Innovative Disruption for a Better World with Nima Sophia Tisdall, Blue Lobster

Innovative Disruption for a Better World with Nima Sophia Tisdall, Blue Lobster

May 18, 2022

When confronted with the unsustainable and unjust model of commercial fishing in Denmark, Nima Sophia Tisdall co-founded Blue Lobster to disrupt the industry innovatively while also bringing in a profit. In this episode, Nima shares some key insights from her journey as an impact entrepreneur. She also discuss the importance of practicing self-care, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and staying sharply focused on one goal. 

About Nima Sophia Tisdall:

Nima Sophia Tisdall is a conscious consumer whose role in the founding of Blue Lobster earned her a place on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. She is also a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, was named one of the Top 100 Women in Denmark, and was part of the Obama Foundation as a European Leader.

Advantages of innovative disruption

Innovative disruption in business offers several advantages that can lead to long-term success and growth. Here are some key advantages:

  • Market opportunity: Disruptive innovation pinpoints underserved market segments or untapped market opportunities. Businesses can enter new markets and increase their market share by solving unmet needs by providing creative solutions.
  • Improved productivity and efficiency: Businesses can be made more efficient by using disruptive technologies and methods that automate work and streamline processes. Businesses may optimize their workflows, cut expenses, and boost production by utilizing cutting-edge technologies and systems.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Enhancing the consumer experience is frequently a top priority for disruptive innovations. Businesses can meet or surpass client expectations by utilizing new technology to provide personalized, practical, and user-friendly experiences.
  • Growth potential: Disruptive businesses have the potential for rapid growth and scalability. Their innovative strategies can draw in investors, partners, and clients, allowing them to quickly grow their business and into new industries.
  • Social and environmental impact: By offering sustainable solutions, disruptive innovations can solve societal and environmental issues.

Businesses can stay ahead of the competition, access new markets, and have a positive impact through embracing disruptive innovation. However, it’s important to carefully manage the risks associated with disruptive technologies and ensure a balance between innovation and stability.

Episode highlights:

  • As an impact entrepreneur, Nima combines capitalistic market forces and the values of the non-profit sector. By doing this, she ensures that her business contributes to making the world a better place. (02:21)
  • Communicating your story so that people can easily connect with it is a vital part of rallying support amongst your target audience. When people understand your mission, they are more likely to stand with you. (07:22)
  • When you are driven by a greater mission than yourself, rather than by money, you are more likely to push through difficult times. Money can be made anywhere, but the true purpose will keep you anchored.  (15:08)
  • Trying to solve too many problems is a recipe for disaster because it will be too overwhelming, and you will likely not get anything done. Instead, hone in on your main goal and stay focused on achieving that. (18:59)
  • It is vital to ensure that you practice self-care as an entrepreneur. You will only be able to operate effectively in your workplace if you look after yourself. (24:35)
  • It is important to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and be open to delegating work to others as a leader. This way, you can focus your energy where it will be most effective, and your team can handle the rest. (29:54)
Nima’s best advice for entrepreneurs
 “Find one thing. Find one thing that you can change in the world and focus on that because you can’t change the whole world at once.” (18:58) You probably won’t get anywhere if you try and do too much, so stick to your main goal!

Connect with Nima:

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[00:01:41] A.J. Lawrence: Hello, Nima. Thank you so much for being here today. I am really excited. I was just telling the audience about all the very, very cool things you’ve been doing leading up and with Blue Lobster.

[00:01:53] Also, I kind of took you’re so involved with one of my favorite schools in the world, at Copenhagen Business School cause I did an exchange program there. I’m just very excited to have you here today. Thank you so much for coming out.

[00:02:04] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Yeah. Super excited to be here. Thanks for having me by.

[00:02:07] A.J. Lawrence: Given what you’re doing with Blue Lobster, the amount of activity you’re doing to kind of raise awareness, where do you see yourself as an entrepreneur these days?

[00:02:19] Nima Sophia Tisdall: So as an entrepreneur, I think you fall into different categories. And the way I see myself right now is an impact entrepreneur. So I think I fall into the category of entrepreneurs who are trying to innovate for a better world. So I think we’re kind of moving into this space now and have been for years where doing business can also do good innately.

[00:02:40] So I think if you look maybe 20 years ago, you had a lot of businesses who would earn a lot of money and then they’d put some of their profits aside to then do good for society. And it was like a CSR kind of set up, you know. And I fall into the cohort of people who have seen that trend and then also seen the NGOs kind of struggle and the charities struggle with actually sustaining their economies because they’re always relied on external income, and then seen the opportunity to use the capitalistic market forces that for profit companies have typically used and then the missions of the non-profit sector and trying to combine those two.

