Last autumn I was desperately trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was on maternity leave but my daughter had turned one and I was planning to return to work even though I did not have a job to return to. My domain was digital marketing but somewhere along the road I had lost my interest in it. Then in September I saw somewhere, maybe in social media, a blog post by Finnish author and speaker Jari Sarasvuo.
He had 50 tickets to Nordic Business Forum and he was donating them. Only thing you had to do was to fill a short application so I applied and got not only the ticket but I was also able to participate in his exclusive group training. He had one condition: we had to show our appreciation to the speakers and give standing ovation in the end of every speech. I had no problem with that, I had been secretly thinking that conference audiences are usually a too still crowd and a bit of action would not harm anyone.
Twitter is on fire and afterward – nothing happens
Big conferences usually have another kind of problem too. You go to the conference, during it you post things in social media like a mad(wo)man and after conference when you go home, nothing changes. I don’t mean that people should do profound changes in their lives after every conference they attend. But usually even though people realize some kind of new things would be useful, there is no time or money or there is some other kind of obstacle in their minds which prevents them from executing the plan. I was lucky to have the energy and time in my life to be able to process the ideas I got from the conference.
With the courage from Jari’s lessons and the ideas form NFB 2016 speakers I decided to launch a new career as an entrepreneur and my business would be digital marketing. I had had my own company for several years, I had founded it for book publishing (Hakusanamainonnan ABC, Helsinki–Berliini) but I had not used it much for other things.
You know what’s the funniest thing in my story? I had possessed everything I needed to become a serious entrepreneur: I had the skills, networks and tools. But believing in myself was buried somewhere inside me. From NBF I got the key to open the lock and release my spirit.
My new career
It’s an understatement if I say that being entrepreneur has been awesome. I do digital marketing and other marketing and service design -related projects. During the spring I managed to work less hours because I wanted to be with my daughter, then I had my month-long summer holiday and now I work ”my full time”. ”My full time” means that I go swimming or do some other kind of sports during the day – if I don’t take care of myself, no-one else will. I’ve still managed to pay myself salary that exceeds my previous ones.
Of course there have been darker days in my year as well. I managed to almost burn out myself in two months.I had so many interesting projects going on at the same time and of course I said yes to everything. At the same time my partner travels a lot and because of this we had a relationship crisis. Now I’ve learnt that saying no is as important as saying yes. I’ve also learnt the importance of relaxation – thank god for mindfulness and yoga.
Because I’m in charge of my schedule, I’m happy there is time to my newest venture: I’ve decided to start angel investing I offer my knowledge and access to my networks in exchange of sweat equity. Because I’m a tree hugging hippie inside, I’m especially searching for companies that create products or services related to wellbeing or saving energy. After NBF I look for another Finnish mega-event: Slush.
You use a lot of time working – why waste time in something you don’t like?
What is the most important thing at the moment is that even though the money is nice, I go to work every day smiling. I am those annoying persons who love Mondays and think that Friday arrives way too fast. Fortunately the weekends with my precious family are good for my head – I would suffer far too many burn outs in the future without them. The funny thing is that digital marketing which caused me previously headaches has now turned into something I enjoy. I love my home country and I also believe that digital marketing is something Finnish companies need in order to survive the global competition.
So thank you Jari Sarasvuo and Nordic Business Forum for opening a door to my current life. I really look forward this year’s conference! If you are coming to Nordic Business Forum and not sure what to do with your life, let NBF open your mind. You know and can more than you think.