Mentor Talks: Basia Sobowska

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We would like to present you with a different perspective. After asking the startup owners about their thoughts we went and talked with their mentors. See how much you can learn from them!

We would like to present you with a different perspective. After asking the startup owners about  their thoughts we went and talked with their mentors. See how much you can learn from them!

The first person that agreed to include a chat with us on her busy workday was Barbara Sobowska - a transaction lawyer working internationally with tech startups. Let's see what she had to say, shall we?

  1. Good advice for startups
    Tips or golden rules people don’t know?

First, no matter who you are and how well you are prepared, bad things, unfortunately, happen. In particular, as a startup, you always encounter a difficulty or challenge. No amount of resources or preparation can prevent the unexpected. The key is how you recover and how effectively you are able to marshal your strengths and move forward. The secret to success is to build resilience in yourself, your company, and your team.
Second, remember that any startup success lies in the people you work with. The worst thing that can happen to you is doing everything yourself. Ultimately, people are the drivers of the business. Great co-founders, employees, partners, advisors, etc. are crucial. Find the right people and make them part of your success.

  1. 3 values of a successful startup owner
    What kind of traits do people need to make it in business?

What makes a founder unique and successful, is a combination of certain traits. Self-awareness is one of them. Successful founders have the ability to assess their own strengths and weaknesses before they focus on building their team and then pick people who will fill in the gaps. The next trait is their passion for what they do. People driven by passion are determined and confident. Passion, determination and confidence enable founders to get the job done even under the most stressful and severe conditions. Finally, what sets apart successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the world, is their fear of missing an opportunity. Everyone is afraid of failing. Successful entrepreneurs seem just even more afraid of failing to try. This fear is not holding them back. Instead, it motivates them to act and spot an opportunity when most just see a possible challenge.

  1. What makes you smile while working on startups?
    What makes you go, every day? What’s your fuel? Is it hope for the better future or a dream to make history?

The best part of working with startups and founders is when you know that your work had a direct influence on the business and you helped founders navigate the often confusing world of entrepreneurship. It does not really matter whether you assisted them in making history or simply negotiating a million-dollar contract. What matters, is that through my work I make a difference in one’s life, even if only a minor one.

  1. Your best experience with a startup so far?
    What is your biggest success in this line of work so far?

There have been many gratifying moments during my work with startups and founders. Each project has been different, but has given the same amount of satisfaction. And they all have had one thing in common – while working with startups I have been given a unique opportunity to build something which impacts other people’s life positively. Waking up every morning and getting excited about making a change in the world through my work has been the best experience I could ever imagine.

  1. What’s the thing that keeps you going every day?
    Where do you get your energy to achieve your goals from?

I enjoy working in a vibrant environment and learning new things. And now … imagine that you work at or run dozens of tech startups at the same time. This is how my work day looks. Working at a single startup is energizing, let alone working with thirty different ones. For me, every day is a way to learn something new, absorb great energy from passionate teams and get new experiences. You cannot get bored. One day I need to understand how the block chain works, while the next day I am structuring a multinational distribution network of deep-tech medical devices. It drives me to keep going every day and makes my work a fascinating journey through the undiscovered waters of technology and innovation.

  • Magdalena Bojanczyk

    “…any startup success lies in the people you work with” I love it! very inspiring!

    • People are the main engine of any success!