‘What I know in my 40s that I didn’t know in my 20s’ with Julie Meyer

J Meyer Oct 14

The Orange, Pimlico. January 28th, 2014

We were thrilled to have Julie Meyer, serial entrepreneur and founder of venture capital firm Ariadne Capital, come to talk to us. Julie has had a fascinating career, dating back to 1998 when she founded First Tuesday, the network of entrepreneurs which many credit for igniting the internet generation in Europe. It was sold in 2000 for $50m, and Julie went on to found Ariadne Capital to create a new model for the financing of entrepreneurship in Europe; that of ‘Entrepreneurs backing Entrepreneurs’. She has also launched EntrepreneurCountry – a global forum for entrepreneurs.

The subject of Julie’s talk was ‘What I know in my 40s that I didn’t know in my 20s’. As someone with such a varied and successful career, we thought Julie might have some good advice for us, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The presentation and Q&A crossed a breadth of subjects, but we keenly wrote down the advice below to share with everyone.

  1. Understand what you can do as a person
  2. Worry less about the money and more about what you can do; the money will find you
  3. Ask yourself what you should do rather than using everyone else as one big advisory board on your life
  4. Don’t try and fix things to be perfect at everything; play to your strengths and then you understand your unfair advantage and your unique contribution
  5. See yourself as a premium; don’t sell yourself at a discount
  6. You don’t win by playing by someone else’s rules
  7. To win big, work for yourself
  8. Don’t worry about breaking the glass ceiling; create new rules
  9. Society works best when it’s organised around the entrepreneur
  10. And remember: Now is a good time to be a woman

To hear about what Julie is up to, follow her at @StrongJules. And follow this link http://entrepreneurcountryforum.com to read more about her other venture EntrepreneurCountry.

We also asked all the members at the dinner to introduce themselves, and say something that they know now that they wish they’d known when they were 20 – it made for a very lively conversation! We thought what came out was really interesting – many of the comments could apply to any age and are still worth reminding ourselves of now. This is a selection of what was said:

Be braver

Don’t rush

Trust your gut

Say yes

Don’t think about what everyone else is doing

Don’t try to please everyone

Don’t be too quick to judge people or situations

Keep up passions outside of work

Time is your friend

Do anything – you don’t have to follow a path

It’s okay to blag it

Speak up – your opinion is valuable

Don’t take it personally

It’s okay to fail

Be more confident

Don’t set milestones

Spend more time alone

Pick your battles

Ask for help

Care less about what other people think

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