The new year is here! So are new opportunities and chance to strengthen new habits. I realised last year, that I am not communicating enough. I have been very passionately DOING things and focusing on some things, but haven’t been talking that out a lot. I have got feedback, that I’d need to communicate more on what I’m doing. I think that’s a super good point. I want to change that. Thus I’m starting a daily communication habit. I will communicate every day, on something simple, on what I have been doing, what has been in my mind. 1-3 main points of the day. And also reviewing that on a WEEKLY basis. And a MONTHLY. And a QUARTERLY. They say, if you continue to do something 22 days or times, it becomes a habit. I encourage all who want to make some changes, to start from small – from your self. If you want your family, company or team to be more on time – start from yourself. Put up a “program”, where you won’t be late one single time in the next 1 month (or just one week, or one day). And after, try to continue that further to 3 months. Afterwards it’s easy. It will also automatically program your mind and habit to think bigger things on time – when do I need to get this project done in order to be able to start that one? If your family, company, school budget is not in full harmony – and you’re the responsible – start from having your personal budget in order. Count every single penny that you use for 1 week, 1 month (or even further), and you’ll realise that you start automatically think those things also in a bigger scale and bigger form. If you want your things in your life be in order and harmony – start keeping your house clean and in order for 3 days. And continue that if possible. That will automatically help you to keep your life also in order. That’s why one Asian CEO cleans his toilet every day for 15 minutes – in order to remind him of the humble mind of doing service. It’s clever. So what’s there for me? SO MANY things, that I could do SO MUCH better this year than I did last year. But one thing that I think is great to start with is communication. My plan is to communicate every day for the next month – hopefully for the next 3 months. And for the whole year. First milestone is the upcoming week. Can I hold it for every day? Imagine what you’d like to change – or transform? It’s not that difficult. Just make it a habit. But can you keep the habit? I’ll do my best. I’m convinced I can. And I’m hopeful of the prospects, of the other positive effects that it may have on other areas in my life.
Last year was a very good year – in so many ways. I decided to settle in Asia (at least for 2-3 years), even if other very beautiful and inspiring options were available. I also decided to focus on entrepreneurship. Not just talk about it, but also DOING IT. The iconic phrase of that part of my last year was highlighted in the classic book Hard Thing About Hard Things: You can only learn how to run a company – by running a company. I modified it to suit the last year: You can only learn how to run a company in China – by running a company in China. I put up my first ever company in my life, called Mingle China 梦路, and registered it in my new hometown Hangzhou. People just talk about doing “entrepreneurship in China” and I got tired of talking and put it up. Soon I realised that actually there IS a market in China. And started little by little actually building that. Then I even got my first customer – A Chinese Bitcoin company willing to hear my views on their international introduction, and translate that. Settle the price, do your work, hear the feedback, get your payment, talk on future co-op. And soon there was another one. A Chinese incubator – who wanted to visit Finland. And then there was student related programs – and soon other people to co-operate with. After 2 months company was asked to write a report about Finnish innovation centres and ideas how to proceed with Finnish organisations – 4 months later they made a big deal in Finland. And a few awesome Finnish entrepreneurs visited in China, and they were introduced to meet some key local Chinese partners. Arranging meetings, hosting Finns, letting Chinese know more about us and vice-versa. I just talked out, what I had learnt, due to the amazing support by so many organisations and people in the past years, I got to learn a lot. Equally from successes than from failures. Now I’m handing that experience out. And that is something that is valued by many. As Finland grows its connections with China – and other foreigners aim to come here, there’s a lot work to do. A lot of steps to be taken. And a lot of request to speedify, or let know some more what’s happening around in the midst of walking the path at the Chinese jungle.
Soon I realised, that Finland (and China) are full of wise people, who have done it before and are willing to share their experiences. Some of them have got super far. And they told me: focus on building your base first – then you can start reaching out to even further, if you like. Dreams grow, you start feeling even more that you are doing something really exciting. A good colleague from Finnish government, with stable and varying job, tells me: “You know Lauri, I sometimes ask the question, ‘should I be doing something totally different?’ Not just to hand around and going around the world, but doing something more simple, more meaningful.” I replied, you know my friend, if I could without restrictions choose whatever I want to, wherever I want to, I wouldn’t do anything else, anywhere else, except what I’m doing right now. That is so to say to put up something on your own, try to stabilise it, try to widen it, grow your network and through that help also others. Solve some challenges. Do something you truly love. Connecting your dots. That’s entrepreneurship. Getting your license registered, finding ways to invoice, settling misunderstandings, choosing a location – and meeting some of the most awesome people in the world, learn from them, see something new from a new perspective, broaden your horizons. Feel that you are getting closer to God, by localising a tool to help you do what you truly love. And doing it in Asia, in China – and in the “blue ocean” in Hangzhou, home of Alibaba and West Lake, one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world, with rich culture and classic Han Chinese heritage.
I have learnt so much new that I wouldn’t even believe, I have met so many interesting people, that it’s astonishing. And I feel that the road has just started. I found also a stable long-term partner, surprisingly from the Northern part of Finland, from Oulu – which appeared to be not only the Finnish partner of Hangzhou, but also a most trusted, genuine, honest and inspirational partner. I love Finland. And to be able to support a Finnish venture and attempt to create closer relations with China – in a place which I have also chosen for so far, felt really good. Along the encounter I’ve come to meet some super people, and learn that Oulu is one of the ICT, education, health, gaming, travel, sports and cultural centres of the world. A well working society, an easily approachable and independent-minded government, companies such as Nokia and Polar, super education institutions in all levels from university to grammar schools, industrious educated people. Great nature. Have been happy to support. We are all growing and developing. Together it’s the best possible way. After the early attempts on early Spring have changed into more stable and professional startup – or a base, that can be enabled to launch even bigger things. I’ve put my flag on the ground, I’ve conquered a very small corner in the most challenging and rewarding corners of the world. And it’s because people who think the same way, who have same goals, same ideas, and same future directions are coming more together and starting doing things together. The thanks goes to those people who are brave enough to think that China is the right place to be, that Asia is the new place to perhaps even best to help you achieve your dreams, whichever industry they are. With people who believe in the power of education, of individual mind, of co-operation, of commitment and hard work in order to get towards where you need to go. Of people who are not afraid to follow their intuition, their destiny, and their dreams. Of people who also are willing to gather the shovels and get things done. IT’s not easy in China, but we are working on it, we’re constantly learning more and more. We’re changing experiences into recipes, failures into successes and trying to pave the way in the jungle for people to follow and fulfil their own dreams. A hut in a forest. There’s a lot of corners. And a lot of space, for anybody to come. China and Asia are open for you. If you feel the passion, the curiosity, the interest, and want to do things slightly differently – and find a pile of new things about yourself and our globe – I cannot think any better place to been the world than where I am. In the Middle Kingdom. I’ll keep updating about the life here, both on my own and how I see it. It’s my habit. Communication. Plain, simple, hopefully inspiring to some. It can include anything from my life, but it’s pure and true. I hope this is a year of new opportunities, of new challenges, of more communication, of learning, of changing and fulfilling your dreams. If your dream is in China, welcome onboard, there’s a lot of space for new brave courageous souls to join the future in the making. In big and small. 热烈欢迎！
Coming back to you tomorrow. (Every day at 7.40-8.00 pm, I’ll be work on this. Probably much shorter than this. It’s time invested, but I’m confident it’s time invested well and will pay back itself at least 15 times.)