The 50 Most Important Life Lessons I Wish I Had Known Since Childhood

The 50 Most Important Life Lessons I Wish I Had Known Since Childhood

A few days ago, I turned 50.

I’m in the middle of life, and I’m happier and more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been before.


Because I have become wiser with time and experiences.

I have failed, lived life and learned a lot of things. I stand more solidly on my own two feet than I have done before.

In this blog post, I’ll share the 50 most important life lessons that I’ve learned over time. Many of them I wish I had known since childhood – but life is also about learning.

This week I’ll write about life lessons in general, and next week I’ll write about what I’ve learned about money and investing.

Are you ready?

Here are my 50 most important life lessons…

1. Trust Your Intuition

I have overruled myself many times in my youth because I didn’t have the courage to trust the little voice inside.

It has warned me every time, and it has tried to point me in the right direction. Whether it has to do with new friendships, career jumps, love or investments.

You also have that little voice. Listen to it.

You are much smarter than you think.

2. Invest Early

Of course, this one has to be on the list, because that’s really what my blog is about: investing in your financial freedom.

I started investing in my late 20s when I got my first permanent job. That’s actually early compared to many. But I could have started long before.

I inherited some money when I was a teenager. I wish I had already invested that money back then.

It is never too early and never too late.

3. Be Grateful

Gratitude is the magic spice of life.

It erases all bitterness.

Write down three things you are grateful for every night and every morning. These micro-habits make a big difference over time. It’s a bit like money. It compounds.

4. Be Selective when Choosing Friends

You don’t have to be friends with everyone who comes your way.

Stand back and observe them for a while.

Observe your own reaction.

What does your intuition say? Are they good people?

We are strongly influenced by those with whom we surround ourselves.

That’s why you have to be selective.

I probably have a little bit of social FOMO (fear of missing out), and in my younger years I have invested in relationships that I should perhaps have let pass.

5. You Can Opt Out of Friendships

In investment parlance, it’s called the sunk cost fallacy when you hold on to losing positions. You have invested in a stock that is now flashing red on the screen, and you refuse to sell until it has risen at least to neutral.

But maybe the share price will just keep diving? Maybe you could win the money back by investing in something else?

Sunk cost fallacy also happens socially. Sometimes we hold on to friendships because we have already invested several years into them.

But there is no rule saying that because you were friends once, you need to be friends forever and hang out until the end of time.

If your friends do something mean-spirited or selfish – to you or others – be extremely careful. Consider withdrawing.

People tend to repeat their own patterns over and over again. Of course, you should give them the opportunity to say sorry and make things right again. But if the apology doesn’t come, move on. (P.S. Always remember to say sorry yourself if you make a mistake).

I myself am extremely “sticky” and do not want to lose friends.

But occasionally we have to cut our losses and say goodbye.

6. Hold On to Good Friends

You really need nurture the good relationships in your life. As they say in investment parlance: “Let your winners run.” If you have a relationship that works, cherish it. Give it attention and time.

As written in the Bible: the greatest of all is love.

Here I don’t just mean romantic love, but love in general.

7. Be Selective with Jobs

You shouldn’t take a job just because it looks good on your CV.

Be aware of who you will be working with. Do you like the boss? Do they seem nice? Is there a good work culture?

When I look back, it makes me sad to reflect on the fact that I spent 8 years at a newspaper where I didn’t thrive.

I saw the warning signs before accepting the job, but I was so excited about covering banks during the financial crisis that I jumped at the chance… and I hung around for far too long, even when it was clear to me that I was unhappy.

8. Consider Starting a Business

I opened my first business at the age of 44. Today, I can see that I should have done it a long time ago.

It has been a great pleasure to create and provide knowledge with my courses.

I don’t know why we make entrepreneurship sound like such a risky thing.

Being an employee is really risky if you think about it – you can risk getting fired and lose your income overnight.

Many industries have low barriers to entry… which is business school parlance for saying it’s not that hard or expensive to get started.

Starting my blog only cost the price of the domain. I made up my mind to do it one day and wrote the first three blog posts in one night while the kids slept. The first blog post had more than 50,000 readers. It took one day and less than I pay for a café latte to get started.

9. Set Huge Goals

Today I do things that I could not have imagined as a young person.

I run my own companies and invest for others. I’ve opened a total of 4 companies. One of them is a small hedge fund. I NEVER imagined when I was a kid that I would grow up to become a hedge fund manager.

10. Always Be Kind

Our #1 job on this earth is living a decent life without harming or hurting others. The next job is to make the world a better place.

So. Please. Always be kind. It’s part of your #1 job.

Be kind – even to those who are not kind to you.

You can and must speak up for yourself in a firm but friendly way.

11. Avoid Stress

Speaking of kindness…

I’ll admit that there have been times in my life when I have not been particularly friendly or kind.

I have given the middle finger to cars in the morning traffic after they raced through a puddle and sprayed water on me and my kids. I have scolded the sleepy teenage cashier in the supermarket for whatever reasons.

Today, I could not dream of doing that in my life in Portugal.

Looking back, I can see that I have lived for a few decades with constant “background stress”.

You know that feeling – when you constantly feel like you’re falling behind. It was the norm during all the years I worked as a news journalist. I used to wake up with nightmares of not knowing what my story of the day was or not making the deadline.

I probably didn’t know how to relax at all.

If you find yourself walking around your life giving grumpy retorts and flashing your middle finger in traffic… take it seriously. You are not in the right place in your life.

12. Prioritize Your Sleep

Lately, I have heard several people say that I have changed. I seem happier and calmer.

More often than usual, I feel a spontaneous flash of inner peace – even if something particular is not working the way I wanted it too.

I think it’s because I sleep more.

I hired a coach six months ago. I thought we should work on the big life goals like making a fortune and finding everlasting love, but she insisted on working on my sleep first. I was given specific tasks to create evening routines, and my goal was to sleep at least 7 hours every night.

Sleeping has worked wonders.

13. Plan Your Day the Night Before

One of the things my coach taught me was to spend 20 minutes every night planning for the next day.

It clears your head so you don’t have to get up and arrange things after going to bed.

I spend 20 minutes planning for tomorrow, deciding what to wear, what the main tasks will be, checking the calendar.

Our system is called 20/20/20. You first spend twenty minutes getting ready for the next day. Then twenty minutes to get yourself ready with personal hygiene (bath, brushing and flossing your teeth, and so on). Then twenty minutes of breathing calmly in bed, either writing or reading with a night lamp (no computer).

14. Journal Every Evening and Morning

I spend the last 20 minutes of every day reading something nice, writing in a journal or just breathing as if I had already fallen asleep.

I spent at least 5 minutes just writing a little about how the day went, what I was grateful for, what moments were blissful and what I learned.

15. Do What You Love Every Day

This point is so simple that it is incredible that it has to be written in a blog post. But yes, it has to… Because honestly. Do you really do what you love every day?

We are all rushing around, even if we don’t really have to. Somewhere in the rush we forget the small things we love to do.