[00:03:14] So I definitely fall into this kind of umbrella term of impact entrepreneur, who’s trying to build for a better world. Meaning that when we have profit and we sell our goods and we succeed by us actively existing, we’re making the world a better place.

[00:03:29] A.J. Lawrence: As an impact entrepreneur, I mean, kind of just jumping a little bit into your why around that. I mean, we’ve had some great guests that kind of, they come because they wanna provide an opportunity for different types of people. They want to provide better for their employees. They want to provide a better energy world. What drove to Blue Lobster and sustainable seafood?

[00:03:53] Nima Sophia Tisdall: What attracted me to Blue Lobster and sustainable seafood in general was that, it was incredibly undertouched.

[00:03:59] It was a market that I didn’t know much about when I started and that stuck out to me because I had been involved in organizing sustainability conferences before, and I considered myself a kind of conscious consumer. But when I was confronted with the issues in the fishing industry, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing and we just started digging for information.

[00:04:18] What I realized was we went into the fishing industry and started talking to the fishermen, and we quickly found out that there was a really inefficient supply chain that existed. That no one really had any incentive to disrupt because the people who were sitting on the processes now they were earning good money, like your old school industrial companies that have been there for a million years.

[00:04:37] And they also weren’t leveraging the tech opportunities that were there. And we just looked at the landscape and we could see there’s no one at all who has an actual interest in promoting the sustainable fishing only, and the supply chain in a way that cuts out middlemen. Because at the end of the day, it’s kind of industry right now run by many of the middlemen. So for sure, it was just kind of a gaping market opportunity that attracted us to fishing.

[00:05:03] A.J. Lawrence: And so maybe a little bit, Denmark and then Copenhagen is very much, for anyone who hasn’t been there, the sea is pretty much part and parcel of the whole experience of being in Denmark and Copenhagen. You can always smell, you know, the smell of it.

[00:05:19] So you found this opportunity, you did the research but was it just because it was just an opportunity? Where did you go once you saw this?

[00:05:27] Nima Sophia Tisdall: So once we saw the opportunity, I think we just kind of got started. Because we saw that there’s a need and we wanted to fill it.

[00:05:35] And I think, I always think of our start as a three step journey. So first of all, my co-founder who’s American came to me and said she couldn’t find any fresh fish in Denmark. And she couldn’t understand because as you said, there’s literally water everywhere. So she’s like, I don’t understand why your fish is so old and it’s so expensive. And I had no answers for her.

[00:05:51] So we went down to the fisherman and that was our first contact. So I would say the first step was a consumer need that wasn’t being met. The second step was that we realized that this supply chain was so inefficient. And then we saw an opportunity because if we could effectivize the supply chain and cut out four or five middlemen, you are earning a lot because you’re actually cost saving from the supply chain. So then it became a business opportunity.

[00:06:14] And then first after that, did we look into the sustainability aspects? Because we realized we could actually pay the fishermen quite a bit more than any other player, because we were revolutionizing the actual logistics chain. And then we realized if we have the purchasing power to decide that some fishermen are gonna get a better price than others, then we need to take a moral and ethical stand.

[00:06:32] And we did that, in terms of sustainability, in terms of climate sustainability. So it was kind of those three moments for me that was like the, consumer need, the market opportunity, and then the sustainability issue.

[00:06:44] A.J. Lawrence: And that is pretty cool cuz it’s sort of like the fair trade coffee movement, where it was going out to the coffee farmers, the independent individual coffee farmers. So you’re going to the fisherman and then saying, look, if you do this, we’ll make sure we will cut out that margin that you’re losing. You’ll get more. That is very cool. And also Copenhagen’s become famous for its dining culture for local so that kind of fit within it.

[00:07:09] Given that you’re also very vocal in a lot of foundation and all these different things, what do you see as sort of helping you the most on your journey as an entrepreneur?

[00:07:19] Nima Sophia Tisdall: I think what helps us is that it’s a problem that people understand. Actually, it’s easy or relatively easy to tell the story because it’s a simple solution. And when we say, well, we connect fisherman directly with customers, people are like, oh, why didn’t anyone do that before? You know. And that’s always a great place to start because you can talk to almost anyone and whether that’s through bigger advocacy work, if it’s trying to push governments to have more sustainable legislation, or have consumers purchase more sustainably.

[00:07:47] It helps to have a story that people understand. And that’s one thing that has really stuck with me through this journey. I mean, this is the first real business that I’ve founded and the ability to communicate to a wide mass audience about what the issues are, has just been paramount for kind of rallying support from all the different actors that need to be part of it if we’re going to make a real change in one of our industries.

