Sexy, passionate, epic, storyteller?

Quite often when I read any article, column, blog, I cannot avoid to spot a few words: sexy, passion, epic, story telling. These old words have gotten totally new meanings in current (postmodern) businesses. As a shy Finn, I hardly can write these down, never speak in loud. And if ever, only blushing.

All companies offer sexy products, every experience is epic. It seems that there are not workers or employees anymore – only passionate enthusiasts and of course storytellers. The last one is so last season – it has been precept already decades (at least in some countries).

Is it really so that all the companies are filled with passionate people, who sell and offer sexy things. Sometimes the comprehension is not possible. One of my latest experience (not anything epic) was to find out that web analytics is very sexy. Really? I enrolled Digital Marketing Specialization program (offered by Coursera & Illinois University). Our lecturer was enthusiastic, perhaps passionate, when telling all the possibilities the web analytics can offer. Why not? But sexy – can analytical science be sexy. Also accounting was declared sexy in one blog (forgotten the specific blog, but it was written by Kaushik).

I have worked on sales, account management, business development for years, so story telling is familiar with me. There are storytellers and storytellers. I hopefully followed my morals during my sales journeys. I truly believe in honest and truthful selling, if you have no solution to fit, say no.

It is almost touching to read of epic journeys, which first time travelers publish. Everything is epic. Still sometimes I doubt, if it is, really. Eating MacLunch in a new city is not necessarily so epic. Or at least not in the sense, how ancient Homer probably thought it to be. But in the other hand Homer wrote of young, omnipotent heroes, so actually it can be exactly apt.

But passionate. There has been enthusiasts, heroes, explorers, evangelists. And now everyone has to be passionate. The most common question on job ads is “What is your passion?”. Again, only blushing. Okay, it is something deeper than to like or feel happy for, but it is a strong word. (at least for a Finn)

And in job interviews, always the question, what are you passionate for? What an earth I could answer. My passions, well, reading, books, anything new, walking and hiking in pool or in the ground, cultures, elephants, baking, my bread starters. … Nope. Should I tell that yes, my passion is web analytics, you know, it is so sexy tool. No again. But what I have said then that one of my passions is my curiosity, I want to learn new and I am enthusiastic with it. Hopefully it is not comprehended nosy, negative curiosity, but only positive – in the way that I want resolve problems, I want to see forward, I need to know the background. Never know what impulse gives you a new idea.

I feel passionate elephants. They are vanishing, soon in the extinction. Only because of us, humans. I have read, clicked in social media, shared videos, photos and articles of elephants that much that probably half of Facebook friends have hidden my posts. The concern, caring passion I should say led me to act. Unfortunately I have no possibility to move onto any elephant sanctuary to help there, but I wanted to do something very concrete. That’s why I established two online shops via Threadless and RedBubble.

My objective is to donate 50% of my sales share to the organizations preserving wildlife. First week sales (Threadless) was 3 t-shirts and 1 hoodie, my share $49 (US). Donation is not huge at the moment, but I want to believe it comes dollar by dollar. My target annually is $1000. If your passion also is wildlife, I am glad to see you sharing my blog or posts.


Online shops:








Digital experiment: my UGC submission

As a part of studies on Digital Marketing (provided by University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera) we participants analyzed as a case study the company Threadless, which uses co-creation as their core business idea. Company’s ideological business incentive has turned also to revenue. Many mistakes, many lessons learned.

User generated content (UGC) as marketing concept or method has not been familiar to me, as a user. To dive deeper I wanted to get some real touch, personal feeling of how it works or can work (or does not work). So I created my own design (with help my spouse’s excellent PowerPoint skills) to submit onto Threadless website. I am willing to find out in next 10 days, what kinds of reactions I receive, if any. I have shared the link of my design also via Facebook (my friends, not publicly), Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, plus started a discussion with my virtual classmates participating the same online course than me.

I won’t use the information in any other purpose than to get an experiment on UGC, and won’t ever publish any comments or identity of comment contributors.

My contribution can be found here: No poaching

I am glad to receive any feedback. Let’s share!

Learning in mid-age: a crisis or just merely fun?

Studying and learning new is like project management. Last autumn I decided I need a certification of Project Management to enhance my options to find a new job. My process started at first to analyze, which organization (meaning either PMI or IPMA). The result more often PMI certification was asked here in Singapore. Probably different from Europe in general? After that I still wanted to compare the two organizations, and finally selected PMI. And then there was decision to be made: which certification and program I want to choose. I ended up to start the studies with PMP (Project Management Professional). Since September 2015 I have passed 27 e-courses, applied to get certified (demands e-courses, a lot of PM work). What I noticed that my process was exactly from project management textbook: first initiating, then planning, executing, there has been a lot of monitoring and controlling, and now I am waiting for the closure.

I had a backflash with certification test due to PMI is renewing its material on PMP-program and particularly the core: textbook. The release is in April, but the organization has already renewed the test. Not so matching, but need to wait for a while now to have a chance to download renewed textbook. It seems that quite a lot of content is changed. Of course, there are a many delays, obstacles during the project, and what to do. Re-analyze, find a workaround, re-plan, deny the event etc.

My workaround is to study something else meanwhile, with given time-out. I started a new program provided by Coursera. It is said that current workers and students need to learn eternally new. Maybe so, but even though I have a degree on Marketing, I found very intriguing to start a new specialization program of Digital Marketing. Globe is changing, so must I. Sort of funny, but my steps were exactly same than finding out, which PM-certification to take. Now of course there were so (too) much alternatives, but my criteria were quite simple. Not too costly, online courses available in my time, known institution, something to be linked in practice, maybe to get global network. But still I walked the same path from initiating to executing. I am monitored and controlled, which is good, it is keeping me more or less on the track (timetable). My first module is passed, so partial closing also experienced, final closure somewhere there over the rainbow, but heading there.

Last year I also started to bake traditional sourdough bread plus rye bread. So my thought is that do I process my new things always similarly, like a proper project manager. And after not so profound analysis I realized that well, yes, most of what I do and especially what I start is usually had some project management shower. For instance my baking. I wanted to have my own bread starters (I have blogged about the experience earlier). My first intention was to start with sourdough starter reasoning (I don’t know why) that is has to be easier, simpler than rye flour starter. I studied and compared and tried many times before succeeding. My trials and errors and lessons learned with sourdough starter helped me to create simple and living rye starter (many trials though). One lesson I learned is that ingredients differ from country to country or at least flours vary from Finnish ones I was used to. But since I have had time to experience, and it has been my own personal project, I have enjoyed a lot of every phase. Baking is of course another phase! All breads have been eatable, some tastier than others, but I am glad I have kept going on with my starters (they are still alive!) and baking.

Of course not all my activities follow the path of project management processes, but for me realizing this actually helped me with my studies as well. Some of the new things I have started and learned have been discontinued – quite probably the majority, but it is also have along some continuities, like reading (since I was about 10 years old), baking – I have had different waves and phase, but since I was 13-14 years old, and now the latest learning: my starters.

20160328_204413.jpgMy newest learned craftsmanship, I learned last October, how to knit socks by watching YouTube video. Socks are not beautiful, but  at least they are hand-made.