Prioritizing activities that I love has probably been one of the hardest things for me to do daily, actually. I have – like many others – a built-in whip that constantly keeps me busy with practical things. This is completely idiotic, because I really don’t have to.

16. Cherish the Joy of Small Things

You don’t have to wait until it’s Friday night to enjoy life.

Love the little things in everyday life. The ray of sun on the sofa. Wind in your face when riding a bike. The sound of a child laughing. Jumping in a puddle. Playing with a balloon. Smiling at a stranger.

17. Be On Time

It was an aha moment I had one day when cycling in Copenhagen. I discovered that I had seen and enjoyed things on my usual route that I had never noticed before.

I found that when I’m just a little bit late, I don’t enjoy the process.

When, on the other hand, I have extra time going somewhere, I use my senses to enjoy things. I can hear the birds chirping, I enjoy sight of an apple tree in bloom.

What a simple but important life lesson to experience that being on time makes you so much happier.

18. Speak Honestly and Truthfully

I am not lying. But have I always told the truth?

Some conversations can be uncomfortable to initiate.

Like when you sense that another person is not well. Or when you feel hurt by a certain response and wonder what is going on.

I have often avoided those conversations, and now I realize what an act of love it really is to have the hard talks.

It’s important to be able to say – with love – when it feels like something is wrong and to be curious about what might be causing it.

I’ve improved.

Since childhood, I have been shy of conflict. It came about because my mother was an alcoholic, and I learned to hide things and appear happier than I was in order to avoid drama. If you criticized my mother, she would act out, and more than once she disappeared and tried to take her own life.

It was actually with our current teenage au-pair that I learned to ask curiously if something was the matter. I learned that you can easily have a calm conversation about a conflict of interest… and that you can walk away happy from a difficult conversation.

19. Do Not Interrupt Others

I am often eager and tend to enter a room talking.

It is only at a mature age that I have learned to step back and observe what is happening to others before I open my mouth.

20. Set an Intention in Everything You Do

Set an intention before every meeting, every interaction, every task, every outing, every conversation.

What do you want to achieve with it? What is your intention?

21. Say Yes

Say yes to life and the things that are important to you. Do it.

What do you want to achieve? Prioritize it.

It all starts with you knowing what is important to you.

22. Say No

In order to have room for what is important to you, you have to say no to most of what is not a top priority. You have to be really stubborn when making choices. People will expect you to do things that are not your priority.

If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a hell no.

23. Take a Simple Idea and Live It 100%

This line of thinking comes from the value investor Mohnish Pabrai.

He says that many people read something and think it sounds right, but then they never actually do anything about it.

He lives out a few ideas, and he does it 100%. For him, value investment is one of the main things he has prioritized.

But there are other things too.

He has promised himself to be honest in everything he does and with everyone he interacts with.

It’s a mindset he has taken from the work of David Hawkins.

24. Find the Power and Avoid Force

Let’s talk about David Hawkins.

His book Power vs. Force has changed my life.

According to Hawkins, there is an energy in everything, and it’s either positive or negative.

If you live with negative energy, you must live a life where you try to force everything to happen. If you live a life of positive energy, you harness the power in everything.

I’m still struggling to figure out how to live by it. He has written a whole series of books, so the answer may come in book nine. (I’ll tell you when I have the aha experience).

So far, I think it has a lot to do with using intuition and noticing if something has positive or negative energy.

How does this relate to Mohnish Pabrai’s idea of living honestly?

Honesty has positive energy. Lies and concealment have negative energy.

25. Drink More Water

If I had to give simple dietary advice, it would be to drink more water. Quite ordinary water. No bubbles.

Drink, drink, drink.

I once struggled with a recurring bladder infection. It came again and again. I discovered that if I drank enough water, I couldn’t just cure it – I could also prevent it.

I wonder how many other minor illnesses you can keep at bay just by drinking enough water.

26. Start the Day Earlier

Go to bed earlier and start the day before the rest of the house gets up.

I love getting up an hour or two before my children.

Then I have time to meditate, journal, practice yoga and drink lemon water… which reminds me…

27. Drink Lemon Water First Thing

No, I don’t mean that yellow soda. I mean water with freshly squeezed organic lemon in it.

Most people drink coffee first thing in the morning. Is that really the first thing you want to run through your detoxed system?

By the way, did you know that, according to the David Hawkins measurements, an organic lemon has positive energy, while a non-organic lemon has negative energy? Fascinating, right? Makes you really think about what you drink and eat.

28. Spend the Morning and Afternoon on “Focus Work”

Your brain cells are fresh in the morning. This is where you are most creative and focused.

Don’t use your sharp brain cells on emails, practical tasks and social media.

I have blocked off my calendars every morning from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. to do the work that has the highest priority. In my case, that’s researching companies and doing creative work, such as writing blog posts. It’s in the morning that I read, research and become wiser.

29. Place Emailing and Practical Tasks in the Afternoon

Everything else… emails, small tasks, bills, calls and meetings you can set aside for the afternoon.

You’ll be more tired, but it doesn’t really take a nuclear scientist to update the accounting system or say no or yes to an invitation.

30. Give Your Undivided Attention to Those You Love – Every Day

This was something I learned in a parenting course.

I learned that I should give each child a minimum of 10 minutes of focused, uninterrupted playtime each day.

Yes – it sounds like a matter of course. But then again… do you really do it?

The school run and the cooking while quarreling doesn’t count. It’s not really quality time.

All that counts is complete undivided attention: like looking at an ant together. Or playing with a balloon. Or listening intently to what they tell you.

You can use that principle for everything and everyone.

Have you given your elderly mother ten minutes of undivided attention today? Your partner? Your best friend?

It’s so simple – and so brilliant. It is like water to flowers. You will see people and relationships absorb it and flourish.

31. They Can’t Stop You

I have always been afraid of criticism and the condemnation of others.

When you blog and have a business, you will encounter trolls and some people with ill intentions who criticize you and who maybe even threaten to do something illogical.

When you place yourself in the game, other people’s different reactions are part of that game. If 50,000 people read my blog post, I’ll for sure get some negative responses.

My coach taught me that it doesn’t matter. What a life lesson to know that I’ll I have to do is shrug about it.

Because the opinion or criticism of others can’t stop you.

It’s just words.

This has become my mantra if other people’s reactions inhibit me for a moment: “they can’t stop me.”

32. Believe in the Force

I had a really good coach who told me that you can live in three ways.

1. You can believe that everything is against you and live a life where you are always in struggle and conflict.

2. You can believe that nothing is against you – it is neutral – but that you must fight to create everything.

3. Or you can believe that the world is with you.

I love the last approach.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should lie down on the couch and wait for things to happen.

You still have to go out into the world and do your thing. But you do it with a curious joy and ease because you know that it will work out.

33. Know That Love Never Disappears

This is an idea that comes from Napoleon Hill.

He says that you must use love as the driving force to achieve your goals.

