(LSJ) Two years after I lost my touch for writing I have been slowly awakening from the workaholism I have been in . After finalising my M.Sc (2007) in Lappeenranta University of Technology everything should have been in upper-right position. But, the markets plummeted in October 2007. The concequenses for me were serious. Firstly, I could not get a job from Industrial Management field since all positions was closed in Finland 2007-2008 (Paper industry, f.e.). Secondly, my stock portfolio suddenly lost 65 % of its value. To sell anything from my portfolio was not an option. Thirdly, web 2.0 was not yet selling to the masses. Twitter was a promising platform, nothing else, and Facebook either weren t that interesting at the time. MySpace was a marginal stuff here in Finland. Google Adwords did work, but I did want to end-up with selling ads.
Luckily, or so I thought at the time, I managed to get a second job, driving a minivan.
After driver s license for a truck, and then second grade for a 88 seats bus, I could be accepted as bus driver 2008.
The pros of driving minivan, or mobile consulting as I call it, is that the customer base is somewhat endless . Travelling stays no matter what markets say. Back in 2008 I remember waiting for a customer with my Nokia N73 reading emails and trying to stay in the picture with all the news technology and other issues I was following. This turned out to be an lost battle. Writing anything with a phone was not possible, neither to think any larger managerial issues while serving on the road.
(Today, I have IPhone, and with Squarespace IPhone App there is possibility to blog on the road. Wait my first postings to finalize).
Day and Night
I was working day and night to ensure that lifetime Studios would have a second chance after the turn expected would come in and save my portfolio. My plans to move to San Francisco were just about to realize when the economy over there went down. I decided to keep on driving, and wait for the next up-turn here and there.
The night shifts (two per week) had their toll. As of age of 44, my memory started to faint occasionally. Writing anything after night shift is, well impossible. Luckily for me I kept running although my marathon results started to sink from 3.30 toward 4.30 and beyond. Sitting in a car is hardly a good way to keep fit, not mentioning the truck driver s menu available with the coffee shops and McDonald s Drive-Inns. I gained some weight, which now is slowly going down.
It took me nearly 2 years to find any new customers for Lifetime Studios. This gave me the opportunity to bias my workload even more and start writing and doing things I love the most. The best part of driving is that you deal with real people. I do like that. For an engineer, this has been real social skills school. To listen more, and not to argue. I have learned a tons of good advices in these years for people management too. Sometimes, i have felt that I have been accepted as a driver, and felt secretly some pride about it. Really nice for a old geek like me.
Back to Lifetime Studios
Today I am focused with programming again. I love to write code. Blogging is still the best thing in web for me. I don t work at nightshifts. This gives me clarity to think. I run everyday, and the goal for me is 6th of March Marato de Barcelona. I even decided to lauch Marathon School here in Espoo. It is not yet clear wether it will go. But for me that is not the main issue. I will be running there anyhow.
I think I am a bad sales person. But, I have never given up for being an Entrepreneur, as this is my twenty second year of being owner of Lifetime Oy Ltd. It has never really payed me off, but I feel great satisfaction of the ideas and businesses that I have been innovating and motivating over the years. Maybe yours too? I could mention few big names (maybe in my book).
My advice to young entrepreneur would be: Never give up, give yourself time, and maybe your startup make big. I am big fan of your idea . Don t expect to see miracles, in weeks, or even years. Unless you are in SF ;-)
I would need 1-3 new customers that would need 20-30 hours totally per week to step-up to next level with Lifetime Studios. This sounds like a modest step, but in the Finnish business climate, sometimes this seems even too tough to cope with. The sky is a bit lower than it used to be ;-)
The Guilty Feeling
Many new Social Media advisers, business owners etc. have started their business between 2007 and today. They must be thinking of me as lazy or bizarre person that never attends any meetings or seminars. The plain reason has been money, I needed to work all-time instead of sitting and having conversations with friends. Other times I have had family reasons. I am sorry about the situation. I do believe though Mr. Charlie Chaplin s advice: Don t go to parties to show yourself. Instead make them come to your movies But I DO regret being this bad company. My sincere apology.
The coming years will tell me, wether it is possible to recover from the drivers seat. However, I will make a try.