WHY I MOVED TO JAPAN FOR TWO MONTHS

THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN LIVE IS IF WE GROW. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN GROW IS IF WE CHANGE. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN CHANGE IS IF WE LEARN. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN LEARN IS IF WE ARE EXPOSED. AND THE ONLY WAY THAT WE ARE EXPOSED IS IF WE THROW OURSELVES INTO THE OPEN. — C. Joybell

I’ve always been frustrated by the status quo — and what it is differs between you and me. For me it’s about just letting life happen to you. Not taking control. I need things to happen as well in my personal as in my professional life and I’m quite sure this is why I’ve found entrepreneurship as the path I’m currently on — it allows and even forces me to challenge the status quo every single day.

We started our first venture when we were 20 years old. Being dedicated to building a working company for the last four years haven’t allowed anyone of to focus on what makes us feel good. If I would make a list of things that gives me energy and sparks my creativity it would be:

  • Meeting new people and share knowledge and ideas with each other
  • Continuosly learning new things
  • Seeing and being in new environments, culturally and physically

Need fuel for creativity

For a year or so I haven’t felt that my creativity, productivity or mood has been on the right level and I need it to be in order to be satisfied and happy. This has nothing to do with how the business has been going, because that’s always a roller coaster which I love to be riding. It has more to do with finding a sustainable way of living and feeling that you pursue a life you want to live and that you are the captain of that journey. With the help and push from my mentorsand some coaching from other people trusted and also my co-founders Adam and Yvonne, I felt that the need for change finally became impossible to ignore.

A wish written by someone at the Meiji Shrine

When I’ve starting to think about something or having an idea I want to try my distance to action is often, if not always, zero. This is both good and a bad, since approximately 999 out of 1 000 ideas aren’t good. But that having tried out thousands of ideas to find that special and working one always makes it worth it. So, about a week ago I packed my bags and moved to Tokyo for the upcoming two months. It’s alway been a dream living and working abroad and I’ve always wanted to stay in Japan for a longer of period of time — and now I’m doing it. I’m still going to work with marketing and product at Qleano from here.


A placed called the creative garage-spent some days working from here. Notice the retro Mac computers on the shelf, making a fan boy like me happy.

What am I hoping to get out from this trip?

Except from trying to keep the right level of activities that makes me feel good and being happy, such as: meeting new people and share knowledge and ideas with each other, continuosly learning new things and seeing and being in new environments, both culturally and physically want to evalute the following:

1. Is Japan and Tokyo a place where I can imagine to have my permanent home base

I’ve been to Tokyo maybe a dozen of times before this visit, my mother comes from a suburb to this major world metropol and I’ve always been fascinated by the culture, the people and the atmosphere of this country and this city. I also have and feel a big need to learn more Japanese. Since me and my siblings are second generation of emigrated Japanese our future children will probably not feel Japanese at all (I feel like 100% Swedish and maybe 30% Finnish and 30% Japanese depending on the situation, even though I’m 50/50 Japanese and Finnish.) Losing the language also means losing culture and local manners. I’ve always felt it’s truly important to deeply understand your roots and where you come from, because I have a strong belief it helps shaping (not limit) us as persons and it will help you understanding yourself more deeply if you understand your history. So let’s see this as a try out and a first step to figure out my future relationship to Japan.

2. Spend some time by my self and get out of the comfort sofa

We are a lot of people who see ourselves as Introverts-Extroverts. Having no problem taking room and air when needed — being extrovert when expected but gaining energy by being by ourselves, having time for reflection, dreaming and just thinking. During my stay in Tokyo I’m going to spend over a month all by myself (a lot of visits planned by friends and family). I’ve never travelled alone or spent more than a few days all by myself why this will be a great experience and something I really want to try out since I believe it’s a must to learn how to be with yourself without feeling lonely.

3. Evaluate the remote working style

During the last couple of months I’ve been doing some semi-remote-working. I’ve been café hopping in Stockholm or I’ve worked from home instead of commuting to our Eskilstuna office. Working from home hasn’t been pushing my productivity to the top so I try avoid doing it except from the late night work that needs to be done every now and then. Café hopping works kind of good but after a while it gets a bit tiring doing it from different coffee shops restricted to Stockholm when one could do it from different coffee shops all over the world. This is a good test to see how it works communication wise with the team and what we need to figure out to make it work really smooth without productivity loss, but also how it works with different time zones, losing work time on the road etc. As I stated in an earlier post there’s som really great reads about working remote but as with everything you’ll probably have your own challanges, needs and demands within your company and need to figure out solutions that works great for you and your team. Especially if working remote is something you want to scale within your organisations and teams.


All but all, this trip is more than a trip to just spend some time in Japan. My goal is that the time spent here will help me to evaluate what kind of lifestyle I should pursue in order to be as happy as I can (and become a better founding partner and co-worker) and also how I can contribute with as much of me as I can to the teams, organisations and people (friends and family as well) I’m working and interacting with.

Hopefully I’ll also find the time to reflect on how and what to focus on for the upcoming years. I’ll try to share as much as possible in this Medium Publication.

And most importantly, I write because I love to write. It helps me clear my mind and structure my thoughts. In the best of worlds it might also inspire someone sometime to do something good. And If I can inspire one single soul to pursue what he or she is dreaming of— it’s worth publish my writings for everyone to read.

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