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Meet Solveig! (pronounced soul•vay)
Solveig helps entrepreneurs show up as leaders in their field and inspire, persuade and influence.
Solveig believes your charisma comes from your message as well as your body language. What really inspires is your message and the greatness you are bringing to the world.
She coaches and trains entrepreneurs and companies to put themselves forward in the best possible way.
I met Solveig in a business forum and when I read her back story on her website I basically decided we had to become friends – and we did!
Tell us what you were doing before starting your business?
I’ve been a jack of all trades, or what you call a multipassionate person. Before starting my business I was working for a strategic communication company doing business in the Middle East. I did a bit of everything from accounts, hiring and firing, business development, proposals and project management to buying office furniture.
Note from Cat – Solveig has lived all over the world and done some incredibly different jobs from managing a goth nightclub in Norway to working for the Russian government. You can read all about it on her about page. It’s pretty interesting reading!
What made you think of starting your own business?
I was in an environment where a lot of people were doing it. I also got to learn by doing through my involvement with JCI (Junior Chamber International). I got to develop as a trainer, coach upcoming leaders and develop skills I didn’t know I had.
When I did start my own business I wondered why I didn’t do it years ago!
Also, and I often forget about this, I had started a business already 6 years earlier in Lebanon managing rock musicians. Having done that for fun, getting investors and getting contracts with musicians, made the process a lot less scary.
How did you get the idea for your business?
It grew organically. Because I’ve lived so many places, been the new person, and being a small, young looking woman having to deal with a lot of serious men in Middle East and Russia, I really learned the skills you need to get things done and to get people to believe in you.
I learned how you can change people’s view of you through body language and presentation and speaking skills. That was impetus that made me realize this could become a business.
Plus people tell me they really enjoy me as a speaker, trainer and coach so I decided this will be my business.
What have been your challenges as a business owner?
I’m my biggest challenge. Who am I to think I can do this? There isn’t exactly a course you can do in what I coach and train people in. In Scandinavia we have a very strong tall poppy syndrome culture, called the Law of Jante. You’re not supposed to believe you’re different from anyone else so it’s more all these mental challenges. The challenge for me has been putting myself forward, which is funny as that’s just what I teach others to do, but I guess you have to have been there in order to teach it to others.
Also the insecurity of cash flow in the beginning. It’s hard to predict how much money will come in so that can be difficult to manage. I try to work to a budget to overcome this, but I’m not a budget kind of person so I always struggle.
What have been your highlights as a business owner?
Talking with people and coaching people are my highlights. I gave a workshop two weeks ago and I got such great feedback, it was amazing. I love meeting the people and hearing that they are overcoming their struggles. That’s my big highlight.
What would you say to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Go for it! And don’t be afraid to take the time it takes to find your feet in whatever you decide to do.
I would also recommend not investing a lot in a website right away because what you do will change. When I first started even though at the core my business was the same it was presented differently and if I had spent a lot on a website I would have felt tied down by that.
Also be aware that when you have your own business it’s not like when you used to get a regular salary!
You can find out more Solveig here
Key take aways from Solveig’s experience
As Solveig’s business proves, even if there isn’t a course that teaches the skills you have, as long as people are willing to pay for your services you have a viable business idea.
Solveig raises a very important point about societal pressure to stay small, not to believe you are special or can create something that others haven’t. This manifests itself in different forms in different cultures. In England we have our own form of this concept as well.
Wherever you are from, don’t let other people decide your path. As Solveig says – go for it!
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Are you wondering if your skills can be molded into a business model?
Have you felt the pressure to stay small and not go for your dreams?
Let me know in the comments below…