On the same note, he says that love never dies because it’s spiritual in nature.

You can always sit down and get in touch with the love that once was.

This thinking shifted things for me.

I am less afraid of losing people around me because I now understand that I will never completely lose what I love.

As my father said before he died: “I will never die, because I live in you.”

He was right.

34. Get a Pet

Last summer we got a street cat from the Algarve. That cat is a miracle worker.

It makes us smile every day and it can solve conflicts in an instant. It has also learned to call for “mum” with the exact same intonation as the boys.

The other day my son had a group play date with some of the boys from his class. One of the boys throws tantrums regularly, followed by painful remorse. His attacks come on almost like an epileptic fit, with early warning signs and after-pains.

When that happens, I give him the cat. It’s a cuddly cat that purrs as soon as you touch it. It likes to be carried around by children.

The cat calms him down on the spot. I give him the cat and tell him, “the cat always loves you.”

35. Get Some Help

This probably applies mostly to those of you with children.

Outsource everything you can.

We can’t always do everything.

I pay for a bus service that takes my boys to school. I have domestic help to clean and cook. And an au pair to help me with breakfast and the evening routine.

But even if you don’t have children: make sure you outsource everything that you’re not good at or don’t really care about. Whether it’s cleaning, mowing the lawn or doing the bookkeeping.

36. Write Handwritten Thank-you Notes

This idea comes from value investor Guy Spier. He says that handwritten thank-you notes have a compound interest effect on your social contacts. I love the idea but don’t always get it done.

I was thinking of buying myself a Montblanc fountain pen for my 50th birthday so I can write beautiful letters. I went to the Montblanc store on Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon and tried them all.

I didn’t buy one, but I’ve decided I may get one after I’ve been writing letters regularly for a year.

So I’ll start with a regular pen. The important thing is to get it done – not to have the most expensive pen.

37. Get Advice from Your Gurus

Hold imaginary meetings with people you admire. Consult with them in your mind.

I often ask myself: what would Warren Buffett have done?

You can do the same in other areas of your life. You can let Oliver James shop for your dinner, ask Obama for career advice and ask Oprah Winfrey for help with resolving a conflict.

38. Create a Wall of Happy Memories

This idea came from a friend who helped me decorate our home in Portugal. She suggested making a large wall with framed pictures of all those we love.

I chose the wall by the stairs, and I actually stop every day and feel grateful. It’s decorated by a mixture of holiday pictures, pictures of guests, baby pictures, school pictures, amusement park snapshots and whatever else makes me happy to look at.

The frames vary in style and color. Some pictures are in color, some are black-and-white. Some are from another century. Some are from this year.

The only common thread is that there has to be a good vibe in the picture. It should give me a feeling of gratitude. High vibration on the Hawkins scale.

39. Drink from a Mug with a Motto

Yes, I love our beautiful Moomin cups, but I love our ugly motto cups even more.

I have one that says: “I’m so happy and grateful now that…”.

It reminds me to state my goal and to be grateful. Several times a day.

It’s a kind of self-hypnosis.

I also have a cup that my 6-year-old son just gave me for my 50th birthday that says “The best mum in the world – ever.”

I think it’s the best present I’ve ever received. It will for sure make me an even better mom, because it will work like a mantra. And after all – he must be the one who knows it, right? I couldn’t think of a better witness.

You can also use other tricks, such as writing it on the mirror or setting it as the wallpaper on your phone or computer.

40. Say “Pyt”

There is a great word in Danish called “pyt”. It’s better than “hygge.”

It means something similar to “never mind”, but in a really relieving way, and almost with a giggle. Never mind sounds a bit more bitter in my ear than “pyt”.

You don’t have to be Danish to say it.

So say “pyt”.

Every time, all the time.

It will be OK.

We are still working on “pyt” at home.

Yesterday my boys almost got into a physical fight because one took a cookie that the other wanted.

“Pyt. It’s a cookie.”

Adults have the same problem, just with slightly different things.

But hey, it’s still just a cookie.

41. “…And That’s Good Because…”

If pyt doesn’t work, you try on to the next cannon in the row, which is the phrase “…and that’s good because….”

Why is it good that you got fired? Why is it good that the flight was cancelled?

42. Feel the Sadness

Some incidents are, of course, profound losses, where neither pyt nor gratitude works. It’s hard to use when you go through the grief of losing a loved one.

Then there is only one thing to do:

Feel the pain, breathe through it. Meditate on it.

It’ll be okay.

43. Treat Yourself

Yes. Book that massage. Take that salt bath. Go to that concert.

What strikes you as wildly excessive luxury? A night alone at five-star hotel just because you want to?

Do it. Life is now.

(P.S. you still have to save and invest if you are working towards financial freedom. But often you can have both. It’s not either-or. You can spoil yourself and work on creating assets. If you can’t afford to book the room without going into a minus on your account, buy a cup of coffee at the hotel and pretend you’re spending the night there.)

44. Meditate Every Day

Yes, I admit. I don’t always get it done. I have a lot of energy and a strong desire to get my work out there. I’m running around like everyone else.

But when I find time to meditate, it works wonders.

My favorite method is the Silva Method. Zen meditation can do something completely different and is also quite brilliant. Sometimes I just sit and listen to my breathing or count. Don’t get hung up on the particular technique. Just sit down and calm down.

45. Ask Your Dreams for the Solution

This technique comes from the Silva Method. You roll your eyes up, drink half a glass of water before bed and say, “this is all I have to do to find the answer to the problem, I’m thinking of.”

Then you go to bed and sleep. The next morning you drink the other half of the water and say the phrase one more time.

The answer will either come in dreams or as a sudden inspiration during the day.

46. Take Moments Each Day to Feel the Love of Everything

David Hawkins says that at the level of the highest vibration, everything is love.

Pause in the middle of the day and see if you can feel that love.

You don’t have to sit in the lotus position and say “om”. Stop waiting for the perfect moment.

You just have to stop on your way to the store and check for it. Feel the energy of the world.

Right there in the street with people walking around you. It helps if you are not running late.

Warning: if you are stressed or in a negative vibration yourself, you won’t be able to feel it at all. Sorry.

How does universal love feel? It feels a bit like being madly in love. Like a tickling in the stomach that comes out of you and hits everything and is sent back to you.

47. Breathe

Breathing sounds like a matter of course. We all do it. But are you doing it properly? Or are you breathing at the top of your lungs? Is it a shallow breath?

I took a breathing class where we had to breathe in a certain rhythm and imagine that our breathing was like the waves of the sea.

Ten minutes into the session I felt hypnotized. I imagined that my current worries were like small stones on the beach, washed clean by the water. It was like falling into sleep without sleeping. It’s a state that I’m now able to reach with the same breathing technique.

48. Straighten Up

Our physical movements create emotions.

If you’re slouching over an iPad or computer, you will be in a bad mood. If you do it every day, it might even make you depressed.

Straighten your back, go for a run or a walk, move – it makes you happier.

