This manifesto is my compass, my north star, a map that guides me along the road that I wish to journey. I first started sharing a few lines with friends and family some years. I felt that this roadmap was of support and guidance to others that seek for a better path or have a higher motivation than just to survive their youth. That is why I started to share this raw and honest manuscript to a wider public.
This year, my letter will consist of three chapters, reflecting both my personal and my entrepreneurial journey. The first part is a brief reflection of 2019, followed by my outlook and goals for 2020. The final part consists of loose notes, thoughts and selected quotes about how I look at life and our society from a more abstract point of view.
Chapter II – Outlook 2020
I would like 2020 to continue as 2019 did. I want my life to be always my Nr.1 passion on every single day. Much of 2020 has already been planned, but as experience taught me, I will be open, for it to be served differently.
My priority is to continue the path of self-development, a curious but continuous lifestyle, pursuing my quest that I have started.
In two months, I will turn thirty-five.
Another milestone (for which I have not done much)! I want to spend my birthday alone, as I did on my eighteenth and many others by choice.
I want to continue my healthy lifestyle; with conscious nutrition, an improved morning routine, being self-aware and mindful in all my decisions, worry-free and with gratitude.
I want to expand my roots in Switzerland, continue to build a regional network of like-minded people. I want to be socially active as in attending village football or local gatherings -supporting societies, association or political groups. I want to start my own series of private events that summon likeminded peers at unique locations, creating a vibe and inspiration that is beyond our rural region.
I want to continue my travelling, attend adventurous expedition, meaningful journey and experience unique tours. I want to understand cultures and expand my horizon, not cross off countries and check my bucket list.
I want to feel the temporary pulse of concerts and sport events. I want to be spellbound, to cheer or even to suffer – to feel the very transience of life.
I want to expand my knowledge, quench my thirst, go to random fairs and conferences, read books; a lot of books and improve my Italian or Spanish language skills.
I want to gain post-apocalyptic skills and self-provider knowledge such as farming my own piece of garden, build a shelter, make vinegar or preserve my own food.
I want to continue my scriptures, from expressive writing to provocative essays. I want to continue my reflections and my documentations. I want to continue to mentor, to guide and to consult aspiring entrepreneurs, thinkers and changers.
I want to tick off some of my goals on my bucket list, like crossing the alps in a classic car or invent a medicine that will cure oral inflammation (I’m working on it Murat…)
If I had one more wish, I would be happy if our local football team FC St. Gallen wins the swiss championship.
My five-point concept that I create for myself:
Strengthening and Stretching my muscles and ligaments, push the heart once a while to the limit. Nourishing the body slowly, with the best food and supplements that is needed. Breath to thrive, avoid situations of stress, sleep to recharge.
Be authentic, sincere, reachable, encouraging and respective, as a leader and a friend. Make wise and thoughtful decisions considering a long-term perspective. Investing in people that will walk the path with you.
Be persistent and focused, avoid distractions – when awake, be alive.
Have fulfilling relationships with a handful of people that are important to you today.
Reflect frequently; a day, a conversation, a situation. Clear past actions, forgive. Prepare and plan upcoming events and challenges, be clear, be wise.
Being an Entrepreneur:
As I set goals for my own life, I have a clear vision for my companies, from a measurable short-term vision to a holistic long-term plan.
As the founders of the Joya Brand, my partner Claudio and myself, we need to be as flexible as possible, getting free from repetitive administrational and operational tasks. Only so, we can allocate our resources to initiate new projects and use our time to multiply.
As our company grows, we need to put emphasis on great cooperation and communication of our global teams and partners. I want 2020 to be all about building self-organized teams, that create additional dynamics, highlight new leadership skills and share responsibilities among everyone.
As we will continue to improve our workflows and efficiency using supportive technologies, I want my team to understand and embrace the thought on how technology can set us free and inspire us to be more creative in our daily tasks.
It is our core responsibility to find solutions, how we can create ever better products for our customer, use more sustainable materials and improve the way we manufacture our products using automatization / digitalization.
I personally believe that there was no time, doing business was “easier”. Digitalization, Globalization, Automatization, Communication, Transactions, Logistics, … there are 20 more keywords I could mention that support our work daily.
I see my personal responsibility as the owner of the brand to develop the mindset of our people. Once we have the right people, it is my task to create the compass and let them walk towards our goal, while constantly challenging them.
I ask myself daily, what do we do better at our company than all our competitors around the world. What gives us a reason to exist as a company and how can we improve the experience and interaction of our customers continuously. It’s been an unbelievable journey, to be able to make so many people happy with what we do!
I do not know of many family foundations that have such a long-term vision as ours and I feel very proud and thankful to be part of it. There is “the weight of heritage” when working for a family business. I want to improve it, but not change the soul. With every decision, taking responsibility of many people to come. I do not feel any pressure, as we all enjoy working together with the right values and focus.
Apart from the shoe business, I’m personally super excited to lead a hip hostel concept at the lake side, where I can use all my experience from my many travels and live out my artsy side.
My sister Esther will move back to our village with her family, to start her own gastronomic project. I’m excited to support her as well, looking for potential to cooperation and partner up.
For our venture in Indonesia we have two exciting projects in the pipeline that will go beyond 2020. Our largest hospitality project called “The Arch” and a small boutique shopping mall or marketplace, where we will rent spaces to innovative concepts.
