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5 business lessons that made Julie Meyer leader of the pack

Julie Meyer, Founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, is not just a business leader, she is a business force. Her achievements are more than can be listed here, but include forming First Tuesday, a network of entrepreneurs, which many credit for igniting the ‘internet generation’ in Europe.

Julie Meyer, Founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, is not just a business leader, she is a business force. Her achievements are more than can be listed here, but include forming First Tuesday, a network of entrepreneurs, which many credit for igniting the ‘internet generation’ in Europe.

First Tuesday was sold in July 2000 for $50 million in cash and shares. Julie has been included in list after list of top entrepreneurs, business leaders, and most influential people, and is also one of the BBC’s Online Dragons in the award-winning Dragon’s Den Online.

She pulls no punches in outlining what she feels makes a business successful: “Success is more about not failing, never giving up. Companies need to keep fixed costs very low, get personal finances in order, eliminate negativity in their lives, and be very optimistic – even when they don't feel that way.”

Julie is passionate that the businesses Ariadne backs should put in the groundwork, believing that the more you put in, the more you get out. “The world breaks down into two types of people,” she explains. “There are those who manipulate the world in order to be successful. It's zero-sum. I win, you lose. I'll do anything to win.

“But there are a few who challenge themselves to build a better system, a more inclusive world, where it's not about how you can take, but how you can contribute.

“Focusing on building something bigger than just yourself, bigger than just a job, requires you to be better, more focused, more hard-working, more committed, more insightful, and probably smarter than the rest of the crowd.”

And if you want to be a world-class business leader, you have to be prepared for the flipside, Julie emphasises. “Leadership is lonely. Opportunity is lonely. Many of my friends told me I'd never get a job in venture capital. Many told me that creating First Tuesday was a ridiculous idea. If you travel with the pack, you will almost always be just that – part of the pack, one of the wolves, one of many. No one will criticise you, but no one really will admire you. Most importantly, the world won't really notice that you came and went.”

Challenger brands embody this approach, she believes. “I think they are the future. Ariadne Capital is a challenger brand. There is a structural change happening in society, with people more open to new brands and new ideas. It used to be said you wouldn’t get fired for hiring an established corporate; I'm not sure that's true anymore.”

5 business lessons

  1. Corporate structure dictates your ability to build a successful business.
  2. The smartest people don’t win; those who win are the ones who keep going when others give up.
  3. Work hard; work excessively hard; don't try to look cool - there is no such thing as effortless success.
  4. Focus on the ideas which animate you - the communication and execution of those ideas, and the money will find you.
  5. Create trust in everything you do.

To find out more about Julie Meyer and Ariadne Capital visit: www.ariadnecapital.com

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