49. Smile and Laugh

If your posture affects your mood, what do you think a good heartfelt laugh can do?

What can make you laugh? Do you laugh every day?

If you can’t laugh right now, start smiling. Smile even if it feels fake at first.

You can actually force a laugh.

Have you heard of the laughing clubs? They meet in a public place just to laugh together. They start off with fake laughter, but they end up with stomach aches from laughing heartily.

You see children doing it. They laugh at nothing and eventually they can’t stop.

Try to say something funny every day. Watch a funny movie. Laugh for no reason. Tickle your child.

50. Love Yourself

When you think of love, you probably automatically think of the great romantic love. Or perhaps of creating a family. Or perhaps of someone who passed away. You link your love with that outside force.

But what about the love for yourself?

You must first of all love yourself.

It’s odd really if you think about it. For most people loving yourself sounds self-absorbed. Selfish perhaps. Or just wrong. As in something forbidden.

But it is not.

Self-love is the essence of a good life. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love. The source is inside yourself.

When you wholeheartedly allow yourself to love yourself, you open up to love in general.

Of everything you can love, I think many people are most afraid of loving themselves.

Do you dare to look yourself deeply in the eye in the mirror, love yourself and open up to the source of love and the truly good life?

Okay enough of the hippie talk. Back to money talk. Next week I’ll continue with the life lessons I’ve learned about money and investing.

Meanwhile, read my e-book Free Yourself to learn about how I invested my way to financial freedom. You can download it here.

Napoleon Hill’s 13 Steps to Use Law of Attraction

Napoleon Hill’s 13 Steps to Use Law of Attraction

What is the secret to creating wealth and living a successful life?

Over 100 years ago, the famous industrialist Andrew Carnegie asked the journalist Napoleon Hill if he would dedicate his life to finding out what the secret behind wealth and success was.

Fortunately for us, Napoleon Hill took on the challenge. 

He spent over twenty years interviewing over 500 successful rich men, and this turned into the 1937 bestseller Think and Grow Rich.

This book is still read by many to this day. 

I read it every night before sleeping, and I still find new aspects. It’s the kind of book you never finish. 

Napoleon Hill Created the Law of Attraction

When you hear about the Law of Attraction, in most cases people are referring to Napoleon Hill and his book. 

The main idea behind the Law of Attraction is that if you focus your thoughts in a positive direction, you can attract exactly what you want, whether it’s money, a career… or good hearing.

Good hearing? What’s that got to do with anything?

A lot…

In the book, Napoleon Hill describes how he used the law of attraction to ensure that his deaf son – born without ears – would hear.

How did he do it?

First of all, he did not accept that his son was deaf for life.

He refused to teach him sign language and refused to follow the teachers’ advice to send him to a school for the deaf.

You could say that Napoleon Hill burned all bridges so that his son wasn’t able to live comfortably with deafness. 

What else did he do? He used the law of attraction as an adult and tried to pass it on to his young son.

He himself had a strong desire and belief that his son would be able to hear, and not having ears would turn into a great advantage for him. He kept talking about it as if it were a fact.

Did it work? 

Yes. His son invented a hearing aid that could be used for his kind of congenital deafness. He also came to help many others with the same affliction and made a good living from it.

This is just one of the many examples Napoleon Hill describes in the book.

What are the 13 steps you need to follow in order to use the law of attraction?

In this blog post, I will describe them.

Let’s get started…

1. Goals – Have a Strong Desire to Achieve an Ambitious Goal 

It all starts with you deciding what you want to achieve.

The goal must be ambitious – you should be driven by a strong desire to achieve it.

After all, we can choose all sorts of goals, and many of them don’t really matter in the long run. Choose something that rocks your world. 

It has to be the kind of goal that makes you want to shout it out from the rooftop of your house – or even a mountain top.

Napoleon Hill says there are six steps to setting a goal:

A. You need to decide exactly what you want to achieve. If it’s money, decide on a specific amount.

B. Figure out what you want to give in return.

C. Set a specific date.

D. Make a plan and get started immediately, whether you are ready or not.

E. Write down your goal clearly and distinctly using steps A-D.

F. Read it aloud twice a day – when you go to bed and when you get up. As you read it, imagine that you have already succeeded.

2. Belief – Build a Firm Belief that You Will Succeed

Your goal is worthless if you don’t believe you will succeed.

Now what if you don’t really believe it from the outset? Don’t worry. 

Believing is something we decide to do, says Hill. 

Faith begins with the fact that we will do everything in our power to make sure that it will succeed.

It emerges when we tell ourselves that NOTHING can stop us from achieving it. How do you build this strong conviction?

A. Repeat your goal to yourself as if it is already happening. Napoleon Hill says that you end up believing what you repeat to yourself, regardless of whether it’s true or false.

B. Strengthen your mind with positive emotions. Napoleon Hill says that a mind dominated by positive emotions becomes the favorite nest for belief.

B. You must “trick” your subconscious mind by behaving as you would if you were already physically in possession of your goal. What is one thing you would do today if you had already achieved it? Do it. 

He also says that faith can gradually develop as you become better at all 13 principles.

3. Affirmations – Use Positive Affirmations to Strengthen Your Faith

Repeat positive and affirming phrases about your goal so that your subconscious mind strengthens the belief that you will succeed.

First of all, say your main goal out loud to yourself twice a day as if it has already happened.

You need to verbalize what the goal is and how you plan to get it so that you become obsessed with your purpose. It’s crucial that you mix the sentences with positive emotions.

Hill says that your ability to use the principle of autosuggestion depends on your ability to focus on a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.

If you aim to have $10 million invested in stocks and shares within ten years, you must repeat your goal every day: “I will set aside money this month and select good companies to invest in, so that by 2033 I will have $10 million invested in good companies in the stock market. I will use the method of value investing to pick wonderful companies,” as many times as possible each day. 

Feel it happening. What does it feel like to have $10 million soundly invested in the stock market? 

How would you live your life if you already had it?

That’s one example. You can set a goal of investing a million dollars within a year or $100 million within a decade. It’s up to you. 

What if right now you don’t know which kind of affirmation to use?

You can start today with Emile Coué’s famous phrase: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

This works on everything from heartbreak to getting physically stronger or even learning to invest. 

Remember to infuse the sentence with positive emotions.

4. Specialized Knowledge – Get Expert Help and Keep Learning

They say that knowledge is power. That is true and false.

Knowledge is only power if it’s organized and applied.

Learning the royal line or chronological order of the presidents by heart is of no use to your goal of becoming financially independent. 

But reading investment books, taking investment classes, and reading business news and annual reports are very helpful for that goal.

You must constantly search for more knowledge in the area that is relevant to your main goal.

Successful people never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their main purpose, business or profession.

Many successful and wealthy people are voracious readers.

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett and Mohnish Pabrai are known to spend hours reading books and newspapers every day. It’s said that Warren Buffett reads at least 5 hours every day.

