My summary of the awesome year of 2016

On 2017/01/18 by Patrik Appelquist

Normally I don´t like doing what everyone else is doing. For some reason it makes me feel sick and I instinctively want to go the other way. I´m not really sure why but I hate the idea of being just a dead fish following the stream. Today I´m going to do the same thing as everyone else. I´m gonna summarize 2016 and I´m going to do it here. But I´m not gonna do it like a dead fish without his own will. I´m gonna do it like a proud little raft with sails, taking command of the powers of the nature. Ok things are getting unnecessary poetical here, lets just talk about the year 2016! I think it´s nice to spend an hour or two, looking back at a year that passed by, to remember and to appreciate the good things and to learn from the bad. In this blogpost the main focus will be on the good stuff that 2016 offered me.

 

In general, 2016 was a fucking amazing year for me. One of the best in my life I think. Why? Because things were just great. I mean, everything wasn´t great. I had my fair share of bad stuff as well but overall; I was in a good place, amongst friends and I had so much fun. Maybe I should make a list? A top ten list? Yeah why not! Here we go, in no particular order cuz it´s impossible to rate happenings like these…

 

  1. Living together with John and Erik.

As you might know I was sharing an apartment with two amazing guys for almost a year on campus in Växjö. I´ve always had a hard time living with people because I´ve always been this super social person that charges my batteries when I get home. And when I got home I needed peace and quiet and time for myself. That was never the case in 2016. Every time I came home I wished that one of the guys would be home to tell me about their day and/or talk about business. Because that´s mainly what we did. We talked business! Believe it or not but John is as big of a business nerd as I am. I have so many funny memories from him / or me bringing home girls to the house and all of a sudden we just couldn´t hold it back and BOM – talking business again. Poor ladies! John was not only a furious and paranoid landlord throwing fruits and vegetables on me leaving the house, he has, in a very short time, also become one of my very best friends lin life. I feel so very blessed because good friends like that, well it just doesn´t happen every year! For that reason, that´s my number one!

 

  1. Got the driving license for motorcycle

One of the best feelings is the feeling of freedom. And I get that feeling the second I jump on my little 70´s moped. I love that little thing. Rolling down the streets late at night at the furious pace of 30 km/h, feeling the smell of gas and flowers, feeling able of going anywhere, the feeling of owning the world. Or at least owning the street I´m on. Because you don´t get that far driving 30 km/h. And as you know, I love traveling. But it´s complicated traveling on a moped. That´s why I decided to get my driver´s license for the motorcycle. And I fucking did it!

 

I broke my arm in the beginning of January. I was devastated because me and Adam were about to start a new training related project and the whole project could have been on risk. And it´s quite hard to drive a motorcycle if you´ve got a broken arm as well so I was so worried that it wouldn´t get better before I´d start practicing driving. The arm healed but it took a great deal of time to get good again and I was so happy to get rid of the cast in mars. Even though the cast was gone, all my muscles in the arms were just gone or sleeping since I hadn´t used them for about 3 months. A months later in april I bought my first motorcycle ever. A beautiful Suzuki VX800. That was such a happy moment. I struggled with the pain in my arm, driving on a parking lot on campus, doing circles around cones and practicing driving very very slow. That´s the hard part driving a motorcycle, to drive very slow and keep the balance. I went to that parking lot basically every day. The ironi in the story is that the parking lot is a place where the police students practice driving so it´s crowded with polices. I never had a problem with the law though.

 

My goal was to get the license before July. I was studying the theory sooo hard for about 3 weeks using an application and on 13th of June I passed the theory test. That was such an amazing day and I was so happy. I had about 10 driving lessons in total and I was fortune enough to meet with a group of friends driving together and they accepted me as their tryout / newbie guy =) Riding with them gave me a lot when I was learning. You need those miles in your body without the instructor behind you talking in the radio all the time. 13th of July I had my driving test. I was so nervous and excited about it. It was a beautiful day, I took my moped down to the place and met up with 2 other students that were about to do the driving test. I first failed one of the steps with a very smal margin. It´s when you´re driving in about 70 km/h and then you need to do a quick turn right to avoid an object and then back left again and round a couple of cones. I got out right a little too late, touched the cone and thought that that was it. I thought I failed the whole thing. But the instructor was cool, he saw I could do it so he gave me another shot and i nailed it. Two hours later I had the drivers license in my hand. I did it! I reached my goal and I had my whole vacation coming up soon. Guess what I did this summer? I shit you not but I drove about 10.000 kilometers this summer. I drove that motorbike almost every day. And that feeling…wow!

