My clients in Hong Kong told me before I moved to Denmark: no matter where you are, you want to create new things. It was a compliment that I often remind myself: “I can do it.”
But sometimes I ask myself if Denmark is a good place for a posted person to be an entrepreneur? Do you look beyond the horizon, do you see limitations or opportunities? How can we make a difference to achieve what we want?
Dealing with a new language in a limited market with conservative banking while developing a network and resources … you will always hear a familiar negative voice when faced with the challenges of your journey – do not let them be your limitation!
Learning in Legoland
When I arrived in Billund, the small Lego town with only 6,000 inhabitants (actually smaller than the skyscraper where I lived in Hong Kong!), I was worried at first, but I soon became optimistic and saw the difficulty as an opportunity.
I realized I needed to offer something Lego could not offer, and find the hole in the market. After all, it is only after you have taken the first step out of your front door that you can see the condition of the roads.
I remembered a memory of being eight years old and attending piano lessons. At the time, I told myself I wanted to be my own boss and have a better concept than what was presented to me. Since then, I have always wanted to create something better.
Before Denmark, I was used to being independent. It’s exciting to monitor your progress: increase sales, achieve goals, create a business. I get a lot of satisfaction when I see the characters move in the right way.
Family first and foremost
As a mother, I have taken full control of my destiny as I want to ensure that I can give my daughter a good life. Having custody is a big responsibility that I take very seriously.
Moreover, I want to be a proud foreigner: a role model who has built his own business in what can be a challenging country!
So, of course, I have to run a profitable business that I can control. With more earnings comes more freedom!
We all have different formulas and goals for how we can find our way. And here are some of my thoughts and experiences that I hope will be useful, and perhaps even inspiring, for CPH POST readers.
Think big: wish it all
There are many challenges when establishing yourself in a new country. You have to be a little crazy to pursue a big dream of what you want to achieve. Seeing the big picture is the fuel you need to overcome the challenges along the way.
And you really need a great desire to make it happen. If you lack passion and are not thrilled when it comes to thinking about your feet, you give up all too easily when faced with challenges.
Your passion will shine through: when you grow the business, when you make customers happy, and when you have breakthroughs. Sometimes I even found myself screaming in the middle of the night when a new idea came to me. Entrepreneurs are a crazy breed!
It is true that all such obstacles along with voices from negativity will sometimes frustrate you, but you can always count on your great desire to take up again and save your dream.
Get excited about creating ideas. It is exciting to see the growth of the company. Get excited about happy customers. This makes me curious to learn and improve myself.
Nothing can kill my position. This is important. You will be amazed at how many people respond to a big heart – sometimes in the most unexpected situations.
Sometimes people helped me without even asking for anything in return. When I asked why, they told me that they would not have helped me if I had been a complainant and too quick to give up. They wanted the best for me because they could see that I’m a fighter – especially when it’s getting tough – and they really wanted me to succeed.
Keep an eye out for my future articles where I will share some of the many challenges I have overcome. Sometimes doing it as an entrepreneur is like playing a game: we have to win the battle and move on to the next level.
Filter the negative votes
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Not everyone has your desire to achieve something big and crazy. Remember: their limitations are not your limitations.
These negative voices will tell you a lot: there is no market, it is too difficult, it is impossible, the competitors offer lower prices, no one has done it before, someone has already tried, but failed, etc …
But remember that you (yourself) and you (your products or services) are different from others. Choose a value that accurately reflects your quality, and do not choose the lowest possible price to chase the market. Keep an eye out for some of my examples in future pieces.
You may have heard of the Jante Law. As an expat to start here, I would say the opposite is necessary. You have to be different: to stand out and be a little crazy. Sure, we should be humble and open to learning new things – especially now everything is going digital – but do not follow the Jante Law to the letter if you want to be an entrepreneur.
Even if you want to expand your Danish network, which competes with many years old relationships, from friends to business partners, be yourself and be different. Authenticity is sympathetic – it’s a way to attract new friends or business and create lasting relationships.
I repeat: do not fall into the trap of the Jante Act – I hope that all Danes out there will forgive me!
Make Danish friends
Through my divorce, start-up and expansion and corona, I have, of course, faced many different challenges. And along the way, I really appreciated the help from friends, networks and family.
Some of it was unexpected and touching. Remember that all angels are shining stars for you, so be thankful for all that help and put your heart into it.
Go out the door to expand your network, and remember it is really important to have Danish friends – in private as well as in business.
I was so proud when I quickly expanded in my first year in 2019 after starting from scratch. It went pretty fast as a startup. I said to myself: “Viola – I did! I have millions of revenue in two years. “To start – that is a good number in Denmark.
I have to admit that corona has postponed some of my plans as well as millions in revenue. But when things happen fast, you need quick fixes. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to make quick decisions – especially when it’s a startup. Now things are under control, I expect to take off like a rocket.
What next, crazy lady?
Corona can not stop me. I’m sure I can create another exciting business, more scalable in size and volume with less geographical limitation – and more digitized.
It must be a company that provides social value – for the environment, for medical progress. The more we can contribute, the healthier the world and society will be.
Because of the violent nature of my upbringing, I am most attracted to helping disadvantaged children. I once organized a charity event and donated all the proceeds to an orphaned organization. It was not a large amount, but it was a start. Money is not the only way to help either.
There are several things I would like to share with you about my journey. Looking forward to the next article!
Source: The Nordic Page