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Carlo Badini, Jeremias Meier, Flavio Pfaffhauser & Aileen Zumstein, Pabio, bexio, Beekeeper & v-oice co-founders and CEO, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #338 - The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship

Carlo Badini, Jeremias Meier, Flavio Pfaffhauser & Aileen Zumstein

September 4, 2023

08:43 - Bad experiences when first starting their companies

12:15 - Going from university into entrepreneurship

18:23 - The stress of running out of money

24:54 - Dealing with loneliness

34:24 - Importance of humbleness

About Carlo Badini, Jeremias Meier, Flavio Pfaffhauser and Aileen Zumstein:

Carlo Badini is the founder and CEO of Pabio, a company that gets your apartment fully furnished by a professional interior designer and rents high-quality furniture on a monthly subscription. He has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Bern and participated in the Y combinator startup accelerator program.

Jeremias Meier is a partner at and co-founded bexio, which streamlines administration services. He has a degree in Business Administration from St.Gallen. 

Flavio Pfaffhauser is co-founder and CIO at Beekeeper, an all-in-one frontline success system. Flavio received both his qualifications from ETH, a bachelor's and a master's in Computer Science. 

Lastly, Aileen Zumstein is a co-founder and board member at v-oice, a company for new and innovative business ideas. She studied economics at the University of Basel and has a master’s from the University of Zurich in communications.

The group delved deep into the often lonely entrepreneurial journey, filled with both triumphs and tribulations. Our guests shared their vulnerabilities, highlighting the challenges they faced when they embarked on their respective ventures. While building his business in Zurich, Jeremias felt isolated as his friends pursued prestigious consulting and banking careers, questioning his choices. Aileen spoke of the struggle to establish the value of her communication company, dealing with doubts, and the intensity of partnerships. Flavio discussed his initial hesitation about his dating business and the impact of his father's failed business venture on his decision. Carlo emphasized the constant need to address problems as a CEO and the associated loneliness.

The other main point during the discussion was how successful entrepreneurs cope with the persistent fear of running out of money. Carlo experienced many sleepless nights worrying about this issue, describing the ceaseless problem-solving that comes with being a CEO. Flavio added impatience to his sense of isolation, especially during the search for product-market fit. Despite her support network, Aileen admitted feeling lonely, particularly during tough decisions, like parting ways with a business partner. She emphasized the need for alone time to balance her energy. Jeremias felt isolated from his non-entrepreneurial friends, who couldn't fully grasp the startup journey's ups and downs.

This episode was created in cooperation with ⁠EO Zurich⁠.

Memorable Quotes:

“Being humble is a virtue — you aren’t as important as you believe, and most things are out of your control anyway.” - Carlo Badini

“It can feel really lonely to never be asked how you are, because people assume professional success means personal well-being.” - Aileen Zumstein

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