  1. Finalist in Venture Cup – Sweden´s bigget business competition

When I was doing my first year at the university (Enterprising and Business Development 2012) I got a job as a business developer for a new project with an investor. We were about to develop a computer game for immigrants learning Swedish. My task was to conceptualise the whole idea to a business and write a kick ass business plan. Which I did! My business plans granted the project about 30.000 Euro from Vinnova and a place in the final of Venture Cup – Sweden´s biggest business competition. That was such a good experience and it led to investors approaching us wanting to invest in Aktiv Svenska (the business). We didn´t win the competition and I fucking hated it. I had a very hard time to appreciate and be happy about going that far whit out winning. I guess it´s the winner in me. But that doesn´t really matter now. I mean, it was basically mission accomplished. I applied to Venture Cup for the possibility to give the project some attention. Which it did, so I´m proud and happy about it now.

aktiv-svenska-venture-cup-loggan

patrik appelquist aktiv svenska

 

  1. Spola Pulvret (Flush the powder)

I´ve actually met another new friend this year. His name is Adam. We met thanks to John at Island of Entrepreneurs (a community for entrepreneurs on campus / our apartment in Växjö. Adam was an aspiring entrepreneur at the time and we talked a lot abut business but also about the gym. We ended up running a project called Spola Pulvret. It was a two months project and our goal was to gain 5kg of pure muscle eating nothing but good food. No supplements or pills. No creatine or protein powder or similar. The general consensus is that you can´t gain more than 2kg of muscle per year. We were about to give the myth a challenge.

patrik appelquist spola pulvret

We got sponsored by Alexander Brorson and David Kallebäck, two lovely guys from Sweden´s international athlete team. They helped us out with a workout plan and some diet directions. We weighed everything we ate. It was horrible. I had to eat 3.000 calories a day. That´s at least 1000 calories more than I usually eat. I remember going to Gothenburg on my motorbike to visit my sister and I had to bring that little scale for weighing food. We didn´t gain 5kg of pure muscle each (we never thought we would, that was just something we said to provoke people) but we gained exactly 5kg of muscles together, in only two months!

patrik appelquist spola pulvret

When we did the last measurements at the clinic, the guys working there were astonished and super impressed by our results. They asked us how the hell we did it and they took copies of our documents to show their students and other athletes. We were more than happy about it =) Not to mention all the extra muscle mass we had here and there 😉

 

We put it all out there if you want to know how we did it. Visit www.SpolaPulvret.se =) Good luck with them gains!

 

  1. Planning and facilitating an introduction week for the new companies at the incubator

I was working as a business developer for an incubator during 2016, until september. Did I tell you I´m a business nerd? No I didn´t get fed up with business talking business with John at home or running all of my ventures. I needed more!

 

One of my (and my colleague´s) tasks at the incubator was to hold an introduction week for the new companies coming into the incubator. That´s a tough challenge. We had two new companies coming in the first round and 5 companies coming in the second time. During this week we give the entrepreneurs a vitamin injection. We break down their business idéa and business plan into pieces and then we build it up again stronger than before. We also teach about how it is being a startup in a business incubator, how to get as much as possible out of it and so on. It´s also a very good opportunity for teambuilding between the new companies and between the new companies and us as business developers.

 

As a facilitator need to be on your toes all the time, you need to be inspiring, pedagogic, involving and able to pep these entrepreneurs for 5 days straight. The material we had was not much to hang in the christmas tree (Swedish expression). It wasn´t much to cheer for. So me and Joanna did everything from scratch. We planned the whole thing, searched for new and updated material and then executed the introduction week.

 

I had a blast. It was so challenging and draining and I slept like a baby every night that week. But we did it and we did it well. We got some very nice comments and compliments from the entrepreneurs afterwards that really warmed my heart. A special thanks to Hans Patrik Ristner for your compliment the last day of the week, I very much appreciate it!

 

  1. I grew a beard

Who would have known that breaking my arm would lead to me growing a beard. I mean obviously it´s fucking hard to shave if you´re right arm is into pieces. The whole beard growing process has been a real struggle. First it looked like shit and it was itching, then it looked okey for a while but it was still itching, then it looked like shit again and it felt like it was all over my face and I could barely sleep, then it felt good. Now we´re friends and it feels like he´s a part of me now. He does his thing on my neck and cheeks and I mind my own business. The only thing we do together is the combing and beard oil lubrication. I trim him down once in a while but just a little bit. We agreed on him growing long. He adds something to my face and since I don´t have any hair on my head, I might just have a long beard instead. Classic? I know, but it suits my lifestyle and people are starting to recognize me by the beard. He will probably follow me through 2017 as well. We´ll see if he´s still around when I write my next new years eve blogpost.

