In addition to the wonderful, feature-length interviews that keynote speaker and 30minMBA Founder & CEO Therése Gedda has done for publications including Veckans Affärer, SvD (Svenska Dagbladet), Shortcut, and many others, she often receives questions about entrepreneurship, her journey, how she got started, and what lessons she’s learned along the way.
Below is part one of a two-part FAQ we recently did with Therése based on the questions she’s most often asked after her keynotes, during conferences, via social media, and via our newsletter.
Of course, if there are any other burning questions not covered here, feel free to drop us a line.
Without further ado, it’s over to Therése!
1. What’s your favorite part of being an entrepreneur and why?
Entrepreneurship is limitless! You create your own path – your own lifestyle. Limitations are only in our minds. Age doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter when and where you start. Your entrepreneurial journey is there for you to create and this is something that has guided me from the start.
I have been an entrepreneur and keynote speaker for a long time. I’ve actually never been employed. I was 17 years old when I started my first company within management consulting and over the last 15 years, I have had the great pleasure of supporting thousands of founders, management teams, and executives. When I was 21, I became a guest lecturer at Stockholm School of Economics and The Royal Institute of Technology and for over a decade I have been an international keynote speaker on topics including entrepreneurship, business culture, the entrepreneurial mindset and personal branding. My passion for entrepreneurship made me a jury member at the largest business plan competition in Sweden, Venture Cup, at the age of 23. Today, I’m the Founder and CEO of 30minMBA.com – an award-winning mobile learning company designed to increase engagement in the workplace. We make it possible to learn actionable business concepts on the go and apply them instantly in your work.
Being an entrepreneur allows me to pursue my greatest passion – to empower individuals to reach their full potential. 30minMBA is also built on that purpose. I’m driven by making a difference, doing creative work, and collaborating with amazing people. I love that every day is different and I love experiencing that sense of achievement when magic is created. On a personal note, it’s also such a privilege to travel the world and meet with passionate founders, journalists, investors, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
2. How did you get started? Was there an ‘aha!’ moment?
While preparing to speak at one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship conferences, I knew I needed a different approach to breakthrough. While I was backstage, I saw the audience was filled with top business executives all looking down at their phones and it hit me – it couldn’t be ‘business as usual’ anymore. I needed to provide direct, actionable takeaways and make my talk memorable enough for people to immediately take action on the insights. I delivered a keynote that gave the audience a spark in their eyes. I knew they got the message and were inspired to take action. From that moment, 30minMBA was born. I knew that business today needed to make learning actionable.
Ever since I started my first management consultancy, I have had the dream and the desire to drive change on a global scale together with amazing people. To passionately strive to empower individuals to reach their full potential by using the latest technology. Bridging the gap between what science knows and what business does, 30minMBA is built upon that dream. The dream to make a difference.
3. How did 30minMBA get off the ground? Did you bootstrap it?
We have been using design thinking principals to develop 30minMBA right from the start, and today more than 500 people have been part of the product development. And yes, we are self-funded and bootstrapped. Learn more about how we got started under our Founding Story and what we are about here.
4. What roadblocks did 30minMBA face initially and how did you overcome them?
Running any startup is always a rollercoaster. You experience highs and lows all the time. It’s amazing, exhilarating, and rewarding but as with anything worth doing it also comes with risks. The development of the business, your people and yourself is constant. However, I believe that you can’t focus on the challenges that come your way. You need to see them as part of the process and the exciting journey. In that way, it’s easier to overcome anything that comes your way. Knowing, even in the darkest of times, that it’s temporary gives you strength and hope. Being true to your purpose and your desire to change the world for the better can be an amazing guide when you need it at most.
5. What’s been your most epic moment so far as an entrepreneur?
There are so many moments. Seeing people interacting and loving our product is massively rewarding. We are also a culture-driven company which means that our pursuit of empowering individuals to reach their full potential guides us in everything we do. Being passionate about culture, we’ve developed a process for recruiting on culture. One moment which will always stay with me was when one incredible individual had the highest score we’ve ever seen on the test. When we got to know him better, we realized that he would be a perfect fit. When this rockstar joined our team, I felt so proud.
Being a keynote speaker and founder, I also have the incredible opportunity to travel the world over the last 15 years speaking in front of 10,000s of passionate founders, influencers, and executives. One of the most epic moments is to stand on stage and see that spark in people’s eyes when they realize that they can achieve anything they dream of.
6. What makes 30minMBA unique and how did you find your niche?
We believe that successful companies are built upon successful individuals. We also believe that high employee engagement is the key for any successful company. High engagement leads to every individual doing his or her best every day, feeling motivated to contribute to the company and its success as well as committed to the company’s values and goals with a great sense of their own well-being. It’s a state where people thrive and bring that extra spark to their contribution to the company.
30minMBA is designed for high-performing organizations who want to give their people an opportunity to develop their business skills “on the go”, when and where it fits them. While walking between meetings, driving, traveling on the subway or running on the treadmill, they learn actionable, leading business concepts in leadership, performance, and strategy. Instead of spending 8 hours reading a book and try to gain the knowledge, they invest 30 minutes and apply the lessons in their work instantly.
We realized that one of the best ways of empowering people is to support companies passionate about their people to increase their workplace engagement even more.