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.
Skjermbilde 2015-11-25 kl. 14.08.03

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

Tired of following the rules? Here are your new rules

Either you are perfectly happy with your life, you just lack a little bit of motivation or feel you are not living the true you and need a big change, these new rules may encourage you to start the path to a happier you or keep going.

Your new rules:

  • Stop caring what people think
    • And by this I don`t mean not listening to sound advice – there is a difference between advice and what people who will never understand you think. Trust your intuition.
  • Say yes more – it will make you happier
    • The stress factors in our life have a tendency to make us turn down opportunities disguised as more work, or that we feel come with more consequences than we believe we can handle, or we are just in a “no” world where we say no without even thinking. This goes for the big things as well as the little things. Here are some examples: We believe you would be a good fit to join our board of directors, would you please consider to join us? Yes. Want to join us for a walk outside during lunch break? Yes (the eating at the desk situation will not make you more efficient). Our team are doing a 5K run together this weekend? (..you are not a runner..) Yes. I read this book, I recommend you read it too as i found it very interesting! Yes, thank you. Dad can you please dress up as Elsa from Frozen. Yes, of course.
  • Throw stuff
    • People should move more, then this would not have to be explained. But we don´t so; getting rid of clutter and the stuff you put in your basement because you were to lazy to throw away or make a decision about is a truly liberating experience. Less focus on materialistic things will also broaden your perspective in life.
  • Start a new ritual to be more creative
    • This can be anything, try things that might be completely new to you and you will find what works for you. Here`s a little morning ritual that works for me: when the alarm rings I have calculated extra time for me to go into the kitchen and make a cup of coffee and then jump back into bed. Once in bed with my coffee I feel content that I now have set aside time to drink my coffee and I start to read up on different news sites, blogs and a quick update in my social media channels, even a bit of music maybe to get me started. This ritual started as a Saturday morning ritual a few years ago, but making time for this on a normal weekday have done wonders for me. I ease into a new day, my mind wakes up without the morning stress and as I start to read upon news sites, blogs and social media I get some of my best ideas and quickly write them down on my digital notepad. Even the mornings when I don´t have time for this ritual the first coffee of the day (at the airport, at another office etc) makes me think about my ritual and brings me back to the same peace of mind.
  • Loosen up and focus
    • To be good you need to feel good. This means that you need take care of your body and your mind. You might be feeling good now, but you don´t t know what you are capable of before you have committed to take well care of you. This, speaking in general terms, means that you do need to exercise (anything from walking to yoga to cross fit), and this is closely linked with the mind which we can take care of through meditation. Recent research studies from Harvard unveils that meditation does not only relaxes you but also has an effect on the brain structure (part of the central nervous system). And last but not least pay attention to what you eat and drink, make sure you get your recommended intake of greens and water. These three things combined is what will keep you relaxed, sharp and focused.

Like everything else you have to invest to succeed with these new rules. And you might even add your own rules to this list as you develop a happier truer you.

Go on, give it a try, I dare you;)

Say Yes More

the world is…changing

At university Thomas Friedman´s book ” The world is flat” was  a mandatory read. Now years later many of us have experienced  the examples from the book, though a little outdated the key elements of this are stil true today. It is all about how the world keeps getting smaller and the markets bigger, the level playing field is very much global in terms of the actual market or it at least is impacted by it in some way. I am sure you can relate to this both privately and in your work environment, either by personal experience or through the experiences of the company you work for.  It all basically comes down to change and how we choose to deal with it. Often we think ´how will this change affect me´ rather than ´how can I discover new opportunities within this change´? I wish I could say that choosing the latter was easy with a little bit of effort, but as all valuable things this does not come easy. It is you that will have to take charge in stead of waiting for the impact to hit you. But it definitely is a long term strategy that will keep your soul as well as your business alive.

Choosing to embrace the opportunities that lies within change instead of seeing it as a threat to overcome will open great new paths and opportunities. Businesses all over the world are embracing change and taking advantage of the new opportunities, and if you have not already you need to get going as there are new changes emerging and happening in a pace faster then ever. Online retailers have changed the way we shop, airlines staff up on customer services located in different time zones to meet clients 24/7 service expectations, media publishers are adapting to all platforms available; snapchat, facebook, apple watch, tumblr to deliver the latest news to us, the music business is releasing new an renewed streaming services faster than we can even keep up.

