Consider this your invitation to make no apologies about who you are…

Inspiring ideas by @JulieMarieMeyer in Strong Jules in Heels

we will talk about the obsession that drives us… and it is just that: it’s an addiction to the thrill and the exhaustion of building our firms.

My strength is intermittent, unreliable and prone to surges and black-outs. As an entrepreneur, I have thrown myself into the market, into the arena, and there is no safety – just a set of milestones, curve-balls, near death experiences and – yes thankfully – breakthrough moments.

And slowly I realised that my team and I had won the game against all odds. We hadn’t beat the other team. We had changed the software in our brain. The win in our heads was much more important than what had happened on the court. 

And so earlier this year, as I thought about entering our 15th year at Ariadne Capital on the 8th of December, I thought about what winning would mean to me in the next 15 years. … next 15 years, I wouldn’t let the bastards get me down. I would consistently and systematically play the game of the second half. I would build not only my business, but help those other entrepreneurs who I cared about to build theirs, and I would never ever get hit, always be able to help people get through to the breakthrough moment from the near death experience… 

…my dirty little secret is that like most entrepreneurs … I am schizophrenic and slightly dysfunctional. Travel, deals, pressure, sleep. Being an entrepreneur is not working for yourself; it’s working for everyone else in fact. … 

What’s great about being 48, and phenomenal about starting your 15th year in business, is that you can have a license to be Strong Jules even as you know you’re not always her. You don’t beat yourself up, but you also make no apologies (anymore) for being her and for being strong. 

By putting myself in the market and in the arena, I can learn from others, and make a contribution to building that muscle memory, that mental software, that neural network of playing the second half of the game. 

If you ever sell a business, the person you call first is probably someone you feel you owe (or love). Tom took a bet on me 2 years earlier and I instinctively reached out to him … He said, ‘well done – the first one is the hardest’. I said it wasn’t everything I had wanted it to be. I couldn’t control everything. I couldn’t take care of the team across Europe who had built the network with me. It should have been, it could have been. And he said, ‘No apologies Jules’.