2 March 2019

My true entrepreneurial story – Do it again and do it right (part 4)

From close to bankruptcy and almost burned out, to final success reaching our common higher goals.

I remember these years as “We did it. And we did it big” …

If you haven’t read part 1, 2 and 3, I recommend starting with these…

My true entrepreneurial story – The start-up (part 1)
My true entrepreneurial story – The building up phase (part 2)
My true entrepreneurial story – Success on the outside while the inside was falling apart (part 3).

Just after we sold the Atrox Web Agency, we decided to make a total new start of Atrox IT Services. Set up a new business plan from scratch, create a new vision statement for the company and set up new goals.

This time we knew how to do it, and the management team were so much more experienced and wiser than in the start-up phase of Atrox.

The secret behind our final success and goal achievement 2018 (when we sold Atrox to Telia Company, the largest telecom operator in Sweden) is definitely the team and the strategy that we created together year 2012.

A new start

After the sales of Atrox Web Agency we were able to give both Atrox and our self a new chance and a new fresh start. For me personally it was also great, as I was released from 90% of my previous duties and could put all my focus on the CEO job and the strategic parts.

We had learned a lot from the earlier tough years, and the three of us (the inner management team) became tighter than ever. We had a deep talk and finally came up with the conclusion that we were going to finish of this journey that we started, together.

Me first

Finally, I came to a turning point in life when I felt I had enough. Enough of working too much, enough of stress and enough of not being able to spend time with my own kids (as any other normal parent would do). It was time for a change.

The three of us came up with the conclusion that what’s best for me, will also in the long run be the best for the company. So, we decided that I will start working less hours (from 9:00 – 15:00 weekdays), and no overtime.

My new motto was – Me first!

It might sound selfish, but it wasn’t. And actually, it turned out to be a great decision. When I started to take care of myself, doing all the things that I wanted to do in life as working out, running, doing sports challenges etc, life again starts turning into a positive direction.

Stronger than ever

The saying “What is not killing you makes you stronger” is so true.

After taking us through all these tough years together, we were stronger than ever. I knew by then that I had a management team that I could trust and rely on, and I started to feel good about myself again.

My confidence grew and I was able to be the person that I wanted to be. What happened then was that I started to move from being “a bad manager” to becoming “a great manager”, getting the best out of myself and all the people around me.

The success strategy

With all our gathered experiences and our history that we shared, we had both the team and the tools that was needed in order to create a great 5 years game plan for the company.

Usually when the management team meet to conference and creating new strategies, we go to a place called Siggesta gård located in the countryside just outside Stockholm city. This time weren’t any different to any other, so we met here again on the same place.

We were spending two well planned days together, having a great time coming up with all these new and great ideas. This is what we came up with.

Our 12 winning points:

  1. We started off with a great management team that trusted and complemented each other (the WHO). One innovator coming up with all the great ideas, one entrepreneur (me) making it all happened, and one stable rock taking care of the operational activities and the team.
  2. We spent a lot of time thinking and talking about WHAT we really wanted with Atrox and WHY.
  3. When we knew what we wanted and agreed about that we created a VISIONstatement for the company and started to focus on the HOW.
  4. We spent a lot of time building a tight management team and on our common Strategy.
  5. We spend a lot of time on the business model. How to make our customers happy, and at the same time make money with a Reoccurring Revenue Business Model.
  6. We decided that we wanted to be a in the front line of New Technique and talked a lot about choosing the right tools.
  7. Customer Focus for real (not only like a buss word).
  8. Fun & Health should be an important part of our company culture (and we lowered the amount on working hours per week for everyone).
  9. Focus on working SMART, with Automation and reusable working methods.
  10. We bought back our shares and disposed of the external board.
  11. We were Determined and Tenacious about building it up brick by brick.
  12. We agreed that the Team (the whole crew) were the most important part in order to pull this great strategy through.
Fredrik Nyberg, Founder Atrox

Building it up brick by brick

We followed the plan and built up the company again piece by piece. Each year were a little bit better than the other one and we felt confident that we were moving forward in the right direction.

The first 4 years of executing the plan we didn’t do any extraordinary results. But the fifth year is where it all happened. The results became extra ordinary good and finally we got back all the risk taking and hard work that we put into this.

Reaching our higher goals

We had a goal set in our five-year plan that after five years when we built up a functioning and scalable company, we were going to make a new choice. Either we were going to set up a new strategy, growing the business on our own or the company should be ready to sell (if that is what we wanted).

After that the five years had went by, we were discussing or next move.

We saw what happened around us in the industry (major acquisitions and consolidations etc…) and realized that something had to be done. What we needed to do was either to merge with another company, buy another company or sell Atrox to a larger company.

We received many greetings that last year and there were several players in the market who were interested in buying Atrox. But for us it was important that it was the right one. The buyer needed to have the potential to take Atrox further to the next level. Both for our own sake, but also for our crew and our customers.

In the same era, we were by coincident contacted by Telia Company and on that road we went.

On May 2, 2018, our IT company Atrox was acquired by Telia Company (the largest telecom company in Sweden), and September 28, 2018, was my last day working at Atrox/Telia.

The beginning of a new journey

Reaching our higher goals, was for me the beginning of a new journey. It’s of course with mixed feelings that I decided to leave Atrox, and it feels both exciting and scary at the same time. Leaving something that I loved and that was working very well, for something new, very challenging and unknown.

This year I will dedicate to myself and do all the things in life that I love the most. I will take care of my twins an also put a lot of focus on my new hobby/business SkyRunning.

I’m training a lot for a couple of SkyRunning marathons, at the same time as I am working on my blog and a new global community for SkyRunners all over the world.

If you like to read more how I got myself into SkyRunning read this blogpost…
Many people want, But a few do it >>

/Katinka Nyberg

Like and share this blog post