I originally posted this as a Facebook update the 31st of December 2013, about 2 hours before the New Year! I decided to re-post it here on my blog because it was extremely popular and a lot of people seemed to really enjoy it and was moved by my story and journey this past year.
Since this post was written on Facebook in a very short time, it may have some grammatical errors or small mistakes as I didn't re-write it much for this blog post. Hope you'll get through it to the very end and feel inspired to do something great after reading it! Thanks!
So without further ado…here it goes…
The WORST year ever for me personally (and my family) is coming to an end, and I will tell you how I turned this year into the year I experienced the most growth so far in my entire life.
Actually this year started out great…I was in the best shape of my life, doing CrossFit almost every day at the Gym and making some really good progress. I went to the Nike Blast and really had a ‘blast' together with mostly a lot of women…not that I would ever complain about that. My health and physique was better than ever before, and the tests I did proved it. My body fat percentage was around 7-8% and I was feeling good. If you've known me for some time, you also know that I've always been very fit, but at this point I was almost as good as I could compete in CrossFit…and that was also a goal at the time to really get in the best shape of my life.
In March of this year I accomplished a small goal of mine to go to a College Spring Break with some of my best friends Petar Knezevic and Mladen Jovanović. We had a blast in Panama City beach, Florida, partying every day at the beach and having fun. Then after about 9 days or so in Florida, I changed my flight for like 700 dollars, and instead of going back to Sweden I went back with them to my “old” hometown Akron, Ohio to meet some of my good friends and of course hang out with my buddy Aleksandar Knezevic! My best Serbian friends are crushing it, and I couldn't be happier for their success since they are like my brothers. Aleks is just 24 years old and driving a Lamborghini, but it wasn't always this way. Hard work pays off! #Good times! #Partnersincrime
I had the time of my life….and I was in the progress of starting an online business and had some other projects going at the same time.
Then only a week or two after I came home from an amazing trip to the United States….I get this horrible phone call you never think you will get, and if you get it you ask if the person who's calling if he/she is just joking…but you know deep inside that you never joke around about this kind of stuff…
In my case….I still remember it very clearly like it was today. My mom called me around 11:30 am the 4th of April 2013 and gave me the horrible news, that my younger brother Simon passed away, just 22 years old. I was shocked, and all of a sudden my life turned up side town and I didn't really know how to handle the pain I felt right away.
Before that horrible moment, I lived a relatively relaxed life with my family and we didn't experience any major problems so far in life. We went on fantastic vacations when I was younger, from the United States to all over Europe. I lived in Norway during many summers, skiing on glaciers and swimming in the fjords during the same day.
All of a sudden…despite not spending much time with my brother over the last few years…we had great memories…and now they were just that…memories. I will never experience them again together with him. RIP Simon, we will always miss and love you very much! I hope I will be able to develop a better relationship with my youngest brother Martin over time. That's actually one of my big goals for 2014 now that I think of it!
Instead of feeling sorry for myself…I decided to feel the pain, and surrounded myself with even more AMAZING people and most importantly TAKE MASSIVE ACTION and go after my biggest dreams in life. I would like to thank Jesse Krieger, author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur Book, for being there during the weekend after my brother died. I really appreciate that, means a lot to me!
I joined several masterminds and online communities and courses. I would like to give a shout out to Internet Business Mastery and more specifically to Jeremy Frandsen and Jason Van Orden. You guys rock, it's because of you I met two of my best and most supportive friends, Jan Koch and Myke Macapinlac. That's one of the highlights of this year, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them!
The most horrible and saddest moment (and maybe also most beautiful) of this year was my brothers funeral. I've don't normally cry…I really don't…but I couldn't hold back the tears. Definitely the toughest moment in my life!
But my life doesn't stop just because I experience something like this…I need to live out every moment of it, because I started to realize even more than before that life is damn precious! I have to keep moving, and you should too. We all face and handle experiences like this in different ways.
What really worked for me, was keeping myself extremely busy. I worked full-time, I was learning and connecting with other incredible people full-time. I've never hustled and worked harder during my entire life. The only thing I didn't do as much any more, was doing my weekly CrossFit routine and keeping this amazing shape that I had back in March. Not that I was in super bad shape or anything, but for someone who has always been pretty much in the shape of an athlete, and not feeling this way anymore…it's quite a horrible feeling….I'm slowly getting back, and next year I have big plans for my fitness routine as well. Bring on beach 2014 and I will get my ripped body back, no doubt about that!
