Cross-Cultural collaboration in Sweden with Leanne Stewart and Ideations

MAKES YOU THINK

Who do you follow on social media and what have you stumbled across lately that makes you STOP AND THINK?

Is there a person that always triggers introspection and reflection?

I’ve got a few people in my own world who do this for me but I’m looking for who makes you think.

Send me an email at Leanne@ideations.se and me know.

I’d like to expand my intellect by tapping into who expands yours.

Women business owner encouragement and advising with Ideations in Sweden

YOU’RE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

I look at the women I work with, the clients who hire me, and the friends and family in my life who just kick ass.

Only, sometimes – a lot of the time – they don’t see how far they’ve come or how close they are to realizing their dreams.

And, maybe that’s the way it is; the feeling that it’s just too hard, it’s taking too long, it isn’t turning out as first conceived.

So, if there seems so little reward to show for all of the effort, it’s easy for me to empathize with these precious and beautiful souls when they knock themselves down with self-recriminations and negative self-talk, because, baby, have I been there.

I think it’s only normal, though, this inability to chart our own progress. We’re so in the thick of this thing called “life” that it’s hard to look at how far we’ve come.

There’s a lot about this that we could unpack, but for today, and for this weekend, when many of us look to a higher place to find our solace, let’s offer the same to those women we know who may not share our faith but do share our humanity.

Encourage someone today and let them know you see their progress and you’re so stinking proud of how hard they’re trying to become the version of themselves they see in their dreams.

Speak life into their lives.

Believe for them, with them, through them and know your doing so, your act of faith in serving another is exactly why you’re here and is a part of your journey as well.

Happy collaboration with Ideations and Leanne Stewart in Sweden

DID YOU KNOW?

In addition to being super strategic and business-growth focused, I am also pretty funny?

I mention this because it’s one of the most surprising and DELIGHTFUL parts of the work I do with my brilliant clients and business providers.

For all the time we spend on getting things “just right”, we also find ourselves breaking into hilarious laughter over some of the funniest things that have nothing to do with the actual business of work.

But, without that, without the humor and the joy of letting our “funny” out, I doubt our results would be as strong. Humor binds us together as strongly as our shared struggles.

I don’t ever want to get to the place where I have to choose otherwise.

Business woman in Sweden working weekends at Ideations

SATURDAY MORNINGS

I work on Saturdays.

Contrary to the sacredness of weekends in Sweden, it’s something I offer because I have clients who need it.

They’ve worked all week on their business and they’ve set aside the weekend to grow and learn and develop.

It’s also a time when everything is still and quiet. I am un-rushed, un-hurried, and un-stressed.

Having such peace allows me to offer such flexibility to the wonderful women I work with.

What about you? How do Saturdays look for you? Are you working or not?

Collaborating with women business owners in Sweden

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength. It’s a quality often cited as important when building a business.

It’s also an indicator that if you possess it, your chances of survival increase exponentially (business-wise and personally).

But, what we rarely talk about in this “Boss Babe” world is how very, very crucial it is to have help.

For me, some of the hardest times I’ve gone through as a business owner were when I believed the lie that because I was strong that meant I could, and should, power through all of the challenges, fears, frustrations, and failures alone.

For those of you who come from the same background/mindset that to be strong means to do it all, let me lead you down a different path.

  • Find help.
  • Find partners.

Find ways to work with other people to help them achieve their business goals and watch them help you achieve yours.

If you only knew … the women I’ve found – and who have found me … they’re gifts that continue to strengthen me every single day.

Have you found your group yet? Do you have people in your life that you know have helped to make you stronger?

Woman whiteboard business strategy plan

WRITE IT DOWN

You just came back from the best training conference ever. You’re mind is so full of thoughts and things to start implementing to build your business that you don’t know whether to take a break and let your body and brain recover or you to push through so you don’t lose momentum.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO.

Get a piece of paper – the bigger the better – and write down EVERYTHING that you can think of.  Think of this as a massive brain dump where you list or scribble or write down •every •single •thing that is in your head.

  • Write what you learned.
  • Write what you liked.
  • Write what you are wanting to implement for your business.
  • Write what you think you need and want to do now.

If something comes up that seems unrelated (stressors, grocery lists, people you miss, etc.) add that to the sheet of paper, too.

The goal of this exercise is to get your mind clear. Once you’ve got everything you can think of that’s been swimming around in your head down on paper (or a whiteboard if your as lucky as this woman in the photo) then I want you to allow yourself time to SWITCH OFF.

  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Take a walk.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Phone a friend and arrange a meet up.
  • Take a nap.

Your brain will thank you and your body will welcome the rest. A day or two later, go back to what you wrote down and see it with fresh eyes.

What still works? What can be crossed off? Where does it make the most sense to start?

From this frame of mind comes clarity and focus.

This is where true strategy and execution are found.

But first, WRITE IT DOWN.

Strategic Business Advisor in Sweden

STUDY THE EFFECTS

When receiving advice for growing your business – be it through social, content, or any other type of digital marketing – make sure you study the effects after implementing them.

Seriously, I say this because what may be great advice, in general, could be a terrible move for your business.

It’s smart to see if there are new ways to work but it’s even smarter to make sure those new ways work for you.

If You Build It, They Will Come

There’s a line in the movie, A Field of Dreams, that I’m sure you’ve heard. “If you build it, he will come” is what Kevin Costner keeps hearing in his head as he contemplates turning his corn fields into a baseball field for people his daughter assures him will travel from all over to come see.

 

To me, the movie is about stepping out in faith, even when you have no idea of what it will look like. Over a year into my Swedish life, where I had taken step after step of faith,  I realized one of the biggest things I needed was to connect with other women in business.

But, no matter where I looked, there just wasn’t a group for women in business that fit my needs.

What were those needs?

  • English speaking
  • International Experience
  • Intercultural Acceptance/Competence
  • Forward Moving-Action Oriented
  • Warm, Supportive, Inspiring and FUN!

That’s not to say Sweden doesn’t have several networking groups and clubs, because they do. Some of them look very active and seem to work very well for those who have found a way to master the language faster than me.

But, I needed something more and no matter how many after-work gatherings I went to our how many ladies groups I joined (which I adore for making new friends), when it came down to having a tribe of women I could connect with professionally, I wasn’t having any luck.

Maybe some of it had to do with the ridiculous sense of cultural insecurity I  had developed since living overseas (no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to be Swedish), or maybe it was my need to make sure I didn’t come across as stereotypical American, but I realized that to keep waiting and looking for someone else to create what I needed was a bit stupid. Almost as stupid as trying to hold myself back from expressing the truth of who I am in order to not ruffle any feathers in this country I so love.

Floating the idea at an international cocktail event, every woman I spoke with responded with such enthusiasm that I realized maybe I wasn’t the only one who needed this.

I decided to put my big girl panties on and start my own group.

Within one week, I had fifteen members from fourteen countries signed up. That same week, I created a last minute event that six of the fifteen members were able to attend.

Women Cocktails

And this is what I learned:

If you build it, they will come. Maybe not everyone and maybe not exactly in the way you expected, but if you’ve identified a pain point in your own life, chances are it’s a shared need for others.

 

And if you get over your fears and insecurities long enough to share yourself with others authentically, you’ll find your tribe.

Hint: This transfers across sectors and industries, by the way. If you’re in business and looking for something that you can’t seem to find, chances are, you’re probably the one that needs to create it.

Whether that means you need new clients and increased sales or whether that means you want to find a way to take what you’re already doing and improve upon it, if you build it, they will come.

Contact me to learn more. I’m happy to help show you some ideas for creating exactly what your business needs.