5. Imagination – Use Your Creative Imagination to Visualize and Find Solutions

Visualization allows you to imagine a desired outcome. 

When you imagine that your goal has already happened, you get the opportunity to test that version of yourself. It’s like a kind of role-playing game in the mind.

Visualization is generally an effective way to improve your practice. It’s used by professional athletes, and the method is backed up by scientific research.

When you see yourself working towards and achieving your goal, you also allow the brain to see new possibilities and solutions.

Every day you must use your imagination to visualize your success and see new alternative ways to reach your goals. You can do this as part of reading your goal in the evening and morning.

Napoleon Hill says, “If you can imagine it, you can create it.

Everything we see on the stock market was once somebody’s idea. It originated in a creative play with imagination. 

Coca-Cola was once someone’s idea. LEGO was once someone’s idea. Tesla cars were once someone’s idea.

6. Organized Planning – Make a Plan and Execute It

Once you’ve visualized your success, make a plan for how to achieve it and take concrete action.

When you make your plans, combine your knowledge with others who have different specialized knowledge than you do. 

Napoleon Hill recommends that you become a member of a mastermind group so that you can make use of other people’s experience, education, ability and imagination (and your own). 

Your plans should be made together with your mastermind group.

When selecting your mastermind partners, it’s important to ally yourself with others who don’t take defeat seriously. People who get up, learn from it and try again. 

7. Decision – Make Your Own Decision Fast

You have to develop the ability to make good decisions fast.

Napoleon Hill says that all those he interviewed were good at making quick decisions and slow to change them.

He says that procrastination is a common enemy that everyone must overcome.

People who make prompt decisions show that they know what they want.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and action show that he knows where he is going,” he writes. 

He says it’s important to develop the habit of making decisions on your own. You can consult with your mastermind, but don’t ask anyone what to do. The decisions must always be your own. 

How does this relate to investments?

They say money loves speed.

As a value investor, you must be good at analyzing the companies in which you want to invest, but when the right opportunity arises (read: when the share price falls), you must also be good at quickly making a decision. Opportunities don’t last forever.

You can only do that if you have done your prep work and gained knowledge before that happens.

As an investor, it’s an enormous advantage to change your mind slowly – you should only sell a good company if something fundamental changes. Being slow to change a decision means you don’t sell in a panic.

8. Persistence – Don’t Give Up

One thing is certain. You’ll be tested when working towards your goal.

As Napoleon Hill writes: “The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test.”

Napoleon Hill says that the world cheers for those who get up after a setback and keep trying. 

“Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, ‘Bravo! I knew you could do it!’”

I like that idea a lot: you have to keep going because the world is cheering you on. What are you waiting for? You have cheerleaders. 

Persistence requires willpower. How do you find that?

This is, of course, connected to the strong desire from point number 2.

Napoleon hills says that weak desires produce weak results, just as a small fire only produces a little heat.

So if you find that you lack stamina, you can remedy that by setting a goal with a bigger fire (desire). 

9. Mastermind – Surround Yourself With Wise Peers

Napoleon Hill found that successful people surround themselves with intelligent friends and colleagues who share their vision.

Hill says you can get in touch with “an infinite intelligence” by forming a mastermind group.

This intelligence appears in a “coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

He also writes that all those who have made large fortunes have, in one way or another, made use of what he calls the “brain trust principle”.

Brain trust arises as an increased energy when a collection of individual brains gathers in harmony around a goal.

Members of mastermind challenge each other to set individual and collective goals. They hold each other accountable. Participating in a mastermind group requires commitment, confidentiality, openness to input from others, and honesty and respect.

Your job here as an investor is to find a compatible group of people who share your passion for value investing and who have a desire to see you succeed.

If you cannot find it yourself, you can build it by participating in the Value Investor Academy where you will be paired with others. 

After the Value Investor Academy, there is an opportunity to participate in the Inner Circle.

10. “Sex Transmutation” – Transmute Your Sexual Energy 

Napoleon Hill discovered that most people only show their true talent and capabilities when they are over 40 or 50 years old.

Why? Because below that age, many people waste their energy on sex drive.

Sexual energy is difficult to control, but when it is mixed with love and romance, it can create calm purposefulness, a confident appearance and clear judgement.

He writes that when the three elements are mixed, the barrier between the limited mind and what he calls the Infinite Intelligence is removed.

He says it’s important to find a compatible partner who shares your enthusiasm.

But what if you don’t have a partner? What if you are divorced or widowed?

The good news is that love never dies because it’s spiritual in nature. 

You can recall beautiful memories of a past love at any given time. 

To channel the energy of sex, love and romance, you have to focus your mind on those moments and cultivate it. 

You will be lifted to a higher energy level that gives you access to the Infinite Intelligence, and this little retreat can give you ideas and plans that can change your life. 

Well, what are you waiting for?

11. The Subconscious Mind – Think Positive Thoughts and Avoid Negative Emotions

Your thoughts attract the reality you experience in your life. 

The good news is that the subconscious is easily influenced by thoughts that are mixed with emotions.

That is why it is so important to pay close attention to the thoughts that you choose at each moment.

Positive thoughts mixed with positive emotions change your life and create new opportunities to achieve what you want.

Since it’s impossible for positive and negative emotions to occupy the same space in your mind at the same time, it’s all about pushing out the negative with the positive.

Positive emotions are: strong desire, faith, love, sexuality, excitement, romance and hope.

Negative emotions are: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition and anger.

It’s the emotions that the subconscious acts on. Let’s dwell on that for a second. 

What happens if you read your goal without faith? Maybe you have a dash of fear that it won’t happen?

Be careful – it could give you the opposite of what you want. 

The genius of Bob Proctor’s way of writing the goal is that he puts the feeling directly into the goal.

He says (if we use the example from before), “I’m so happy and grateful now that I have $100 million invested soundly in wonderful companies.”

 12. The Brain – Surround Yourself With Other Successful People

Napoleon Hill says the brain is like a broadcasting machine. We send out signals to other brains and receive from others.

Therefore, it’s important that we’re mindful about who we surround ourselves with. Which brain signals are you receiving from people around you?

This explains why we tend to assimilate the attitudes, habits and thoughts from those with whom we associate in sympathy and harmony.

If you want to take advantage of the fact that the brain is a transmission station, you can use the mastermind group to send and receive signals by finding solutions in a brainstorm of ideas.

Napoleon Hill called this “the blending of many minds into one.” 

The procedure is simple. You sit down together and state the nature of the problem or goal and then begin discussing it. 

Each person contributes with whatever thoughts that may occur. This places each participant in communication with unknown sources of knowledge, says Napoleon Hill. 

13. The Six Sense – Trust Your Instincts

The last principle – the “sixth sense” – only emerges when you have mastered the other 12 principles.

As you develop good habits and master a positive mindset, you will also be able to trust your instincts more and use them to make decisions.

Hills writes that with the help of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in due time so that you can avert them, and you will be notified of opportunities in time to take advantage of them.

He also explains that you can imitate your idols and be able to do so quite well.

