“My path was a lot about taking great care of my body-mind-spirit, about presence, and about “saving” sexual energy. I sucked at art in school, and had no idea how to use a brush or oil colours until the millennium. But, I created an abundance of inner passion, which I naturally expressed through art.”
Using your rational mindset, would you have guessed that the art featured above this post was produced by somebody new to their creativity?
Academy member Stefan Loå struggled against the rational mindset for up to 5 years. When Stefan decided to live off the grid, he made himself inaccessible for a number of years to his family, friends, and other people that he felt would judge him.
For a period of time, he decided to wriggle out of his identity. He would do lucid dreaming, induce out of body experiences, and he became engrossed in esoteric texts. These texts would help him make sense of, or challenge, the rational mindset. However, in the long-run, Stefan said it was hard to live a type of lifestyle that was way out of the norm. It was the toughest intellectual challenge Stefan has ever had and so he decided to bring about balance to his life, and let his knowledge and wisdom guide him.
As the journey continues, Stefan has since regained his love for life, learning, and high performance so that he can bring about his ultimate achievements. This starts off with his new business in the Creative Service industry.
You’ll see that the journeys we hear about get more fascinating by the week! It’s testament to our common purpose together, that as a community we are continually seeking to evolve just as our ethos here teaches.
Check out this member interview – not only will it help to enrich and broaden our horizon, but it helps us to understand some of the experiences Stefan has learnt so far, including in the following areas:
- What helps success
- Tips for successful pitching
- How to own your creative power
- Why goal affirmations are powerful
Member Interview with Stefan Loå
Tell us about yourself
“My ancestors are from Finland, but I grew up in Stockholm and left home at an early age. I enrolled in the army for 9 months and immediately after, headed to Lund university to study Economics, then an MBA and Accountancy. The calling from my ancestors in Finland grew strong, so I went to the Finnish forests for almost two years. At 25, I entered an internship at the United Nations headquarters in New York as an macro economist. I was later stationed at the United Nations Office for Project Services in Copenhagen for half a year. But alas, being a small cog in a big international bureaucratic machinery wasn’t my cup of tea. Something else grabbed my soul for the next 10 years: writing on a fantasy book. I waltzed into the public library of Lund, grabbed a green little book for reference and started to read it. It was ‘The Second Ring of Power’ by Carlos Castaneda. There was something about it in between the lines. I read it non-stop for hours, and when leaving the library the world was different. I had found something that was larger than life itself, and for the next years life became a magic adventure. I left my parents, relatives, friends, and became a hippie disguised as a student and careerist for the next 10 years. It is here that I faced the greatest intellectual challenges of my life. Some years ago, the magic started to die out. Having ignored material gains for the last decade I had few friends, little money, and a worthless job that drained my spirit. It was a dark time for several years. My lust for life grew again and I wanted to WIN. I saw Simon Dixon who is a Bitcoiner, on YouTube, who referred to Daniel Priestley, and now I am here, being interviewed, wanting to create magnificence for the world.”
What is Creative Production?
“I create platforms for artists, illustrators, photographers, and other creative people, where they can network and buy and sell, and actually get paid for what they do. I call it a new eBay to make people immediately understand what we are creating. I first planned to launch an entire web platform, but soon realised that it is better to build an audience before launching. That is why, for example, I created an account on Instagram @skaparAPA, which means “creative monkey.” It allows mainly Swedish artists to sell their artworks directly on Instagram. Half of the money goes to charity and the rest to the artists. It is a true pleasure to create a system that makes people connect, and to see their happiness when they close a deal. Although, in the beginning we focus on a very narrow segment of artists and illustrators in Sweden. Together we add beauty and creativity to the world. Anyone with a particular skill can quickly enter the platform and buy and sell. I have pitched my idea to about 10 seasoned entrepreneurs face-to-face (around 45 minutes each), and have presented the business plan in a couple of contests, getting written feedback from experienced judges. I’ve learnt to pitch ideas to everyone. That way, I practice pitching and learn which ideas people love. Set a big, fat, dripping goal. Join the best networks, and be in touch with high performance people on a daily basis. Smell the leather every day.”