With our farms, I’m curious and excited how my partner joseph will implement transformation, after learning much during our inspiration trip in Colombia.
Socially - I hope that we can finalize our special school in 2020 and further improve the foundation for education. We further invest in raising awareness about education, personal hygiene and the protection of nature. I hope to tell you many beautiful stories in my 2020 summary.
The meaning of work to me:
Work means so much to me, almost everything. I ask you not to judge but to understand this. Though my work, I can live a life of purpose, I can impact, I can connect and live relationships, I can mentor and much more.
Family business is our lifestyle – family does not end at the bloodline. That is why I feel it is so important to select which people you are working with. Are those the people I want to spend at least the next 10 years with?
I never think of anybody I worked with as an employee. I wanted to have and be around people, who also seek – a life full of meaningful work and meaningful relationships.
My work gave me the opportunity to be who I am today; because of my work I grew as a person, I built my character, I got the chance to travel and support many people.
“My role to poke holes into the status quo.”
Chapter III – My thoughts about Life and the times we live in
I have a great family, some wonderful friends and business associates. Many times, I can tell you, I have walked my personal and my entrepreneurial journey alone.
Let me tell you, that burning desire, that hunger that sparks of something bigger and greater, that burns within you, that is the most important asset, and this makes you different!
In this third part, I would like to share some selected lines that I have written in my diary during this year, what I feel are important principles and thoughts for the world we live in today.
In my personal view, an ideal society must be created in a way that as many people as possible can live in their individuality. (Unfortunately), this is less and less the case.
Today most of us live in an anonymous mass society. Life has increasingly become fragmented, we run from task to tasks and are highly driven by external circumstances. We can no longer live independently, learn, based on our own experiences. We do our job and then hope that we find satisfaction in consumption and entertainment.
Overworking (need to cover the expense) does not make people wiser, but it damages the core motivation and self-esteem. We suffer most, as our needs for social security, social recognition and creative self-expression are no longer met.
We should urgently transform back to life forms based on entrusted and familiar approaches across many generations.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, for every job lost to a machine at least one new job was created, and the average standard of living has increased dramatically. Yet there are good reasons to think that this time it is different, and that machine learning will be a real game changer. We shall know, within a mere decade or two, billions of people will become economically redundant.
We adopt the paradigm of a victim, we make excuses and then we recite them so many times, we train our subconscious mind to think they are true. We blame other people and outer conditions for our struggles.
We grow cynical and lose the curiosity, wonder and compassion and innocence we knew as kids. We become apathetic, critical and hardened.
Many of the finest athletes in the world had less innate skills than their competitors. It was their exceptional dedication, commitment and drive to maximize whatever strengths they had, that made them iconic.
Many of my generation today are too comfortable, they have too high expectations. If you want to have the results that the top 5% have, you must start doing what 95% of the people are unwilling to do.
Forget market research, because the imagination of customers is too limited. Instead of trying to break your head, how to save more on tax payments, use the energy and effort to work smarter & harder, to grow your company bigger. You will end up with having much more.
Wise people stick with sound fundamentals through the ups and downs, while flighty people react emotionally too how things feel, jumping into things when they are hot and abandoning them when they are not.
Don’t follow the trends when you invest, follow your guts and experience, do what you always have done best.
Most people are more emotional than logical they tend to overreact to short-term results; they give up and sell low when times are bad and buy too high when times are good.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend, who pointed out that at one point in your childhood, your parents would have lifted you onto their shoulders for the last time. The Japanese world “Momo no aware”, perfectly encapsulates the feeling that thought evokes.
One big lesson I have learned over the years is that giving to others is a gift you give to yourself. Your raise the Joy of others and you will get even more joy. Generosity, not scarcity – this is the trait of all the great man and woman who have upgraded our world.
In today’s time, we need leaders, pure leaders and not narcissist, obsessed with their own self-interest.
I also learned that judging people before really seeing things through their eyes stands in the way of understanding their circumstances. I urge you to be curious enough to want to understand how the people who see things differently from you, came to see them that way.
In the end, be silly, be crazy, be weird, laugh at yourself because life is too short to be anything but happy.
Remember being labeled crazy is the price of greatness and a life without a cause is a life without effect.
The colosseum is not only a symbol of Rome, but it is a proof that what has been built well, lasts! This is a message of hope.
I must have the endurance to keep transmitting the same message.
Freedom of the press also applies to republicans and rights.
The abnormality of today is the normality of tomorrow.
Most entrepreneurs I met explain what they do and their business model in such a complex way that I get lost. Make sure, that your mother knows how to explain in 3 sentences, what you do!
Idealism is the pursuit of high or noble principles and goals.
Idealists today prioritize ideals and values over the current reality. I am in the strong opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I worked the more I have lived.
Life is not a brief candle for me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to further generations.
When you realize that nothing is lacking, the world belongs to you. Old times never come back and I suppose it’s just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day and that’s better.
I would like to end my “manifesto” with following quote in german, that speaks from my heart. Thank you for giving me your time to read my notes.
«Und alle Zeit, die nicht mit dem Herzen wahrgenommen wird, ist verloren wie die Farben des Regenbogens für einen blinden oder das Lied eines Vogels für einen Tauben»