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Wednesday, 30 September 2020 |

Fear or curiosity: what drives the entrepreneur in you to change?     

Many companies have been caught off guard by the coronavirus crisis, and within the space of a week have introduced changes that they had been wrangling with for months or even years. The fear of going under motivated these entrepreneurs to change. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t act more often on the basis of curiosity rather than fear? This is the question asked by storytelling architect Ianka Fleerackers during her walk with Nele Van Damme, in the Brave New Human podcast.


Nele and Koenraad, founders of Upgrade Estate, are led by their thirst for discovery in order to grow their business. “Constantly challenging myself and seeking out new things is an essential aspect of my happiness”, says Nele. But that’s not the case for everyone. “Lack of change in a business often stems from being frozen with fear.” 

Appetite for innovation

“I have wondered for a long time whether we should agree with such typical phrases. Until they discover that it might work better than before. Someone like Peter Hinssen can inspire you to embrace innovation. Even so, there will always be people with a lot of appetite, but a lack of ability to implement. I believe that there's a lot of potential in growth SMEs. These are often businesses with healthy growth and corporate social responsibility. They are often in a better position than the more corporate businesses to create a culture of innovation.” 

“To grow as an entrepreneur, you need time.” - Nele Van Damme

Time for personal development

So why do businesses lose their flexibility when they grow? According to Nele, this is perfectly logical. “Nowadays, talented people also need to be entrepreneurs. To grow as an entrepreneur, you need time. These days, everything has to move quickly and people don’t take the time for personal development, even though it's necessary. Incubators and business angels also add pressure, albeit well intentioned, which doesn’t work for everybody.”


 “Find out who you are and what values you want to project.” - Nele Van Damme 


Internal compass

“What's my idea of a brave new human? Someone who is able to keep their internal compass in balance and use it to stay on the right course. Speaking for myself, this has kept me calm over the past 3 months and helped me to not stray from my values or vision. If I get nervous about something I read, I let it sink in a bit. Because I don’t have to do anything about it. Don’t get mad about opinion-makers and the government. Find out who you are and what values you want to project. We are best off taking more responsibility.”


Pick up more business tips in the full podcast Taking a walk with Brave New Human Nele Van Damme from Upgrade Estate.