Great Ideas: Lessons from a seasoned entrepreneur

Written by ProfitGuide

In his native country, Switzerland, Bruno Gideon founded and built three multi-million dollar corporations, all from the ground up, experiencing “mistakes and successes and sorrows and joys.” In his new book, Wet Behind the Ears, he documents his entrepreneurial life, stopping occasionally to outline the most important lessons he learned along the way. They include:

  • Networking is extremely powerful. To succeed, you have to know your suppliers and competitors personally. The way to do so is to socialize through business associations, trade shows and other gatherings. These meetings can often be boring and time-consuming, and you don’t always meet interesting people, but it is the only way to have access to the right people for the right time.
  • Never underestimate competitors. The more successful you are, the more of a target you become for disruptive actions by competitors, such as a lawsuit or unethical practices. Don’t get angry, upset or seek revenge; take the attention as a compliment!
  • Make a clear distinction between business and private issues. Gideon admits he once made an expensive mistake flowing from the fact that he let his personal feelings cloud his business perceptions. It caused him to forget to put a clause in a contract, and he lost 700,000 francs as a result.
  • Entrepreneurs must know and accept themselves. Gideon sold his successful company because he eventually acknowledged that he was lonely at the top, and didn’t want to take his firm public. It was a painful decision, but strong self-awareness, aided by meditation, psychoanalysis and even dream interpretation, ultimately helped him decide that it was the right thing to do.
Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com