On the verge of my new adventure as the General Manager of TrainEngage Americas, I read Elon Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux and decided to look back at my own 5-year-plan, which I crafted on 15th of August 2011 when I was that eager 25-year-old business student in Oulu University. I had just returned from my one year Erasmus exchange in France, followed by a four-month detour in a start-up community in Mexico. At that time, I decided to devote the next five years of my life on collecting the needed skills, credibility and network to help me reach my dream:
To become an entrepreneur with a team and a mission I truly believe.
I’ve always encouraged people to dream big, but my plan wasn’t really a match for Mr. Musk’s visionary Master Plan. My goals were simple guidelines for myself to keep in mind what is important, whenever I would be at a crossroads in my life and had to consider different options:
- Get a Master’s Degree
- Find a career path that inspires and a boss that believes in you – never settle for less
- Surround yourself with people that inspire you with their attitude and skills
- Learn a skill that creates true value for growth companies
- Find opportunities and adventures beyond your own habitat aka. Finland
Crazy enough, I believed that this list would help me. Mostly because of a quote from a Finnish movie called Restless (Levottomat, 2002): “80% of our time we keep on doing something we once started”. How I interpreted this was that if I set my goals precisely enough and set them in motion, I instinctively make decisions that take me closer to my dream. Prior to this day, I have stumbled a few times, but almost exactly five years later, I can finally cross over the last bullet in my list.
For now, my work in Finland is done, and I’m flying to Mexico with my Masters’ degree, mission I believe and a brilliant startup team behind me to help me with my next goals. Most importantly, I have found a network of smart, inspiring and passionate people that have pushed me here.
Right now, Finland is such an exciting place for start-ups with all the networks, people and events. In the last 12 months I’ve participated in countless events like Summer of Startups, Slush, #BenchmarkBeers, Digitalist and latest #Marialaunch, which was a launch event for a Start-up hub founded in a old hospital.
It keeps surprising me how people in the Finnish startup community are always willing to help each other. Aren’t we Finns supposed to be the group of quiet hermits in the North? However, this is the attitude I will take with me to Mexico and try to engage the same kind of community atmosphere wherever I go next.
Thank you friends, colleagues, customers and my great team! Now I will say “See you later” and board to my next adventure. But first I will sit down and write down my next five goals, which will guide me to the next chapter… Should you too?
The article has been published before on LinkedIn.