Thank you 2018 for all the tough lessons. This year made me stronger and wiser.
2018 was by far my most challenging year to date, and also the year that I have grown the most. Trice started this year with a mega crash. Literally, on New Years Eve morning, we were given cards that would set the tone for the year. The first quarter we solely focused on cleaning up. At the same time, my personal life was giving me many heartaches.
My mom had a very rough time with her COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, my youngest son Ivar was diagnosed with Keratoconus a corneal disease that can make you blind and he needed eye surgery, and by the end of this quarter, my brother came home with severe stomach pains. I know he can handle severe pain after his year as a professional Judo athlete, and also know that when he tells you he is in pain it’s probably a 9 or 10 on the pain scale! The first MRI indicated a tumor as big as an orange on the wall of his stomach close to the adrenal glands.
I still remember the echo in my head, 2018 had just begun and I found myself saying, “stop it, I have had enough”… I don’t think I could handle more challenges and I doubted that I could continue to show up and be strong as there were days I just want to crawl up in my bed a put a big blanket over my head and pretend everything was good.
With all the adversity, we persevered. We got up, we worked through all our bigger issues, we cleaned house, we didn’t avoid the tough conversations, we stood up against fears, and frustration, we choose courage over comfort and we were brave. This is in thanks to many great people around Trice. Considering the rough start, we ended up on top for the first year in our companies history we achieved OP (operating profit) every quarter.
I want to give a big thank you to my Co-founder Åsa Nordgren and Martin Westin, and my closest colleagues Bernd Nuber, Sven Haynie and Dagi Nuber, and our board members Masood Jabbar, Don Jones and Bo Hedfors for riding out this storm with us. I ended this year writing an article about my scaling learnings Moving Through The Teenage Years In Business.
2018 also brought on opportunities for me that would elevate the trajectory of my impact. One of the most rewarding and enjoyable things upon moving back to Sweden is the work I get to do with Sting Innovation, Almi Green Tech Fund, and Fatfish global venture. I am grateful to be on the Jury every 6 months to select the 8 most promising tech startups in Stockholm. These startups that are privileged to be part of Sting accelerator program which provides an exclusive package of 300 000 SEK in funding, tailored coaching, support with financing, recruitment, and access to Sting’s network. It’s very inspiring to listen to every team pitch about their vision and dream for their product. Their energy and dreams are truly contagious. Thank you Pär Hedberg, Fredrik Rosengren, Ivar Strömberg, Boel Swartling, Anna Ljungbergh, Sara Bjelkstam, Henna Keränen, and Simon Josefsson it’s been exciting to be part of this jury.
Almi Green Tech Fund is a SEK 650 M fundraised to invest in technologies that can help us save our planet. The fund will invest in 50 companies until 2023 with the focus on technologies and services that have a CO2-reducing effect like renewable energy, recycling systems, energy, waste management, and combustion. I am grateful to be part of this investing committee, one of the most important tasks I have taken on this year. The last 3 years my anxiety about the environment has increased with 50 % every year and the last year it went through the roof.
United Nation said this year we only have 12 more years to limit climate catastrophe on our planet and the only we can get there is through new innovative technologies, regulations, and creating mass awareness for us all to do something about this today and not tomorrow. So far, we have invested in 5 companies, Corpower Ocean, C-Green Technologies, Epishine, Altered and Maven Wireless. I’m looking forward to following their progress to help us take better care of our beautiful planet. Thank you Markus Hökfelt, Mikael Karlsson, Per Olofsson, Linda Krondahl, Boris Gyllenhamn, Karin Ebbinghaus, Lisa Westin it’s been a true honor to be part of this important investment committee and I’m really looking forward to our next meeting next year.
My last but my most important thank you goes to my beautiful family. Thank you for supporting and loving me unconditionally. I am thankful that Ivar’s surgery went well, my brother’s tumor was not cancerous, and that my mom is doing better.
Finally, I want to acknowledge and praise my dad, Kent Hult, an amazing and very successful entrepreneur. He always told me when he said “no” to multiple things I asked him for, that if I ever really needed his urgent help he would be there. I truly hoped that day would never come, but it did, and he showed up like he promised big time. Thank you, dad, for helping us!
Thank you 2018 for all the great lessons and the failures that were even greater lessons. I learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, and who I want to be. My wish for 2019 is fewer hurdles and more laughter and at the same time, I’m ready for everything you will bring!
Happy New Year