Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Make Yourself Heard April 15, 2010

I quickly checked my email early this morning and had received one that ended with “Nu kör vi!” – Let’s do it! It got me so excited – no reason to even try getting more sleep.

So here is the story why. September 11 2001, I left Stockholm for a four, maximum nine, month’s assignment at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego (SACC). The actual timing is a different story. I loved the experience of living in San Diego, the people, the weather, and my job. As a Marketing Manager for SACC, the only full time employee for the organization, I got a chance to immediately dive into all aspects of the organization. Internal systems and information management, events, membership, website improvements, newsletter creation, branding, outreach, local and international networking, board meetings, managing team of volunteers. Excellent experience; excellent way to get a foot in to the US and establish a network. The only problem was: it wasn’t paid.  I guess the underlying problem to that was type of Visa.

Ericsson Mobile Applications, Make Yourself Heard

Ericsson watch: Make yourself heard.

I would have loved to turn SACC into a profitable organization, but that was a little difficult to do in four months with an initial membership base of 40 people paying $50 per year and some key corporate members. The survival strategy was to do really well and make myself a name. Is there any other good way to establish yourself?

On my hand wrist I had a watch that I had received as a gift from Ericsson Mobile Applications when together with Annica Andersson finished the masters thesis in marketing: “Wireless Advertising Effectiveness”, which was an evaluation of one of the first advertising trials done through SMS (text message) in 2000. The dial had the text “Make yourself heard”. That became the trigger for my own mantra.

So, why am I telling this? Because it worked. And it works. The advertising trial evaluation showed that the phone as a vehicle can work with merit as an effective advertising channel. We all know that today, with many different applications. And more importantly: do your very best, share with people who you are and what you want, and things will happen.

There is a difference in-between being full of yourself, and sharing with the world who you are and what you are up for in order to create something good. If you have a gift to bring to this world, which all of us have, then isn’t it your #*@%* responsibility to let the world know and make it happen? Seriously. I think we have passed the age of Jante Law. Thank God for social media and Web 2.0 for making it easier to get the message out there!

What trigger do you need? Join the ride.

Johanna

Oh – and the email this morning was from a real talent who had decided to step out of the box. Joy for the world! Nothing makes me so excited hearing voices/talents/idees that has been quiet far too long, eventually getting out there.

Also, SACC-USA has since then become J1 visa accredited, and offers a great internship program that American based companies can take advantage of and contribute to a unforgettable experience for an ambitious Swedish newly graduated young professional.

If you are a SACC Marketing Manager in any of the 19 regional chambers all over the US and want coaching on how to make the best out of your period here – please let me know.

 

Where did the Vikings go? March 17, 2010

Jantelagen – or, the Jante Law – I find it interesting. 1) How come that everyone in Scandinavia knows about it and refers to it as a limiting factor for self-expression and self-realization? 2) How come international analysts recognize Jantelagen as the factor holding back Swedish brands? 3) How come no one wants to be supporters of it, and yet it continues to permeate our society??? “A typical Scandinavian pattern of group behaviour that negatively portrays and criticizes success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.”

Don’t think you’re anyone special or that you’re better than us. That is the bottom line.

Isn’t it time to revert this, once and for all? I know, I know – change is in the air. And that is good. But I did get the comment when I was home – “Well, if you want to start your own business – do it in America. It would be much easier over there than here.”

In a conversation with Michael E. Gerber about entrepreneurship and the Jante Law, he asked, “How did it start? Where did Sweden come from?” I laughed and said “The Vikings!” He responded “Well – that is one kind of an answer – so, where did the Vikings go? Are you one?”

As my friend from Leadership said when reading the laws: “the Chinese culture is also very much about putting the “we” before the “I”, it is about sacrificing the self for the greater good of the group, and in reading these “laws” – it sounds more like degrading the “I” rather than raising the “we”.” Now that is a perspective to think of.

Another comment was “This sounds all very related to Shame… and what is behind it. Particularly taught shame, passed down from shame-based parents. If it is at the very core of your community, it may be that healing is required.” Could there actually be a connection?! Do we all need to heal the scars from the behavior of the Vikings?

What would it mean to bring the Viking Spirit back? Not to steal and rape, but to honor and collaborate? A Viking Spirit that has evolved from “power over” to “power within”.

And if I am a Viking? Of course I am. Are you? New Age Viking. How about that?

(Click for the documentary) And by the way – here is an example of a team in training, with Viking Spirit – the Swedish cross-country skiing team. In total 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals in the Olympic Games. Remarkably well-edited documentary by Johan Serrander! Click this link for Gröt Svett och Klistervalla. The film is available on svtplay until April 5, 2010

While on the go, I can also recommend the documentary “In the mind of Anja Pärson” (available limited time on svtplay). Did you know that behind every successful athlete stands an outstanding naprapath? Today I came accross the article in Aftonbladet with heading “Anja Pärson is flying in her own naprapath”. That was true – Carl-Fredrik Andersson resides at Spinex Naprapater in Stockholm. Always good to know good-to-go-to people.

And if you are too late for the films – the below is the alternative I can offer…

Which medal are you off to win? Let’s celebrate!

Johanna

 

 
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