HBA Europe chapter - WIS – Entrepreneurship: Basel- April 12, 2011

Summary: 

Dr. Christine Burhenn was the speaker at the HBA-WIS event in Basel, focusing on the topic of Entrepreneurship. Christine has held a variety of national and international director positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and she served as CEO of a major pharmaceutical company in Switzerland.

Entrepreneurship is about making choices, taking risks, mastering fears and uncertainty, taking responsibility for our life.

Dr. Christine Burhenn was the speaker at the HBA-WIS event in Basel, focusing on the topic of Entrepreneurship. Christine has held a variety of national and international director positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and she served as CEO of a major pharmaceutical company in Switzerland. She is an executive coach and expert on change management, supporting leaders, teams and organizations in challenging business and personal change situations.

We all can be entrepreneurs every day — not only as a business owner but also as an employee and in our personal life. Entrepreneurship is about making choices, taking risks, mastering fears and uncertainty, taking responsibility for our life. During an inspiring and motivating speech, Christine provided her view on how to become a successful entrepreneur and revealed ways of mastering uncertainty and taking steps toward a more self-determined life. The audience was invited to imagine entrepreneurship as designing and creating their own garden of destiny: we have a choice in which plants and seeds we place into the earth and can influence how the harvest will look.

Christine focused on seven keys for obtaining an entrepreneurial attitude in order to lead a more self-determined life:

1. Mobilize your inner motivation
Our inner motivation is key to success for any entrepreneurial endeavor. Nothing is more fulfilling and satisfying than doing something that we believe in, that gives us sense, where we can live our purpose, where we can unfold our full potential, where we can take over responsibility, get recognition and have fun with what we do. For defining our purpose we need to put a lot of energy into self-reflection:

  • What are your real desires in life? What really makes sense for you?
  • What do you love to do? What are your talents and gifts?

Having answered these crucial questions, you will be able to find an attractive goal which comes from the depths of your heart. This will give you the necessary drive, persistence and the power for any entrepreneurial endeavor — whether it be starting your self-employment or finding a fulfilling assignment as an employee.

2. Utilize the power of visualization
All endeavors begin with imagination. Vividly visualize how manifesting your desires will influence and enhance your quality of life. Continued imagination and belief in a successful outcome will give us the energy and resilience to move out of our comfort zone, to overcome tough times of resistance and difficulties we meet on our new path.

3. Use the creative force of faith
Christine is convinced that faith is the most powerful creative force we have to generate positive outcomes in our life. On the other hand, doubt and lack of trust in ourselves will sabotage our undertakings. Her advice:

  • Identify your negative beliefs and thinking patterns, as they will lead to fears, doubts and finally to self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • To master your inner conflicts, fears and doubts: get support from a coach to reframe your negative views and turn your self-doubts into positive beliefs — which will attract positive outcomes.

4. Apply the law of resonance
Energy follows attention. Attention is a powerful force: whatever we place our attention on grows stronger in our lives. Focus your attention on your attractive goal. Put energy and positive intention in your endeavor — you will get support in the fulfillment of your desires. Check your values and your intention: is my endeavor good for me and others? You will reap what you sow.

5. Make your choice and take the risk
Recent insights from neurobiology show that we need our rational mind and also our emotional judgment to make good decisions. If both are in line, we decide well. But what about when we are uncertain?

  • Reduce uncertainty by investigating as many criteria and pieces of information as possible that help you decide, and seek input and feedback to become more certain about your premises and plans.
  • Be prepared for deadlocks and be clear about how you anticipate and respond to setbacks.
  • Consider alternative strategies (plan B) and check to see if you have all the necessary resources. Do you have all the skills for it? If not, get the necessary education. If you plan to go into self-employment, make your business plan and make sure you have enough financial resources to survive the first two years.

We do not have it all under control — there is no absolute security in life. We will make mistakes on our way and not everything will be perfect. Failures are opportunities to learn from. Trust that life will bring you the right lessons to learn and grow from — in retrospect we often realize that a perceived flop was even good for us as it led to a new and better way for our life. Even if we think we do not have a choice, we always have a choice in how we respond to our challenges in life. And if you do not like the outcome of your choice — take the responsibility and consciously make a new choice.

6. Go!
Make the commitment to take the first step along the path to fulfillment. Do not give up when it becomes uncomfortable!

  • Be patient. The fruits of your efforts do not come overnight. Stay calm and expect the best: If we push too hard we will experience unnecessary resistance on our way.
  • Stay tuned into synchronistic clues around you! Synchronicities show us that we are on the right track: all of a sudden, sometimes out of the blue, we receive help from other people and we get guidance to the right places at the right time.

7. Stay focused
Like an accomplished archer, stay focused on your goal. Recall the purpose of your goal (why I am doing this?) to charge you with positive energy day by day. This prevents you from becoming derailed from your path to success and keeps you grounded in difficult situations. If obstacles hinder your path, become creative: change the pace, try new strategies, change your perspective, define attractive milestones along the way — bigger goals need a longer breath.

To be entrepreneurial requires moving out of our comfort zone, daring to step into the unknown and taking full responsibility for our life. The return is worth the effort: we create for ourselves the chance to unfold our full potential and purpose, we discover new competencies, and we find new self-confidence, fulfillment and zest for life. Seed with courage and ENJOY the harvest!

The report was written by Catherine Agoropoulou

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Friederike Sommer, the former president and founder of HBA Europe, introduced HBA and Karin Duerr, the new co-director for Women in Science. Karin took over activities from Diana Lagalante. WIS thanked Diana for her contributions, drive and leadership in the past few months.
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