Entrepreneurship and design goes hand in hand
I often found myself looking out of the window, the soft leaves that every spring sprung out from their buds.
The green grass in the peak of summer where the horses grazed.
A world of colour that came when autumn knocked on the door, the wind running through the hair.
Freezing cold feet and the relief of sitting in front of the fire with a hot chocolate in the darkest of winter.
Building blocks towards entrepreneurship and design
A creative child, holding tightly to a pen. I would make a name for myself as an artist they told me in school. The teachers would smile as illustrations of elephants, horses, houses, structures and people filled my papers. I even bought books to self study the anatomy of the body, typographic techniques, calligraphy, body language, animal behaviour, drawing technique and design.
Looking back, taking initiative, asking questions and being driven to excel in your chosen subject are characteristic of true entrepreneurship and design.
The digital media world, entrepreneurship and design
I knew at an early age that I needed a creative job with freedom to explore and shape, so I added extra lessons where possible in type writing, illustration, design, multimedia, philosophy and computer lessons.
But it wasn’t until later I realised that I wanted to run my own company and become an entrepreneur.
Languages was never my best subject in school, however I where able to write compelling stories but the grammar was never quite there. However the computers with spellchecker and grammar correction opened a new world and I still benefit from the early html lessons. I could see it clearly even then, the chosen pathway was made up early. The strategy was to develop skills in design, media, digital illustration and photography and much more.
The next step was to raise the grades in English to achieve my next goal, HyperIsland in Karlskrona, where I studied Design & Technology integrated with Project management, company- and marketing strategy. To furthermore enhance English I choose to work in England, London and it was here I met Kevin while working for Yahoo! Europe as a graphic designer.
The idea of running my own business took shape, the word entrepreneurship entered my vocabulary.
Starting and running my own business became part of my goal and vision, somewhere along the way I had to become an entrepreneur.
But I don’t think at this stage that I knew what shape or form I would have it running. I registered the first business in my name when I was 21 as a graphic designer. It was a hard learning curve and my first attempt failed, but I didn’t give up.
Service minded and customer relations
While thinking about what I wanted to do next I started to work in coffee shops, I realised to my pleasure and surprise that I was great at creating customer relations and whenever I was on shift the tip box was full.
I always wanted to provide the best possible service for my customers. Going the extra mile and enhancing the service with a wow-feeling no matter what the field I was working with, but the nagging feeling was still there, I wanted to be an entrepreneur no matter what.
I started up a Swedish independent coffee shop when I was 24 by London Waterloo, Småland Coffee, this time I had more experience, stamina and had a complete strategy and marketing plan. It was hard work being the director of a company, steep learning curves with stupid hours at the start, but I was stubborn, ambitious and I knew what I wanted. I did all aspects of the business but did out source the end of year and final bookkeeping.
The business became a success, I where able to step out of the operations and only manage it after a few years and later on I employed manager and staff. To prove the concept to both myself and others, I where even able to sell coffee shop as an ongoing business 6 years later.
Guidelines and Motto
I developed my own mottos while running the coffee shop, so if I got scared to do something or I had to do something I did not like to do I formulated my own guidelines and motto in this quote: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. With the added mindset that the worst scenario would be to get a no, and I have survived many naysayers.
To bridge and handle staff, coworkers, vendors and pretty much everything else I formulated this quote “If I don’t know about it, I can’t do anything about it!” I believe strongly that these two quotes has helped me overcome the biggest mountains and have made me take different routes to reach my goals, rather than to give up..
I learned to project manage myself and the business, create concepts and give me valuable experience for future work.
I was indeed an entrepreneur with a successful business to lean on for my portfolio and had achieved what I set out to do.