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Interview with Marie-Christine Carrillo - the founder of @we.are.lionhearted

· Author,Publishing,Entrepreneurship

Dear Ladies,

it always makes us happy to intoduce you our #heroine_of_the_week, because every time we get a new proof that "doing it your way" is the right way. Today it is our dear friend, founder of Bourdon publishing house, book author and community builder Marie-Christine Carrillo from @we.are.lionhearted.

We got first introduced to Marie's book "Lionhearted" containing 12 inspiring interviews with German founders, and recently got to know Marie personally at our Entrepreneur Breakfast. We immediately fell in love with her warm personality, passion for her work and her can-do attitude.

Marie is one of these remarkable women who found the courage to change their life 180 degrees and pursue their true passionn. For her it was discovering other peoples' "why" and helping them live it. That's how her first book came to life, which is an amazing read for every aspiring entrepreneur.

Now Marie is working on her next exciting projects - new books and building a community of like-minded entrepreneuers.

Read about Marie's inspiring journey in her interview below!

Marie, you started your career in hospital management but then abruptly switched lanes in 2016 and founded your own publishing house. What influenced your decision and where did you find the courage for such a drastic change?

Working in a huge hospital taught me a lot. I sill profit from the managing skills I earned there. But I always felt there was something missing in my life. When my 30th birthday approached I took three days off and spend them with my husband at the north sea. We made endless walks on the beach and discussed my future. In the end I knew I wanted to publish books. My husband encouraged me to quit my job and from that day on we never looked back.

Where does your fascination for entrepreneurship come from?

While I was working at the hospital I came up with many new ideas. My boss used to say: “We’ve been doing that in my way for 30 years now. I see no reason to change it.” But I wanted to try new things. Well, not all of my ideas were brilliant, but I wanted to try them, to DO something. I have to be my own boss, not because I’m always right, but I can’t stand the feeling of being blocked or slowed down.

The book “Lionhearted” by your publishing house “Bourdon Verlag” contains inspiring interviews with 12 German founders. On what principle did you select your heroes and what response did you encounter from potential participants?

When I had the idea I asked everybody whether they knew a founder. I soon had a long list. Then I selected people who are different. There is an interview with one artist and one industrial entrepreneur. There are people who are in business for 40 years and some who founded their enterprise just a few years ago. I wanted to show a wide range of entrepreneurship.

The responses from those not willing to participate were very different. Most were really kind, some even called and wished me luck. There was just one cereal company that gave me an answer that was shockingly arrogant.

Most of your interviewees have founded their businesses before 30. Do you think that age matters? Is 30+ too late?

It’s never too late to change your life and do what’s right for you. Though I think it gets more difficult to quit your job, the more settled you are. Maybe you have more responsibility for your family and you feel like you should keep your “safe” job to pay the bills. But ‘more difficult’ is not the same as ‘impossible’. In Germany we have a very good social security system. You have to ask yourself what is the worst that could happen and then compare it to the opportunity of doing the things you really love for the rest of your life.

If you could summarize the essence of all the interviews from your book into a few words, what would they be?

The Interview partners all had the same doubts and fears and roadlocks. But they all decided to do what felt right for them and they never looked back. And that’s what I love about the book. You can take the book, open it at any page and start reading and you will find so much motivation, inspiration and proof that you are not the only person with problems and doubts.

In the acknowledgement in your book you mention a life-changing encounter with Axel Hager in 2000. We are curious to know what influenced you so dramatically in such a young age?

Axel had just won an Olympic medal and the 14 year old me had a huge crush on him. I urged to meet him and so I interviewed him for a non-existing school magazine. He didn’t fall in love with me (as planned) but I fell in love with talking to people about their dreams and plans and what makes them get up in the morning. Other peoples “why” fascinated me from that day on. I interviewed many other people and founded a school magazine with some friends. Destiny had some other plans for me when I turned 20, but when I turned 30 I quit my job and now I’m back, doing what really matters to me. Trying to find other peoples' “why” and support them to live it.

What is your next project?

I’m working on two new books. One is for women in business and one for entrepreneurs.

But more important to me: I’m building a community for male and female entrepreneurs called “we are lionhearted” with some friends. Right now we are producing a lot of nice stuff. I’m super busy but happy.

How did your change into entrepreneurship influenced your work-life balance?

I love the fact that I can work (almost) whenever and wherever I want. For example when I’m sitting in my office and feeling very unproductive, I just put on my running shoes and do a little run.

Whom are you most grateful for support on your journey?

My husband. I think he was the only person really supporting me from the start.

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