[00:08:09] A.J. Lawrence: And since 2019, how has your focus running the company, as the entrepreneur and behind it, how has your focus changed since you started this? You got everyone involved, you kind of got everything moving, what do you see your role changing?

[00:08:23] Nima Sophia Tisdall: The way that I see my role being the same is that I think as a founder, you come in and you start building and then you wanna replace yourself as much as possible. So that’s always my aim, it’s to build processes and replace myself. So you come in in the beginning, it’s everything where you’re creating a sales book of like this is the script that we use.

[00:08:41] We’re building a playbook for X, Y, and Z, where this is how we do operations. And then as soon as you’ve created enough of a guide that you can hand it over to someone else, you get rid of it. And really that consistently still happens today, just to a different level and with different issues. So I would say the actual work that I’m doing is completely different because I used to do everything.

[00:09:00] And now it’s of course a lot more strategic work and a lot of the operation or all of the operations are basically in other people’s hands now. So I can work on kind of growth and strategy and the next steps, and focus on the vision and what our next moves need to be. And that requires a lot of mind space, which I absolutely did not have in the start. Because when you’re boggled down on daily operations, it’s really difficult to take a step back and say, what are actually the strategic moves here?

[00:09:24] Because if I’m focused on where is the driver, how many boxes have been delivered, the platform’s breaking down, I need to insert some data somewhere, then I can’t really see which of the three opportunities in front of us is the best opportunity. And at the end of the day, when you’re starting a business, you have so little time that the most important thing to do is pick the right next steps and not pick others to disregard other opportunities that come along.

[00:09:46] So I would say all in all compared to before, now my daily tasks are very different. But I’m still always trying to build processes that can replace myself. So that hasn’t changed.

[00:09:55] A.J. Lawrence: In living in this, do you find your skills at being able to define where you should focus for that next impact, do you find that getting easier? Is it harder because it’s a broader environment? How is it going for you?

[00:10:08] Nima Sophia Tisdall: You get better the more you do it, right. But at the end of the day, I have to say a lot of it’s a gut instinct, because, and that was kind of what drove it back then as well. It’s an innate understanding of what seems to be the right opportunity. And then you can create some frameworks and some different tools to help you brainstorm it and digest a problem.

[00:10:25] But I think when you’re still, cuz we’re still early stage, we’re only a few years old. When you’re going through that process, you’re still going for a bigger vision. So it’s your gut that’s leading a lot of it. I think I’m getting better in the sense that I have a lot more brain space now. And the more rested you are, and the more time you have to reflect, the better you get.

[00:10:43] But I’m not sure that that is because more years have gone by or a little more circumstantially, cuz we’ve had to go through Corona. And there were times where I would get enormously swamped because we were just trying to kind of survive the pandemic even in a later stage where I would say my skill level, if you want to call it that, actually retracted it a little bit. But then it’s about bouncing back and finding that mind space again, to get into a good space where you can make the decisions that you need to.

[00:11:06] A.J. Lawrence: Actually, you mentioned frameworks that you use, would you care to share some?

[00:11:11] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Yeah, sure. One thing that we’ve done is look at where we’re most successful. So right now, for example, we’re working on international expansion. So in this case, we looked at what two parameters that may make us successful and that we believe is going to be our competitive advantage.

[00:11:26] So we’re looking specifically at some features that we wanna develop. Then we just kind of create a little matrix and access, like on the Y, we have one metric, on the other one, we have a access, we have another metric. And then we just take a long list of the countries that we would like to work with, or that have a lot of fish, where a fishing industry is big. There’s a lot of fish being land, or a lot of fish being eaten.

[00:11:45] And then we plop it onto that matrix and really quickly we could just say, here is our five test bed markets because they fall within this little cluster here. And we could understand them in a different perspective because we can just see statistically, these are the ones that should do well.

[00:11:59] And what we’re doing is we’re starting with some of the ones, we have kind of like a metrics like this. So we have our, what we call our test bed markets then we have our cash cow markets. And we’re not going for the cash cow markets first. We’re actually going for ones that look like them, but have smaller market potential.

[00:12:13] And we’re doing that so that in case we mess something up, then we haven’t messed up one of the biggest markets and we can kind of practice some dry runs with some smaller markets to start off with. And then hopefully we can convert that knowledge into our cash cow markets afterwards.

