to settle it in a way that's productive, then you move on and you grow. And that's basically the main work. And then basically the rest of the work is telling someone to do it, which is, I think, the smaller portion. It's all a mindset work. I also like you approach. I would personally say, like you described everything, you can like really outsource. You can probably describe that. Another person can actually do it. That's really important. And secondly, would also try to think about east the impact. So what is the final impact? That's why I also review all audio and video content myself first. I do the little snippets I now share on social media just myself, because that's impression I want to have and I really cannot get somebody else to take responsibility for that because I cannot really describe it. That's not the personal and until I'm able to do that, until I'm able to really teach that to someone, I have to use myself. That's the impact down the road I was getting at. That's right, and that's also a task of the whole thing, obviously, to be able to package to the way someone else understands what you want as precisely as possible, and you know that. There's a lot of things you learn along this way, but the main thing is, I think, the the mindset work, because once your minds and that this is over all these years and the way things built up on top of each other, it was every time was the same thing with my mindset grew, then my business grew afterwards, and if my mindset grew I attracted more stronger people. So did it was always this pattern and I think it makes a lot of sense, obviously, because if you imagine the peer from eight years ago who was sitting there with one email a day not being able to hand over any work to anyone else. That Peter Obviously didn't. You can't put him in the role that I'm in today. So it was always a inner growth that then trigger it an outside growth. Really like that, and I think that awesome. Closing words, and I also would like to add from a corporate end, an entrepreneur like perspective, that was...

...always the hardest, not only doing you work yourself, but also getting somebody else smart enough to do it, with a smart enough I don't mean how smart the personate, but giving them the right information to do the task properly, not only describing do this and this and that and then at the end there comes an email to the client, but also try to be positive, dry, to be this and that, really properly describe what are you looking for, not necessarily how to do it, but the goal. And if you have the the best employees possible, they'll know what to do. Otherwise you can help them. That's the way I would do it, but I'm also open if you find a different way, a better way for you. Yes, and obviously you grow your skill and time you have a better eye for who you want to work with. And you don't. That's obviously a learning and experience process which everybody has to do, and I have two experiences I want to share. That never seem to work, but a lot of people do that. They go give an employee a handful of buzz words they usually don't understand themselves, and say do it and then they leave or they come. That was something a friend of mine called the seagull management method. They come in, yell like crazy and then disappear for weeks and then they come in and again make a lot of noise like seagulls, and then they disappear again. Both of them don't work, and I also found it very helpful if you have a gamp planning of your time windows in your day that, for example, when I work big teams, I always walked around once or twice a day, was checking with everybody. You guys doing okay? Any questions? Just to be open to get some feedback, because otherwise you'll have a lot of work scheduled throughout the day and then people keep interrupting you, and I found it to be more productive if I proactively approach to people in order to get those breaks managed. Interesting. Yeah, all right, that's a process you found, you know, and and the through to example, to you describe, that's somewhere are in there are a lot of fears stuck. If I also have seen like examples like that of people just shouting around on their office and then disappearing. Sea Goals. Yet and and there's a cap to a half successful. You can get with that, you can get somewhere with that tactic and that mindset, but there's a cap somewhere. You won't become just basis or Elon that way just to put a cap somewhere. So there is a cap to each obstruction and mindset and you can only go so far with it. And if that person is brilliant and shouts the right things once a week into his office there and maybe it even works out...

...and puts the people who can work with that environment in there, and that's that. But it's still caps at some point and that's what you want to release. You want to release those caps if you want to keep going, unless you're just comfortable with where you are and you can just leave it that way. Right. Okay, Joe, sorry, you really make me laugh here. Just if there's a probably in person they go into the office, yell the Red Bus words one day a week and then they disappear again. That may even work. I've never seen that working. Back see the work, but it caps somewhere. You know it, depending what you understand from it works. Is it a profitable business that makes a million a year? That can already be. It works, you know. But for if you ask to go back to these guys, if you ask Jeff what is a business the works, he'll be like yeah, well, business like mine doesn't it works. So depends on what you what you want to want to go big, then it doesn't work at some point. I think right, Peter, I think I'll have you back, maybe some time early next year, and we further this discussion so far. Thank you very much for sharing your steps from becoming a cowboy unarranging Kansas to a scared entrepreneur to a multi business entrepreneur with a own portfolio. Thank you very much, greatly appreciated. My pleasure. Don't see again. Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye. I'm look.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (23)