This week, we find out what's really going on behind the selfie with Gjermund Nesland, national team manager of the Norwegian Kickboxing Federation as well as entrepreneur...
Nesland volunteering at Just Footprints Foundation´s camp for kids with cancer in Pretoria.
1. Where do you live, work and play?
Nesland: I live in Kristiansand in Norway. I mainly work in Norway with my companies, but I have a global business network. With the national kickboxing team, I work and play all over Europe and in some other countries.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Nesland: My claim to fame is thanks to my athletes and coaches. I am the manager of the second-best full contact kickboxing team in the world, only after Russia. However, we have only 3,400 kickboxers in Norway while in Russia there are more than 700,000 kickboxers.
3. Describe your career so far.
Nesland: I have had a successful corporate career in the IT industry and oil industry for 10 years while working as an entrepreneur on the side. This spring, I left my position as a senior manager in one of the world´s largest companies within offshore drilling technology in order to become an entrepreneur full time. I am currently building three new companies in different industries, in addition to my two current companies. I have also been the manager for the Norwegian national kickboxing team for the last six years.
4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.
Nesland: I love to do sports and have been involved in a lot of different sports. I also enjoy the outdoors: hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping. In winter I go skiing, both cross-country skiing in prepared slopes and downhill off-piste skiing. I like to cook and invite friends for dinner once in a while. I also enjoy reading. Right now I am reading Nelson Mandela´s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
5. What do you love about your industry?
Nesland: I work within several industries. However, my main interest is within the sport and physical health industry. I love the positive energy and the nice mix of care and competitiveness that surrounds most people within this industry.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
Nesland: I usually get up at 7am, but if I am doing an early workout before going to the office I get up between 5:30am and 6am. As we are in the build-up phase of new companies, most of my workday is spent at my office in front of my Mac or in planning meetings with my business partners. I usually leave the office around 5pm to 7pm and go straight to a workout, and then home to cook dinner. I often work some more hours in the late evening, too.
7. What are the tools of your trade?
Nesland: My Mac, iPhone, Google, a whiteboard, and also my integrity and dedication.
8. Who is getting it right in your industry?
Nesland: In the kickboxing world, I think we are doing a lot of things right, together with strong nations like Russia, Hungary, Ireland and Italy. In the health industry, I believe the Norwegian company Health Tech Sciences, which I also cooperate with, is doing a lot of things right. This is the company behind the international clinic group Health Optimizing. They are on a mission to develop a new health paradigm without the extensive use of pills and medication we see today.
9. What are you working on right now?
Nesland: At the moment I’m building up Melioro, a new company within the health industry. Through the company´s web shop melioro.no we will offer high-level, world-leading technological equipment meant for health optimising for the average person as well as performance optimising for sport athletes.
10. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
Nesland: I would say that the words “nutrition” and “healthy food” are given new meanings nowadays. For the last few years, these words have mainly been related to goals of getting fit or staying healthy. Now we see that more and more diseases and serious illnesses are also cured with changing the diet and the food habits of sick patients.
11. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
Nesland: I am lucky to be surrounded by some very competent people who also are very creative, so I am usually offered good ideas from others and then my speciality is to help make a good idea an even better idea. However, the times when I come up with my own ideas are usually when I’m alone in a quiet place, preferably with a nice landscape or view, when I’m able to let my mind drift and play with different ideas and thoughts.
12. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
Nesland: I believe I’m pretty in-between. I enjoy new technology but am seldom the first one to acquire it.
13. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Nesland: Photos from all over the world. I enjoy travel and experiencing other countries and cultures and lately I have used my phone more than my camera for photos. You’d also find a ton of work emails, of course.
14. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
Nesland: Dedication and focus is very important. Create a strategy and stay dedicated to it. If you surround yourself with successful and highly competent people, they can help you stay on the right path. Also know how to market your product or service. It doesn’t help to have the perfect product or service if you don’t know how to market and brand it.
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