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Without entrepreneurs or artists in the world, there would have been no airline routes to and from Gotland. Or restaurants that think the crockery you eat on should be as...

Without entrepreneurs or artists in the world, there would have been no airline routes to and from Gotland. Or restaurants that think the crockery you eat on should be as beautiful as the food is good. Nor had there been the large selection of film, music, literature and art so generously shared by creators and artists. Nor odd shops, meeting places to enjoy or oases to rest in. The characteristic of all entrepreneurs is that they invest all their time, their faith and their hard-earned money to realize their ideas. An entrepreneur has, as it were, invisibly tattooed his magnificent idea under his skin. You all go in. It is clear that it will be a success.

Now it doesn't always happen, but an entrepreneur is no further away from success than his previous failure. You get up, brush yourself off and learn. And do it again. On a new way.

My son said to me recently in one of our long important conversations. Mom, you are both mom and dad to me. You are a strong woman but you are also a woman with both male and female thinking. Sometimes you are a woman, sometimes you are a man. The mix is ​​dynamic.

I was a little confused for a minute. Comparing myself to a man sounded so shady. But he explained calmly. Mom, you are a clear leader. You are calm and confident and brave. You take care of your family, you make quick decisions, you are used to difficult situations. You have drive and you solve problems that most people wouldn't approach at all. These are more male characteristics. But it is clear that you are a woman too. But your masculine qualities are clearly evident in both the way you manage the company and in your relationships.

We had a good conversation and I started to understand myself, Maria 59. I was brought up by my father because he was the one I hung out with when I was little. A happy, brave, mischievous man - a man with a twinkle in his eye. He was an entrepreneur through and through. He never differentiated between men and women. He never talked shit about people. I calculated that I moved 42 times. Including the summer cottages when I was little. He was a real estate agent, accounting consultant, self-employed, of course. He was a moonlight farmer and I got my love of animals from him. He loved all his animals. Horses, pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, cats and a dog. We went to Sjöbo market every year. And after every market I would sit in the back seat of one of his cars and hold a pig, a sheep or a couple of geese. As we laughed. With a couple of boxes of cream buns as a pillow, we charged to get home with all the animals, armed with lots of arguments that we needed these too. How I longed for this moment with him every year. There we got to be together and be ourselves and eat what we wanted and buy the cutest animals. Nothing was impossible.

I think about my life. That for the first time in my long life I am about to found myself. That I want to go back to that feeling my father and I had after every market. Nothing is impossible and most things are just as much fun as long as you are kind to yourself and others.

This is where the two magic words NO THANKS come into play. Entrepreneurs are sensitive souls. Artist souls. Often highly sensitive. We are driven by an inner fire that is difficult to explain, but it possesses powers that can move mountains. If you ever dare to approach us and scratch the surface, we often have stories of deep dark wells from which we drew our power.

If we hang out with people who live with a critical judgmental eye in their lives, it can kill our power and creativity in two seconds. I myself feel at my best when I have positive peppy warm people around me. Who can discuss high and low, but never ever automatically criticize or judge. I don't want nay-sayers, you have to be allowed to say what you think, but some people have the ability to have no filter. Frogs jump out of my mouth all the time and when the frog collection gets too big, I now say NO THANKS. No one needs this "good advice" or "innocent petty criticism" in their lives. Why should you accept being criticized when you should really just be loved for who you are? Those everyday frogs undermine an entrepreneur's self-confidence. And they pop out everywhere. In the store by customers, in bad relationships, people who comment on social media. I say as an employee's 5 year old daughter once said; if you have nothing nice to say, shut up. So NO THANKS.

NO THANKS now building my future. What do I want? What do I definitely not want? What do I not like? What are the needs of my 59-year-old self? How should I spend the last 30% of my life?  Which people should I accept? Which people should I say NO to? Should I accept hearing "but are you moving now again"? NO THANKS. Should I accept that people want to gossip about my ex? NO THANKS. Should I feel different (read not as good as everyone else) just because I'm a strong woman who does what she wants? NO THANKS.

Let NO THANKS shape your life. Clear the clutter of "well meaning people" around you. Then you get more space for all the tens of thousands YES THANK YOU! And that's when my friend, life really begins.

With love m.


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