He suggests that you develop your own board of fantasy advisors that you can hold meetings with and ask for advice from.

These can be historical or living heroes. They can be famous heroes or family members.

During the meetings with these “invisible advisors”, you will become particularly susceptible to impressions and warnings from the sixth sense.

Eliminate the Three Worst Enemies of the Law of Attraction

In order to apply the law of attraction, it’s important that you eradicate its three worst enemies: indecision, doubt and fear.

The sixth sense will never function as long as only one of the three exists in your mind.

How do you eradicate them?

Napoleon Hill says that a state of mind is something you choose. In other words, you can control your own thoughts, your mind and your emotions. You have the power to feed it the thought impulses you want to have.

It also means that you must always protect yourself and avoid being susceptible to negative influences. 

He directly recommends that you shut yourself off completely from people who in any way make you depressed or discourage you.

“Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.”

These were the 13 principles of Napoleon Hill. Did you learn something new that you can put in practice today?

The place to begin is choosing your goal. 

What goal will you set that you can start using the 13 principles on today?

If it’s a financial goal, be sure to download my e-book to get started on gaining specialized knowledge to create your financial plan today.

You can download my e-book Free Yourself here

These Are My Personal Goals for 2023

These Are My Personal Goals for 2023

New Year’s is a good time to take stock of the past year and set some strong goals for the new year.

In this blog post, I explain how I both succeeded and failed with last year’s goals, and how I’m setting new and better ones for 2023.

If you want to know how I do it, you can read last week’s blog post here.

Let’s get cracking.

Last year I had two main goals:

     One was to raise more than 2 million USD for my value investor fund Grünbaum Value Invest. 

     The second was to throw myself into online dating and meet a boyfriend before that year was over. 

This Is How I Failed with My 2 Personal Goals

I achieved both goals, but I’m not satisfied with the result.

On the investment front, I managed to raise DKK 12.3 million (around 2 million USD) and I was grateful for every penny. But six months later, I still haven’t invested the capital, and I find that frustrating. 

Why not?

The whole administrative process of getting a license with the financial authorities and a bank and investment account took a lot longer than I anticipated. It took five months for the setup to be ready to invest. Fortunately, it’s ready now.  

In the private sphere, I managed to find a partner… But after five months I broke up with him, because I couldn’t see a future for us.

I made a classic mistake with my personal goal, and that was being too vague.

It’s somewhat like being a job seeker and saying “I want a job” – without defining the sector, the tasks or the salary range. 

If, as a well-educated and critical job seeker, you set a general goal of “getting a job,” then the universe will test you and offer you a cleaning job. 

In the same way that you must define your goals professionally, you must also be strategic and critical on the private front.

So what are my goals for 2023?

1. I Will Invest My Fund’s Capital

The main goal is to get the money invested: before the end of the year, the current funds must be invested in at least 5 wonderful companies.

The fund aims to achieve an average annual return of 2% above the MSCI World. Ideally, I would like to have a return of at least over 10% but preferably over 15%.

It can be difficult to predict how the market will behave this year, and I know I have to remain patient and flexible.

We can only do our part, which is to look for wonderful companies, run them through a checklist, do the calculations and double-check our work.

Whether the stock market goes up or down in a specific year is impossible to predict. 

I am highly motivated to make that return of at least 10%-15%. 


First of all, I want my investors to do well. I also set up incentive structures to motivate myself: 

      I have invested alongside the investors, so the return I make for them is also my own return. 

      In Grünbaum Value Invest, I only get paid if I make a return of over 6%. This means I work for free if I make a return below 6%.

This investment will be the most important professional goal for me in 2023, and if I had to choose only one, I would stop here, but I also run a blog and an educational site, so I have two more professional goals. 

2. Build and Sell the Value Investor Course 

I have hired a small team to help me expand Money and Freedom. We are testing different content strategies and building a YouTube channel. 

We are filming and creating an amazing 8-week course that will launch in a few months. Are you ready to learn how to invest with the method I use? Then maybe this is for you. Stay tuned. Make sure you receive my e-mails (you get them if you sign up for my e-book or the checklist).

3. Build the Inner Circle

I have long wanted to build the next level for my 8-week Value Investing course. 

I’ve decided to launch the inner circle which has weekly live investment cases and teaching for a whole year, an annual event and a more advanced course on options.

With my professional goals in order, it was time to get more personal…

4. Find a Life Partner

When I had to write my private goal, I realized I still didn’t really understand what went wrong in 2022. 

I had to go back to the ex-boyfriend from 2022 and ask if we were completely sure that it was over.

It’s the same every time we meet: he says he misses me. For a moment, I think we might be able to make it work, but then we start talking… 

We’re still in love with each other… but we don’t have the same vision.

So once again, we met and talked it through and ended up in the same place. We love each other and miss each other. But we don’t want the same thing and can’t find a common platform to dance on.

I want a life partner. He shrinks at any future talk. What does he want? He doesn’t know. 

What does it really mean to be a life partner? I had to pin it out to understand why we didn’t work. 

I have attached seven pillars to the idea of a life partner:

1. Trust. We know we can trust each other, and we’re exclusive. We want to confide in each other about big and small things, because we trust each other and know that we want the best for each other.

2. Passion/Adventure/Fun. We are attracted to each other and have passion. We also have fun in other areas and enjoy life together: we go for dinner, go on trips, to concerts, to the theater and discover things together. We laugh a lot.

3. Common Life/Vision. We are building a life together: We live together (or plan to live together). We build a home full of trust, love, dinners, board games, dinner parties, and interesting discussions.

4. Intellectual. We are both interested in the world, in knowing more, reading books, watching documentaries, and we can talk about deeper topics such as how the world is connected. Our conversations are like a good book you never want to finish. 

5. Clear communication. We talk in a straightforward way to each other about our needs and expectations. We avoid nagging, complaining or guilt tripping. 

6. Reciprocity. We have an elegant dance of giving and receiving.

7. Support. My life partner understands my mission of spreading financial freedom and supports me in my work.

My ex and I had a lot, but not 3. He didn’t want us to build a life together. 

Instead of going on dates while I’m still in love with my ex, I have decided to shift my focus for the next three months. 

I set a temporary personal goal for the winter to make an effort to strengthen my social network in Portugal.

I have drawn a map of my network and have made a list of families with children that I want to invite to dinners and another list of those I want to have lunch with (without children).

Now What?

I’ve done the work with analyzing, selecting and articulating my most important goals.

Now comes the key: writing down a precise sentence I can read and visualize daily – and doing the daily work. 

Here comes an example:

“I, Beile Grünbaum, have achieved a return of at least 10% in Grünbaum Value Invest before 2025 by investing in a minimum of 5 wonderful companies. My plan is to invest as a value investor and use my checklist and calculations.”

Or: “I am happy and grateful now that I have invested the capital in Grünbaum Value Invest and I’m getting a good average annual return above 10%.”