[00:12:28] But it also really helps that, to be honest, we have a global following, so we have people from all over the world coming to us and saying, can we bring Blue Lobster to our country? And we wanna say yes, but it’s time consuming and you really risk spreading yourself too thin. So what this matrix has done for us is that we can say no quicker because we just plop in the data points that we wanna see.

[00:12:50] And then if it falls into it, not interesting category, we just tell them, sorry, this isn’t the priority right now, but we would love to speak to you in like 5, 10 years when we are more mature.

[00:12:59] A.J. Lawrence: It’s funny you say that, cuz I mentioned there’s, here down in Southern Spain, it’s very much touristy, but there are some really good restaurants.

[00:13:06] There’s this one little in this white village, the little play blows. They call it Up on the Hills. A couple started a restaurant a couple years ago, where he’s from Copenhagen, he worked at Noma. And his partner, she’s from Netherlands. And it’s funny when I mentioned he was like, oh yeah, that would be great because it’s so hard cuz so much of the culture here is, especially the restaurant culture, is about feeding the tourist restaurants.

[00:13:33] So COVID’s actually helped in one way that it’s silver lining, but it’s decreased so much of the tourist trade while having more expats move down here long term that there are more restaurants trying to create a voice in something more.

[00:13:48] So he was like, oh, thank God. That would be great because he, you know, like, oh, go down to no one does that here. So yes, he was saying it was great.

[00:13:57] Nima Sophia Tisdall: And Spain is also a place we have been speaking to. It’s true that there’s a lot, lots of like romantic storytelling about how fish is bought from the local fishermen. But the vast majority of fish being eaten like everywhere is import and export, right? So it’s often more romanticized than it is when you get behind the scenes.

[00:14:14] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, very rarely of, you know, when they say fresh fish has it been fresh. But what I found so interesting, you really do seem to be running a mission-driven, as you said, an impact entrepreneur, but you started this from more of that typical like, hmm, there’s a lack in the market. There’s something missing from the marketplace.

[00:14:36] You came at it from an intellectual pursuit and then now you are leading, as an impact entrepreneur, a very mission-driven organization. Yes, obviously right there, there was like, oh yes, this check, you should do that.

[00:14:49] But knowing a lot of entrepreneurs who just do things by check check, check. It never lives. Yet obviously looking at what’s going on with Blue Lobster, you’re living the mission. How did you bring that into the organization and make it live?

[00:15:04] Nima Sophia Tisdall: I think what me and my co-founder Christine Hebert have in common is that, I don’t think we could do something that wasn’t creating a bigger purpose in the world.

[00:15:12] And we absolutely came from it from a business perspective first, and people get that wrong often. They think we went out and tried to save the world and then found a business opportunity, was absolutely the other way around. But I don’t think we could have given this much of ourselves and worked this hard for this many years, for something that didn’t have a bigger purpose.

[00:15:29] And to be honest, we’ve, as I said, COVID has been tough and I’m not sure that I could have just kept going without question ever, if it was just for profit. I felt that responsibility for the fishermen that had committed to us. I felt the passion for the oceans that are being overlooked all the time. So when I was working a million hours a day and it was hard to get things to run around and things weren’t, Denmark kept on our restaurant industry, kept on having restrictions and kept on getting locked down on and off. And that back and forth, I never once questioned that we had to just keep going and thank God, because now we’re in a good spot. And when we got through it super strong.

[00:16:07] But I never once questioned whether we should continue. And I think if it was just a money making business, it would’ve been much easier just to just stop and say, yeah, all right. We’ll find something else to earn money on. Earning money in and of itself is, I mean, that is relatively simple. But it’s fun to work with something that’s incredibly complex and something that is, you know, there’s doubt about whether or not it’s going to work. And in our case, we just had a lot of resistance also from the industry, of people who don’t wanna talk about sustainability.

[00:16:34] So it also became a challenge, you know, but-

[00:16:38] A.J. Lawrence: I do understand that challenge of changing people’s mind.

[00:16:41] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Exactly. And it’s, you know, it feels bigger than yourself. So it becomes super easy to give your whole essence to it. But yeah, so to go back to your question, I think we quickly found out that once we had a business opportunity, we wanted to be good players in the market. And I believe for profit companies can do good. And I wanted to be a role model for that. And I wanted to show that that could be done.

[00:17:03] So there was no question that we were going to have some sustainable angle in the beginning. We didn’t actually know in the beginning that we were going to be so vocal about it because we thought it was gonna be more accepted.

[00:17:12] And once we started feeling the resistance, we’re like, okay, we have to speak out loud about why we’re doing the things we are, because there’s so much misinformation and disinformation about fishing that was circulating. A lot has also happened in three years. I mean, Seaspiracy came out, people are suddenly looking at seafood in a different way.

