When I was 14, I watched my uncle build his company. That was when I started to feel that I wanted to become an entrepreneur myself. Neither my family nor my friends, however, encouraged me to live up to that dream.
Quite the contrary!
My post-communist East German working class family and environment expected me to find a safe and permanent employment — preferably at the government (where my mum works) or at one of the big German carmakers like Daimler, Volkswagen or BMW.
My desire remained nothing but a dream for a long time.
Moreover, I was too busy playing football (American readers feel free to read *soccer*). I was and am so passionate about football.
It was my dream as a kid. The only thing I could imagine doing. It became a burning desire to become a professional football player. Even though I made it into the junior team of the German football association, I grew too quickly in body size (I am nearly 2m/6.6 feet) and suffered too many injuries. Admittedly, I wasn’t good enough either. But I like the first reason more 😉
Ok — let’s shift gears from dreaming to stuff I actually needed to do. School!
In school, I faced a particular mindfuck that I hadn’t been aware of for a long time. It’s thinking and behaving pattern around effort and outcome.
I was extremely proud when I got a top mark though I had only prepared for the exam 70%. But I felt angry when I only got an 80% grade when I prepared 80%. I was afraid of giving 100% and not getting 100%. I thought that not getting 100% would mean, I suck. I am a failure.
This thinking was even apparent while studying. I always shied away from giving my absolute best because I was afraid not to be the best.
For me now, it’s delusional thinking. It’s simply not true. How can you refrain from committing and working on something for 100%? How can you not give your best and still expect to be the best? You can but you shouldn’t.
Only when I became an entrepreneur, I understood that you need a 100% commitment to be successful. Not 70%, not 80%, not 90% — you need 100%.
— Lessons learned from my schooldays: You always have to be ready to give 100% — no matter what you do. I didn’t see that back then. Now I embrace the 100% commitment principle.
— Awaken the Giant Within: Find out what you enjoy most and commit yourself 100% to doing more of it.