You went from the edge of bankruptcy during the first year in business, back in 2015, to turn over more than 18 million euro in 2017, heading towards 45 million euro in 2018. Share one mindset that made that comeback possible.
“I would say this one, from the movie Rocky:”
How tough was that first year in business for you?
“We were on the edge of bankruptcy multiple times that year. We had taken the risk of putting more money into our business than we actually had, so that time was very stressful. During that same year both of my parents passed away as well. All that combined with being a father to two small children… well, it was hard times. When I look back at that period now, I’m very thankful that I pushed my limits – because you never know your limits until you push yourself to reach them. However, it’s nothing that I would like to experience again.”
How do you bounce back from heavy days?
“I turn on my laser focus so I can solve the problem in the best way and as fast as possible. I like to keep my brain going and I believe that activity always wins over passivity. I work hard, and besides that exercise is key for me to feel good. Intense sports like tennis are great for focusing on something other than the business for an hour or so. And I love spending time with my family and three kids. They also motivate me to keep working hard.”
What do you do generally to optimize your entrepreneurial days?
“I always aim to be more effective each day and push my limits; you learn a lot by being on the edge of what you believe you can take for longer than is comfortable. Now as the business has grown and keeps on doing so, it’s more important for me to prioritize long-term projects and strategies. That’s a big change compared to the startup phase where being a real doer is the key to success.”
What other constructive habits do you practice?
“Long evening walks with entrepreneurial friends are part of my daily routine. I also read a lot of entrepreneurial books to keep my mind stimulated with new perspectives and insights.”
You and your “partner in crime” Filip Ummer have started several businesses together. What do you believe is the secret to staying together as business partners?
“One key is to have the same expectations and goals. Our goals are very aggressive. Many people want the success but do not understand what level of sacrifice and hard work it takes. Most people simply do not want to work 16 hours a day. Filip and I are both hard workers with great ambition. As well as that, we are good friends and know each other very well.”
If you could extract only one moment from your entrepreneurial journey, which one would you choose and why?
“I would pick the day when we saw our social paid marketing really pick up. We had a ‘pling’ sound in the order system to notify us whenever an order arrived and one day it just went crazy from a single ad on Facebook. That was when we saw the great potential in social media marketing and since then we have scaled it up as fast as possible.”
What do you believe is the best way to stay relevant in the e-commerce space in the year ahead?
“First of all, constant development of all areas. You must question and criticize what you are doing every day. If you start believing that you are the champion, you will lose the game. A lot of big companies have ended up in real trouble because of competition popping up from ‘nowhere’. Another key is to be more personal and offer an individual shopping experience. And then content, content and content. It’s a must for success. We have to step up a bit there, and are currently recruiting more great people to the team. Right now influencer marketing and paid marketing on Facebook and Instagram are keys to success for us, but what works today might not work tomorrow…”
Role: Founder and CEO of iDeal of Sweden
My best entrepreneurial book recommendation: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich
My favorite shipping confirmation page: “The one from CD Baby – I think it is hilarious”
My first online purchase: “I ordered my first soccer shoes from the US as availability in Sweden was very limited at the time, I think the year was 2002. The experience was better than you might expect; delivery to the door within 48 hours, all the way from the US. I was amazed and kept on buying from the US after that even though customs charges were added on top.”
My favorite product in our webstore: Port Laurent Fashion Case “I love it because it´s a minimalistic and timeless design and still trendy and fashionable. It also offers great protection for the phone.”