You’re listening to The Sigrun Show, episode number 413. In this episode I share my 2020 year in review which has turned out to be an exciting new chapter both personally and professionally.
Welcome to The Sigrun Show. I’m your host, Sigrun. Creator of Somba, the MBA program for online entrepreneurs. With each episode I’ll share with you inspiring case studies and interviews to help you achieve your dreams and turn your passion into profits. Thank you for spending time with me today. Building an online business takes time. I share with you proven strategies to help you get there faster. You’ll also learn how to master your mindset, up level your marketing and succeed with masterminds.
2020, what a year. So much has changed forever. I could probably talk for hours about this year and write a whole book about it, but instead I’m going to share the highlights of this year with you. I feel this year is a starting point of a new chapter for me personally and professionally. Before we dive in, I want to invite you to join my upcoming free five day course from January 11th to 15th. There I will cover the three most important things you need to do in your online business to succeed in the new year, assuming you do them right. You can secure your free ticket to the Boost Your Business Framework course to learn the exact steps to get the most impact in your business in 2021. You go to the show notes at sigrun.com/413 where you can find the link to sign up for the five day course.
2020 will go down in the history books. Movies will be made, books will be written, and scientists will spend years analyzing and reporting on what happened, what should have happened and what shouldn’t have happened. But here we are at the end of 2020 as I’m recording this episode. For some, it was the worst year in their lives, and for others, it was their best year yet. For me, it was the best year ever both professionally and personally despite not being able to travel or spend enough time with friends and family and do a lot of the other things that I like doing. It was a year to slow down for some and others to speed up. For me, this was a year to slow down and speed up, but most importantly to lead. Before we dive into the highlights of the year I want to give you a quick snapshot of 2020. My company made close to $3 million dollars and thereof 500,000 in net profit. We have had 12 team members this year and most of them were with me the year before so we’ve not had a lot of team changes. I spent 21 days in the US just before borders closed down and everything was shut down.
150 days in Iceland. Not in the beginning of the year but in the summer and towards the end of the year. And overall, 195 days in Switzerland. That’s interesting number because the year before in 2019 I spent 195 days on the road and now I spent them at my home in Switzerland. Thereof, there were six weeks in lockdown where all stores were closed. We could still go out for a walk and buy groceries but that was it. So we had lockdown for six weeks in Switzerland and I’ve did three COVID-19 tests, all negative. Because that’s what you need to do when you travel into Iceland. And I created a new program in my business that I’m very proud of called Somba Accelerator. A program that helps you launch your online program. I want to start with one of my highlights of the year and that’s about leading or stepping up into a new realm of leadership. I have been leading businesses for 17 years now so that’s not new to me to lead a team, to lead my community, to lead my clients. But this year something happened. And we all know what it was. We suddenly had a pandemic and a looming recession.
I actually found myself in the United States when I realized what was happening. I had landed in San Diego. I was about to attend Social Media Marketing World and then fly to Miami and attend a two day meeting with a trust that Ali Brown leads and suddenly I realized what was happening. Of course, I had been reading the news about COVID-19, this virus coming out of Wuhan in China which supposedly happened through a bat. And then I was there in the United States. And on the morning after my first night after arriving in the evening I suddenly realized what was happening. I was reading the news from Iceland. We had the first case in Iceland. And then I read there was the first death in the United States. And I wouldn’t say I panicked but I got very concerned and I knew and felt this was serious and we should be taking it seriously. There were some discussions whether Social Media Marketing World should be canceled or not. They decided to go ahead. They put hand sanitizer everywhere and you were supposed to not shake hands and do all these things that we know so well today, but it was scary.
Thinking about it now it was almost crazy to be there. And we weren’t supposed to hug, but of course people were hugging each other. Anyway, I got through it and I felt a lot of people were not taking this as seriously as me. Now, I was not panicking as I said but I was concerned and I decided to retreat. Well, I finished my assignments of what I was supposed to do in the United States, I flew to Iceland and then it was clear that things were going to change. The borders to the United States were closed and there were discussions that the same was going to happen in Europe. And this was the weirdest week. This was the week of March 9th to 15th. I found myself in Iceland. My parents has just come from the Canary Islands and I couldn’t see them because we already had the order not to hang around older people, not to hang around the sick ones and my father has cancer so he fell in both categories. And I was going spend March in Iceland to prepare for the Selfmade Summit. It was clear to me a lot of things would change.
