Meet the founder of The Change Makers
It's great to be having this conversation with you Rúna. Tell me a little bit about the founder of The Change Makers?
Want the long version or the short one? OK, let’s not complicate this right from the beginning (smile). I’m Rúna Magnúsdóttir a.k.a. Rúna Magnus I’m a lifetime entrepreneur, born and raised in Iceland. I’ve founded several businesses in my lifetime such as Connected Women – a global social media site designed for women entrepreneurs to connect, create business connections and friendship.
This was in the early days of Facebook and although women were signing up from over 70 countries, I quickly noticed very few of them actually knew how to promote themselves or businesses. That observation lead me to start another business, that time a personal branding business called BRANDit. Working internationally in the personal branding, leadership and personal development field has lead me to my latest business, i.e. The Change Makers a group of international experts coming together to empower humans to be the change they want to see in their world.
Inspiration is always a great indication of why people launch businesses. Who or what inspired you to get started?
The idea behind Connected Women - to create an online social media platform for women business owners came originally in 2005 when I attended my very first international women’s conference. The conference was quite a big one, with around 1000 participants, ALL women in either businesses, corporations or leaders in the political world. The conference organizer offered women to buy special exhibition booths to promote their businesses, however, the organizers did not offer any ways to find those women online, to continue to build relationships with them. At the time I was a wholesaler and thought it would be a splendid way for me to buy products for my wholesale business from these women. I also remember thinking as I was walking though the exhibition, that these women needed to be visible online as well, making their business not only visible to those 1000 participants, but to the world. Two years later when I sold my wholesale business, that idea popped up in my mind and I decided to do something about it and started the process.
How do you set yourself apart from other businesses in your industry?
I set myself apart in my industry by being truly myself in everything I do. Using to the fullest my story, my attributes (both positive and negative) my knowledge and skills, In other words by branding my x-factor. That isn’t always easy, as it’s quite a commitment and often a challenge to be true to myself first and then true to my clients. But it has certainly given me the spotlight I’ve needed to get noticed as an international personal branding author, speaker and strategist.
What’s the single most important decision that you made, that contributed to your business?
I think it was when I decided to communicate to my clients as myself, not with a sterile corporation voice, which I had done in the early days of my business. This decision made it so much easier for my clients to contact me, because they felt they knew me – the real me. And that created the trust every business needs. That decision also brought me to the list on Forbes.com
How did you conquer those moments of doubt that so often affect entrepreneurs or stop many with great ideas – what pushes you through?
I’ve always have had to have a very clear WHY for myself. WHY is it important for me to pursue my dream? What is it about my dream that fills me up? See my business grow? The WHY has been the light at the end of the tunnel? The WHY has connected me with my core personal values, so when I’ve had doubts I’ve had to go back to my WHY, remind myself what I wanted to change in this world, and find even new angles to continue the journey.
Who is your target audience?
I work with leaders, business, organizational and even nations leaders worldwide. Advising and empowering them and their team to build their internal and external brand, connecting to their individual and collective WHY, loving their journey, seeing their dream become a reality.
What would be your number one tip for young entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their own business?
Two things I would say to young entrepreneurs; First, give yourself time to build a team around your idea. A diversified team of people with different skills, knowledge and energy, sharing the same values as you. Get a coach or a good mentor to guide you forward.
What first in the mornings, phone, book, laptop or me time?
Me time. I’m that 6 am person who starts the day with meditation, Qigong and if possible a few private moments with my journal to get myself ready for the day.
What plans do you have for (company name) over the coming 12 months?
The Change Makers and myself are working on very exciting projects worldwide, helping governments, organisations, businesses and NGO’s to drive the change they want to see in their world. Such as consulting on how to implement equal pay for equal work in countries, helping businesses to build a magnetic company culture that attracts both the right talent and clients.
What’s the most important question entrepreneurs should be asking themselves?
I believe one of the most important question entrepreneurs NEED to ask themselves on a regular basis is the question: Why is it important for me to pursue my business forward? In most cases it isn’t at all-ONLY about making money. When you are constantly connected to your big WHY, you have the energy to overcome the obstacles that will always be popping up on your journey. As the universe will always be showing you what you need to overcome in order to make your dream come true, keeping yourself motivated is the key.
What are your thoughts on failure as an entrepreneur?
Failure is a mind-set – I’m a huge fan of the quote “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you're right” It is just as important to make mistakes as it is to have your wins on the way. It’s how you choose to look at your mistakes that count, it’s about your reactions and actions.