This can, and in some cases will, affect the local businesses work force, meaning unemployment rates are going up. But then again who says that your next customer or colleague will have to be in the same room or even in the same city or country as you? Your employer may have to outsource some services, or all together close your place of work. Either way in this position you have to try to embrace this change by seeing it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn another line of work, start your own business within a different field or with a different target audience, or go freelance. In the US an estimated 34% of the American work force are freelancers. According to Forbes.com this number is expected to reach 50% by 2020. And freelancers are no longer just associated with small businesses, the emerging freelance economy means flexibility to both small and larger businesses across the world. This also means new and bigger opportunities for freelancers; work with partners and clients across broders, and from anywhere in the world. This puts you in the driver seat of your life and business.

The enabler for embracing the changes coming, besides you, is of course the technology provided to us today and tomorrow. Technology enables us not only to keep in touch with our friends and families but also to run businesses online; marketing, conversations, distribution, sales, customer service, keeping your stories alive, instruct and motivate your team players, across borders. There have never been greater opportunities than now. We should be very grateful to technology and the inventors of it, but it would lead a short life if we didn´t embrace change and use the new technology.

I will leave you with some food for thought in the spirit of the global market, technology, opportunity and change:

Snapchat was founded in 2011 and today has over 100 million users per day. YouTube was founded in 2005. This week YouTube announced they are now updating their mobile app to improve the vertical video experience. Why? Because Snapchat has changed the way we watch and create video on our mobiles, and over half of YouTube videos are now played on mobile devices.

Ibiza life

So after 10 weeks of island living – where are we? What I´ve been up to so far.

Moving to another country means you of course will have to deal with all kinds of practical things, but it also means you have the opportunity to develop and learn new things. My second day in Ibiza I enrolled in  a Spanish language course that kept me busy every day for four weeks. My Spanish definitely improved a lot during this time as the course is quite intense, and I also made some new friends on the island.

Ibiza attracts people from all over the world and from all walks of life, especially in the summer. A large number of tourists (number of visitors increase each year), but also the people who have made Ibiza their home. Some are here all year round and some are here five to eight months out of the year. You have the ones very much involved in the nightlife and then you have the ones who have what one would call a more “normal” job or run businesses on the island. But hey, what is normal these days any way?  Either way the jobs and businesses very much revolve around the tourism industry. I have been fortunate enough to make some new friends that live here all year and they are building some very exciting new businesses. For these people; summer mode is work mode. They are definitely not on vacation, but when they do have a day off they get to explore this beautiful island of course.

So after the first two months of learning the language, making friends, setting up my new home and lifestyle, my summer mode is also shifting in to work mode. I intentionally took some much needed time off when I first got to the island and now I´m ready for and very excited about my new business lifestyle. It will definitely not be a fixed office hours career model, but it will be a new career model where you may be working from anywhere, anytime, with several projects both locally and abroad, and still gives you time to enjoy life. That´s what it´s all about.

And how will this new way of life and business actually be built you may wonder?  It turns out, Ibiza now has a growing community of entrepreneurs and freelancers. This is very much reflected in several co-working offices on the island (shared offices that you may rent for a day,a week or months) and networking events. This is very inspiring and certainly fuels my creative side as well as business sense. These co-working sessions and networking events have given me several new opportunities and I am very happy to share with you that I now have two very exciting projects that I am currently working on. More about what these projects next time;)

So when I`m not working? I get to enjoy Ibiza´s beautiful scenery; Ibiza´s old town, the many beautiful beaches and “calas”, the sea, the food, the relaxed atmosphere, the people, and of course the best DJs in the world. Many places in the world can provide several of these factors but only Ibiza combine them all.Ibiza, Port San Miguel

Storytelling – the Why model

As a child I loved listening to my grand parents stories, I am sure we all can relate to that. Not much have actually changed over time in terms of what is key in the ability to tell a story. The most important thing is still how you deliver it; with the personality, the passion and the ability to immerse yourself into the story. Now of course a little special effects never hurt, but still the key is the delivery. 

Now in Marketing, you may have a good story but you have to commercialize it. This is a thin line to balance; where the artistry & creativity meet the commercial marketing. We can all try to convince our selves that a beautiful story is powerful enough to do the commercial marketing job and hence reach the objective. But, we all know that even the most beautiful stories have a commercial aspect to it, a tactical message or clue if you will, the creators have just done a better job of incorporating it into the story and hence deliver the message in the story in a more efficient way. And we as consumers are convinced and persuaded through this emotional influence. I will admit that there may be a few brand exceptions here, but most likely you are not one of them. 

As a guiding tool in creating, developing and delivering a story I believe in the `WHY-model. Always have your check points in the creative process where you can ask this question. 

WHY, WHY, WHY? 

Why are you telling this story? Why is it told in this way? Why should they care? Why should they act on it?  (The list of why`s can and should of course be longer than this). 