I did a podcast episode which I recorded on March 10th about the pandemic and a looming recession. And it was not like I could look into a crystal ball and know what was going to happen, but something was about to happen and I had a sense of it and I immediately recorded an episode and I postponed the Selfmade Summit by a year. I did this very fast and this is where I felt I stepped into a new game of leadership. I was willing to take a decision before most people around me. Nobody at March 10th was willing to postpone things. Yes, there were a few things starting to be postponed in the United States, but in Europe, nothing was happening yet. And I was willing to take that decision 90 days before my first ever big conference. It was scary but at the same time, I was so convinced that I was doing the right thing and that’s where I felt this sense of leadership. Like I felt I had to step up. I felt I had to take a decision. Not just for me, my team, my clients, my community, but also for others watching. For others looking for signals. Because honestly, I saw a lot of lack of leadership.
I want to mention one person where I was looking to see what he would do. You may or not know that I’ve been a super fan of Gary Vaynerchuck. I kind of have this love and hate relationship with him. I don’t like watching his videos. I don’t like a lot of the things he does but yeah, he’s a smart businessman and I do respect him in many ways for what he has built. The businesses he built and how he has been able to transform social media and business in many ways. But when it came to leading in a crisis, I was disappointed. And I was disappointed by many others. I’m talking about people in business. I’m not expecting the average person out there that is employed and doesn’t have a team or doesn’t run a company to step up as a leader in a crisis. They can of course and we need as many people as possible to do that. But I’m expecting people that are considered influencers … And I’m not talking about the ones that are influencers on Instagram, I’m talking about real, true influencers. I expect them to step up and lead in a crisis. And when they don’t, I don’t see them as a leader anymore.
And I know some have the excuse that they need to retreat and think about it. But the thing is, when there’s a crisis, you cannot think about it for a week or two or three and then speak up. It’s too late. And I don’t have to mention many names, I’m just picking Gary as one example. But it’s become very clear, not just in March 2020 but as the year progressed and now towards the end of the year, it’s clear to me that some people were able to step up and others weren’t and therefore they are no leaders in my eyes. Leadership is about being able to lead in a crisis. We’ve seen wonderful examples. For instance in New Zealand, also in Iceland, many other countries where female leaders, female presidents and prime ministers have stepped up and led and done it in a way that is inspiring, motivating, and makes us believe that there is good in the world. There are people that care. The people that listen to scientists, that take the right decision for the overall good, that care about the health of people over the economy. Of course the economy is important. I’m building a business. I know it’s important. But putting lives first, that’s also true leadership to me.
And this is just the start of something. In March we just saw people stepping up and others not. But it’s been going on throughout the year. First it was the pandemic, then it was the recession, then we had black lives matter. We had so many opportunities for people to step up and lead. And those who didn’t missed a huge chance personally and professionally. So when I say I see 2020 as a new chapter for me, it is mostly about leading. I had this in me. I know it because I was a turnaround CEO already in 2004 and that’s when I really discovered that I could lead a team in a crisis and lead my clients in changing times. And I had almost forgotten this. It is like I rediscovered a part of myself. And somehow when everyone panics, I become calm and I know instinctively what to do and I can do it quickly. I’m not saying that I’m always very quick. There are things that I procrastinate on and I self sabotage all the time. But when it really matters, I’m willing to step up. And I hope you are too. I have heard from my clients and my community over the last nine months that they have looked to me and other people that have stepped up and that has inspired them to step up too. And if you haven’t yet, this is your cue.
Out of the leadership discussion came the discussion about values. 2020 has shown me and everyone else that we all have different values. And it has led to me unfriending, unfollowing, and disconnecting from people that have values that are so contradictory to mine that I do not want to have these people around me in my life. People that take money over lives of people. People that believe in conspiracy theories and think that COVID-19 is a hoax. People that support Trump, the craziest man that’s ever lived on this planet. Yes, I think he’s crazier than Hitler. It’s really been a time where the true colors, the true values of people come out. I have seen my family come closer because we truly have the same values. I’ve seen my community grow closer, my clients, my team because we have same or similar values. Now, the same values doesn’t mean that I just want to hand around people that say yes to me all the time. That’s absolutely not what it is. I think a healthy debate is good. I think we should discuss. I think we should have different opinions. Absolutely. But when it comes to fundamental values, beliefs about life and death, then I don’t think you have to make a compromise.
