A decade in review is supposed to start with the year 2010 but in order to fully explain the changes in my life in the last decade we need to start with the year 2008.
In 2008 I had moved to London from Iceland to finish my Executive MBA at London Business School. There I attended a life-changing seminar with Tony Robbins called Unleash The Power Within. I sat down on the second day of the seminar next to a man, called Martin, who first became a friend but after meeting again at another Tony Robbins seminar we became more than friends. Instead of becoming the CEO of Nissan in Sweden I took a leap of faith and moved with one suitcase to Switzerland to live with a man that I barely knew. It was not an easy decision and the first months together were difficult as we were getting to know each other. But the more time we spent together the more we fell in love and I started to think, maybe this is the love of my life.
In 2009 after looking for a job for six months in Switzerland where I now lived, I finally found a job and became a managing director at a medical technology company. Everything was new to me, I was still getting used to being in a relationship, living in a little village and now a new job in a field that I knew nothing about. I also had become a stepmother of two little boys, age 3 and 4, and this was a role I never expected to have as I wasn’t planning to have children of my own. Turns out that I am a good stepmom, enjoyed the role, and have over the years given my boys guidance on many things that will help them become good grownups. Martin and I loved spending time together, playing golf and traveling.
In 2010 I started to get sick. Pain was not unfamiliar to me, I had sometimes had back pain and headaches, but this was different. I started to get a strong pain in my shoulder. I felt it most strongly after driving for an hour so my conclusion was to drive less. But after a while I also got the pain without driving. The pain started to pop up in my neck, a pinching ear pain and very strong headaches. I started to wonder if this had something to do with my job. My employer got me a special chair but then my table was even higher and I had to hold my hand up to be able to work on the computer. I took a 3-week summer vacation and decided not to touch a computer in the hope the pain would go away. When I got back the pain was even stronger and by November it was so bad that I couldn’t work anymore and went on medical leave.
In 2011 I continued being sick and in total my medical leave was 7 months. My employer at the medical technology company fired me for being sick but as luck will have it, I was offered a job the day before I got fired. I was excited about the new job but had to wait to start until I recovered which wasn’t until the summer. I became the country manager of an Icelandic software company and my boss was only an hour away, also living in Switzerland. The best thing about the job was that I could work from home, the worst part was that many of my clients were an hour-drive away. The pinching pain in my shoulder always came back after every drive. I enjoyed my new job in many ways as it was a startup but acquiring clients through cold-calling was not my cup of tea. I also started to wonder if it was really worth having a country manager in Switzerland.
In 2012 Martin and I got married after being together for 4 years. The relationship was now tried and tested and I had almost fully recovered from the repetitive strain injury. We invited friends and family from Switzerland, Germany, UK and Iceland and 80 people came to our wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony in an Icelandic independent church with a red-haired priest who said “you may now kiss the groom” followed by celebrations in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. I had wanted a June wedding because then the sun doesn’t go down. A month after the wedding we traveled to Greenland for our honeymoon. It was an unforgettable 5-day experience where we saw beautiful arctic sunset every night, lots of icebergs and wildlife. Just before the honeymoon I had lost my job so I was unemployed again, the second time in two years. I saw this as a clear sign that I should now start my own business.
In 2013 I was looking for the perfect business idea. I did a couple of online courses but they were only a few weeks long and then the support was gone and I was lost. I had hoped by doing these courses I would figure out my business idea but I didn’t. I had all kinds of ideas, writing travel books, becoming a professional photographer, setting up an online shop with Icelandic design. None of the ideas sounded great so I was running in circles and overthinking every step. In the end I got so frustrated with my lack of progress that I set myself a deadline of getting my website up and running in 2 days. I did and I published my first blog post “Why ‘Start before you are ready’ is the only way”. What followed were a series of blog posts on how to find your passion and a profitable business idea. By the end of the year I still didn’t have a clear business idea but I could feel that it was just around the corner.
In 2014 I finally started my business. It was like in the Alchemist, the business idea had always been there, right in front of me but I just hadn’t seen it. Of course I was supposed to be a business coach, after being a successful CEO for 10 years and having an MBA from one of the best business schools in the world. And I wanted to help women overcome their doubts, start to believe in themselves and turn their passion into profits. I put a button on my website for one hour business coaching and on March 26th, 2014, the first person bought. That’s when I knew that this would work out although I wasn’t sure yet how. In the middle of the year I started with weekly webinars and by the fall I had over 1500 email addresses on my list. I bit the bullet and hired a business coach to get over my fear of selling. And even before we started to work together I had the first breakthrough and sold a six week coaching package. I learned to launch and by the end of the year I had made $72K, there of $55K in the last three months of the year.
