Being a business entrepreneur is fascinating. Not so much because of what the business does or how successful it is, but because of the being who is the entrepreneur behind the business. For me it’s about meeting an entrepreneur with a dream; get excited about one with a really cool idea; or feeling their energy when they have a solid plan. And then there’s one entrepreneur who’s moving up, and another who’s telling of his misfortune. These are the people I’ve been meeting from my first day at EO. It’s why I started up Accelerator in the Netherlands and agreed to chair the Dutch EO chapter. In that role I pursue core values I try to live: Boldly go! – Thirst for learning – Cool – Trust & Respect – Make a Mark and it’s why I’ve written OUCH! Being an entrepreneur sustains my energy and leads me forward, literally and figuratively. To me it’s about selfdevelopment and self-realization while it feeds my other drive: to unriddle what connects the source of all entrepreneurial energy - Customers and Colleagues – to real, life-giving organisations. The type of organisation that extracts what is best from customers and colleagues by embodying a higher purpose of being. I can reflect on wonderful meetings with business entrepreneurs, each time feeling that tingle of excitement you get from their experience and purpose. I’m proud of what you’re holding in your hand right now and of what it could mean
for the entrepreneur and for EO. Great organisation filled with great people!
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I love people with a dream, ready to put all their efforts into making it happen. This kind of entrepreneurship is the key to innovation and new job creation. I have been an entrepreneur since the age of 12, taking control of my life yet driven by freedom. Although I studied Economics and Psychology, running companies was my favorite. In 2006 I joined the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), a great global network of fellow entrepreneurs and true peer group. EO is all about learning, especially in my forum experiences, where I was constantly learning from friends, old and new. Not only about doing business, but also about me- as entrepreneur, as person and as friend and family man. These learnings are
what OUCH! is all about. Dividing the job between us, Stephan van Gelder and I interviewed 80 entrepreneurs and asked them their most important lessons learned. Most were derived from painful experience. Hence the title. I hope OUCH! will help you learn from our mistakes, thereby enhancing your success in business…because as you know, those who learn fast, succeed.