It has been very clear the values of the people that I see out there that have not been able lead and those who have been able to lead. And we’ve seen values of whole countries twist and change. And I cannot express my disappointment in my home country Switzerland. Switzerland did the right thing like most countries. They had a lockdown in March for six weeks and I felt I lived in a safe place. Iceland was doing better in the pandemic but Switzerland was not too bad after they finally closed the border to Italy which they did too late. But I was willing to say okay, politicians and the federalist society or the cantonal system as they call it, does take a bit more time. But then as the year has progressed it’s become clear to me that Switzerland does not care about human beings, about lives. Now, if you’re Swiss listening to this, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the government. Now, the government is selected by people. So obviously there are enough people in Switzerland that also care more about money than lives. And it’s been a huge disappointment to me. I am a citizen of Iceland and I’m a citizen of Switzerland and I care deeply about both countries. And I truly believed that these countries represented me and my values. But Switzerland obviously doesn’t.
Still at the date, at the recording of this podcast, there are about 4,000 or 5,000 new cases per day in Switzerland. Iceland, which is a lot smaller country but we have about five to seven cases and it’s got nothing to do with the size of the country. It’s got to do with priorities. As much as I have been disappointed about Switzerland and their true colors when it comes to a crisis and human lives, I’ve been equally happy and appreciative and grateful about the reaction of Iceland. In Iceland we have something we call, the [foreign language 00:18:51]. A three people team that has been leading us with daily meetings from March until end of the year. It consists of the head doctor of Iceland, the epidemiologist and a representative from the police force. And they are leading us. It’s not the prime minister, although sometimes she will speak up as well and our health minister, our finance minister. But we have had a crisis team. And I would say the advantage Iceland has had over many other countries as this was happening, especially in March where it caught many by surprise although it shouldn’t have, is that we always have a crisis team.
I live in a country, in Iceland, where we constantly have some sort of a crisis. A volcanic eruption, earthquakes, avalanches, mudslides. And there is always a crisis team. So we have this as a fundamental part of our system. It is not a team that is put together because there is a crisis. And I see that as the problem of many countries and how they dealt with COVID-19 and everything else that has happened this year. Is that it looked like to me, at least from the outside, as if they didn’t have a team in place to deal with this. But luckily Iceland did and we treated this like any other crisis. Now, the difference is, normally you have an avalanche or an earthquake or something that has a certain time period and then it’s over. Of course we’ve had volcanic eruption that lasts for months and months. But typically they have not been so close to the homes of so many people that it has completely changed how we live. But this one has. COVID-19. But I am so proud of this team of three people that have stuck together. They have not changed.
I think that’s also a problem in leadership when you constantly have the people changing. The public cannot deal so well with that. You need the same people and you need ideally this one person that people look up to that they can trust and they hear from on a daily basis. This is kind of leadership 101 or crisis management 101. But it’s been disappointing to see how many have failed to do this properly. But I’m very proud how Iceland has dealt with the crisis and they have put people first and money second.
Another highlight of 2020 should have been The Selfmade Summit which obviously did not take place. I was able to postpone it early enough that everyone could change their plans which they would have had to anyway. And I realized for a couple of weeks there were some people disappointed and, then I cannot come the year after and things like that. But that all calmed down as people saw that this was really a necessary thing for me to do.
Still, I thought a lot about it this year. Selfmade Summit, it’s on the forefront of my mind all the time. I’m thinking, can I do it in 2021? There are times where I think yes, it will be possible and then is the vaccine being rolled out early enough all over the world? At the time of this recording, I don’t know. But I’m a very optimistic person. Not pollyanna, but very optimistic so I’m still looking to go ahead at the point of this recording. But if things changed, if vaccination is not rolled out quickly enough, if people are not feeling safe traveling, if our speakers are not willing to commit, then of course there might be changes. So if you have a ticket, rest assured I will keep you updated but I would love to go ahead with the Selfmade Summit. I think we need it. I think we desperately need to come together and June 2021 would be the perfect timing assuming we get a quick rollout and people can travel safely. But instead of the Selfmade Summit, or let’s say not instead but as a bonus, I invited all the speakers that had already agreed to speak at the Selfmade Summit to speak at a virtual summit in June 2020. And that was an amazing experience. I had three and three come together. I definitely wanted to do this differently than all the virtual summits that I have been a part of.
So I had more of discussion around the current situation. How people were dealing with COVID, what changes they had made in their business, what opportunities they saw. And still today I’m getting feedback on how amazing that discussion was. Overall I’ve been fascinated about how people deal with the crisis. All the ups and downs and how they have grabbed opportunities and made the most out of the situation or even had their best year ever. I have therefore used this as my cue in my interviews on my new YouTube show. I relaunched YouTube in May 2020 and have now a weekly live show that I stream on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn and interview people that I know and have known for years. I started by inviting former clients, then current high end clients. I also contacted some entrepreneurial friends and people who were on my podcast months and maybe years ago. And we’ve had fantastic conversations about how they have dealt with 2020 themselves. I highly suggest you check it out.