In 2015 I started attending conferences and events. My first event was Money Bootcamp with Denise Duffield-Thomas in London where I met a lot of women who I only knew from the internet. Suddenly the world was so small and everything felt so doable, and many of them knew me from my weekly webinars, I was starting to become known. – As a side note, Denise Duffield-Thomas is a keynote speaker at the Selfmade Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland in June this year! – My second event was a big conference in San Diego called Social Media Marketing World and even without knowing anyone there, I had a great time and made an effort to get to know some of the speakers. – As a side note, the event organiser of Social Media Marketing World Phil Merson is one of my advisors for the Selfmade Summit. In spring I attended Off The Charts by Nathalie Lussier and it was there that a light bulb went off. I was in a room with 300 female online entrepreneurs and I realised that I wanted to create something like this in Europe, a conference and community. In May 2015 I gave my TEDx talk after months of preparations and still today I am proud of my talk and the message. In October I got my first international speaking engagement when I spoke at Lisa Larter’s One Day event Money Mindset and Marketing. There another seed was planted, I wanted to do more speaking and definitely have my own event sooner than later. By the end of the year I had doubled my revenue to $164K.
In 2016 I joined my first mastermind that included 3 in-person retreats in US and Canada and I went on my first cruise, an Abraham Hicks cruise in Alaska. I was traveling a lot and mostly alone but I got great support and encouragement from Martin, my husband, super fan and biggest critique. He even started to suggest that I could retire him since I was doing so well in my business. I thought he was joking but he wasn’t. The signs were there that his job was not as secure as we thought it was and after 10 years with the same company he lost his job in the fall of 2016. This gave me an extra boost to ramp up the business and have my biggest launch so far, $230K. By the end of the year I had again doubled my revenue, now to $340K.
In 2017 I created SOMBA, Sigrun’s Online MBA, a 12-month program for women who want to build a profitable online business based on their passion. I was no longer offering 1-1 coaching, I had replaced all my income with group coaching since two years. Martin joined the business as a COO and this allowed us to spend a lot more time together. We joined a mastermind in California with 4 in-person retreats and even brought the boys with us to one of the retreats. My dad was diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2017 and that was a huge shock to me and my family. I changed my travel plans and managed to stay 50% of the year in Iceland, including 5 weeks summer holiday with the boys, like we do every year. By the end of the year I had tripled my revenue and finally crossed the magical million dollar mark.
In 2018 I also spent 50% of the year in Iceland, mostly alone, so I could see my parents. After the fast growth of the year before I was struggling with growing pains. I knew I needed to expand my team but I somehow wasn’t ready yet. Martin and I were still in the California Mastermind and for the second year in a row we took the boys with us to one of the retreats, this time in San Diego. My dad was feeling a bit better which was a relief, although we know it is a temporary condition. I was running 4 mastermind groups and building out SOMBA while I also started to create a new group coaching program called Momentum. I got the courage to book the venue for my upcoming conference The Selfmade Summit and started to see how my vision of a worldwide impact was coming to life. In November I attended Iconic with Ali Brown and decided on the spot that she would be my next business coach. By the end of the year I had made $1.5M in revenue.
In 2019 I took advantage of the fact that my dad was feeling a lot better and spent only 3 months in Iceland and ramped up my travel. Overall I was 165 days on the road and mostly business trips to the USA, Canada and other European countries. Martin traveled with me on many of the trips but he also always made sure to go regularly back to Switzerland to take care of the boys. I was in two masterminds in 2019. That wasn’t the original plan but when my previous business coach offered a special 7 Figure Mastermind I couldn’t resist. This was the year where I finally got over my resistance and expanded my team which now counts 10 people in my core team and 20 people in my expanded team. In November, Martin and I, went on an 18-day cruise over the Atlantic ocean as preparation for our dream cruise which will be on our 10 year anniversary. Then we plan to go to Antarctica. By the end of the year I had made $2.2M in revenue.
This was a 10 or actually a 12 year review. It is truly amazing what is possible in 10-12 years. In 2008 I wasn’t planning to have my own business or change the world but a seed was planted at a Tony Robbins event. There I wrote down a vision of having my own business and making a million dollars plus achieving gender equality.
Today I have my own business, I am making multiple million dollars and I am accelerating gender equality through my work. By helping women start and scale their businesses to six and seven figures I am ensuring that women will become financially independent and create their own wealth. And that’s how we truly will achieve gender equality.“We tend to overestimate what we can do in a week or a month. But we underestimate what can be achieved in a year or a decade.” - Sigrun
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