Interviewee Name: Runa Magnusdottir, CEO & Founder
Company Name: Connected Women
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Runa Magnusdottir: I am an Icelandic woman, I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve owned companies, bought companies, started up companies, and sold companies throughout my adult life. Today I work doing things that I’m really passionate about and that is to coach business people mainly to help them discover their own passions in life and also help them on the personal branding and marketing side.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Runa Magnusdottir: I have one life and my personal and professional life are linked together. I’m very passionate about what I’m doing, and personally if I’m going to be authentic, if I’m going to be open, if I’m going to be working on the things that matter the most to me I can’t see how I’m going to divide my personal and professional life. It has to be together.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
Runa Magnusdottir: Live, love and laugh.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Runa Magnusdottir: With my family. If not with my family it’s in the wilderness with my dog.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Runa Magnusdottir: I’m good at getting great ideas. My best ideas come to me when I’m traveling alone and I’m 30,000 feet up in the air, and there is no e-mail, no phone, and nobody talking to me. That’s where my best ideas come alive.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Runa Magnusdottir: “Whether you think you can or can’t it’s both right, you decide.”
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Runa Magnusdottir: I define success when you achieve the things you’re aiming for, and that you’re doing something that has a purpose for you. There has to be a purpose.
Avil Beckford: In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Runa Magnusdottir: Having a very clear vision, be passionate about the things that you’re doing and believe you can do it. Have fun and you have to love what you’re doing because there are going to always be obstacles in the way and having fun makes it easier. And to become successful you cannot do it alone, you have to have people around you, people who believe in you. And you have to have the mindset that you can do it and that links to the belief.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Runa Magnusdottir: The steps I took to succeed in my field was to do a lot of personal development, find out what was important to me. I think it’s important for everyone to find their purpose.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Runa Magnusdottir: Definitely to look at the things that really make them happy. So often you see people, and I quite understand why that happens, they go to school to learn something that they’re not particularly fascinated about, but someone around them say that they should be doing that because of whatever the reason is. At the end of the day, it is they who are going to be doing the job, not the one who told them to do it. So find out what makes you happy, what it is that I can do more of to keep me happy because you know when you’re around happy people who are content with themselves. It’s a joy to be around them.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
- Let’s start with the cliché. I would really like to meet the Dalai Lama. That would be a fantastic opportunity to meet him because the whole history around him and the message he is giving the world is so unique. If I met him I would just sit there and listen to him.
- I would really like to meet President Barack Obama.
- I would love to meet Ellen Degeneres who I think is an amazing woman and the same goes for Meryl Streep. Both of them are so amazing because the images I have of them are independent women who do what they think is right and do it for from their heart. With Ellen, it’s the laughter that she gives, it’s such a gift.
- The fifth person I’d like to meet is Jesus Christ. I would like to sit down and learn more, and there is probably so much missing from the story about Mary Magdalene and all the female powerhouse around Jesus at the time, I’d definitely want to meet him.
For President Obama, Ellen Degeneres and Meryl Streep I would invite them to come to Iceland.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Runa Magnusdottir: The Alchemistby Paulo Cuelho. The book was plain and easy and explained life in an easy and powerful way about how simple it really is. That was the message I took from it.
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why? Summarize the book in two sentences.
Runa Magnusdottir: I would take the renowned books in the Icelandic Sagas (the history of Iceland from the Viking time) and finally have the opportunity to read, understand and be wowed like hundreds of thousands of people who have read them. I have never had the opportunity to do so and on a deserted island I would use that opportunity.
Avil Beckford: What one music CD and movie would you like to have with you (on the deserted island) and why?
The Beatles- Hey Jude (Official Video)
If you cannot view the Beatles YouTube video, please click here.
Runa Magnusdottir: I would take a one of the Beatles’ CD because I love to sing the Beatles songs. When I’m reading the Icelandic Sagas it would be nice to hum the Beatles songs. The Beatles CD and Icelandic Sagas would be enough for me and I would make my own movies in my mind.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Runa Magnusdottir: Everything literally.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Runa Magnusdottir: I nurture my soul by being excited about my life.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Runa Magnusdottir: More gendered opportunities in the world.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
I make other people happy.
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