Launching is one of my highlights. It’s always going to be my highlight. But in 2020 I think we took it to new heights, my team and I. We had the biggest launch ever with the most profit in June 2020 as a result of doing a free five day course plus all of the interviews with our Selfmade Summit speakers. But before we even came to June, I had seen opportunities in the lockdown. As the pandemic hit us in March and most countries in western Europe and United States and Canada went into lockdown or shutdown or whatever version they had of their slowdown, I saw an opportunity to help. First I focused on giving free resources. We created a lot of free resources. I had a turnaround summit. I had a daily Facebook live called Turnaround Talks where I talked about how to lead in a crisis and what I was doing in my business and what people should be doing right now to prepare for a looming recession and to look at the opportunities instead of focusing on the negative things that were happening all around us. And then I saw that free resources … And this is just one of my values. Free is all right but it doesn’t lead to transformation.
People do have to invest in order to really transform their lives and businesses. It’s got to something like … It’s like an energy exchange. If you consume something free you often don’t take it seriously. You don’t take the necessary action as a result. But when you invest, you do. That’s one of the reasons I pay my personal trainer every month to train me because if I was just singed up in a fitness center … Well, I couldn’t have used it this year anyway. But you know what I mean. I would maybe not go there three times a week. But because I’m investing in a personal trainer, I show up on Zoom every … Well, not every day but three times a week.
So with this in mind, having this as one of my values I realized end of March as we were preparing a weekend bootcamp that we needed to charge for it. And I had a two day bootcamp, Create a Recession Proof Offer and we decided to charge 97. A low fee to ensure that people show up and do the work. That’s how I explained it. We had, I think 500 or people or so. Partly my clients but we sold at least 200, 300 spots and it was amazing to actually experience the energy of the people who definitely wanted to create a recession proof offer but also were willing to take action and willing to invest in themselves even if it was just a low fee. So as we are seeing all the numbers of these signups, I’m saying, “We’ve got to have something on offer for these people.” There are people who want to take the next step and that’s always the case. That’s what I teach my clients too. Don’t just do a page workshop or a free training. There’s always going to be a percentage of people who want to take the next step with you.
And I was looking at my portfolio, the ascension model as I call it, and I have a 12 month group coaching accountability program called Somba Momentum, which is an amazing program where I coach with five other coaches and help my clients go to 10K and 20K months and just yesterday one of my clients finished a 70K launch. Amazing results from this program. But it’s 12 months and I realized in a crisis people are not so excited about signing up for long programs. We had several signups this year though. We actually had an amazing year in Momentum. But back in March my thinking was, people are looking for something shorter. They’re looking for quicker results. A quicker return on their investment. So I decided to take an eight week sprint as we call it, like an eight week challenge within Momentum, and turn it into a 10 week group coaching intensive where I help people launch their first or next online program. And it was set up in a way that this would equally benefit people who were going from offline to online and also people who already were online but didn’t know how to launch or hadn’t successfully launched before.
So we created Somba Accelerator. The first round was called Online Turnaround because I love the word Turnaround but at some point that is not so well suited for the online business market so we renamed it to Somba Accelerator. Now at the end of this year I am proud to say that we have run the program three times and this program didn’t even exist end of March. Yes, I sold it and then I created it. The first round had I think 47 people. Sold it for 3,000. The program had not been created. I fired up a Facebook group. Of course, I had the sprint for Momentum so I did have the content but I had to create it all new. I created it just inside the Facebook group and people were so happy. Now of course we have now put it on a teaching platform and redone all the videos and all that stuff. But I’ve had three iterations of the program. It’s now perfect.
And I didn’t do this on my own. I have a wonderful team and I have a coach that helps me with my Kickstart and Accelerator programs. And I love doing this with someone. I am really the creator, the initiator, the one with the idea. I do the videos, I do the scripts. But the actually coaching is done by members of my team. I’m there in the group but I can get the support and my clients get more support that way. So that was a proud moment, or let’s say multiple proud moments as we graduated people from Somba Accelerator and we had people that had never been in online business and they were able to make $20,000 within 10 weeks because they learned how to launch an online program. Wow. I’m amazed myself that this is possible. So we launched Somba Accelerator twice. First end of March and again beginning of May. And the reason I did it so quickly again, we were only half way through Accelerator when we actually decided to sell it again, is because of this momentum of people being in lockdown or shutdown or slowdown and really they were looking for ways to go online. People were looking to ways to how to sell.