So mid June finally came, and I launched this site, my personal branded site and now also soon to be launched show, “The Lifestyle Architects”. The only thing I knew when I started, was that I wanted to document my journey in a very honest and transparent way so other people can learn from me and hopefully feel inspired to start their own. Everything I know today, is because of the hard work I put in, and all the incredibly supportive, inspiring and successful people I'm surrounded with on a daily basis.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn Click to tweet!
As many of you know…my site has evolved a lot since the first ever interview I did with Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income. So I would really like to send out a big shout out to you Pat, you have inspired me to start my own show in many ways, and it was this first interview that made me realize that I actually can do this too, despite that I'm not a native English speaker and all the other doubts I had starting out. If I'm going to be completely honest and transparent with you…I barely thought I could ever write or start a popular blog and inspire and help people in the way I do now.
I went from making my first dollar online, my first 1000 dollars and beyond. Not that I've made a lot so far, I haven't and I'm in this for the long haul. It's a conscious decision from my side to not sell my services and consulting early on because I wanted to figure out what I really could offer other people and all of you who are my ideal audience visiting my site and listening to my show…and maybe most importantly, what I can do to bring you real tangible results in your business and life. That's what really matters, and if you check out my site now, I finally know what my brand stands for. It will evolve over time, that's for sure, but without knowing what my brand stood for, I could never have this amazing looking site I have today. It's not as easy as you may think to work with a designer. I know, wasted well over 3000 dollars on design myself last year and early this year. Don't get a custom design unless you really know your brand. If you don't know, how will the designer know!?
I'd like to send out a thank you to my amazing designer from Beecoding.com for bringing my new site to life so quickly, just about 4 weeks from start to finish is super fast. We have some cool things we are working on if you want to take your brand, website and business to the next level. Stay tuned!
I connected with John Lee Dumas in July 2013, host of the top ranked business podcast EntrepreneurOnFire.com and joined his elite mastermind, Fire Nation Elite and I met and became friends with 100 other amazing entrepreneurs almost over night. If you guys see this, I would like to thank you for all the support, you guys are doing some awesome things, and dominating the podcast scene and new & noteworthy section in iTunes. Prepared to Ignite!
I have interviewed some incredibly inspiring and successful entrepreneurs during the past few months, some which I will publish very very soon when my the Lifestyle Architects Show goes live. From NY Times bestselling authors to multi-million dollar business owners, and other amazing lifestyle entrepreneurs living the dream. I'm even fortunate enough and proud to call some of them my friends today!
Just take this very first step, and start something. It will never be perfect, and you can always make things better as you go…the most important thing is to take action and JUST DO IT. Start now!
Act before you're ready! Take MASSIVE ACTION and Just do it! Click to tweet!
To accomplish even more of my BIG goals and dreams in life, I decided to join Lewis Howes and his new elite mastermind The School of Greatness Academy! Lewis has probably inspired me more than anyone this past year and I'm so thankful that he put this together. Some amazing people doing extraordinary things in there, I'm blessed to be part of it! This is just the beginning of achieving greatness in business and life. #SOGA #Greatness
I would also like to send a special shout out to Chris Ducker, his actionable blog posts and awesome podcast has been really helpful for my progress and journey online so far. I can't wait to read your book ‘Virtual Freedom‘ next year, keep rocking!
One of my proudest moments of this year – was actually the 30th of December 2013 when my vision finally played out and went live. Yes I'm talking about this website and my home online. It turned out pretty amazing, and the feedback I've gotten so far from everyone is awesome. Thanks, I couldn't have done it without you guys!
Now I'd like to take a moment and thank a few other people who have inspired me and/or been there for me this past year:
Thanks Henri Junttila from WakeUpCloud for being very supportive and a good friend this past year. I love what you are doing and you inspire me on a daily basis with your mindset and the way you look at life.
Thanks Rodrigo Flamenco from Epic Web Studio for being awesome, a good friend and motivator from the very beginning. You have definitely been there for me and I know you will crush it 2014 and take your business and life to the next level!