This of course, as most of worlds creative work, looks really easy. But to incorporate it and follow it as a part of your creative process is quite painful, challenging and helpful at the same time. The answers to the Why will either take you forward in the creative process or help you improve the previous step.

Looking forward to experience your stories. And don`t forget the sprinkle on top: passion!

Stairs to...

Freelance life

There are a lot of uncertainties when you go freelance, but one thing is certain; it`s all up to you.

My new lifestyle means a life that gives me more freedom and a better quality of life (as far as I´m concerned). What it also means is that only I will be the door opener to the opportunities out there, I do believe that every one creates their one luck. And if I don`t seize the opportunities this lifestyle will be a very short lived one.

The goal of this new lifestyle is to achieve balance in life; passion work projects and enough free time to experience the little good things in life – stop and smell the roses if you will. But how do you achieve that when there actually is no recipe and you don´t have the normal routines and norms as in an office, as an employee?

I find that my recipe for the optimal balance is to set a routine that get`s you up early in the morning and keeps you productive throughout the day. But always keep a few hours a day open in order to seize new opportunities, do activities that keep your creative spirit lit and smell the roses. As mentioned the key is balance, balance in life is the key to happiness which it`s all about. What this means to me may be very different from what it means to you. If you like to work out go work out first thing in the morning. If you like to walk outside, do it first thin in the morning. If your morning ritual is to go to your local coffee shop and get your daily fix, do it first thing in the morning. Why? You kick start your day, it will give you more energy to use productively throughout the day and last but not least – we think better on our feet.

And about those new opportunities? Careful what you wish for;-)

Freelance

So simple, yet so challenging

All your life you have probably been given advice from your family, your friends, colleagues and mentors. Some of them you take to heart, others you know are true but still neglect, and then you have the ones that are based upon the norms of life – they come from a place of reason and norms; what is expected of you by society. There is of course nothing wrong with this picture, we have learned to navigate through it. But the problem is that we are not all the same and hence not all advice is suited for every person. One size does not fit all.

I have chosen to try to live my life outside the norm. I say try because it will take hard work; both in terms of the work you do with a project and setting up a company, but also hard work in terms of working on you. The difference of living within the norms and outside of them are of course not all black and white but for arguments sake let´s say they are. I would like to present and give credit to whomever invented or discovered the 2 % mindset. 2% of the population like, or even live by, the words stated outside the comfort zone circle. They choose happiness, excitement, act in spite of fear, like changes and embrace the unknown. But to most people it comes natural to seek within the comfort zone. If you take a couple of minutes and review this illustration of the 2 % mindset you will easily find the words that describe your life and the ones that don´t. There is no correct zone here; there is nothing wrong with seeking comfort and be happy about your current life. If there is one thing that I do not agree with in this illustration it is the word “dull”, living within your comfort zone and being happy about that is not dull. But this is simply a tool you can use to evaluate if where you are and how you live your life is what you want out of life.

If you find your self wanting to move out from your comfort zone; be prepared to challenge your self every day, be prepared to work very hard and be prepared to face reactions from your family, friends and colleagues. Also be prepared to not have all the answers yet. But that´s ok; this is not for them – it´s for you.

The 2 % mindset

Out of Office

But how?

That`s the most frequently asked question about my new way of live as a freelancer. Well, first of all you might have to get used to the idea that you actually won`t be able to see `how` until you are actually doing it. It is scary, but the good kind of scary.

To unleash the force that enables you to set up a plan for your freelance work you may be in need of a different environment than your usual office. And the force within you that enables you to carry out your plan will differ from person to person; it might be your creative side, your strength in building a well calculated business plan, strategy or even a spiritual side. The force is similar to the drive in your every day life that makes you achieve your personal goals or do I really good job. You may not even know, or have defined, what your force is – but we all have it and now it`s time to nurture it.

How? Take the time you have for your self in a day, 15 minutes or 1 hour, and draw or write down what you would like to do more of in your life. Forget all limitations and focus on ideas, tasks, objectives and strengths you have. This does not have to take you down a path of life changing events, even though it might, it can also help you get more of your life as it is today – but with a little more focus it is amazing how much happier and healthier you can be.

Where? If you have the chance; go or sit somewhere you normally would not, leave your living room, your house or your office and sit somewhere your force can be released. It might be alone in a secluded place or a space with lot`s of people but people who are different from you in any way, look at something beautiful, listen to some soothing music, pick up that piece of paper and start drawing and writing. The best of luck to you!

Today I went out of the office; attended a co-working & networking session on the island where I live. All freelance workers  – sitting together working on different projects in a house in the country side. This is our space for the day where the force flows free. Go Out Of the Office.

Co work Ibiza