Last updated: January 30th 2019
What a day, as a going-to-be entrepreneur I feel really inspired and exited!
I went to the business show ‘Karriere Start’ again. Even though I had already visited it yesterday I was hoping to learn some more about starting your own business. Though I was a bit dissappointed by the seminars today, I still left the place happy and pumped with energy!
It took me a while to gather the courage to talk to one of the new enterpreneurs at the show. There were about 10 of them, all new entrepreneurs in different stages of their development. Some had been around for a couple years already, others were fairly new and just in their baby steps. I had seem some of these guys presenting their start-ups yesterday. A few of these businesses stood out, as they were promoting sustainable concepts. But I’ll come to that later.
I hesitated to go and ask questions, because I didn’t really know what to say about my own situation…. After all, I didn’t really have a clear idea about the kind of businesses I’ll go with: Maybe I’m going to start an eco-blog? Or maybe it’s better to concentrate on freelance work as a photographer or travel writer? Maybe sell some of my photographs online? Those are some options that I’ve been considering.
I really do like the blog idea though… and while talking to him, I became a bit clearer about the whole idea. You could say I was brainstorming possibilities while talking about it. That surely helped to create some clarity even if I had not really been sure how to present the idea before I talked to the entrepreneur, whos products interested me the most.
The most valuable tip I picked up from all these guys who also shared their experiences about starting a business for their audience, was the the recommendation to just start. Don’t wait for perfection.
Which, btw, goes for many things in life!! Even for starting a project like 60 days without added sugar and chocolate. Though I do recommend you to plan ahead! None of these guys and gals just started without putting some serious thinking into it beforehand, but once you have a big picture plan and the small goals of how to get there figured out, depending on what it is you are starting, you are most likely ready to get things set up and put in place. Meaning: “Don’t wait for perfection. Just start.”
When I started the project I had nothing to lose, but my face, in case I failed. In fact, I can only win, even if I manage to reduce my sugar consumption only a little bit. After all, it’s still considered an improvement, right?
I guess the same goes for the blog. If I do it, and now I feel much more energized and ready to do it, what will I lose? Maybe time, maybe money. But as one of my colleagues, who loves to build his own bicycles out of carefully picked parts, likes to say: „In the end you are only buying experience.“ (He was referring to buying bad parts or badly fitting parts he might end up buying.) But his wisdom works for many scenarios 🙂
Back to the entrepreneurs
Two of them were introducing businesses that fall under the category of sustainable living. So I want to quickly introduce them here:
Matabooks – turning graspaper into books
This young start-up’s entrepreneur is planning to produce books out of grass paper/ Graspap®. These books will not only be environmentally friendly, but also vegan (often the red printing colour is made out of Carmine which uses commerically farmed cochineal/lice as its base.) I devoted a complete article to matabooks in 2019, you can find it here.
As there seems to be very little information about grass paper in English, I’ll write more about it later: You can find the post here.
Marktschwärmer (or ‘La Ruche qui dit Oui !’ as it is called in France, where the idea originiated in 2011)
They are a foodcoop that is organizing weekly ‘farmer’s markets’. The difference is, that the market is onyl open for about 2 hours, as all the produce has been ordered in advance by the customers. These decide on an online platform what food they want to order for one week. On the farmer’s market day the local farmers bring their produce – knowing exactly how much they need, saving in costs and energy for transportation and preventing unneccessary costs or losses. As the time-frame for the pick-up of the goods is small, it actually is a great way for famers to sell their produce without wasting much time.
The customers benefit from getting fresh produce. They can also meet the producers, give feedback and know they are supporting local communities or regional farmers. It also helps reduce prices (since there are no retailers involved) and build up a connection to the real people producing the food.
It’s a great idea and slowly coming around in my hometown. On the UK website – The food assembly one can view all the locations that offer these farmer’s markets. I was really amazed to see how many of these markets already exist in France. Our neighbor country certainly is far ahead of us in that regard!
All in all it is a great concept.So if you love the idea as much as me – but you happen to have none close to you: It’s up to you to turn it into a business in your location 🙂 Anyone passionate enough about it, can start their own local market in their own location under the Markschwärmer/La Ruche qui dit Oui! brand and support their local farmers and communities that way.
- More about grass paper/ Graspap®: in German or in English
- Wikipedia about Marktschwärmer | La Ruche qui dit Oui ! | The Food Assembly