Dreamers // Doers
After graduation, Gesche spent five years in the finance industry working at a healthcare-focused hedge fund in New York. Although she enjoyed finance, she decided to try starting her own company, as she felt much more alive when exploring the world of startups and entrepreneurship. She especially loved taking a risk for things she truly believed in and working alongside other highly passionate individuals.
Gesche founded Dreamers // Doers, a highly curated, female-focused, collaboration and co-mentorship community of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. Dreamers // Doers actually began by accident out of a personal need: due to the challenges of starting her first company, Gesche organically built a network of dedicated fellow founders, and within this network, everyone supported each other through their entrepreneurial journeys and became much more successful as a result. A year after starting Dreamers // Doers, it evolved into a group of female founders that had gained so much traction, Gesche decided to drop everything else she was working on to focus on the community full-time.
Her road has been paved with challenges, but Gesche has come up with ways to stay motivated. “By definition, when you do something no one else has done before, there will be doubt! And the most difficult doubt to navigate will always be your own doubt...powering through those early days before you have enough validation of your business idea is crucial. It's important to celebrate wins, no matter how small they are and to keep people around who can relate to your journey.”
Burning through her savings and bootstrapping to make her company succeed were also memorable challenges for Gesche. She spent two years investing her personal resources into her company before it started generating its own income. However, these hurdles have only made her stronger. “I am proud to say that we are profitable now, and I feel SO much more fulfilled now as an entrepreneur than when I was in finance. You learn so much about yourself when you are an entrepreneur. It's one of the scariest and most rewarding things you can do.”
As the founder of a large community, all of Gesche’s work is very visible to others, and so even on days when she is feeling down, she is still motivated to do better. A piece of advice that she has for aspiring entrepreneurs is to know themselves well and what motivates them the most. In Gesche’s case, she thrives with responsibility and even more so if she knows that her actions will significantly impact other people's lives. “It is also important to take care of ourselves,” says Gesche. “As an entrepreneur, work can become all-consuming - but we can only be the best version of ourselves if we feel grounded in our own selves. Most founders only learn this after going through burnout. It's important to know how you best recharge your batteries. It may seem like it has nothing to do with work...while it has everything to do with work. It's the best thing you can do for your work.”
The biggest learning lesson Gesche has recently gained is to trust her own gut more, and to define what success means to her. “It's so easy to go about every day, work harder, because we think more equals more; while never taking even a second to reflect and inspect if the path we are working on so so hard, will lead us to an outcome that we actually desire,” she explains. “Every path will have some hardship, so we might as well consciously, intentionally, pick the path that appears most in-line with our true selves, our desires. Entrepreneurship is a crash course for inspecting your "why". For example, it helped me realize I did not want to take outside funding or have a large physical office. These are things that were important to me, personally, even though they may contradict with other people's definition of success, and for that reason took courage to commit to. I've found that the more energy I invest in ensuring my path is right for ME, the better things go. It's always time well-spent and will pay off beyond your wildest dreams.”
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