Insights from a Start-up Coach
Let’s introduce Christine Purnell, she is a Business-Coach for Startups and small to medium sized companies. She is passioned about entrepreneurship and finds inspiration in working with people, who bring up great business ideas that add value for society.
Christine, I like to start with the question of what makes you laugh?
In general, it makes me laugh when I am happy and things are running smoothly. I am always happy when I meet nice and inspiring people with a vision. But I can always laugh about Mr. Bean and Charly Chaplin (laughs).
Tell me something about your career and your step into the startup world.
I was always fascinated by working independently, doing my own thing and doing what I love. I am impressed by entrepreneurs who solve a need which creates value for other people. I studied Business Administration and started working in Finance, but I always missed seeing the whole picture. For me it was not enough to just crunch numbers. That’s when I started reading a lot about economics and business development, for example “Lean startup”, searching for concrete methods to start a business successfully. I was very glad when I found the “Lean Canvas Model” by Ash Maurya. That concept helped me to structure business ideas and finally I was able to see the whole picture. At this point I felt prepared to start consulting companies not only in the field of finance but also in strategy consulting and entrepreneurship. I always dreamed about being independent, that is why I started to build my own coaching agency besides my job in 2002. Since 2011, I am a fulltime independent coach and consultant and I love what I do.
What is fascinating about startups?
I am fascinated by the passion of the founders. I love to work with people who have this entrepreneurial mindset and are willing to work very hard to achieve their goal.
What is your ultimate advice to every founder?
Believe in yourself, set your goals and always be aligned with your goals. I couldn’t agree more with Steve Blank “Get out of the building”. It´s so important to talk to other people and build a strong network”. Changing perspectives is very powerful to get inspiration and new ideas.
Tell me something about recent trends among founders?
Well, everyone is talking about sustainability right now. It is awesome to see all those different innovations to be more sustainable, care for our environment and educate the people in being more conscious. It started with food, then cosmetics and now fashion. I think that is a great development.
Tell me something about your first contact with sustainable fashion?
Since the birth of my first child I am interested in sustainable children clothing. My now grown-up children are even more into sustainability and sustainable fashion. They aren’t interested in fast fashion at all, instead they like to buy vintage and recycled clothes.
Could you describe your favourite look and your personal style?
I like my looks clean with a structured silhouette. My days are very busy, and I don’t want to think much about my wardrobe. Everything needs to be practical and comfortable yet stylish and elegant. Dressing is also a form of self-expression, that is why I am happy to choose a new outfit for every day.
How would your ideal fashion label look like?
A capsule wardrobe is a very good idea for people like me, who don’t have much spare time. I don’t want to have that many pieces in my wardrobe – I am looking for a fashion label that gives me inspiration for the perfect outfit for every day. I like wearing basics which can be mixed and matched and I like to combine them with some statement pieces.
How do you integrate sustainability into your life?
I barely use a car, especially in the city, which is not at all difficult because I love to walk. What else? - I do not eat meat.
Tell me about the one thing in your life you’re the proudest about?
I had children very early, but I also managed to set and accomplish my own career goals. I am very proud and happy that I managed to combine my family needs and my personal goals and development.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
I would advise her to have more faith in herself and to be a strong and self-confident young woman. Our world needs strong women.