Each morning and evening, I will read the sentence and visualize the result. Then I will write down three things I can do that same day or the next day. 

There’s another good trick I use. I look at the goal and ask myself:

What type of person is successful with this goal? What does such a person do? I write these qualities down and read/listen to them daily.

When it comes to investing, I’m building an inner, psychic Warren Buffett that I manifest. 

What are your goals for 2023? What qualities do you need to be successful in your goal? Do you have an inner type that you can put to work? To learn more about my style of investing, you can download my e-book Free Yourself here

How To Set Better Goals For 2023

How To Set Better Goals For 2023

Have you ever wondered how some people achieve the things they set out to do, while others don’t?

How about you? Do you achieve the goals you set for yourself?

What happened to your goals from last year?

Did you make it?

Most people set New Year’s resolutions once a year. Unfortunately, most resolutions fail.


Because New Year’s resolutions are in most cases unambitious, and not attached to a larger purpose. They are decided and forgotten again.

In this blog post, I explain to you my own five-step process for choosing how to set better goals  for 2023.

Step 1. Visualize Your Vision and Your Dream Life

Sit down in a quiet place and think about what your life would look like if everything was possible and you could achieve anything.

You are welcome to dream and fantasize in a childlike fashion.

What are you really dreaming about?

An important part of this step is to figure out what your overall purpose is.

What’s your contribution to the big picture? What’s really important to you? This takes awhile to figure out, and maybe you won’t get the answer to that today.

Now, Picture a day in your life… in detail.

Try to be as specific as possible.

Where do you live? How and when do you wake up? What’s the view from your bedroom window? What do you have for breakfast? And with whom do you have it? Do you exercise or meditate before breakfast?

How do you spend your day? Do you go to work or work from home? Who do you have lunch with?

Sometimes when we do this exercise, a sting of pain might appear if the vision is very different from the life you live today.

If something feels difficult in your life today, find out what it would take to make it better. If you’re not happy in your current job, ask yourself what you’d rather be doing. Dream out of the box.

If you are not happy where you liveask yourself, “where would I like  to live?”

I did that in 2020, while living in an inner city apartment in Copenhagen. I envisioned myself living in a house near the beach and the mountains, I saw kids running around barefooted on green grass. I saw myself doing yoga in the morning, in a place with a fantastic view of the mountains.

Honestly this seemed pretty impossible at the time. ntil I realized the vision was possible, if I thought out of the box which was called ‘my current country.’

Now I live in Portugal, and my life has completely transformed – nearly identical to the vision I had.

Step 2. Write a Long List of Different Goals

What does it take for you to live like this?

Write a list of things that you would like to have or achieve.

This is a brainstorm, so don’t judge, criticize or delete. Just write.

Again, you have to be specific.

Try to push yourself to write 100 wishes or goals to force your brain to be creative. It can be things you need to do, or material things you want to have in your possession.

Step 3. Select the Most Important Thing

Read the list and evaluate. Next to each item, rate on a scale of 1-10 how important it is to you. Then, pick the one that’s most important to you this year.

Remember that what you don’t pick isn’t disappearing or never happening. You’re simply prioritizing what is important first.

In any case, sometimes the other goals come naturally when you succeed with the big goal.

I work with two goals simultaneously: one professional and one personal.

Last year at this time I chose two goals:

My personal goal:  date and meet a boyfriend.

The professional goal:  raise money for my value investor fund.

In the next blog post, I will evaluate my goals for 2022 and set new goals for 2023. Stay tuned!

Step 4. Attach Your Chosen Goal to a Purpose

Your goal must be attached to something bigger than you.

It must be linked to a life purpose.

Why do you want to achieve that specific goal you picked? It should be about something larger than you.

My goal of creating a hedge fund is connected to my mission to help others become financially independent.

I also have another life purpose and that is to create more financial equality for women. As we all know, women are paid less for equal work, and fewer women invest compared to men.

I may not be able to fix equal wages across the world, but I know  I can inspire and teach more women to invest.

Why do fewer women than men invest? One factor may be that they have fewer role models in the field of investing.

There are close to no female hedge fund managers or famous value investors. I want to be a role model who can inspire more women to invest in an intelligent way. That is my life purpose. Which makes this fund more urgent.

Let’s get back to you.

Why do you want to invest?

Is it to become financially independent? To get more options in life? To avoid financial stress? To secure your family? To go on a world trip? To be able to live out your life purpose in another area?

Decide on the larger purpose tied to your 2023 goal. It will keep you going when you feel like quitting.

Step 5. Make Your Goal Specific and Write It Down

Now write down your goal in very specific terms.

I use Napoleon Hill’s formula:

“I, (insert name), have (insert what you want to achieve) by (insert date) by (insert what you want to do). My plan is to (insert your strategy).”

It could, for example, read as follows:

“I, Maria Johnson, have 300.000 invested in the stock market by 2024  by investing my savings and profit in stocks. My plan is to invest as a value investor.”

The late Bob Proctor used a different method where he gets the feeling directly into the phrase.

He said: “I am so happy and grateful now that (and mentions the goal).

In this case it would sound like this.

“I am so happy and grateful now that I have 300.000 invested in shares.”

Bob Proctor puts a lot of emphasis on phrasing the goal as if it has already happened.

Which method should you choose?

How about both?

I write my goal down using Napoleon Hill’s method, and I review it every morning and evening. I also mention it several times a day using Bob Proctor’s method.

I have a coffee cup that says “I am so happy and grateful now that…”. Whenever I drink tea or coffee I remind myself of my main goals with that sentence.

You could also write the sentence with lipstick or a child-friendly marker (can be easily washed off) on the mirror in the hallway or bathroom.

The point is, have fun with it!

Now What?

Of course, working on your goal shouldn’t stop the moment you set the goal.

That’s where the real work begins.

You have to read your goal every morning and evening. Envision yourself having already achieved it.

The real muscle of your goal activities is your subconscious. You want to play with the subconscious until it figures out ways to get there. It’s almost like you have to become obsessed with your goal. Fall in love with it.

Every night think of at least three tasks you could do the following day to get closer to your goal. Tip: rite it down, so you don’t forget it.

You must seek knowledge on the subject and cultivate your strategy. Read, listen, learn.

The mistake most people make with New Year’s resolutions is precisely that they set the goal and forget about it.

Goals need to be cultivated, watered and nurtured like little sprouting plants until they have become an integral part of your life. Then you can move on to the next goal

Don’t forget to download my e-book Free Yoursel, if if getting wealthier is part of your life purpose so you can achieve your dreams! You can download it right here.


Why I’m Grateful that COVID-19 Messed Up My Life

Why I’m Grateful that COVID-19 Messed Up My Life

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 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 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.

That acceptance opened up the possibility of a whole new life.

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.

What Can You Take Away from This?

If you experience a period in your life that is difficult, use it positively. Ask good questions.

We are often challenged emotionally because we’ve lost something – a job, a relationship, a broken love, an illusion that has been shattered.

