Sweden is a country that really supports its entrepreneurs, so there's no surprise that they have so many home-grown success stories. From Spotify and Skype to Mojang and iZettle, this country of restrained personalities encourages success and supports failure.
"But they really don't boast about it!"
Sweden has just 10 million residents and that's in a land mass largely defined by forest and tundra. It has, in recent years, created more billion dollar companies per capita than anywhere else outside of Silicon Valley.
So that got me thinking; is boasting really good for business? After all, if a quiet man like Ingvar can grow a global company and still live a quiet, frugal life, do we really need to tell everyone about our awards and glory?
The Swedes work slightly differently from us. Instead of the hotshot salesperson or the rockstar CEO being the focus of things, they like to get the whole team together, ensure each voice is heard and come up with a plan that everyone contributed to, therefore everyone wants to see succeed.
"Sweden has got the art of collaboration completely nailed!"
When you start with a team of 1 (yourself), it is natural to think you have to make all the decisions, that it's all about you and you have to boast to everyone you meet about how great you are because they'll want to work with successful people.
We strive to drive the best car, wear the best clothes, take the best holidays and tell everyone we meet that we're the best at what we do. But that's boasting isn't it? The Swedes would prefer to have the best ideas, implemented by the best people, achieving the best possible results.
"So, still think boasting is good for business?"
Sweden has proven boasting isn't needed at all. Quiet confidence, a solid team and everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. That's what's good for business ... and it's certainly something I'm going to ensure happens with The Office Genie in future.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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