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It’s essential to have the right people around you. Choosing good partners for yourself and finding key employees makes up more than 80% of all success, regardless of the business you’re in. It’s not just about education and skills, but also about the personalities of the people involved, their integrity, motivation, and mutual compatibility. Fortunately, there’s a huge amount of talented and excellent people in Central and Eastern Europe. The only thing you have to do is find the right ones for you.

At the same time, I want to say that there is no straight line to success. Maybe there is if you’re extremely lucky. Every company starting out needs a little luck to get going, but you can’t rely on having it very much. As someone once said: ‘Think big, start small and act fast.’ I’d add: ‘Be prepared to fail fast, learn from your mistakes and count on repeating this cycle over and over again.’ It’s an exhausting, depressing and difficult process, and it’s exactly the reason why you have to learn to fail quickly, so that despite partial failure you can move on as quickly as possible without losing all of your capital.

My last piece of advice would be: ‘Listen to other people’s opinions, but make your own decisions.’ Talk with people outside your bubble — partners, colleagues and competitors — and in the end you have to be true to yourself. You’re the only one who can make the best possible decision. Believe it. Even before we founded GuideVision, we owned a company worth CZK 100 million (EUR 2.4 million), and we talked with two very successful entrepreneurs and investors on the Czech market about how to become a CZK 200 million company in the next three years. I listened to their advice, thought about it over the weekend, and on Monday went to Pavel Müller with the proposal I believed in the most. He asked me if it was the one they advised. I answered that it wasn’t. It was exactly the opposite of what they advised. He thought about my proposal for a while, and then he agreed that this was the right path for the two of us to go down. To this day I think that decision was one of the best I’ve ever made.

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