Günes Seyfarth is a true serial founder. Next Entrepreneurs, die Astronautin and Fruitiverse are just three examples of her current business ideas. We wanted to know how the Munich native organizes so many projects, what drives her, where she finds inspiration and whether she thinks now is a good time to start a company. Günes Seyfarth candidly explains why she doesn’t care about prejudices and what her priorities are. An interview.
Munich Startup: Günes, you’ve founded a great variety of companies. What motivates you?
Günes Seyfarth: I want to discover new things. That’s why it’s so exciting to me to become acquainted with something I’m not familiar with yet and to then successfully master and apply that to found a company and figure out for myself if I’ve understood it or if something needs to be reworked. I like to just implement things instead of getting stuck in theory for too long. After all, you only know if it works or not when you put it into practice.
I also want to set an example to show what’s possible while others are still just talking about it.
Complete one unpleasant task every day
You run several companies simultaneously and have three kids. How do you organize it all?
First, I’m surrounded by people who support me. My husband, who always has my back, and my network, which can answer my questions and put me in contact with people who can help me make progress.
Second, I concentrate on what really makes sense to achieve results. That means completing one task that I dread every day, like tax authorities, unpleasant discussions, etc. That releases blocks and then I can concentrate on tasks that move the project forwards.
Did you have role models when starting the company?
Absolutely. First and foremost, my mom, who came to Germany when she was 16 without knowing the German language, anything about the country and without any money. She just had a vision of having a better life. I also like to learn from individuals who have already successfully implemented something that I want to get better at.
Achieve what’s important
When and where do you have the best ideas?
During knowledge transfer. I work on different subjects: Education, food waste, nutrition, climate protection, politics, society, economics, leadership, job profiles, future prospects for living and work, efficacy, dance, children, epigenetics. Observing, asking questions and being open gives me new ideas, which I spin further and then I see where that takes me.
What’s your biggest talent?
Listening to my intuition. I have a heightened sense of basic trust, which means I can quickly decide whether a person or subject is good for me by listening to my inner voice. Whether I feel good about it or not. That is my gauge for my activities. Both in private life and business. I don’t differentiate between the two. I don’t need to understand everything to follow it. If my heart says it doesn’t feel right, then I steer clear of it.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Thinking money isn’t important. It doesn’t make you happy. But it does allow me to achieve what’s important to me.
“Thinking and acting in entrepreneurial terms is a way of life”
What’s your secret networking weapon?
Genuine interest in people. I’m not a fan of small talk. I want to know what makes a person who they are and want to understand them as a whole. After all, we’re all investing time from our lifes. I want to use that time wisely and also make that possible for the person I’m talking to.
Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?
company and thinking and acting in entrepreneurial terms is a way of life. That
means it’s always a good time to start a company.
But particularly when thinking about the increasing dynamics and speed of change in our society, starting a company is a way of expressing what you think is reasonable, of what is really important. Either because you don’t want to loose yourself in the comfort zone of employment and want to experience real life or because you see solutions that haven’t been implemented yet.
Günes Seyfarth is not concerned about prejudices
What are the three most offensive prejudices you’ve encountered in everyday startup life?
To be honest, it’s more your own barriers than prejudice from the outside. I’m not concerned about whether someone thinks I can’t start a company because I’m a mom, woman or person from a migrant background.
What’s important is that I:
- Know where I want to go.
- Know what I’m doing and take a look at my figures and opportunities.
- That I do it.
What’s on top of your desk at the moment?
- Die Astronautin (female astronaut), to create role models for girls and women that show they can do anything. 50 million are needed for it. We’re working on that with Die MacGyvers.
- Fruitiverse, to establish the manufacturing of our fruit gummy snacks from organic fruit.
- Next Entrepreneurs, to give today’s kids the confidence to create a world in which a peaceful and tolerant society is possible.
What makes you happy?
The feeling that something inspires me — most especially my family and individuals who often don’t believe that what they do has an effect on other people.
Many thanks, Günes Seyfarth, for your candid answers.