What helps success?
“I have found that pitching is absolutely essential to success. Even before knowing what project to focus on, you can share various ideas to the people around you, and see what idea gets them going. To share my own experiences, when I didn’t really know what to do, I presented several ideas, from creating an art rating site to centralising the funding information of the Swedish universities. Mostly, I just got nice and disengaged answers. Later on, I developed three ideas that stood out and I tested them on my friends. The very best one was “to create a new Blocket for buying and selling creative services”. A Blocket is the Swedish eBay. I knew I had something here, I felt it in my body. When I went to entrepreneur gatherings, I saw beginners with mediocre dreams. Many didn’t want to pitch, like as if they thought someone would steal their idea. The established entrepreneurs on the other hand, naturally described what they did in one brief sentence, and I immediately got a clear picture in my head about what they did. I took Daniel Priestley’s message on pitching to heart. From the very start I worked on my pitch, but I still felt my 2-10 minute pitches sucked. So, I practiced and practiced. I wrote the pitch as part of the business plan, then I voice recorded it, then I video recorded it, and now the words come more naturally. During my presentation at the next entrepreneur gathering, I said that “WE are now creating a new Blocket, but for buying and selling creative services”, and added that “there is a huge market potential for this, we are the only ones in Sweden doing this.” The pitch lasted about 20 seconds. That was all it took to flip the scenario like a pancake. People asked me questions, swapped email and LinkedIn contacts, and even the seasoned lecturer himself started to believe in me. In our private session he even suggested that we should focus on the entire European market. The pitch changed my very identity. I became what I pitched!”
What did you understand from pitching?
“The pitch is absolutely essential for success. Pitch various ideas and see which one works: That way you practice pitching, you see what makes people tick, and if someone criticises your idea you get valuable info on what might go wrong. Unless you are Bill Gates NO ONE will try to somehow steal your idea in this early stage. So keep pitching! These are my top 3 tips:
- Add two zeros: If you plan to open a studio with a net turnaround of 10.000 Euro a year, what if your goal is 100.000 or 1 million Euro? Amplify your dreams and soon you’ll see that they are possible.
- Add two people: In the beginning you are often alone with your idea. But instead of pitching that “I” will open a new restaurant franchise in Taipei or “I” will change the French fashion industry, throw in a couple of persons, so that the pitch changes from I to WE. It will make you more attractive to the listener, and you set yourself up for working as a team.
- Practice your pitch in front of the camera: I felt downright paranoid the first time I was about to see myself on camera. I thought I would have a bazillion ticks and what-not, but soon found out that “hey, I look pretty all right, I just need to adjust this and that, look more into the camera, and be more to the point when I speak.” In the end, it can be really fun to act in front of the camera. Now you can publish yourself online! Your pitch becomes reality.”
What has been your toughest intellectual challenge?
“When I dissected the reality-laws of Western civilization and other fabricated assumptions that glue our mass awareness on one tiny spot in a universe of infinite possibilities, a spot we can call “rationality.” But you know what? There are other perspectives out there, for example did witches fly on brooms through keyholes. It is just that they did it from another point of awareness, so to speak. Perception is perception, no matter if you can “prove” it using crude and outdated instruments like “reasoning” and words. When did we begin to mistake words for reality? After a while, I could clearly see that everything I have ever thought, said, heard, or read, is total bogus. And I knew absolutely nothing about anything anymore. I could totally crush everything I have written so far, explaining exactly how untrue it is, but now… let us be “reasonable,” right? So, it is up to us to choose what reality to live in. My pleasure these days is to forget the illusion. To swallow the blue pill and take the Western myth for granted, fully living it. Fully trying to “be the best me” in the Western lie…”
How do you own your creative power?
