In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, Mike Baur learned very early that he needed to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Mike knew that he needed to be able to take a lot of risks and be able to maintain a positive mindset to get where he wanted to go in the startup industry.
Today, Mike is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Swiss Startup Factory, which has the leading startup accelerator in Zurich. At the age of 42, he has arguably accomplished more than some business leaders twice his age. The reason for Mike’s success has to do with his potential to look at the bigger picture and engulf himself in hard work. Mike is unabashed to getting in the trenches of every business venture that he undertakes and see it to the end with a firm commitment and an ambitious drive.
According to Mike, if an entrepreneur asks themselves how to come up with the next great idea to become successful, they’re wasting useful energy. Mike says that the idea will eventually come to the entrepreneur, not the other way around. “Spontaneous [entrepreneurial] ideas are always better than a cramped search for something [new],” says Mike. He believes that spontaneity needs to be embraced as simplicity and be a part of the process, for ideas to be developed. For most entrepreneurs, they will discover a need for a product and come to a realization that there are opportunities to develop a marketable product to close the gap. Mike says that’s when the magic begins to happen. An entrepreneur should be guided towards the successful idea, as opposed to forcing ideas into the market. “That’s when things get interesting,” says Mike.
Mike believes in five core principles for succeeding in the startup industry: Trusting people and in yourself, be willing to fail and get back up again, ignore the negative voices of other people, and work extremely hard. Lastly, he says the number one core principle is to be willing to break rules – not the law- and accept the consequences, which could be a pivotal risk.
For Mike, taking risks comes very easy. He started as an investment banker early in his business career and found that the passion for creating startups resonated more with his core being. In the end, that’s what Mike suggests to all those who ask for advice – To work with passion and a true desire to make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of others.