Why I don’t start a business, but rather work for myself.

A few months ago a journalist asked me in an interview why I never founded anything. I had told her how I had a vision after Kati, and I had traveled in summer 2015 that coworking would be the next topic. After eight weeks across Europe, we had seen so many coworking spaces and talked to so many people that for a moment we had an overview of what was going on.

I didn’t start Coworking Space back then. Instead, I wrote a mail to the most famous German coworking space and explained what I just did and what I only want to do from now on: coworking. It really didn’t occur to me to start my own business. It’s not just the supposed security of an employment relationship that keeps me from the founding. I just don’t think in the fundamental categories like founders have to do.

I am an intrapreneur. At least that’s something.

My previous superiors will be able to confirm, at least some of them, I hope that I can think creatively and also initiate projects. A personality test on my strengths revealed that I am an intrapreneur. I found, so to speak, within the company. However, it is connected with a goal in front of my eyes or a topic. I am not interested in the whole operational aspect of the founding process, and until today I have no motivation to master it.

In the last few days, I have been listening to the episodes of the podcast Red Bull Sparks (the podcast is in German), because my boss Ansgar Oberholz talks to a lot of entrepreneurs here. These conversations showed me once again that I am not like that. I don’t have a founder personality. When I listened to them, however, I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do after my holiday or what I just wanted to do differently.

Tobias & Kati Kremkau, Copenhagen 2015
Kati and I in 2015 on the beach in Copenhagen.

Instead of starting my own business, the podcast inspired me to take initiatives. That’s why I’m really looking forward to my return from my holiday. Since I’ve stopped working, I’ve only felt sick. Cold, pinched nerves, migraine, spontaneous nausea – something is always. My wife already said that all this is only psychosomatic because I am no longer allowed to work. I don’t know, maybe it’s just stupid timing. For me, working is living.

New Work is not a gift, but an attitude.

I enjoy the freedom of being able to put my thoughts into practice at work. That’s why work for me is really the further development of my personality. To be able to follow one’s interests, to deal with them and to be allowed to call that a job for which one is paid is lovely. It is not a stroke of luck, and I don’t mean ungrateful, but it is New Work in its purest form. And to do this is a decision. You have to want it yourself, for yourself.

In an episode, the two founders of the platform Edition F assume that as founders they could never again be happy as employees. It’s the same for me. After my very positive experiences at Netzpiloten.de and now St. Oberholz, I can’t really imagine ever working differently again. Work must be what I want to do. Should I not get that one day anymore, I must perhaps become a founder. They are not selling pizza on Mars yet, are they?

Header Image: Katharina-Franziska Kremkau, Ghent 2015