“My path was a lot about taking great care of my body-mind-spirit, about presence, and about “saving” sexual energy. I sucked at art in school, and had no idea how to use a brush or oil colours until the millennium. But, I created an abundance of inner passion and I naturally expressed it through art. At university I developed a fascination for shamanism. Like as if I was drawn to some deep calling within us. I somehow felt that we have an enormous power in us that goes beyond realistic modern confines. To be frank, much of my inspiration for creating art, stemmed from a fascination in our ancient nature and female energy. Besides, I am not necessarily an artist, it is just that a lot of my art is up online, so that’s how people know me. For example, I have invested as much or almost as much energy and focus on improvisation theatre (3 years), dance (5 years), karate and Krav Maga (6 years). Great that we can choose our identity online nowadays! But, I believe that we all have lots of energy and awareness that we can FOCUS on certain areas. Be it art, Guthrie high performance, or wasting your life on a sitcom and feeling sorry for yourself. Your choice, but the keys to life are long term PASSION and FOCUS.”
Here are two pieces of artwork Stefan managed to produce after just a few short months of taking up art:
What would be your ultimate achievement in life?
“I share Peter Sage’s dream to let most of the world’s energy use come directly from the sun. I see modern transportation vehicles omitting no pollution whatsoever, I feel a breeze of absolutely fresh air in central Stockholm, and I can drink directly from the sea water in most cities. Also, I would love to bring immense beauty to millions of people.”
What are goal affirmations?
“I find goals that go in line with my inner voice and higher self (when it is right I feel it in my heart, guts, or entire body). Then, I apply the most powerful affirmations that I know of. I have an “obsession scrap-book” filled with photos of my dreams. Under each photo I have a brief affirmation. In the book I end with a drawing that contains all my affirmations in one single image. Powerful!”
What are your current challenges?
“To unite artists, illustrators, and other creative people on a few commercial and high-quality platforms that bring immeasurable wealth, creativity, and beauty to the world. To do that, I need (i) a dream-team and (ii) a clear vision of how to consolidate the very fragmented market for artists, illustrators, and other creators. Once I have the dream-team and vision in place it will be an easy thing to raise money from banks and other institutions. I want two heavy players with lots of experience, and one of them as a chairman. I already have access to good and well reputed tech people. When the heavy hitters are in, the rest will be easy to recruit. All I need to do is pick up the phone, pitch my crystal clear vision and add some interesting twists, and let the heavy players see the fantastic possibilities for them, personally and professionally, and how easy and low risk it will be for them. The only challenge is the personal and emotional effort to chat up a whole bunch of heavy hitters, to get a few f*ck offs, a maybe, and a yes (that might turn into a no), and still feel passion for what I do at the same time. Since I have mainly been an introvert it is a challenge to release my brakes and plough through these phone calls, presentations, and meeting after meeting. If I just release the brakes, the road for mega success IS open. I know it. Another challenge is to continue remembering where my heart and soul is, amid everybody’s talk about market positioning and profit maximisation. To always remember why I do this, beyond the money. To always focus on the giving, not the taking. So, I feel that most business challenges are personal rather than professional. There are personal challenges in not getting burned out, not getting caught up in a romance that drains you too much, secretly doubt myself and find myself in places way out of my comfort zone.”
Why is it important for you to learn high performance?
“I want to learn how to develop the attitude and strategy that is necessary for high performance in areas I am truly passionate about. I am already absorbing all of Dan Peña’s key material to get started on the QLA before I go there. I will develop a clear vision of what I want to accomplish and how he can help. I raise capital from banks and/or funds; part of that capital I use for the seminar fee.”
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Do you have any questions or me?
“If I have questions for you? Oh my god yes I am curious by nature! I want you to be interviewed live in front of the camera, for one full hour ;)”
If you can help support Stefan with his current challenges, then please leave a comment below this post or message him here. And if you have a story that you would like to share with us, then please let me know!
Come to the following Tribe Meetups:
- A Focus Group at the London Real Studio
- Focus Group: Live Interactive Stream
- The Tough Calls Meetup
- An Author Hangout
- The Tribe Dinner
- The London Real Academy Summit
See if there’s a Meetup scheduled in your city here, and if there isn’t let me know what Meetup you’d like to see and if you’d like to host one!
Until next week’s Tribe Talk, have a great week, and if you’d like to get in touch with me, message me @noorahnaker – I’d love to hear from you!