Founder to founder, I'm here to support you
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of startup founders, as their supporter, coach, mentor, and source of inspiration. No matter what you are going through, chances are that I have been there too, and together we can explore and outline the most constructive way forward.
In our 1-1 sessions we focus on what is most present in your awareness, and is causing you the biggest emotional activity. We normally relate it to your business endeavours, but we don’t have to. Everything in your life is interconnected, and growth in one domain will always benefit all the others.
Often topics in these sessions include co-founder dynamics, collaboration with investors and board, fundraising, company culture, conflicts, challenges - and above all; your feelings and reflections around each of these topics, and ways of dealing with them.
In some circumstances it is helpful to bring in expertise from other domains and coaches. Therefore, I work with two amazing collaborators to be able to offer you the best possible support and growth journey. Should this become relevant, I will suggest it to you, and only engage with them around the process we are working on, after your approval.
Certified psychotherapist, body worker, stress coach and cognitive behavioral therapist. Associate Professor at Metropol, teaching organisational psychology and more. Background from leadership positions in HR functions in big and small organisations. Today, Erik spends all his time supporting the personal growth and healing of others, and I truly appreciate his deep insights, warm personality, and strong expertise.
Purpose Discovery coach (educated from Simon Sinek) who has assisted countless founders to unveil and connect with their own deepest soul calling and purpose in life. Background as co-founder of The Conscious Venture Lab, CEO of Rainmaker Foundation. Degrees in Liberal Arts, Philosophy and Sustainability. As my better half, it is a daily joy for me to work alongside Cosmina in our efforts to be useful to founders, and to the world.
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When a startup succeeds we often explain it by talking about how great their idea or concept is, how timely their initiative is compared to the market developments, how they cracked the LTV vs. CAC dynamics, or something like that. On the other hand, if a startup fails we tend to rationalise with arguments that their product or service did not solve a real problem, that they were too early or too late, that they failed to get enough investment, scaled prematurely, etc. In other words, we look for explanations outside of the founders rather than inside of them.
This is also due to us being polite: we talk about markets and so-called external circumstances, rather about people’s weaknesses and shortcomings. While this can be a kind and reasonable way to relate to other people’s successes, and especially their failures, it is not an ideal approach when we are dealing with our own startups, work projects, and tasks in general. It keeps us stuck at the level of effects, rather than beginning to understand the root causes.
Over the last 20+ years I have been close to a very large number of startups, entrepreneurs, and, in recent years, also corporate innovators. What I have seen is that whether a project succeeds or fails has much more to do with the inner strength of those that lead it, than it has to do with ANYTHING else. People succeed with new projects and services in objectively difficult markets every day, while others fail with the coolest AI or IOT venture of the day. This is not to say that we should intentionally pick ideas and markets that are categorized as difficult, but rather that it would benefit us to stop looking for external explanations, and instead direct the focus inwards.
The only path to long-term success, and to thriving as a human being, is to first and foremost optimise for our own internal growth and strength.
If we take care of our personal growth on a day-to-day level, then everything else will work out perfectly. But if we don’t, then nothing can rescue us from negative experiences such as frustration, impatience, conflicts with other people, disappointments, ups and downs, self-doubt, etc. I know this from first-hand experience, because for many years I had let complacency (on the inner levels) take over, and did not make a conscious effort to have a commitment and a daily practice to support my growth as a person. Rather I put my focus on the external circumstances and tried to fix them according to the “it’s out there, not in here” mindset.
Of course that approach did not work. Closing in on my 40-year birthday I was getting rather depressed. In hindsight I can also see clearly how my reluctance to work wholehearted on my internal landscape has been the main reason why a couple of startups that I ran in the past did not succeed, or only succeeded to a much lesser extent than what was possible. I finally started to glimpse the truth, and I managed to turn things around; to first and foremost attend to the one thing that is entirely my responsibility and no one else’s: my own internal state and experience of being in life. Amazingly, when one becomes responsible for the internal state, then nothing is a problem, and everything is an opportunity. Imagine what that does for your creativity, your energy level, your joy of doing your work, and your relationships with others!
In many ways our modern world is impressive and ahead of the game compared to previous and less materialistic civilisations. We have more gadgets, computer power and technological opportunities than ever before. This has led to the delusion for many of us that we are also internally very evolved human beings, who are ready to go, and do not need to learn from psychology, philosophy, spirituality, nature and science. Most of us reach for quick fixes, primarily medication, if we are experiencing existential, emotional or spiritual pain. Or we simply try to distract ourselves with non-stop activity, alcohol, social media, sex or something else. In the long run none of this can save us, and we will have to confront ourselves.
Since I started asking some deeper questions about our internal lives I have been amazed at how much there is to learn. When I think about it, no one – not my parents, not my school teachers, not the mass media – have been able to teach me how to work systematically with optimising my level of consciousness, my belief systems, and awareness of my internal patterns. It is quite stunning to wake up to this realisation!
Today, I work with startup founders and business leaders on being the support they need in order to boost their inner strength, resilience and personal growth. It is in the format of 1-1 sessions where we focus on whatever is most present in your awareness, and is causing you the biggest emotional activity. We normally relate it to your business endeavours, but we don’t have too. Everything in your life is connected, and growth in one domain will always benefit all the others. Often topics in these sessions include co-founder dynamics, collaboration with investors and board, fundraising, culture, conflicts, challenges - and above all; your feelings about each of these topics and ways of dealing with them.