Thanks Rick Noblett for being a good friend and supporting me with great feedback and awesome discussions on Facebook almost every day. I know you will be very successful, you are like me, a massive action taker and they always get rewarded BIG TIME!
Thanks John Shea for interviewing me for your podcast Voices of Marketing early on. Keep taking action and you'll see lots of success coming your way 2014.
Thanks John Corcoran for coming on my show and over deliver big time. Check out John's blog and podcast Smart Business Revolution!
Thanks Sergio Felix for supporting me on my entrepreneurial journey and giving me the motivation to move forward. I've been following your blog since 2012 sometime and you were one of the reasons I felt that I can start my own and do this as well!
Thanks Reginald Chan for your support and including my in your epic post “50 Bloggers You Should Follow 2014“. I really appreciate it and feel honored to be included among so many other great bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Thanks Rasmus Lindgren from Retire My Ass for being awesome and supporting me early on. Your book The Lifestyle Business Rockstar really does ‘rock', great read and I recommend it to everyone who's looking to start their own lifestyle entrepreneur journey!
Thanks Ryan Andrews for being a great friend and our Skype chats were very inspiring and helpful for both of us. I'm glad that I helped you on your journey to achieve more greatness in business and life! More amazing things to come your way very soon, you are a true hustler!
Thanks Siamak Milani for taking the photos for my website and for being a good friend even in tough times.
Thanks Alexander Daniels for being there for me during a tough time in November last year and for letting my crash at your place. I owe you big time, and let me know if I can help you in any way!
Thanks Ronald Veldman! I don't know where to start, but you have known me for so long and you are one of my best friends, despite we don't get to hang out that often since you live in Holland and I live in Sweden. You will do GREAT things this year and I'm glad that I've inspired you to start your own epic journey and business.
Thanks Christian Maximilian! You are maybe the most successful friend I know, and you have inspired me so much, but also been there for me in tough times like when my brother passed away. What you are doing with you're business and you're goals is just amazing to watch! I met you back in 2011 at F12 in Stockholm, and I've seen your fitness company grow like crazy over the past few years. Take over Europe and then the world, if someone can do it, I know it's you!
You have been there for me this year, and I appreciate YOU very much!
And I can never write a post like this and not include my really good friend and very first mentor Nate Bunger. You have inspired me more than you think, thanks for everything you've done for me! More to good things to come our way very soon 😉
I would also like to send out very special thank you to Natalie Sisson from the Suitcase Entrepreneur. Your 30 day blogging challenge was probably the most challenging and most rewarding thing I did during this past year, not only for the growth of my site but also on a personal level since many of the topics were not that easy to write about and I had to dig deep at times. I didn't finish it completely, but I wrote around 40,000+ words during 20 days or so, and I proved to myself that I can do it! And not to forget, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur book” rocks and one of the best reads of 2013. I highly encourage everyone who want to start a lifestyle business and achieve location independent to read it.
Also the last shout out will go to one of my absolutely best friends in the world and up and coming artist and performer Leonardo Silveti, he's definitely one to watch! He is currently pursuing his dreams in NYC at Broadway Dance Center! He has inspired me a lot to live my life outside of my comfort zone and go after my biggest dreams. When you get to go to all your cool parties, you know who's your manager and handle the business side of things 😉
As a matter of fact, I just signed up for Toastmasters to become a great public speaker. And as soon as I find a bit more time, I will take up more Salsa dancing classes as well. Personal growth and learning for life!
I may have forgotten some of you in this post. If you have supported me on this journey, you know who you are and I truly appreciate YOU and can't wait to take things to the next level in 2013 and leave this past year behind. 2013 brought some great things and I've never experienced this much personal growth before in such a short time, but the horrible things take over a bit unfortunately.
Anyway…that's it from me for this past year. This is a quite a long post and if you read thus far, I hope you feel at least a little bit inspired to start fresh 2014 and do more things that matters to you, to other people, and hopefully even to the world.
Maybe you have a big dream or goal you want to go after? Why not start right now, or the very latest tomorrow! It's never too late to start something or go after your dreams. The worst thing you can ever do is not trying…and you will feel regret later on in your life. Fail fast, and you'll succeed even faster if you take consistent action over time.
Now It's Your Turn…
Share your journey in the comments below and what goals you would like to achieve in 2014. What's your specific plan for getting there?
Stay inspired, take massive action and dream big…I know I am!