And since Somba Accelerator is a launch and sales program, it was the perfect way to help those people that were desperately looking for help with their businesses. But when it came to June, we kicked off by launching our Kickstart program where you create your online course and we had our biggest launch ever. 680,000 in revenue and 82% profit. And the biggest reason I see why this launch was so big is because of all the activities we did in March, April and May mainly as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdowns. So you can plan your launches all you want and launches are something that I really know and teach. But sometimes things happen for you in a way. Like some of the things we did March, April and May we wouldn’t have done if there wasn’t for COVID-19. So it was a blessing in disguise and helped us have our biggest launch ever. We did another launch in September. That was for the third round of Somba Accelerator. It’s the perfect next step after Kickstart so people have created their online course and now they learn how to launch it. It is a smaller launch for us because we do want to have a smaller group because it is more coaching involved and my coaches are from Momentum. So we cannot serve so many people as we can in Kickstart.
As I’m recording this episode we are gearing up for our next launch in January 2021 when we open up doors to Somba Kickstart. So if that’s something that excites you, if you want to create your next or first online course, build your email list and make some money with an up sale, then get on the wait list. We will link that up in our show notes of course.
The next highlight of the year was designing an eight figure team. This is something that’s been on my mind for probably two years and I’ve talked about this in some episodes that it is the biggest personal development journey you go on is to build your own business. But also moving from an entrepreneur to a business owner and then from there to a CEO. I’ve seen myself as a business owner for a long time. I even had [inaudible 00:35:14] or a limited liability company in 2013 before I had my first client in 2014. So I have never had an issue being a business owner. But stepping up into the role of CEO is a challenge. I can tell you that. And I do think we all deal with it in different ways but I have procrastinated on some team changes and hiring some key people. And my team can report to that.
I have an amazing team. I basically have the right people and most of them are in their right seats. But I have needed to rearrange some things, make job descriptions clearer, have clearer goals. And this has all been on my mind for a long time. I guess I’ve been partly self sabotaging, partly procrastinating. I don’t know what you call this when you have something big and important, maybe not super urgent and then you just don’t do it. And then you keep on waiting and of course it’s not going to solve itself. But maybe it helps you to know that this happens to me too. And that’s definitely what’s been happening to my team building. So I finally bit the bullet. I hired a team coach for three months. But even before we had our first session I was doing most of the things that she suggested that I do because I had been listening to her podcast episode. I binge listened to it. And I kind of instinctively knew what I needed to do. So what do you need to do when you’re designing a team for six, seven or eight figure business? You need to understand all the roles that you want to have. You need to actually take a blank sheet of paper and create an org chart. What are things that you are doing or maybe don’t want to be doing and who should be doing that?
And it gets easier as you grow your team to realize like, “Oh okay, we need someone to do community management or nobody on the team is maybe a fit to do that so we need to hire someone for that.” It doesn’t always mean you have to hire someone full-time. I actually have a great mix of full-time employees and part-time contractors. And I love that because it enables me to have dedicated people in a role. They are responsible for one or two things but not for five things. And actually I think it makes my team more effective and that’s why this mix is so great for me. But I bit the bullet as I said and I sat down and created an org chart for an eight figure business as I saw it. Now, I’ve run an eight figure business already in 2005. It wasn’t my own. I was just the CEO. But I know what roles are needed generally in a larger business. Now, it doesn’t mean that you start to hire everybody into these roles because that’s going to cost you too much and it could hurt your cashflow. So you need an intermediate step and that’s what I decided to do.
So I identified three roles. I identified the need for an integrator, which I had known about for two years. And now I was finally ready to hire this person. I also identified that we needed a Momentum program manager. I’ve talked about my group coaching program Momentum where I help my clients go to 100,000 and 200,000 a year or even up to 250,000 and we needed someone to be dedicated to managing the program. And at the same time my marketing director or let’s say she’s now called my marketing director, Lynn, is stepping up in a more strategic coaching role and I need a more technical virtual assistant to take off some of her tasks. So I identified these three roles. I put out the job advertisements and I have now in front of me a huge Google sheet with applicants and I will be contacting them very soon after the recording of this episode. So if you’re one of those people that applied to one of the roles, then rest assured, you will be contacted shortly if we haven’t already.
But also my team needed clearer job descriptions. So I sat down and I must say, I was dragging my feet. It was hard. It’s not so hard when you start but I think you know this feeling of like uh, I’m not so excited about this. But now everyone on the team has a fantastic job description. Everyone has a number, a goal that they know they’re following. We’ve looked at people’s salaries, we’ve looked at bonus plans. And I did most of this work, but in the future this is going to be the job of the integrator and I’m so excited about that. But basically I feel totally ready. Now, I’m not planning to have eight figures in 2021. I’m planning to have $5 million revenue. And with the team in place and the new hires that I’m going to make in the new year, I feel more than ready for it.
