Entrepreneurship is complex, it is a journey with several routes, and it seems that everyone is moving through this process a bit differently. Some are going through the cycle rapidly, stumbling into prosperity in a matter of weeks after a brilliant idea has been beautifully executed. Many move slowly, taking decades to master the craft. Many invest years in college to pursue a master-level education in business, and others are even getting started before finishing high school. There might never be a clearcut way to it, but there are pointers associated with entrepreneurial traits.
Today, we have the serial entrepreneur and businessman Josip Heit with us. Heit will be sharing his thoughts on the future prospects of entrepreneurship with us, especially further down this new year.
Josip HEIT, a multi-millionaire and veteran entrepreneur who has developed several companies into multinational conglomerates, is renowned for sharing his thoughts around entrepreneurship, blockchain, and mining as well as natural resource industries on a regular basis.
Heit has led a variety of startups in the past, presently he is CEO and Chairman of "Gold Standard Banking Corporate AG," "GSB Money" in the UK, "GSB Gold Standard Finance Europe Se" in Lichtenstein, and "GSB Finance Fund" in Luxembourg.
Mr. Heit, please tell us a little bit about your early childhood days.
Josip Heit: My childhood was no different from that of any other child out there. I was born in 1977, in Split, Croatia. I spent the early days of my childhood in this area. My parents and I left Croatia in 1990, though, to start living in Germany. So I started my schooling there.
To me, everything moved very quickly. Due to the excellent education in Germany, I had the privilege of learning many languages, today, I can speak fluently in Dutch, English, Italian, Russian, Romanian, and French.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Heit: People need to understand that entrepreneurship is a way of life, live it! I am the kind of person who always tries new adventures, new challenges. It has been a journey of conquering new territories. I've built several ventures and a number of companies before; some have been good and some have struggled, in the end, I win big.
Entrepreneurship is full of a variety of trial and error, it’s not a very easy ground, you have to be persistent in order to win. It comes with an immense learning curve, you have to master your craft.
What motivates and drives you as an entrepreneur?
Heit: Different strokes for different folks. Each entrepreneur has a unique drive. For me, It wasn’t primarily about money. I have always wanted to prove myself, I was never quite satisfied with little things, so I strive for more. In everything I do, I have always been prepared to take huge risks. And, somehow, they always work out for me.
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs give up the race in the face of challenging situations. Please tell us about how you founded your first company.
Heit: The first is always the hardest. A passion-driven mindset and openness to taking risks will set you out on the path to your first breakthrough. The willingness to take chances is one of the main qualities possessed by an entrepreneur. It is important for any startups because much of the performance resides within your risk-taking capability.
My first firm, "Starac GmbH," also known as "Starac doo," was founded in the 1990s. It was a corporation that was involved with the importation and sale of cars and yachts. We extended the company to other fields, such as real estate and luxury real estate rentals, as we recognized the opportunity in this sector.
To be frank, it wasn't much of a struggle for me. It didn't take us long to build the organization into a network of world-leading agencies in the luxury tourism industry, with the aid of my partner, this catapulted the company into a spectacular position in the industry.
What was the biggest challenge you have ever encountered and how did you get through it?
Heit: We've had quite a few challenges so far, but the most notable was when we started incorporating blockchain into our flirts of businesses. We were releasing a blockchain smartphone with VoBP (Voice Over Blockchain Protocol) named K-Impulse.
We weren’t doing what everyone else had already done in the blockchain sector, we were coming up with a technology that was unique in this industry. There was not much of a reference point, everything was a fresh idea. We worked around the clock to accomplish this.
With a never give up attitude, we built a phone that brings blockchain technology and data transfer together. We witnessed an astronomical growth during this period, which led to producing the world's first blockchain-capable computer called WHIM, which can not be hacked, providing its owner and smartphone with 100% protection and security in data transmission.
What would you consider as the key elements for effectively starting and running a successful business?
Heit: You need to have an unwavering drive, contacts, knowledge, and experience.
Many people despise working for other people, but that’s the start of your journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Most successful businesses evolve from industry knowledge that was gained by having worked in the respective industry before. Of course, it is also important how successful you have been in your previous career. You may not have an idea today, but if you gather experience by working in a specific field, you can get inspired and it will aid you in formulating your entrepreneurial idea.
What guidance would you offer someone who is contemplating a future as an entrepreneur?
Heit: Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. That being said, you almost always need to have a creative mindset, irrespective of whether you work for someone or own a business. First of all, if you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to know if this is what you really want to do.
Entrepreneurship is in no way equivalent to working for another company. Research shows that average entrepreneurs have lower earnings and very slow career growth, usually because you are already the boss once you start a business.
Furthermore, if you can make yourself feel excited about working for someone else, either consider working in the industry or doing an internship before you move on with your plans. It will save you a lot of time when it comes to figuring out some small details you just wouldn't have learned if you went right into entrepreneurship.
Apart from being an entrepreneur, how do you spend the rest of your time?
Josip Heit: Among the many things I enjoy doing, it has always been a delight for me to actively take time to support brilliant initiatives in social, economic, science, financial, educational, and sport environments. This is my share of corporate social responsibilities that I took on.
Also, my greatest success and pleasure is my daughter Olivia Heit, with whom I spend most of my time in Düsseldorf.