icelandbigIf you have not heard the story of how I met and connected with Brad Feld, you should read this post and Brad’s response. We launched the Startup Iceland conference and the rest is history. This was the 3rd year we held Startup Iceland the conference, and I am kicking off the initiative to plan for Startup Iceland 2015. When Brad was here in Iceland in 2012, he gave me a book with the title “The Importance of Being Iceland – Travel Essays in Art” by Eileen Myles. I have to confess I just flipped through the book but I never sat down to read it. I have started reading it and it is fascinating. I am not sure everyone would agree but for those of us living in Iceland any outside perspective of Iceland is interesting. Especially a book that has the words “importance” and “iceland” in the same sentence.

There are so many secrets in Iceland, yet to be discovered. I have written about some of them. While I am working on building on those secrets, I seem to have gotten into a weird position in Iceland. I am like this wild card, I am an insider and an outsider, I am not an Icelander but I have lived here long enough and have a public voice that matters. I promote Iceland but also point out to the challenges of being in Iceland. This weird positioning is what dragged me to start reading the above book.

I got a very interesting feedback about what I have been doing here in Iceland, apparently half of the people hate what I am doing and half love it. Interesting, I would like to find out which half I like, no-one in Iceland really gives you proper feedback. If you hate me, can you articulate why? maybe that could help me correct myself but if you think you hate me and tell everyone else but me it really does not matter because I tend to follow the life philosophy and wisdom of Coco Chanel

I don’t care what you think about me – I don’t think about you at all

My mission is very simple, I want to make Entrepreneurs wins, it manifests in many different roles and activities. Sometimes, I am this awful person showing you the truth. I can see how this is difficult for some to accept. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience or time to justify my actions. I try very hard not to be rude, or disrespectful or forceful, but maybe due to cultural differences my actions could be construed as that. If I have offended anyone and you are reading this blog post (thank you for reading it even though I have offended you), I apologize. My intent is not to hurt, but to help.

I have written a great deal about Humility and being humble. I strive very hard to live by those principles. Do I get frustrated? sure, do people disappoint me with false promises and superficiality? absolutely. All that does not fall in the Screw Me category, I think the place I draw the line is Screw me once Rule. This is what I mean when someone screws me

If you lie to me, deceive me, purposefully hurt me (or someone I care about), do something I consider immoral, or do something that is illegal, that’s one strike. However, I view addressing this as my responsibility because many people don’t realize they’ve done this, or don’t realize the potential impact and implications of their behavior. I try to be emotionally clear in my reaction – dispassionate, but not passive; direct, but not hostile; specific, yet not accusatory.

Occasionally, this approach simply doesn’t work. In these cases, I just disengage and assume I’m not going to be able to develop a substantive relationship with that person. In my experience, however, a deep and thoughtful conversation usually ensues, which also serves to build a much stronger relationship or at least the potential for one.

I think relationships and people are what matters, it is usually built on trust. Everything else is just a means to an end.

I am going to show you something beautiful

You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change

You are all puppets tangled in strings

But now, I am free… there are no strings no me