Being an Expat-prenuer here in Denmark has been such a fantastic experience for me.
So much so, that I'm often trying to convince others to go solo as well.
Text: Laura Wintemute
The thought of becoming self-employed for many is quite intimidating, especially in another country like Denmark, but I genuinely believe it's worth taking the chance. I always refer to Pippi Long Stocking who said it best - "I have never tried that before, so I think I definitely would be able to do that."
We as entrepreneurs are typically very good at sharing information and ideas, we are often eager for the opinions and reviews of others and often include the best insights into our own thinking.
Inspiration, passion and confidence are just a few of the benefits I've personally gained from making meaningful connections with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Sharing our resources has been a massive kickstart for my life as an entrepreneur.
People often tell me that they enjoy my professional "energy and enthusiasm". They can see that I really enjoy doing what I do. I just love to motivate others, co-create ideas and most importantly, connect people I feel could benefit from each other. I'm always introducing people who I think would benefit from meeting each other. Helping others has always been important to me. Sharing my knowledge, experiences and expertise's to help others grow, is basically what initiated my idea of starting a co-working space for entrepreneurs.
"In my opinion, collaboration isn't just important, it is as essential as your business idea itself." - Laura Wintemute, Founder of International Headquarters
Collaboration is key
The industry I'm in, Relocation and Settling of international working professionals are small here in Denmark. Everyone pretty much knows everyone. At least, I do after over a decade in this business. I've said it before, and I'll say it again… I believe there are no competitors in business, only potential collaborators. I am really good at what I do, but only a little good at everything else. By collaborating together and utilising each other's strengths, it allows us to learn and grow our companies faster.
We can only benefit from sharing our own challenges and solutions with other entrepreneurs. By pitching our ideas to others, and hearing their feedback is extremely valuable and inevitably strengthens our own skills. Many entrepreneurs have likely faced the same problems as you and might even have the solutions already in place.
Encouraging someone and giving them great advice now could reap plenty of rewards in the future. Building a network of support, for you and others, means you have a source of support and innovation as well as a place to promote your company's accomplishments.
One of my favourite days of the months is our "IHQ Center Stage". A bi-weekly workshop where we focus on one of our collaborating companies. The lucky company gets a chance to practice their 30-second pitch, ask for advice or just run an idea by the team. I always feel so inspired after these workshops.
Being "self-employed" doesn't mean you have to go at it alone. At our co-working space, IHQ, we have taken our collaborations to the next level.
Among other things we:
Share marketing efforts.
Share trade show booth space.
Co-author presentations, workshops and seminars
Co-brand promotional programmes
Offer referrals (with or without commissions).
Redirect business to each other's Websites.
By joining entrepreneurial organisations, provides you with a chance to meet and network with other like-minded individuals. When you're ready to take the chance, let me know. I'd be happy to hear your idea and introduce you to the right people to kick start your company!