 

 

  1. My sister had her first child – I was uncle!

I´ve already written a long blog post about this so I´m gonna keep it short. But this was such a magical time and day for me. So many feelings I can barely describe it. I never thought I´d be that emotionally involved but man, I was a wreck. I was crying and laughing at the same time and I was just so freaking happy. That little person that I didn´t even know, all of a sudden ment so much to me. And the connection we had when I saw her, the baby, Agnes is her name – it was just wow! I´ll never forget when Cecilia (my sister) started crying when I held Agnes one evening. Agnes and I had a very nice moment together playing some kind of peek a boo. That´s one of them super sweet moments of life when you really feel alive. I´m so freaking proud and happy for my sister and her little family. She´s such a lovely mother!

 

  1. Emilia got a job at Volvo

As a big brother I constantly care and worry about my sisters. More before than now. Life was different when we were younger. It was more volatile. The girls grew up and became young women and they make me prouder and prouder for every year. Emilia left Köping for Gothenburg. That was her first big step of taking control of her life seeking the opportunities. I helped her out with a job and Cecilia helped her out with accommodation. She then managed to get a great job at Volvo and her own apartment by herself by being out there looking for opportunities rather than waiting for the opportunities to come to her. Well done little sister! Just recently she started her own business, a clothing line called Straight Outta Streets. Check it out here! As an entrepreneur I love to see her energy and drive. Good luck and remember that entrepreneurship is like playing football. Every venture is a training session. Don´t expect to play the final of Champions league the first thing you do. Zlatan didn´t. But make sure to go to every training and do your best every time. Then I promise you that success will come =)

 

  1. Moving to the desert in USA

When October came I sold my lovely moped, my motorbike and basically everything I own, we moved out from the apartment and I quit my job as a business developer. It was finally time for me to go on my next adventure. I´m a laptop entrepreneur. Or at least aspiring laptop entrepreneur. I want to be able to travel and make my money while I´m traveling. And that´s what I´m doing at the moment. The first 3 months I´ve spent in California and in two weeks I´ll be going to Nicaragua. My lovely Nicaragua. I haven´t been there since I worked with the street kids on the garbage dump La Chureca in 2011. I´m looking forward to eating gallo pinto con maduro, surfing, the lovely beaches and weather. I´ll stay there for 3-6 months and then I´ll probably go to Dominican Republic and Brazil.

 

I´ve had a blast here in Yucca Valley and I´m glad that my friend Adam came along with me. We´ve been living with the adorable ladies Mirelle and Nicole and together we´ve been to so many interesting places and had so many interesting conversations. Grand Canyon, Antilope Canyon, Silicon Valley and Caines place, just to mention a few places I´ve been to since I came here. Since it´s not a vacation, me and Adam has being working pretty hard as well. Starbucks all around California has been our office on a daily basis. Thank you Starbucks for making our lives easier. I really appreciate your green tea and high speed internet! One bad thing with the business me and Adam has together is that our hosting company failed us big time. That made our launch about 6 weeks late and that drained me totally. Luckily we managed to go back to Loopia who saved our asses. I love you Loopia!

 

I love USA and I love americans! I´ve met so many nice people on this trip. I can highly recommend CouchSurfing.com if you are traveling and like to meet new people. Amazing and just amazing! You meet genuine and super nice people and you borrow their couch or whatever they might have to sleep on, free of charge! Why pay for a sterile hotel where you only meet the staff working there? Try it, you will not get disappointed.

 

Adam, Mirelle, Nicole, Melissa, Caine and Pixl, Ami and Rob, Regi, Filip, Andrew ,Kathryn and Sonora,Tim, Gary, all our colleagues from Starbucks (the office), the Salvadorian gang member, the paranoid Chinese man, Ana the bus driver and everyone else I´ve met on this trip so far – thank you so much for making my stay great in USA =)

 

9) Learning new things and new projects

This whole trip is planned to be 12 months in total. It might be longer if i manage to make enough money to be on the road. One thing I´ve started doing is learning about daytrading and technical analysis of stocks. It´s so interesting and the good thing is that I can do it from wherever in the world I am as long as I have a computer. I´m not looking for quick cash here. This is an investment of time in a tool I can use for making some money while on the road. I haven´t started trading on a daily basis yet. I got more stuff to learn before I do that but I´m very excited to start trading once my trading strategy is done.

 

I also have a few new business ideas that I might try out during 2017. I can´t say more now but I´ll let you know when the time is right =)

 

10) I don´t know…

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