Former professional heavyweight boxer Vladimir Klitschko, 43, shared Friday (November 8, 2019) his tips and tricks for grappling with the challenges of start-up life with around 40 delegates during a master class on “Reality Bites” in St. Pauli’s Astraturm. Organized by Hamburg Startups, the class was part of the recently-ended Reeperbahn Startup Pitch. Klitschko, the longest reigning world champion in his class, has developed his “F.A.C.E. the Challenge” blueprint for learning willpower. Hopes are now high that start-ups can benefit from his experience and prowess.
Prior to the event, Hamburg Startups and Klitschko Ventures had conducted an online survey on the greatest challenges facing start-ups. The interviewees named product development, growth and finance, employees and self-management as the most problematic areas.
Tool for overcoming challenges
Klitschko told participants: “Endurance beats everything and can be learned sustainably. I enjoy overcoming challenges. And that’s what I want for you too.” According to F.A.C.E., a person’s body is the most important capital as that is where ideas stem from. The four-step process only works through the duality of body and mind. “F” stands for focus and concentrates on the essentials to train flexibility. “A” stands for agility as fundamental conditions can change quickly, especially in the start-up scene. “C” stands for co-ordinating key factors as success is not coincidental and results from precise planning. “E” stands for endurance or perseverance as there is no success without perseverance.
Biggest challenges for founders
The results of the non-representative survey uncovered four major problems: In reference to the “product development” category, almost a third of respondents expressed fears that their ideas could be stolen and of not adhering to their own roadmap. In the “growth and finance” category, around 42 per cent said they did not have funds for marketing purposes. More than a third of the respondents cannot pay themselves a sufficient salary. In reference to the employees’ category, founders said the biggest problem lies in finding a suitable co-founder or employees. The “self-management” category proved the most surprising with 41 per cent of interviews saying they do not have enough time for sports. Participants had the opportunity to tackle these challenges during the master class and tested the F.A.C.E. method on site using a workout and a worksheet.