When Denmark locked down in the spring of 2020, I, like many others around the world, watched the news unfold with confusion and a growing sense of isolation.
I was alone with two small boys (3 and 6 years old at the time), and I felt trapped. I couldn’t even run down to raid the supermarkets for ground beef and toilet paper because I couldn’t leave my two small children behind.
The lockdowns were challenging both personally and professionally.
My business required time I no longer had because I was with the kids 24/7. Personally, I found it challenging to be with my kids all the time without any school/daycare or support.
Although both lockdowns were costly and had horrific consequences, I am grateful for the experience and for the changes that happened as an indirect result.
In this blog post, I will reveal the chain reaction that the lockdowns set in motion in my life.
1. I Started to Blog in English
For a long time, I had wanted to expand my business to the global market with the domain moneyandfreedom.com. When the lockdowns first happened, I thought it was a good time to build an international following.
Why was this my first decision?
It was probably driven by a strong urge not to just sit with my hands in my lap and watch the world go into a coma.
I had to do something to feel like I was still moving forward – and that was the first spontaneous change I introduced.
It was a logical move at the time. With the first lockdown, all of social media began to buzz like a restless beehive. I wanted to take advantage of that hyperactivity.
I translated blog posts for www.moneyandfreedom.com and created both an Instagram profile and a Facebook page in English.
Doing this, I built the foundation for an international network with other value investors that has led to being invited to Guy Spier’s famous value investor dinner in Omaha this year.
2. I Improved My Value Investor Course
Being alone with two children, time was not an abundant resource.
Yet, during the first lockdown, I decided to level up.
I re-recorded all my videos and expanded the material. I hired someone to review the flow of the course, an excel guy to rebuild my spreadsheets, and I hired an editor to go through my texts.
3. I Revolutionized My Sales Method
Before the lockdowns, my business depended on sales calls.
In the past, to get in on my group coaching program, you had to go through an hourlong interview where we assessed whether value investing was something for you.
With school and daycare closing, it was impossible for me to continue with those talks because I had children in the background all the time.
My sales stopped almost overnight, even though people needed me. The stock market had taken a sharp v-dip and people were contacting me for help – but I had no time to talk with them individually.
I decided to sell collectively via a webinar instead of through conversations.
My business coach – who had recommended sales calls – warned me that I would flop with the new method. She believed that it would be impossible to sell such a course through a webinar.
But I insisted, and it went well.
In the first webinar, I caught up with last year’s course participants – and it was a huge victory.
I made up for all that had been lost and more. But most importantly: it freed up a lot of time, which I could now spend on developing both my business and my personal life.
It changed my life.
4. I Took the First Steps to Open My Hedge Fund
When the market dropped in 2020, I started researching how I could invest for others.
With the help of a good accountant, I laid out the whole plan for establishment and started holding meetings with interested investors.
When the market rose sharply again in the fall of 2020, I put the plan aside for a bit and waited for the market to calm down.
A year and a half later I got ready again. I opened the fund in the summer of 2022 instead.
5. I Rethought My Entire Life and Decided to Move to Portugal
When the government recommended that we limit ourselves to seeing the 10 people closest to us during the Christmas holidays of 2020, it became very clear to me that I was alone with my children.
Of course, I have always been aware that I have had children alone (I had my two boys through fertility treatment and anonymous donor), but now I understood how alone I really was.
Specifically, I realized I wasn’t on anyone’s top 10 list.
We all experienced grief about someone we couldn’t see or something we couldn’t do during those times.
I was upset, but I accepted it. There were good reasons to keep the list small.
I faced my truth, and it made it possible to change my life quite radically.
I was lying in the dark one winter morning during the second lockdown and thought that I didn’t want to live my life the way it was then.
I tried to gather the strength to get up for another day, trapped with children in an apartment in Nørrebro. It was dark and cold outside.
I had to manage blog posts, teaching, business development, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, LEGO assistance and everything else, in 81 square meters.
I promised myself that I would never experience another winter like that in my life.
I promised myself that the following year I would live a different life.
I struggled as a full-time homemaker while running two businesses.
Discovering that I wasn’t on anyone else’s top 10 list also opened up the possibility that I could do anything because I no longer felt like I was bound geographically by relationships. I didn’t have to stay in Denmark for anyone.
I could design my life exactly how I wanted it to be.
I asked myself:
How will I live my life if everything is possible?
I began to design my new life in my mind. It helped me through the darkness.
Here were some of the criteria:
- We had to live in house with a room for each of us and with a live-in maid.
- I would be able to afford and have space for domestic help: a cook, babysitter and maybe an au pair.
- I wanted to live somewhere with more light and warmth.
- There should be good, international schools.
- There had to be a good expat environment so that I could quickly make new friends.
- Our new home had to be within driving distance of Denmark (in Europe).
- It had to be a safe country with low crime and a good healthcare system.
- There should be lower tax than in Denmark.
I researched different countries that we could live in, and I very quickly settled on Portugal. The next step was to look for a school for the children and a house we could rent.
From the time I got the idea, it took three months to set the plans in place and five months for us to move. We found a house and school in May, and we moved there at the end of June, 2021. It went so quickly.