Nina Del Marr: „You have to believe in your product to overcome challenges.“

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von Nicole Paulus
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Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Can you tell our audience in your own words who you are and what it is you do?  

Nina:
My name is Nina Del Marr and I am the CEO and co-founder of Cirkel and we are creating a platform that enables employees to create their own circles of trust, increasing psychological safety and innovation in organizations.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Since this series aims to deliver transparent advice, let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty – what was one of the biggest failures you had when first starting out on your career path? What was the outcome?  

Nina:
I can’t actually say that I’ve had a huge failure. I guess what we are doing, we are having another kind of way of looking at things. It’s not that we failed but we are learning as we build this and go along. I don’t say that we’ve had a huge failure. Maybe what the outcome is as we are creating this, is that we are learning as we are going. That’s my take on this question.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What is one piece of advice that has helped carry you through the hard times?  

Nina:
Yea, the advice is that when you believe in something, then that will actually carry you through all the difficulties or challenges, so you are being really guided and pulled by the higher intention of what you are wanting to do and bring into this world. The advice is keep holding that intention and belief and that will help you through all the difficulties of building a business.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Is there a piece of advice a family member or mentor gave you early on that you didn’t follow? What was the consequence or outcome?

Nina:
No, nothing like this actually comes to mind. I mean yes there are friends and mentors that give you advice and you don’t follow. For me, it feels like the advice that I’m given doesn’t mean that it needs to be followed in that exact moment. When do you actually apply that advice? S, it’s not lost but sometimes advice may be given when you are not at the stage yet to implement it. So you keep it in the back. You are aware of it. But you aren’t implementing it at that time. So, there isn’t a dire consequence of “oh I should have followed that then” because I still have that information and advice with me.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Is there anything about your journey that you would do differently, knowing what you know now?  

Nina:
The journey is still very alive and present. So everything that has led us to the point where we are now is because we did what we did. So I wouldn’t say there was something that I would do differently. It feels like it’s going at the pace that it needs to go at.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What are some of the biggest barriers you have faced on your journey – internal and external ones?

Nina:
So, the internal barriers I would say is that a lot of feeling and fear. So this is what I have had to face. So the doubt is are you doing things right, are you speaking right. This is the biggest internal barrier – the fear and doubting how you are doing something.
The external barrier. Fear is also related to an external barrier of how to connect with [certain parties in the startup world.] Especially with an idea that has a social impact. It’s not like this is a product or widget or software, it feels like there can be a clearer understanding from external parties who are more used to a startup with a very clear product – and see this is maybe related more to my internal barrier of how I think the startup or building a business process works. Some other external barriers would be access to funding. Maybe it’s easier when you have had a previous startup or you know certain people who understand the company or product. The external barrier would be this access to funding.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
How do you stay motivated in the face of rejection?

Nina:
Staying motivated is kind of understanding that “OK, that wasn’t right for us.” We know that something is coming that is right for us and we still have to apply and still have to go for it. Just accepting that it was not right for us at this time. I think that helps us to continue to stay motivated when facing rejection. And also really the belief in what we are doing. That’s the main motivation is that we believe in what we are doing. So rejection comes, and it’s not actually an outright rejection, it’s a “not yet.” Things have to get clearer on our end. We still have to work on things. And at that point we might have less rejection. But it could be a whole lot of time of rejection that provides clarity to us. Belief in our idea and knowing that this is a really big learning and getting clarity.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What was one of the most recent failures you had (either personal or professional)? What lesson did you learn because of it?

Nina:
Maybe it’s still related to rejection – so I am also on the side doing castings for commercial work, advertisements and photo shoots. I mean I face a lot of rejection there. The lesson I learn is really to not take it personally. I feel that if I do a casting for a shoot or commercial that I may not be exactly what the client is looking for. So in terms of failure, if I didn’t get the casting, I learn to say “ok maybe it’s not so personal, I am just not what they are looking for.” The biggest learning is to be ok and not take it so, so personally.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What piece of career advice would you give your younger self?

Nina:
“You’re going to face some fears, and that’s ok.” It’s a funny thing because in a way I would tell my younger self – “you are going to start a business, if it’s in you to start a business, you’re going to start a business when it’s the right timing. Like maybe when you’re 44, when I did start.” So I would tell her, “don’t worry, go through your life and if you really want to start a business, you’re going to start a business when it’s the right timing for you.”

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Ok now for some fun questions. Got any hidden talents? Please share!

Nina:
I like to dance and I really got into tango dancing. I haven’t done it in quite a while because of Corona, but it’s still a love in my heart. It will always be there. I may start again. Or even when I’m 60 I might go to a Malanga. Malanga is a space where you dance tango. I really got into tango dancing and became obsessed with it for a few years. And I still have this love in my heart. Maybe it’s a hidden talent because it’s been under wraps during this time. It’s been hiding. But it may come out to the surface this year, hopefully.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What’s your guilty pleasure or favorite way to “waste” time?

Nina:
I’ve been watching some funny videos. Well, funny because it’s very random that I started watching this. Maybe it’s the algorithm on Youtube. But I have been watching restaurants in Japan, the chefs, and how they are cooking. They are using the wok and they are making a special dish. I’m looking at the skill of how they’re cooking. I’ve been watching videos on Youtube of chefs in Japan and their cooking skills.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
If you didn’t have to worry about earning money or paying bills – how would you spend your days?

Nina:
Well, actually I spend my days now how I like them. So I have a lot of time to write. I also like to journal. I have a lot of time to be present. We have urban wildlife. We have some urban friends in the form of crows and squirrels that we feed and they come to visit us. I have my mornings where I drink and enjoy my coffee or tea. When I do my work I really enjoy doing my work whether it’s reaching out to people, working on product development with my cofounder in California or talking with Sid, my cofounder in India about business development or business plans. I would say I spend my days largely not worrying about earning money or paying bills.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
What’s your go-to song when you need a boost of confidence or pick me up?

Nina:
Actually I don’t have a particular go-to song. I sing. So what I do is I start singing and practicing singing and that gives me a little bit of fun. I can fail with that. My voice can be really funny sometimes but I try again and so it picks me up because I become really present to how I sound and sometimes I make up my own songs, sometimes I sing other songs. But it makes me feel good and gives me a boost of confidence. Even when I feel like I’m not singing well I can practice – so I guess the confidence comes from learning to get better at something. Singing is what helps me, what picks me up.

Nina Del Marr
Nicole Paulus

Nicole:
Thank you Nina and good luck for the future!

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