A Sit-Down With Kristina and Frida
Kristina Lindhe Mentorship
It’s been almost a year since we announced the recipient of our Kristina Lindhe Mentorship in 2021. The mentorship has been educational and thrilling for both Frida Ramstedt, the mentorship recipient and entrepreneur as well as Kristina Lindhe, Frida’s mentor, our CEO, creative director and Lexington Company founder. We sat down with them to discuss their journey during this year-long mentorship.
What has the mentorship meant to you? Why should someone apply and what has been most rewarding for you?
Frida: The application process was rewarding because I had to put my idea into words and really explain in a pedagogical way for the jury who do not work with interior design. It was valuable just to have a deadline, think about executing this idea, get it down on paper and explain the concept. I was essentially nailing down my elevator pitch. So, I encourage everyone to apply no matter what you think your chances of getting it are because you will have such great pleasure from that process.
The mentorship itself, however, is like having a personal trainer in corporate dreaming. Because you, (Kristina) have really succeeded with your business idea and your concept. You’ve paved the way for something completely new. I also want to do that in another segment of the industry you’re in. On top of that, it’s incredibly rewarding to have someone who believes in your idea, gives a pep talk and supports you. I am incredibly grateful for that because the confidence wavelength is not always stable. It goes up and down from one day to the next. And I think you, Kristina, helped me think bigger.
“Sitting and planning; thinking about or writing different business plans, are just distractions. Sometimes you really need to have a business plan, but doing things is what makes you an entrepreneur.”- Kristina Lindhe, Lexington Company founder, CEO, creative director and Frida Ramstedt's mentor.
Kristina: It’s important to think bigger because if you formulate the thoughts and ideas for yourself and dare to say them out loud or write them down, then it becomes like you have to work towards these goals. It’s always good in all workgroups or teams to formulate the goals because then you know in which direction you should work and know what is right or wrong in your priorities. At the first stages of entrepreneurship, it is very much about getting things done. It’s about focusing on your priorities and completing each task. If you start to spread yourself too thin and get on every task, then there is a risk that nothing will come out of anything. You and I have talked a lot about that during this time.
Frida: Absolutely when it’s time to hire more as I have done now, we’ve got two new staff members to the team this year, then it is even more important that you have a consensus about where you are going. It’s important that you put out a compass needle, so everyone knows where we are going. The journey will most likely be a little more crooked than expected and you may have to take a detour, but there’s a clear goal. It's not just me who should know what I want. There are several colleagues and employees who should feel secure in where we are going and with what they contribute to the process. I think that has been very valuable.
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Kristina: Our conversations during this mentorship have been either very high or very low. Sometimes it's big, about visions and sometimes it’s about very concrete things. Do you want to share something from these conversations with the rest of us?
Frida: The continuity and the fact that we have had regular check-ins via teams has meant that there is a continuity in how to work in a visionary way. I think that is something valuable for an entrepreneur who has come a long way and has a functioning business. It’s been especially helpful when it comes to taking the time and working on new projects. Mentoring has been valuable in this, especially during the pandemic when everything has been upside down. I think if I had not had this mentorship, it might have been easy to set the new projects aside to focus on the daily work. This is another reason to motivate yourself to apply.
Kristina: It's very fun to hear because it has become what I had hoped it would be. But I have to say that it has been rewarding for me too. I’ve learned a lot of things during this journey which is so much fun.
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What are your top tips for succeeding in starting a business?
Frida: Just start somewhere. When I talk to other women about entrepreneurship, I notice it's easy to get caught up in the planning stage. You have to start. Everything is not going to be perfect, but you do have every opportunity to adjust things along the way. As my editor told me when I wrote my book, "if you do not have a script, we have nothing to edit." So, you have to get started and get over the threshold.
Kristina: My trick has always been to make lists. I still make lists and there are items on the list that you think are difficult that tend to roll over to the next list. Sometimes there is a reason for that. Those ideas might not be well-thought-out and you need to go over them again because they’re not as good as you thought. Otherwise, it is very important to make sure that the items on your list are executed because that is what will drive the company forward. Sitting and planning; thinking about or writing different business plans, are just distractions. Sometimes you really need to have a business plan, but doing things is what makes you an entrepreneur. You have to keep that in mind, that's my tip.
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How do you strike the perfect balance between the workplace and your private life?
Kristina: Balance means that you accept that you won’t have a balance. If you set expectations all the time on how it should be, you will always be disappointed as an entrepreneur. That's never the case. In entrepreneurship, it's about not standing on the platform and watching the train pass by and then saying “Stop! I have to find balance first.” This is something that is important to think about no matter what you do as an entrepreneur.
Frida: You can think about entrepreneurship like this: you’re either working constantly or you’re not working at all because you’re simply living your life and doing what you think is fun. So it's mostly about attitude. However, it has to be done in a healthy way. You shouldn’t burn yourself out. But you do have to be honest with yourself and realize that when you run a business, it's not like being employed at a company where someone else takes all the responsibility.
Kristina: It (entrepreneurship) becomes more like a lifestyle. It is something you appreciate because it is incredibly fun all the time, and you’re energized and motivated by the growth that comes with it all.