So far so good? Freelance life

Freelance life for me meant jumping in with both feet kind of blind folded, not that I hadn’t thought it through carefully, I had. And I did and still believe that this is the way one can work and have a career in 2016 and in the future. But like they say – if it was easy and all planned out in detail it would not be: A.Fun B.Adventurous C.Different

I wanted to give freelance living a shot as a part of my career experience because I truly believe that this is where the world is heading ,in terms of professional careers and how businesses have to operate today and tomorrow. In my private life I have many close friends that run their own businesses, they are a great inspiration. When you know you are doing something you believe in, the conclusion is simply that life is too short not to give it a 100% try.

On a personal note I can add that loving your marketing job and being a total workaholic will drive you very close to the famous wall. So before I got to close to it, I decided to combine a choice for a better lifestyle and a freelance marketing career.

The freedom is priceless.

Sure I have scheduled conf calls with clients, deadlines, and all the work that goes into client projects as well as pitching and marketing. But I still have, most of the time, freedom to get up at 6 am and work intensively until 11 am or 1 pm, then go for a run and do some reading.  Then during the evening  get back to a bit of work again. Or, I will just have a regular 9-5 office day like anyone else, or go to the beach in the morning and work full evening. Sometimes I will take a Monday off and work Saturday instead. Each week is a little different, depending on the workload, the season, and if I am travelling or not. Yes, travel. I could be sitting anywhere in the world writing this blog post or working on a marketing strategy for a client. Digital nomads are defined by the way the travel around the world whilst they are working for clients all over the world. I really wasn’t that keen on travelling around all the time, so I usually work from home or a coworking office in Ibiza where I live. Digital expat, or just plain immigrant that works online if you will.

In the workplace, we are moving towards more flexible arrangements where the individual is working with multiple companies at the same time. A lot of it is knowledge work, which can be done from anywhere. Stephane Kasriel, CEO Upwork, and co-chair of the Global Future Council on Education, Gender and Work By 2030, will we all be our own boss?

The flexibility is key

With no commute to the office & short efficient meetings on the phone or through Skype, I can work very efficiently. Take out half an hour to one hour a day for commuting, and around two- three hours per day for meetings, that is the time I am saving. Which means I can work four to five hours per day efficiently, with no breaks, and be done for the day. Or I can decide to do ten hours per day for three days and then have a some time off. Which means my work hours can be very flexible, depending on project deadlines of course. I have no boss, but the client is the boss. Clients are in different locations, and some times so am I. For the most part that is just a minor detail in the equation (translates to; the clients don’t really care where you are, as long as they can reach you on the phone or Slack, and you deliver on time). For some this way of working is a bit premature and will take some getting used to. But not to be worried, I do believe this is the path for many in the future, not just marketing consultants as myself. It is estimated that by 2020, 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent works – freelancers, contractors and temporary employees. Also, new platforms that pair talent and businesses, and co-working spaces around the world, is now built around this gig-economy.

The finding inspiration part

People are usually more receptive of creative thoughts when they are doing something that has nothing to do with the creative task, for example during or after a run or a nice walk, reading, driving your car etc. Inspiration can come from anywhere and there are many techniques that can help, but usually it helps to stop forcing it and do something completely different for a little while. Then you draft out a couple of ideas, and as you line out how the idea can work in a strategy it usually hits you which idea is viable and not.

I also need to keep myself up to date with all things relating to marketing and social media, which is my profession and therefore my responsibility.  I dedicate hours in my schedule every week to read up on marketing and social media news, to read blogs, find case studies and other great marketing work to learn from, search twitter for relevant content, and watch vlogs on YouTube. Everything is available on the internet, absolutely everything, e.g. I took a course in Gamification at the University of Pennsylvania online – for free (www.coursera.org). The question is not what you can learn, it is how disciplined are you?

The future

Someone told me once; it is just as important to learn to say no, as to say yes. Don’t waste your time, focus is key.

