QX: After your studies in Braunschweig you started as an Entrepreneur in Residence at an internet startup rather than in consulting or at an industrial company. Why?
Nico: My internship during my studies already gave me some insights into the “typical” career paths like automotive industry or consulting. These insights in combination with my entrepreneurial family background led to the decision that I had to aim for the long-term goal to be an entrepreneur and totally self-employed. But instead of starting my own business right away, I decided to build up some knowledge in the Internet and startup scene. Retrospectively it was a good decision, resulting in a steep learning curve, inspiring contacts and a lot of fun.
QX: At the end of 2012 you and your girlfriend took a sabbatical leave for 3 months. Why did you decide to take a break and what changed in your life after your return to Germany?
Nico: We love travelling and we thought that 3-4 weeks of vacation is too short to really get started. So it had to be 3 months. No, seriously. Life is about a lot more than work, career and money. These three months were very intense and full of spectacular experiences. We came back totally convinced that we had to follow an alternative way of life with more independence and flexibility.
QX: Nico, in April this year you founded your newest business. At our Leadership Conference you spoke and presented your vision. What do you think is important to be a great entrepreneur and what is Paleo360 about?
Nico: After founding several ecommerce companies, which were solely focused on serving shareholder interests, I can say that, for me, it is very important to have a passion for the service or product you’re selling. That is why I started www.paleo360.de. It is a health portal all around the Paleo diet and lifestyle. We deliver information and digital products to help people refocus on their body, healthy food and on a lifestyle we were designed to follow. I try to live that lifestyle myself which helps to increase day-to-day motivation and to be a good role model for our readers and customers.
QX: Anyone who follows you on Facebook knows that you are constantly hiking during the weekend in the mountains all over Europe. How important is this for you?
Nico: This passion evolved when I moved to Munich. Living so close to these beautiful mountains makes you want to climb every single one of them. This is just one example of my lifestyle change throughout the last year. Being closer to nature instead of sitting long hours in front of the computer. It helps you recognize things which really matter to you and sort out things that don’t.
QX: What are your dreams?
Nico: For me there is no such thing as one big dream which you have throughout all your life. Dreams develop and change over time as you gain new experiences, meet interesting people, read eye-opening books and travel remote locations. So the biggest dream is being brave enough to follow all your smaller dreams and to have enough passion and willpower for it. Being strong enough not to quit just because of a few obstacles and some naysayers around you.
QX: Nico, and now our signature question: What is your vanity?
Nico: Although I slowed down my life a bit in the last months, it’s still a lot about faster, better, stronger. Like climbing high mountains, competing in an obstacle race (Tough Mudder, October 2013) or crossing the Alps by foot. I love challenges.
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