It’s Monday again and it’s time to start the week with a good energy!
Monday Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game.
Today’s guest is Pia Ella Elmegård. Pia is an Entrepreneur & Community Builder by heart, and has been building initiatives supporting the tech startup ecosystem in Denmark and the Nordics since 2010, as well as co-founded a media company on startups and digital entrepreneurs. Organisations include Trendsonline, #NordicMade, TechBBQ, NordicAI & Growth Tribe Denmark.
1. Pia, imagine you’ve had a very productive day. What made it so for you? Could you lead us through a day of yours at Growth Tribe?
A perfect day is a day that allows me to be a whole human being.
For me that means waking up slowly with my family, getting out the door without a hurry, and going to work with a podcast in my ear. I find that the start of my day makes all the difference.
I love days that are stress-free, well-planned, and has elements of both interactions with awesome people and concentrated screen time. At Growth Tribe we work as we teach, meaning that we experiment our way to what works, and double down on the things that do. The last 18 months I’ve been optimising and up-skilling myself like never before. Every day in Growth Tribe is fulfilling and meaningful because I know WHY we do what we do.
A perfect day also includes quitting work early enough for me to still have energy and motivation for more.
Afternoons consist of playtime with my daughter, fixing something around the house or spending time with friends. Evenings are spent just being together, syncing up at home all 3 of us, discussing a subject across the dinner table, and putting our daughter to sleep before I read a book by someone like Elizabeth Gilbert.
2. How important is to have a “growth mindset” in your industry? What are some of the defining characteristics of such a mindset? Can anyone develop such an approach to solving problems and growing business?
YES ✅ And I could talk about this for hours!
First, I don’t believe that the mindset has anything to do with title, age, type of business, industry or size of company.
People with a growth mindset are everywhere and you recognize them because they have the perfect combination of humility and ambition. They are high achievers that want to do better and do more. But they are also humble enough to know that there is always something new to learn – and they want to learn.
The best part of my job is being surrounded by people with a growth mindset. Our company of 90 people across Europe have this amazing combination, and so does our course participants and client companies.
3. You’re a busy business woman and also are a parent. How do plan your time? Do you have a system or method that helps you to prioritise and spend your time what matters most?
I’m actually not a busy person. People expect me to be busy and often start a question with “I know you’re super busy, but…”. – and I used to be. Today, I choose not to be busy.
It’s really about priorities, knowing what matters to me, and being okay with the things that I miss out on. Since I decided to not be busy it’s become so much easier to keep my integrity as well. I always have time to do “the right thing”. Whatever the right thing is to me.
I never want to be too busy to reply my client in time, too busy to have coffee with an old friend stopping by the office, see my daughter being proud because she just did something on her own for the first time, or listen to my love at home if he is concerned or had a rough day. Not being busy makes me a better professional, a better parent and a better friend, daughter and sister. And that matters most to me. And with a 2-year-old, growing business, a house, friends and family, how am I not busy?
➤ I do less. And what I do, I do really well.
➤ I manage expectations with myself and then with others around me.
➤ I say no a lot. To the low priority things.
➤ I say yes a lot. To the high priority things.
On a practical level, I try to schedule all meetings between 10-14. This frees up my morning and afternoon for my 2-year-old or for work. It takes the hurried morning or afternoon out of the equation. This is something I can control most days and weeks.
And when I have a busy schedule I ask for help.
4. Achievement vs Fulfilment? Is it possible to have both? How does one find their own balance, their own “sweet spot” of living a meaningful and productive life?
Yes. It really is.
The big first step for me has been to simply allow myself to dream bigger, understand what I really want, and then ask for it and go for it.
My mantra is “you don’t have to choose, you can have it all”.
And this is how I feel. I feel like I can have it all. I can grow a business and be ambitious while I am a guilt-free parent still in love with the father of my child.
Fun fact for all the other entrepreneurs scared of becoming parents like I was; The year I was pregnant and gave birth was perhaps my most productive year yet! And when our daughter was just 5 months we opened Growth Tribe Denmark, and I’d do it again.
5. In the last 24 months – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you to be a more effective professional today?
The main belief I’ve acquired in the last 2 years has been the necessity of continuous learning.
Continuous learning is not something they taught me in school. My experience with school was to study for a test, ace the test, and then I was supposed to go into the workforce and deliver.
I never did that, though. I never joined the workforce as an employee, but have been an entrepreneur with all the out-of-comfortzone experiences that follow. As an entrepreneur you have to learn on the go.
I always thought I already had a growth mindset. But in the last 2 years working with up-skilling and re-skilling people with our training in Growth Tribe, it’s made me aware that continuous learning is a mindset and a skill on its own.
Continuous learning is about feeding your curiosity and always knowing that there is a better, faster, smarter way of doing what you’re doing right now. And working to find those better ways, testing them ad implementing them. I now know that in 2 years time, I will be executing on a lot of the same activities, but with better and faster results.
With the continuous learning flow I am in right now, I know I will be able to do more with less. For someone like me, with the mantra of not having to choose, but having it all, this is such a motivation.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
And I consume everything from Brené Brown, Mark Manson & Sam Harris.
If you have any questions to Pia, please leave your comment below!
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Thank you for reading! And Happy Monday 😎
Stoyan is a foremost expert in productivity and a professional speaker, who’s helped teams to grow and increase their performance in over 20 countries; through his trainings, workshops and coaching programs.
Stoyan co-developed the #perform methodology together with Cristobal Alonso (CEO, Startup Wise Guys), applied in hundreds of startup team across Europe. Together they are finishing the book: #perform – The Unsexy Truth of (Startup) Success, including cases and examples from the best startup founders in #NewEurope.