Simply put; as a marketing consultant I have decided to do mainly two things – marketing strategy & social media. For some that means developing a marketing strategy from scratch, for some it means reviewing existing marketing strategy. Some clients need a social media strategy, content plan, followed by operational tasks, and some just need some direction in what this all means for their business. Often there is also a gap between a business´marketing strategy and what/how they communicate in social media – and that usually also needs to be addressed.

This is what I do, and I love what I do. Ask anyone, I am a total geek at heart.

2015 was the foundation, and trial- and error, year (it was more like a quarter of a year to be fair), 2016 was the “yes I’m in business” year, and 2017.. let´s just say it will be VERY exciting! And as always; careful what you wish for;)

I know I am blessed and fortunate to have this life, and I am very grateful.  However, I do believe everyone is responsible to create the life they want for themselves. Which is why I can, and will, attach this “I’m just casually posing in the sunset rays, with a glass of cava, oh and a strawberry ” wishing you a very happy new year – may all your dreams come true in the new year!

¡Feliz año nuevo!

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Designing Experiences

If you started a company today, what would the experience look like?

Many of the companies that have been around for 50 years, 100 years or even longer, have a certain model, system or program for how their experience is supposed to look like. This have for the most part changed over time, but slowly – a reflection on how the world changed. And these changes have often followed the world changes, not been in the forefront of the changes.

But what if you could start fresh today? Scratch everything you know to be true about  your business/industry/product/service experience today and start over, with a complete open mind and “everything is allowed” mindset. And if you are going to make changes, you should make big bold ones that takes your business into the forefront of your industry. Don’t adjust your current experience model – make a new one! And while you´re at it, it better not reflect today’s world but what your world, the industry you are in, will look like tomorrow.

Tesla & Amazon use technology to improve or all together change experiences; we thought they were making new kinds of products but they have actually changed the way we view and experience the world of today and the world of tomorrow.

To exemplify I want to show you some great examples from different industries:

AirBNB launching “Experience Host” service; knowledgeable hosts creating a new unique experience around a city every time. Giving new meaning to “travel like a local”.

Diplo, Major Lazer & DJ Snake released the major hit “Lean On” independently without any gigantic music label backing, it went viral.  It is the most streamed song of all times on Spotify. And the low budget video made in under 24h has 1,7 Billion views on YouTube.

Vail Resorts, the world’s first global ski resort brand? Vail Resorts low-priced Epic Pass give guests unlimited access to all of Vail’s mountains,  fosters skier loyalty, gives the company insight into its customers´skiing habits – which the company use to personalise its marketing and improve the on-mountain experience for guests. Personally I believe this represents a huge opportunity for designing new experiences in skiing tourism as well.

Gene editing; scientist and doctors have edited the genes of a baby about to die from aggressive leukemia. It´s by no means ready for mass production, but this experience opened a big bright door to the future.  (Read the full story here: http://nbcnews.to/2fQP5rY)

Disruption is the new stability, disruption is the new normal

Why I <3 tech

Yes, I’m getting my geeky side on;)  But don’t worry, this is not about tech “stuff” or  1´s and 0´s. This is about what technology can do as a good for mankind and impact our lives in a positive and magical way.

Many see technology as a distraction instead of how it actually is a disruption that improves our lives. As all fun things it can also be used in a non-positive context of course, but that is not the focus of this blog article.  The objective of this blog article is to make you love technology too.

Technology is such a big part of our lives now and will continue to play an even bigger part in our future lives. It enables us to communicate with our loved ones across the globe just as easy as we can broadcast our message to a world of strangers.  It helps you monitor and improve your health, keeps track of your daily schedule, it increases the efficiency of your work, it simplifies your grocery shopping, and keeps your car and house secure and updated. But how can it actually improve YOU?  Let´s start with the most familiar; your daily activity. Whether you have a FitBit on your wrist or use the iPhone integrated health app you are now aware how much you move in a day. If you work out on a regular basis you are probably aware of your different pulse levels and calories burned during your workout. If you have any health issues where you need to keep track of what and when you eat and drink, an app on your smartphone might be very useful as well.

