Lars Tvede, Cool People: Have Fun

Lars Tvede has always focused on having fun – if he did not feel that he was engaged in whatever he was doing, he would find something different to do. This basic guiding principle has helped him become a successful stock-broker, author and serial entrepreneur (one of his ventures created a fortune of 1000 Ferraris in less than 3.5 years).

“Make yourself heard” is my takeaway from the day I met Lars at a conference with more than 1000 people attending. I was – as we were taught in elementary school – waiting in line until it was my turn to talk to Lars. However, this tactic does not always work. It works just fine in elementary school since only very few fight for the teacher’s attention.

However, the situation is quite different when we want something from someone who everybody else is fighting over. It could be a getting the dream job, winning a customer or getting 2 minutes with Lars. Make yourself heard. And make sure your pitch is clear and compelling once you get your 2 minutes of fame.

When we are faced with tough competition be creative and determined. Using our elbows to get what we want is taboo in Denmark, but a little use of elbows is not always bad.

When I asked Lars to participate in a blog-post about his passion, what it has given him and his advice to college students he said yes right away. Below follows his answers to my questions.

  • Q: What has been your guiding star throughout your career?

The dominant guiding principle in my career is that work has to be enjoyable. People that I have admired, and there a lot, all seem to enjoy what they do. I know that no job or project work is entirely enjoyable all the time, and that sometimes it is unpleasant, but overall, it must be enjoyable or you will not do it well in the long run.

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Q: What has it given you to live what you are truly passionate about?

Often an enormous desire to see a specific task done, then working frantically to get there, and finally an immense satisfaction when a goal is reached.

Q: What would be your advice to college students trying to figure out what they want to do when they graduate?

I have four pieces of advice:

  1. Find out what you really enjoy to do, and stick with that. Do NOT choose an education because it is a safe way to a solid career. It’s not safe at all if you don’t enjoy the work. Btw, what you enjoy may be broader than you think. For instance if you like to work in a hotel, it is probably not especially the hotel business that excites you, but the broader concept of delivering services to people, which can be done in countless ways.
  2. Do something that is helpful to many people. You need to get paid, which require a genuine demand, and you need the pleasure of seeing people appreciate what you do.
  3. If you happen to be very skilled, consider how you may be able to amplify the effects of your efforts through leverage. This can be achieved through copyright/mass production, through managing many people or through managing a lot of money or assets.
  4. If the excitement of change and success means anything to you, chose something that is likely to grow and evolve a lot. My best guesses for the future in that respect are:
  • Finance
  • Real estate
  • Commodities; especially industrial metals
  • Pharmaceuticals and healthcare
  • Luxury
  • New energy solutions
  • Biotechnology
  • Information technology
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(if you are interested in learn more about Lars’ perspective on the future I suggest that you read his book Supertrends).

Q: In your opinion what does it take to become successful? Why?

People do it in countless different ways, and the definition of success is also somewhat personal. But I think that a few factors are common to most successful people:

  • They generally have a very positive attitude, and they train themselves to handle obstacles with a smile.
  • They expose themselves to lots of good and bad luck by moving physically, trying many things, meeting many people, perhaps reading a lot, and generally having the attitude of “I wonder what happens if I press that button?” And then they overcome bad luck and build on good luck.
  • They are very persistent and never give up, partly because they essentially enjoy at least most of the tasks that their work involves.

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