Born: In the late 1980s in the small working class town of Bytom, Upper Silesia
(Poland). Moved to Germany at the age of three. Mother Polish, father German,ancestry Jewish.
Raised: In the Märkisches Viertel, Berlin "problem and social exclusion neighborhood" in the north of the city, which is notorious for poverty, crime,and social decline.
That special thing about me: Meiner Meinung nach, absolut nichts!
Except perhaps that I am not afraid of difficult tasks, always seek a challenge,
am never willing to compromise my integrity and values, and value
unconventional solutions and dealing with determined people.
I developed my first business plan at the age of 16.For me it was already clear as a teenager: I want to be an entrepreneur!Without a plan B for this.
I started my career in direct sales. Based on the conviction that I could do what my boss could do, I founded my first company, a small outbound call center, together with a partner. (Marketing: office consumables).
A friend of ours financed the furniture and first rent payment, in return he
received stake in our company, fabulous 25% in IKEA furniture for 16x workstations :D.
I also studied business administration at an open university.
But I dropped out. Because I only studied until I felt that I now had the
necessary skills and was ready to go. I did not have time for everything else.
Failed mercilessly with my first business, too little focus, too little ambition, too stupid, too young, no experience and in the end unfortunately too many non-paying customers drove the last nail into our coffin.
What remained were debts, lots of debts, and a little experience.
Following my first start-up, I was left penniless at times, often not even able to afford a pudding at the discount store, which costs less than a euro. Atrocious time in which I learned what it means to have nothing at all. On the other hand, my circle of friends suddenly became very manageable :). Sayings like, "I cannot lend you 5 euros, I don't know if you" ever be able to pay me back" run deep to this day - very deep.
I am not ashamed to say that during that time I often cried and felt ashamed
because despite having two healthy hands I could not even buy a meal on my
own, I became destitute, was left without a place to live, was homeless for a short time.
But give up? Never! Not now!
After a recommendation from one of my business contacts in the call center
industry, I opened a telecommunications sales business as a freelancer. "All
you need is your sales talent, boy.": that was the statement that gave me a new kickstart. And it was the only solution, because there was no money and I
couldn't even afford a pen. Other business ideas were out of the question. So I sat down at the phone and made a call: "Do you already have a DSL flat rate?" phrase that haunted my dreams, as I used it as a conversation opener athousand times a day.
Thus, my first success story began. What followed was several mobile phone shops under the banner 'telephonique'. Back then, I realized that efficiency could only be achieved in combination with the Internet. Together with two developers, I designed a SaaS solution that enabled retailers to activate customer orders and wireless cards directly at the point of sale.
Previously, every telecommunications retailer in Germany had to fax their
application to the telecommunications company and wait an average of 2-3days for activation.
With my solution, everything was accomplished within 15-30 minutes.
I did not anticipate the consequences..
Our distribution for specialist retailers and direct sales literally exploded.
In the meantime, we became the third strongest force in terms of commission
volume in the whole telecommunications industry. We achieved this within a few months.
A very nice time, when I recall it now..
Because our office space was too small, we had to pull people off the street
and install them in Internet cafes during turbulent action periods to keep our
head above water while we processed new contracts. Only with creativity in
managing the office space and employees was it possible to handle the sales volume at all.
We ended up with 7 own stores, over 270 partner stores, about 70 call
centers, more than 300 sales representatives and just over 1.2 million euros in sales in the final phase.
I was able to sell telephonique lucratively to a larger competitor (my first exit)and pave my way to new challenges.
To this day, I have goose bumps when I think of that time - the time with
more than 1000 new customers per hour in some cases - absolutely mind-blowing!
Yes, I made more money with this company than ever before, but that wasn't
the most important thing to me then or now. I miss the rapid growth I was ableto achieve back then; above all, I always think back to that.
After the DSL market became saturated and there was no longer any real
competition between telecommunications companies, I founded
kommunikationsWERK - the agency for communication concepts - and thus
turned my great passion into my main line of business: sales, storytelling and
communication for outdated corporations to pave for them the way to the
modern age. Many good marketing concepts bear my signature and I was alsobehind some good advertising campaigns ;). It went OK.
I also honestly needed a little break after my telecom company.
But to stay in the background forging concepts of success for other people?
No, it's boring as hell in the long run!So, after only one year: Back to the roots. I liked to be the doer again.
I founded the beraterWERK. With this I hoped to be able to accomplish unique
things. This was because I was firmly convinced that young, uncomplicated
and fresh companies could have a chance in the disreputable and very
unwieldy financial services and insurance industry... (Things turned out differently, I have since wound up the company)
My second defeat, less painful than the first, but still defeats remain defeats.
I became hungry, I wanted to use the Internet, which had always helped me
succeed in the past, even more consistently and so a series of foundingInternet Start Ups and investments followed.
Since 2012, the internet became my home exclusively, not as a theorist, but as
a doer, supporter of start ups and success hunter in favour of my owncompanies.
With many mistakes made, after a few failed projects, but thanks to an
unconditional will to win and a few very successful ideas and investments I became a millionaire.
Today I't have to worry about tomorrow, I appreciate that very much and I
am infinitely grateful that after 13 years of always getting up and rediscovering myself, a breakthrough came eventually.
I'd be happy to tell you which Internet companies I'm currently successfully
involved in, preferably over a good single malt whiskey at events in our
industry, which I regularly attend as a visitor and sometimes as a speaker. Only
this much at the moment: you would be surprised if I told you where I
successfully participate in the background without the need for a big stageand applause..
From 2013 onwards, I was also able to start gaining experience in Eastern
Europe, where I now make most of my investments. I have had the opportunity
to build up companies and was involved in a successful incubator asManaging Partner for many years.
This is my little story, where I come from and where I want to go.
I am still success-hungry, very much so, and I want to achieve much-muchmore, all that has been just the beginning!
Conclusion of my little story:
Never forget how failure and success taste!
Never forget who reached out to you in hard times, who gave you the push
downhill and who just stood by - doing nothing, who condemned you for
failures without knowing you and who sought your closeness only after therewas visible success.
I have been able to learn a lot in now more than 18 years as an entrepreneur,
and fortunately that is what defines me today. I was often on the verge of an
abyss, sure that I would not be able to go on, but thanks to my unconditional
will I always got up, so a knockout blow is yet to be delivered. A defeat is not a defeat until you give up. Get up! You have it in your hands, only you can always turn the tide and with an extra portion of ambition, determination and will, you can accomplish anything. You just have to be prepared, like I am, to always take that one extra decisive step more than your competitors.
This is me, with all bruises, failures, successes and willpower!
Rate my little story yourself. Can you use someone like me on your team as an
investor, partner or as a speaker at your event? Feel free to contact me.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story.