But what about your mental health? Maybe you don’t address your mental health at all? Exercise  strengthens your mental health, so does taking breaks, breathing and enjoying life. But do you make sure your mind performs to the best of it´s ability ? And do you take care of your mind the same way you take care of your phone, your mac, your car or your house? Ancient techniques to improve mental health can now of course be find in apps on your phone through guided meditation and yoga apps. With a meditation app on your phone it is to get started or keep up your daily ritual anywhere. But what really is innovating within mental health in 2016 is how technology can be used to promote mental health wellness and treat mental health issues. A great new example is the app Pacifica which is a self-help resource for anxiety. Pacifica incorporates principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and wellness to break the cycle of anxiety.

Another more sophisticated technological device for home use to help treat depression, anxiety and insomnia is the Fisher Wallace Stimulator. It let’s you sit at home and engage in neurostimulation therapy. This may be a future substitute to prescription pills.

These are just a few examples of how far technology innovation has come in the medical field. But how can we make sure that these innovation are available to everyone? One part of the solution is of course to make sure that health personnel everywhere get the best training possible. In April 2016 the first ever cancer surgery was broadcasted live in Virtual Reality, which enabled medical students to get a much “closer” look into the surgery procedure than if they had actually been in the same room as the doctor and patient.

Then combine this type of VR with hologram and 3D printing and you have the next level of medical training and surgery.  Already there are neurosurgeons have operated 3D printed parts to use in the human skull! (If you have an particular interest in this, watch this TEDx talk where it is all explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9J9ApJZdbI)

So my point is that technology plays such a big part in our lives, has such an impact, and the opportunities seems to be endless. You can use it to improve your life and professionals can use it to sustain or further enhance your quality of life.  And that is why I love technology. I will leave you with this heartfelt story

 

 

Your passion!

Passion is defined by the Oxford dictionaries as as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

Do you know what your passion is? Or passions are? Can you say it out loud?  If you don`t know what your passion is – you need to find out. Not because you should quit everything you know and go chase/pursue/follow it, but because without it; does life really make sense?

If you don`t believe you have a passion, or several, read the definition at the top one more time. Or a more impactful exercise; imagine someone telling you that you can never do that thing ever again. How does it make you feel?

You might be passionate about gardening, working out, travelling, books, science, cooking, football, making art, teaching, learning, sales, fashion, writing, fixing cars or in what ever business field  you are in.

Your passion is what drives you, it drives you to be in a passionate state, and that passionate state often lead to happiness. And sometimes it is the result of being able to do, or take part in, several of the things you are passionate about that makes you happy. Maybe you do have a passion that makes you happy – but you don`t recognize it because you haven`t  defined it? You don`t need to define it, but if you do you will appreciate it more.

I`m passionate about many things, I often find myself in passionate state of mind whilst doing a lot of things that I probably would not define as things I have an intense desire or enthusiasm for. But one of the things I am really passionate about is storytelling, in general, and the art of marketing. And when a story comes together like the one I am sharing with you today, it`s just a fantastic work of art! And I just want to discuss it , watch it over and over and share it with everybody!

Today is what matters

Every person alive have something to be grateful for. Do not feel bad about all the things you did not do in a year, think about all the things you did do this year. Start with the little things and your thoughts will grow from there. This year I am grateful that I decided to smile more and chose happiness.

I am also grateful that I built up the courage to make some big changes this year; quit my job, move to another country, setting up a freelance business. But every change does not have to be big in order to have an effect; today decide to smile more and notice what a difference it makes to you and the people around you.

When we enter a new year we all think that this is the one day we all can make a change. Truth is that what we do today is what matters most, which means that you have a fresh start every single day of the year. So start today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

To keep focused and on the right path  I find these guidelines useful and hope you will to:

  • Follow your passion
  • Do more of what you love
  • Stop caring about what other people think
  • Learn to let go
  • Don’t have one goal – have many goals, small and big bold!

Have a great day, a great start, and a happy new year!

