Why become an entrepreneur if the alternative is a secure, paid job? Two startup founders tell us about their passion for entrepreneurship.
Marina Ekroos did not have a rosy idea about entrepreneurship in any way, having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. However, she hasn’t been overly cautious, as she already has two businesses to manage. She is a freelance photographer as well as the CEO and co-founder of Frameright, a rapidly internationalising image cropping software company.
“At first a one-person business and now this startup, they have taught me different aspects of entrepreneurship. The one thing they share, is that when you are working with things that are close to your heart, work engagement is very real,” she says.
This engagement is familiar also for Eeppi Nieminen, co-founder and CEO of Coachilla, a career coaching platform. He grew up in a working family and at a young age, entrepreneurship did not occur to him as a career option. However, when he studied innovation management, Nieminen began to realise the role of businesses in initiating and boosting change in society.
A new lesson always around the next corner
It is a proven and understandable fact that entrepreneurs show more passion for their work than wage earners. Both Ekroos and Nieminen feel their work has a purpose.
“At Frameright, enabling visual culture is important to me, that drives me forward. When I take photographs, the creative work energises me,” Ekroos says.
Nieminen enjoys working with transformative technology. “I can utilise technology to improve mental health and wellbeing. That means I can improve things that matter to me.”
However, entrepreneurship is not always smooth sailing on the waves of passion. There are snags along the way, and new things need to be learned. Ekroos says that even sending a single invoice abroad can require a lot of work.
“Every day is a surprise as new things pop up all the time,” she says, laughing.
For Nieminen, one of the surprises was the number of variables that must be considered in any plan. His term for putting plans into practice is ‘playing ball’. No matter how prepared you are, there is always a catch that you have to manage quickly.
No boss to sack you
In Ekroos’ opinion, one word crystallises the best and worst part of entrepreneurship: freedom. When anything is always possible, you must set your own rules.
“You have to learn where to start, what must be done right now and what can wait.”
Nieminen, too, is familiar with the struggles of tackling priority and urgency. Work-related issues haunt an entrepreneur’s mind even outside of actual working hours, but Nieminen is glad that he is busy with something he feels is significant and important.
“I get to choose what I keep busy with!”
Entrepreneurs are their own bosses. Ekroos cheerfully notes that her boss will never fire her, give up nor leave unfinished business behind.
Nieminen’s boss is demanding, too, as he requires self-direction and goal oriented ways of working. However, he also wants to be coaching, understanding and accepting, both for himself and the people working for him.
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