The goal is to have an eight figure business in 2023 so I’m giving myself three years to get there. This means, of course, getting the right people in the right seats. Organizing it in a way that someone can lead the day to day business without me. And that’s how we’re really going to scale to the next level. And this change is hard. I like to be involved in everything. But it’s time to let the baby go. It’s a teenager now at some point you need to let go. It’s just like your children moving out. It’s not something you want to happen. You want to have them small all the time. And I can tell this as a stepmom.
I have a funny next highlight. You wouldn’t maybe expect me to talk about something beauty or makeup related. No, that’s not really me. But, there’s been one highlight that I really want to talk about. And it’s kind of funny, you can’t really show it in a podcast so there will be a video on social media where you can see this in action. I want to talk about my curling iron. I didn’t actually buy it in 2020, but it really proved its value in 2020. I bought it last fall. I bought a curling iron from Dyson. And no, I’m not affiliated with Dyson at all. I get no affiliate commission if you go ahead, buy it. But it’s a curling iron that I talked about on my Facebook page and got a lot of reach because people were so excited about it. I talked about an ad that I saw where people were commenting that it was too expensive or that they loved it. And I was probably on the side that, well, it may be expensive but if it’s worth it, then I’m going to get it. So I got a $600 curling iron. And I didn’t just get one because I happen to live in two countries, Iceland and Switzerland.
So I’m not going to travel back and forth with my curling iron so I bought two. And I actually have a third one. I’m admitting to this here. Because I travel a lot to the US and I thought I would travel a lot more this year, which I didn’t as you know. I have also one with a US plug because typically you cannot use a converter with a curling iron. That’s not something I recommend. So I have three of these curling irons. It sounds a bit crazy but I have used it every single day. Okay, there’ve been a few days where I didn’t. But let’s say 80% of the time. 80% of the time I’ve used my curling iron. And not always to make curls. Sometimes just to brush my hair. But it’s amazing. It’s absolutely amazing. I am not a person that even used a hair dryer before. I had a hair dryer, I had a curling iron, but I rarely used it. But this one, it takes me seven minutes from wet hair to having curls as I’ve gone to the hairdresser.
So with all the lockdown and hairdresser being closed and I saw women complaining on Facebook, on Instagram about not being able to go and missing the hairdresser and I was laughing my head off. I have long hair. I need to go to the hairdresser maybe once a year to do a little cutting. But the Dyson curling iron. One of my highlights of the year.
Another highlight of the year was family time. I have been able to spend a lot of time with family this year. Maybe not all at the same time because my family lives in actually … I wanted to say two countries but I realized it’s three countries. Switzerland, Iceland, and actually Spain as well. So unfortunately I’ve not been able to go to Spain this year, which I feel very sad about. That’s where the mother of my husband lives and my sister-in-law. But I’ve been able to spend quality time with my stepsons, mainly through the lockdown. We did changes to the system how the kids are staying with us versus their mother and instead of being with us every second weekend and one day a week, which we have been doing since they were three and four, we switched to week and week. Because the school was out and there was lockdown, but of course we want to spend time with them. And the week by week turned out to be fantastic. We got a lot closer to the kids I felt. Or at least me I think. My husband is quite close to the kids. We have two boys.
And it’s a little bit different to be stepmom of boys, but I think we got pretty close and we were able to spend a lot of quality time together. I finally got a sofa on our terrace and nobody thought we would use it but we were sitting out there a lot. The weather was fantastic. We were playing games, we were putting meat on the grill. We really had a good time. And looking back, even the boys say that they didn’t really feel that this was so horrible. Of course, they miss their friends and even though they don’t like school so much they said, yeah, they kind of missed going out. But together, we had a great time.
And I had another opportunity to spend good quality time with family this fall. I decided suddenly to rent out my apartment in Iceland and buy a new one and that’s a topic for the next highlight. But as a result I was kind of homeless for three weeks until the paperwork was done and I was able to go to Switzerland. So I moved into the spare bedroom of my parents. And actually I did our September launch for Somba Accelerator from the spare bedroom of my parents. And first I thought about masking it, like trying to set up a system where people wouldn’t see where I was. But I decided to go with it. I would start my training and say, “I’m in the spare bedroom of my parents and here’s how it looks. You see my bed here behind me.” And I know that some people didn’t like it, but the right people will have loved it. Living three weeks with my parents, they’re 75 and I’m close to 50, was an interesting experience, but I felt like a little girl moving back to the parents. We get along so well anyway so there were no discussions, no fights, nothing. It was really just a pleasant time and they say they loved it.