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Why I love Ibiza life

Inspired by the blog post from the IbizaInside blog about reasons to live in Ibiza, here are my top ten reasons why I love to live in Ibiza:
1.  The chill lifestyle
You just ease into the flow of the island. From my perspective it means people here are more relaxed, have more time, less stress, enjoy the small talk with the neighbours and, and the climate allows for quality time outside with your friends and family.
2.The Energy
Ibiza is beautiful but so are many other places in the world. What makes Ibiza special is the islands energy. You may not be able to pick up on that if you are only here for a party-binge holiday, but if you are able to visit the island for some relaxing you-time it will truly speak to you.
3.The Island life summer vs winter 
If you live in Ibiza all year you get the best of both worlds. During summer you get to spend time at sea, at the fantastic beaches and beach restaurants, experience some of the best music and parties in the world, meet a lot of interesting and eccentric people from all over the world, and more restaurants than you will ever have time for are available all over the island. In the winter it is quite the opposite. Many beach restaurants are still open but compared to summer there are no tourists, you can find beaches where you will be all alone, you spend more time chilling over dinner and some wine than partying, you can still be outside in the sunshine having lunch, and exercise outside.
4. The international community
Ibiza is home to people from all over the world, and hence you connect and get friends from all over the world.  There are  the local Ibicencos, Spanish mainland movers, a large Dutch community, the Italians, the Brits, and many more.
5. People here try harder not to judge
You like the “hippie” lifestyle? That´s cool
You like high end parties? That´s cool
You like to dress out/up? That´s cool
Ibiza and it’s people have an open mind.
6. The cuisine 
All though most people don´t move to the island for the food. Once you live here you start to experience all the islands food delights. You have the local “bullit de peix”, pintxos, tapas, and all kinds of seafood, combined with high quality international cuisine such as Italian, Japanese, Thai, and Mediterranean menus. And on the rise a variety of vegan, vegetarian, organic, and just plain healthy  food options. Restaurants are too many to mention but there is everything from pop up fish shacks right on the beach to the most expensive restaurant in the world, and everything in between.
7. Being outdoors all year round
With an average of about 300 sunshine days you can do your favorite activity outside most days.
8. The Music
Original House music, disco, techno, dance, chill house, progressive house, dubstep, underground, EDM aka “commercial” , 80s, rock and even traditional Spanish music. There is something for everyone, you just need to know where to look, & hear;)
9. Sunrise and sunset
Magnificent sunrises and sunsets, all year. Wether you experience them on your own, take part in the ritual-like sessions with hippie-drummers, do yoga or meditation – the experience, or as you walk out of the club – the experience will always make you smile, make you a little happier and give you peace of mind.
10. Formentera
Our neighbor island is just a boat ride away and is a little piece of the caribbean with amazing beaches, crystal clear waters, and peaceful as if time stood still.
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What I´ve learned so far

What have you learned in life? 

Everything you do in life will teach you something. Think about it; that one time when you hit your thumb with the hammer it hurt and you were more careful the next time, you giving a compliment will make someone smile, and working hard to reach a goal will get you closer to achieving that goal. Paying attention to all reactions to your actions in life will make you as a person grow. If you do not pay attention to the reactions and what it will teach you, there is a great chance you´ll just keep on repeating the same actions without considering if they are the right ones. 

Life is all about learning; from the little things to the greater questions. I´ve learned that a positive mind will create more opportunities than a negative spirit ever will, you can not make everyone happy and you should be ok with that, being confident enough to be the real you will make you happier, if you do not take care of yourself you will not be able to take care of others, doubt probably kills more dreams than failure ever will, and shopping on sale will not save you money;)

Make sure you keep learning by paying attention, every single day. This will help you focus, make better decisions, work smarter and hence achieve your goals. 

Here is a little exercise to get you started; write down in  a journal or in the notepad on your phone how a normal day in your life makes you feel; are you always in a rush? does eating breakfast make you feel better? do you say «no» a lot? do you live in a happy environment? do you actually make the effort to have a positive influence on your surroundings? to you take care of yourself so that you can better take care of your loved ones? is your mind sharp and focused in your professional life? Write the notes as  detailed as possible and then go voer them the day after and see where there is room for improvement and that´s where you start to pay attention, in each of these moments. 

No regrets, just lessons, pay attention
No regrets, just lessons, pay attention