When I was only planning my blog I went to see a business advisor. Their work is to help people who’re planning to become entrepreneurs. I wanted to hear the opinion about my blog idea. Would it be something worth to develop?
I also wanted someone to test my opinions about my revenue logic and stuff like that. I wanted difficult questions. I wanted realism. That was what I needed to balance out my idealism.
And well, realism was what I got. In our meeting we calculated how much I would need to earn annually so that I could make a living with my blog. We estimated fixed costs and variable costs. Played with the excel so to speak.
I will give you one advice, said the advisor.
When you go home, start brainstorming. Brainstorm ALL kinds of possible products and services that SaimaaLife could offer to consumers and companies.
And remember, be creative while working for your list, he added in the end.
After all that excel training I was already quite doubtful about my blog idea. I don´t know would I even had started if the advisor wouldn’t have said;
I think your idea is good. I support it, but you just need to develop it. Come back to me when you know exactly how you´re going to make a living with your business idea.
I did how I was asked to. I went home and took paper and pen. And started brainstorming again.
Affiliate marketing. Yes. Blog banners. Yes. Wellbeing lectures. Yes. What else?
“Life in Finland -package” for foreign journalists and bloggers who are interested in Finland and and want to see what Finnish life and wellbeing is really about. Maybe?
I´ve worked many years on tourism and hosted tourist and press groups. And during my university years I´ve also baked Karelian pies with the foreign exchange students many times. I took them to visit my parents farm. They enjoyed it a lot and it was a lot of fun for me too. I thought to myself.
I´ve learned that in business world there´s no point to develop a product if there is no demand for it. I decided to contact VisitFinland and ask their opinion about my idea. I had heard that there are quite a few foreign journalists and bloggers who come to my home country every year invited by VisitFinland to experience Finland.
It was autumn 2012. I made a trip to Helsinki and had a meeting with Visit Finland.
Their answer was YES!
“When you have your product ready, let us know so we can come to test it for our foreign guests” was what they said.
Then Liilia was born. There came time when I was busy with more important things than my business idea and its revenue logic. I took care of our children.
I also went through a personal crisis and growing process. I worked for my body and mind so that I would feel better again. And so that some day I would be able to help also others to feel better.
I went through tough times, but that time turned out to be the most valuable real life degree in wellbeing. Time that helped to find myself and also the basic ingredients for the recipe of natural wellbeing. I had poured the foundation for my blog. And for my surprise as I later noticed, for my business plan too.
After Liilia´s first birthday I again started to think about Life in Finland -package idea. I started to plan what it would really be about. Baking something Finnish with our guests? Picking wild berries and mushrooms?
Authenticity. I decided that to be my guideline.
We would not show our guests the perfect life, but real life. Real Finnish products that we use and real Finnish experiences that are an important part of our family´s everyday life. Yes, that´s what we could give to our guests.
And sources of Finnish wellbeing! Things that are the strengths of my home country. Things that help Finnish people to be well and healthy. Peace and silence of nature. Rye bread. Sauna. Blueberries. Lakes.
Finnish gold. That’s what we would like to give to our guests.
After I had finished breastfeeding I had another meeting with Visit Finland.
By the time I met Eva Kiviranta, the coordinator of PR Network and Social Media, our family had agreed on moving to the cottage by the lake Puruvesi.
Welcome to visit us next autumn! I said to Eva in the end of our meeting.
That day came a week ago. Eva visited us to test Life in Finland -package to our cottage.
We baked cinnamon buns, went to pick lingonberries, had smoke sauna, sat by the lake and listened to the silence. We talked how luxurious silence is in a modern world. How uncommon it is for many, but how normal and everyday thing it is for us here in Saimaa lake area and my home region, Savonlinna.
Eva´s visit went well. I was especially happy about the dinner that we were able to serve her. My husband had caught a lot of perches the day before. So there were fresh perch fillet with homemade butter sauce, parsnip puree, porcini fried in a pan and blueberry delicacy as a dessert. Exactly the kind of food we’d like to offer to our guests!
I´ll be happy to send our guests to visit your family in the future! Eva said to me before she got into the Punkaharju-Helsinki train.
I said thank you and smiled.
Now it´s real! Awesome! How COOL it is to see how just a thought becomes something real! I thought and sucked the joy and happiness out of the feeling that Eva´s visit gave me.
Sauna Yoga instructor training. Checked. Relaxation lessons. Checked. Life in Finland -package. Checked too. I was thinking while driving back home. It´s time to start brainstorming again with something new and work for it, I decided.
And by the way, all of you journalists and bloggers out there who are interested in simple and natural way of Finnish life! If you´re visiting Finland and want to get a real life experience email me [email protected]. We´ll be happy to tell you a few stories about life in Finland and offer you the best pieces of our home country!