At the same time, we had the task, or I was having the task, of looking for furniture. And my mom was going with me to shops and we really, really had a great time. And this fall again, I came back to Iceland the ninth of November and I’ve moved into my new place and they’ve been helping me out a lot. So I must say, 2020 was a year where I got closer to many people in my family and I’m very grateful for that.
And now I want to talk about a new apartment and new company. And I was a little bit alluding to that already in a previous highlight. It was in August I was scrolling through Facebook and I noticed a share from a Facebook friend. She was sharing an apartment that her sister was selling. And this Facebook friend of mine is my makeup artist and she had told me that her sister had an amazing penthouse apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland. And I hadn’t thought much about it but now I saw the share and I started to take a look at the pictures and I fell in love. Everything was what I wanted. When you talk about manifestation, that you are looking for your dream house or dream apartment, this was it. It was only five minutes from the place that I already had and I didn’t want to move too far. It was new. The house was only three years old. It was an apartment building where there is a garage for the car. There is elevator onto the floor that the apartment is. There was a separate entrance to the apartment. There was a winter garden. There was a huge rooftop terrace which you could have a hot pool on, a whirlpool or whatever you call it, hotpot. And it had two … Actually three bedrooms. So we could have two offices, me and my husband.
And it looked amazing. It looked amazing. I had already a dream list in my head. And I had been looking for apartments for several years. Not seriously. To be honest, 2016 actually I saw this house being built and I thought, “Oh, it’d be great to live there.” But at that time my finances were not in a state to buy an apartment. You need quite a lot of capital. But suddenly I sat there realizing I might be able to buy this. So I sent a Facebook message to my friend and asked her for an introduction. Yeah, we do this all over Facebook in Iceland. No real estate agent involved. Of course, she had a real estate agent that I dealt with later. But I took a look at the apartment, I fell in love with it, and I seriously thought about making an offer. Now, I had an option to sell my previous apartment and put in cash that I had and the new apartment, the penthouse would be mine. But I had another idea. I didn’t want to sell my old apartment that I bought 19 years ago. Student with no money and 100% loan. It was dear to my heart and was a great place. I had renovated it so well 19 years ago that it was still up to date. And I knew I could rent it out.
And I liked the idea … Actually I fell in love with the idea of owning an apartment and renting it out and having true passive income. Not the passive income that a lot of people talk about that isn’t really passive, but actual passive income. So I got the crazy idea that I could keep my old place, pay off what was left of the mortgage, which was about $100,000, and put some cash in but then get a mortgage for the difference for the new apartment. I book an appointment with a bank. I go there thinking that this is a done deal. I have good revenue. I can show what I’m doing with my company. I pay myself a salary. And I get a no. “No, because you don’t live in Iceland.” And I’m like, “Well, what if I move? I can be a legal resident of Iceland tomorrow if I want to.” “No. Also no there because you have salary from a foreign company.” And I’m like, “But it’s my company.” “Doesn’t matter. You are not receiving a salary from an Icelandic company.” I was very disappointed. I felt it was like this computer says no experience and I was thinking what can I do? And I’m not the one to give up. If someone says no to me, I actually get fired up and I want to figure it out.
But I was disappointed and I didn’t really see a solution. I don’t know how you buy real estate. I’ve just done it once before in my life. And I did not know the next steps. Well, as it happens, and think here the universe provides, I had a lunch appointment with a fellow entrepreneur, an Icelandic guy that had interviewed me on his podcast and we decided to have lunch together. And I thought he would be picking my brain about how to go online. Instead I was picking his brain on how to buy real estate. And I told him the story from the bank. I was very disappointed. It was happening exactly on the same day. And he says, “No problem. You just start a company in Iceland and that company buys the apartment.” And I’m like, “What? It’s that simple? The bank will lend a brand new company instead of a person with a financial history?” Yes, that’s the case. So I book an appointment with three banks in the following days and all of them said, “Yes, this is possible but here’s what you need to prove. Blah, blah, blah.”
One of the banks was nicer than the others. It happened to be the bank where I actually was already a customer. And this looked like a possibility. I didn’t have the yes from the bank yet but it looked like it could happen. I contact the real estate agent, I ask him, “Can I make an offer in the name of an unfounded company?” He said, “No problem. People do this all the time.” And I’m like, “Are you serious? People do this all the time and I’ve never heard of this?” Anyway, there is a hidden world out there that you and I don’t know about if you have not been doing this already. So I made an offer for the penthouse, planning not to sell my previous apartment. The offer was accepted the next day. A minute before the offer got accepted the bank sent me an email where they accepted that they would lend me the difference. So there I was paying off a mortgage of my old apartment. 100,000. And I transferred the money to pay the down payment of the new apartment. And I got a loan. So suddenly I owned a company with two apartments, renting out my old apartment, and renting out the new apartment, about 40% of it, to my company. Because I have offices in two countries.
