This post is in Swedish and are reflections on the Swedish “Almedalsveckan”, a political/societal week with seminars, talks and meetups.

För första gången fick jag möjligheten att snabbt inpå åka till Almedalen, där jag spenderat söndag – onsdag till att gå på seminarier, träffa nya och gamla vänner och ha det allmänt trevligt.

I detta inlägg tänkte jag reflektera lite kring årets Almedalen, ur ett perspektiv som förstagångsbesökare, företagare, ung och konferensvan.

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On Taking Time Off

Last week I wrote about working on weekends. In that post, I briefly mentioned that I am a vocal advocate of working smarter and not more. Today, I want to turn my attention to taking time off.

Let me be clear: Taking time off could well be the most productive thing you do.

In my line of work, that is being creative, coming up with new solutions and solving intricate problems, I need space and distance. It is only with space, calm and distance that you reflect deeply on what is going on around you. How do you get this perspective? Simple: You take time off.

Alongside this are many added benefits too. You see, I firmly believe that we don’t make the best decisions under fatigue. Add that to the “work smarter not more” philosophy and you have a pretty good argument for time off.

So, don’t be the guy who just works, hour after hour just because. Stays late even though you don’t have any energy causing you to spend hours more on a task, instead of resting for a bit and then tackling it in less than half the time.

Work smarter, not more and take time off!

On Working Weekends

Quite often you’ll find my working on weekends. Up until now I’ve more or less been forced to, juggling a full time business with full time school and university. But there are more reasons, why I have also kept doing it the past weeks when I’m “only” running the business.

First of all, let me clarify that I don’t think life revolves around working. I vocally advocate working smarter instead of working more.

Still though, weekends can be wonderful. For one, there is more peace and quiet around. There are no clients calling, little email coming in and in general just a perfect time when you can get down and really focus.

If you’re in the zone, you can easily get a few day’s worth of work done in a weekend. With that time saved, it means you can probably work a little less during the week and get more time then.

For me, for the type of work I do and the position I am in, this works beautifully. I’d rather spend a few hours on the weekend (if I am in the zone!) and compensate that with a little more time off during the week, or at some other point in time.

Working partly on weekends can ultimately mean you get more done, in a shorter time and enhance your overall life quality. I think that’s a very good thing.

This is a short background story of how I went from idea to service with which was launched a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy!

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting products and services to develop and offer that has a fit in the marketplace. As an agency owner I’ve been thinking about the offering of maintenance plans for a long time. They are useful but sometimes tricky. At the same time, I was getting a few emails from people who had their sites hacked.

Out of this, the idea of was born. After looking around for a bit, I realized that very few people in the Swedish marketplace were offering a standardized cleaning service for hacked websites, as well in the global market.

All said and done, there is an idea which is definitely needed. Many people see their sites hacked for various reasons, although most often it is because of poor maintenance and not applying updates. The aim of and its sister sites (Swedish) and (German) is to first offer a cleaning service, and then offer an ongoing maintenance plan. This way, we want to prevent hacking from happening in the first place.

This idea came to me because it is an extension of what I’m already doing at my agencies XLD Studios and Bernskiold Media. By packaging this service that we are already doing into a productized service, it is my hope that it will be easier to purchase and thus make it easier for people who need help.

All in all, it took me about a weekend to get everything together. It’s a simple WordPress multisite network powered by WooCommerce and processes payments by invoice and credit card (Stripe). For this kind of service, the terms of service are of high importance and I spent a few hours getting them together and having them proofread by a lawyer friend of mine (yes, I take pride in the fact that she deemed them mostly good from the beginning!).

With all the great services and products out there, it is easy to set a business up. Apart from the website, support is quickly and nicely set up to go through HelpScout and online chat to help users right on the site is powered by Olark.

Now, the site is out there and we have already signed a very exciting partnership with the Swedish web host Oderland, who will be offering the services of to their customers if their WordPress sites are hacked. I couldn’t be happier!

Let’s see where this takes us, but I think this episode illustrates how it is possible to take something that you’ve learnt, package it into a nice offering and launch it quickly and easily and use that to gauge and see how the market will react. I’ll be sure to follow up soon again with another post.

This is a hard one for me. I love automating processes and figuring out sophisticated systems to handle them. While automation is usually a good thing, it should be done at the right time in order to actually be more efficient. There are a couple of snags that you run into when trying to do this too quickly.

First of all you might not know your process fully. You need to give the process time to develop naturally and make changes and be flexible to allow yourself to find the ideal (or at least good enough one) process. It is a fatal mistake to not design processes that allow for flexibility. A good process should take care of the majority of cases, but you should be able to deviate from it if necessary.

Secondly there are major costs to automation up front. Developing systems and setting up the automation usually requires a considerable investment of both time and money. While having those orders be automatically done correctly in your book keeping automatically, or having your time management system, CRM and payroll be automatically in sync sure is nice, it takes some setting up. You need to stay realistic and ask yourself at one point in time you actually save resources by doing this, instead of doing a less sophisticated automated system.

While I’m the first to appreciate a smooth process and a cool automated system it is important to actually take a moment and think things through before adding one. Often the costs of doing so far exceeds the benefits, at least in the beginning. Everything just doesn’t have to be scalable in extreme from the start.