First of all, you must avoid self-pity. Self-pity appears because we have bad self-talk and ask ourselves negative questions like, “why can’t I ever do this and that,” “why doesn’t this work” or “why only me?”

Nothing good comes of this kind of questions.

Ask yourself questions that lift you up:

●     If everything is possible, what do I want?

●     How do I want to live? Describe it in detail.

●     What opportunities are opening up now?

●     What is good about this situation?

●     How can I be grateful that this happened?

When something disappears, it makes room for something new – something that can be even better.


My Life Today

Today we live in Cascais, which is a suburb of Lisbon.

We live in a house of approx. 230 square meters with four bedrooms, a large living room, a yard and access to a pool – and within walking distance of the beach.

We now sleep in our own rooms – and it was only when we got down here that all three of us started to sleep properly, because it’s quiet and safe here (the noise in downtown Copenhagen caused a lot of nighttime wakeups before).

We live in a gated community where the boys can run to and from playmates’ houses.

The children go to a good international school, and I have a far bigger network and more help than before.

In practical terms, I have a full-time cook and cleaning help, as well as a Dutch au pair who lives with us.

I have found friends through parent networks and a coworking space five minutes away from our home.

Whereas I used to wake up not knowing how I was going to get through the day, I now wake up every morning looking forward to researching investments, teaching, reading, writing and playing with my kids.

If you want to learn more about how I created the financial freedom to be able to move to Portugal, you can read my e-book, Free Yourself. You can download it here.

Five Hacks for Getting Productive After a Vacation

Five Hacks for Getting Productive After a Vacation

We all know the feeling.

You’re back from a long vacation, and now you barely remember how the coffee machine works.

While you’ve been away, tasks have piled up while your pace is slower than before.

How do you get into it again?

Where should you start, and how?

This week’s blog post gives you my five best hacks to skip the holiday paralysis and kickstart your productivity.

1. Have a Solid Task Brainstorming Session

The first step is to get it all out of your head and down on paper.

You need to make a long list of things that need to be done. Brainstorm and write freely without judging the items on the list.

I usually write it out on a loose piece of paper from the printer, which I tape or glue into the first page of an A4-size notebook.

That page is your master list that you can edit and go back to.

I cross items off the list and add new items daily.

When it gets too messy to look at, I make a new one and tape it onto the first page again.

On my list, there are both things like “pay bill” or “buy more canned cat food” and things like “write blog posts” or “get a business bank account,” in an unprioritized order.

Here, of course, the most important thing is the bank account, while the cat can live quite a long time on dry food.

But don’t worry for now about different categories and priorities.

The most important thing is to get it all down.

Your to-dos will create noise in your head if you don’t get them down on paper.

2. Prioritize, Simplify, and Outsource

Next, go through the list and prioritize.

You can write 1-5 on the left, where 1 is the most important and 5 is almost unimportant. I actually prefer a simple system from 1-3 (my brain likes three choices): high priority, medium priority, and low priority.

Remember that urgency and priority are not the same thing. Just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important.

It’s urgent to buy toilet paper if you’re out of stock, but in the big picture it’s not as important as getting a handle on important building blocks in your career or business.

Be careful not focus on putting fires out by constantly tackling the urgent tasks – it can quickly dominate your day.

If you can automate these kinds of tasks, maybe with an assistant or automatic online order once a week, that’s great.

Dealing with the little now-now-now matters makes you less efficient with handling the important things in life.

It’s essential to be completely on top of which tasks should be allocated your best “brain” time (which is early in the day when your brain is most fresh).

One of the most important things about the long list is to cross off the little things quickly.

3. Preplan the Week on Saturday Mornings

Do your schedule and planning well in advance. You should ideally make a weekly plan on Saturday morning during your best “brain” time.

By Monday morning, you should already know exactly what to tackle… otherwise you risk spending too much time staring at the wall, feeling paralyzed, not knowing what to do.

When planning your week, remember to also ask yourself, “What can I do this week that will make next week easier?”

If you ask this question every week when planning the week, it will have a big effect over time. It’s about outsourcing tasks and finding easier solutions so that you can focus on what’s really important.

When planning the week, remember to scan the field for landmines. You need to consider what could go wrong that could prevent you from completing the tasks so you can make backup plans. What do you do if the flight is canceled? Or if a child gets sick?

4. Make a List of Tomorrow’s Tasks

Every evening, I write down three important tasks that I must complete next day, come hell or high water.

I write the three things down the night before so that I am completely aware of what I want to prioritize when I wake up the next morning.

There is something magical about the number three. Studies have shown that most people pass up free samples of jam in the supermarket if there are more than three flavors to choose from, because it seems overwhelming to them.

There is a reason why the hero in fairy tales always has to go through three trials. Four trials and you lose both the hero and the reader.

However, I have heard of a slightly more sophisticated system that I am considering implementing. It’s called the 1:4:5 rule.

The idea here is that you should limit yourself to 10 tasks per day. One large task, 4 medium and five small tasks.

Whether you choose 3 or 1:4:5, remember to write your tasks down the evening before. Being prepared is crucial.

5. Evaluate and Adjust

When the week is over, review it and consider what you would do differently if you could have a do-over.

In this way, you can improve your own ability to work effectively with the most important things.

Was there anything that distracted you last week? Did something interrupt you? Were there unforeseen “landmines”?

How can you get rid of what went wrong last week so it doesn’t show up again?

If social media is distracting you, can you delete the app from your phone?

If messaging with a loved one is pulling you out of your productive zone, can you make an agreement only to text during work hours if really necessary?

Are there any urgent, but not important tasks at work that you need to learn to say no to?

If there is something in the home that distracts you, can you sit somewhere else?

Try to look at your distractions in detail and find out how you can improve.

Become a Better Investor, Too

What does this have to do with investing in stocks. 

As an investor, it’s also important that you get things done: research, follow up, invest.

Many people get paralyzed when it comes to investing.

I often hear people say things like:

“I believe in value investing, and I really like your method. But I can’t seem to get it done.”

If that’s you, review these five points with investments in mind:

Write down what you need to do to invest.

Prioritize what is important to get done.

Get your tasks scheduled.

Write down 3 things you have to do tomorrow with your investments.

Evaluate how it went and why you maybe weren’t super efficient.

Sometimes a small decision can have a gigantic effect. Nine years ago, when my eldest son was still a baby, I discovered that Netflix was dominating my evenings to the point where I was getting sloppy with our nighttime routine because I wanted to watch my shows.

How could Netflix be more important than showing love to a small child? It seemed completely wrong to me, so I decided to cancel my subscription, and guess what? I’ve never gone back to it.

Yes, I’ll miss out on Squid Game and Tiger King, but I can use that time to do things that are of a greater importance to me. Like quality time with loved ones, reading and studying, and – yes – investing.

Not getting things done is probably one of the biggest barriers that prevents most people from becoming good investors.

The first thing you need to do is download my e-book Free Yourself, where you can learn a lot more about investing. You can download it here.