That’s how that went. But here’s only the beginning of the story. Buying a penthouse apartment and then decorating it from scratch because I left all the furniture in my old apartment. I rented it out fully furbished. Has turned out to be the biggest personal upgrade I have done in my life, I think. I have always known my style. I like to have things minimalistic. Black and white have been my favorite colors with a little bit touch of red. And I have created my dream apartment. I’m still waiting for some furniture so it’s not completely finished, but it’s completely different from the previous apartment that I had in Iceland where it was the student that moved in and bought furniture at Ikea.
And there’s nothing wrong with furniture from Ikea but sometimes you outgrow it and want to invest in something even nicer. More exclusive, more design. Since I studied architecture I also have affinity for designed furniture. And suddenly I’m able to go into a shop and buy these things and I don’t have to worry about how to pay for them. I think this has been a huge growth opportunity for me. It’s almost been like my money mindset has been fixed in so many different ways, allowing myself to have this crazy idea of not selling my old apartment, stepping into owning two businesses, actually buying new furniture for a whole apartment and not making any compromises. I think that’s also been a lesson.
There’s been a few things that maybe were wrong. That’s always when you buy something that’s used. The apartment had been used for three years and there were things that I wanted to fix. And my mother would say, “Well, you just have to get used to it. This is the way it is because it’s not a brand new place.” And I’m like, “No. I want this to look brand new so I will do whatever it takes to make it look brand new.” So there’s marble on the kitchen countertop. I think you call that in English countertop. And I had it fixed. I had it re-polished. The doors of the fridge were a little bit scratched. I bought new fridge doors. I would not have done these things. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do these things. First of all, of course you need to have the cash to do it, but also felling that I’m worth it. That this is really something I need to do for myself and I’m doing it. And I’m not making compromises. I’m doing it the best it can be.
As we come to a close, I want to talk about what lies ahead in 2021. I believe 2021 will be the year of online business boom. I know we had a big boom in 2020 but 2021 is going to be even bigger because of the shifts and changes and how people have suddenly realized that you cannot really run a business without having an online business element. Because COVID-19 is not gone. And it will slowly go away, but just reading an article from WHO this morning, we have to get used to viruses like this. So we better prepare ourselves and really go online. And I’m excited about that. I’m excited for myself. I’m excited for my clients, for my community. And if you don’t have an online business yet, well, I’m excited for you because you have a chance to get started. I see exciting things ahead in terms of conferences, events. People are going to want to come together. Whether it’s going to be possible in June, September, December, whenever it will be possible, we’re going to be jumping out of our stalls like cows that are seeing the sunshine and grass in the spring. We’re going to feel so free and we’re going to be so grateful for this experience.
I’m excited about the Selfmade Summit. I’m excited about maybe going on some trips later in the year of 2021. And I’m excited to help my clients reach their goals. And if you are listening to this after this long year in review, still listening, and you have some exciting goals for 2021 and you still don’t know how to make them happen, then I invite you to checkout our programs. I have now four programs that we’re going to offer in 2021. First of all I have Red Circle for women who are making $250,000 and more in online business and have online course launch and team experience and want to grow their business to a million dollars. We have, at the time of this recording, only three spots left for the year 2021. So if that’s you, reach out to us.
Momentum, our group coaching program. We have fantastic results helping people go to 10K months and 20K months and have multiple five and even six figure launches in the fastest way possible with the most support that I’ve ever seen in any program. And if you’re not there yet, you’re just starting out, or you’ve never launched before, then I have two programs for you. Somba Kickstart is the program where you create your first or next online course. Basically you stop doing one on one and you start to offer courses. And Somba Accelerator is where you launch. You learn how to market and sell your program. We are offering this program both twice in this year. And the first program to start in January, 2021 is Somba Kickstart. At the end of this year in review I want to make sure that you are signed up for our five day course where you learn what you need to do to have big impact in your business in 2021. Thank you for listening.
Secure your free ticket for the Boost Your Business Framework course to learn the exact steps to get the most impact in your business in 2021. Go to the show notes at sigrun.com/413 where you will find a link to sign up for the five day course.
Thank you for listening to The Sigrun Show. Did you enjoy this episode? Let me know that you listened by tagging me in your Instastory or Instagram post using my handle sigruncom and the hashtag #sigrunshow. See you in the new year, see you in the five day course, and see you in the next episode.