[00:17:27] But when we started, no one had heard about bottom trawling. There were so many of these issues that were just completely undertouched. So as we kind of uncovered how bad the industry was, I think our passion to make it more vocal increased.

[00:17:43] A.J. Lawrence: I love it. I mean, cuz it’s that general thing of like, here’s a problem, but you came with a solution. And therefore we’re able to kind of guide people into your world view.

[00:17:54] When you talk with other entrepreneurs who are trying to turn this opportunity to make it into something that is impactful, how do you help them or what do you suggest they do to go deeper into providing that impact?

[00:18:08] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Yeah. So I think, for me, the future is impact. People are gonna hold their companies to a higher standard and continuously already do so.

[00:18:16] So for me, I say go all in. You’re a jewelry company, use only recycled materials. Do it now. Like don’t wait, lean into it fully. And it might cost some stuff in the beginning, but the story that you can tell afterwards will carry you on. Because what you’re gonna have is you’re gonna be part of a movement.

[00:18:31] And if you are working for something that has a greater purpose, trust me when I say doors will open, people will want to help. Even when some of the like more classical business things might be difficult, it’s worth it in the end because you kind of create a community of people who are rallying with you. So don’t be scared about leaning in.

[00:18:48] And then I would also say, find one thing, find one thing that you can change in the world and focus on that because you can’t change the whole world at once. One thing that I see people tripping up on is that they say, okay, I want to create organic t-shirts or something.

[00:19:01] It’s t-shirts that are something, right. And then they obsess about every single other thing about their company cause they want to be a 100% perfect from the start. And that’s difficult.

[00:19:11] I mean, we still struggle with sustainable packaging and it kills me, and sustainable transport and that kills me. We’re always trying to look for the best suppliers that do, you know, electric transport or sustainable packaging. But at the end of the day, our mission, which is quite big, is to revolutionize the fishing industry. So we need to focus on that and then we need to use sustainable suppliers where we can, but we don’t reinvent the wheel ourselves on all spots.

[00:19:35] And I think that’s where sustainable entrepreneurs can sometimes become overwhelmed, or people who are trying to go into the green space get overwhelmed because they think they have to be perfect in everywhere. And there, I just wanna say like lean into what your core competencies are and then purchase from other people, like find the companies that are doing things.

[00:19:52] If you want like sustainable pens, buy them from someone else. You don’t have to go out and figure out how to create sustainable pens yourself. It sounds vague, but that’s just what I see often. It’s that people just think, oh, I have to become a green company now and I don’t know where to start. So just do what you’re good at and then find good suppliers and the good suppliers thing really counts for everyone.

[00:20:09] That that’s one thing I would say. Even if your core concept is not sustainability, I think social and green procurement from companies is one of the biggest potential we have of actually succeeding in this green transition, cuz the purchasing power with companies is enormous.

[00:20:24] A.J. Lawrence: I love this because this focus on where you’re good or where you’re able to bring value, because if you’re not making money, doesn’t matter your best intentions because you can’t then go and do more and help other suppliers be green.

[00:20:41] Given that you are looking and expanding internationally, where do you want to be taking Blue Lobster? Where are you looking to hope to take this?

[00:20:51] Nima Sophia Tisdall: I’m hoping that we can become a platform that all fishermen anywhere can use to sell their catch directly to their final consumers. And in that sense, get a better price.

[00:21:02] Since we are quite ambitious, we want to move the needle on what makes sense for fishermen to do. We want to make sustainable equipment, the economic choice for fisherman. Because again, I truly believe that good intention is not enough to change the world that we’re in and to make the moves that we need to in terms of sustainability.

[00:21:20] So the only way I think we’re gonna succeed in transforming the fishing industry is by creating an economic incentive. So my ambition is not in any way hindered by any geographical limitations. Though of course, we need to move at a reasonable pace. But one day I would like to be everywhere. I’m not so much concerned about everything being hyper local all the time, even though that is our focus and I think that’s where we stand out and that’s where we’re good.

[00:21:42] But if you are, say if you’re in Germany and you want shrimps, chances are you can’t or if you’re in Switzerland, right? You’re not gonna be able to get seafood from Switzerland. So it’s also about like getting it from the nearest possible source, but also allowing the trade that’s already happening to become sustainable.

[00:22:00] I really want to create a network where all sustainable fishermen are on, can get a very good price from their catch, and then customers know with certainty that their fish is being reported directly to governments, meaning that it’s being counted, that there’s only low impact equipment, meaning that it’s not touching the ocean floor, there’s not lots of buy catch, and there’s complete transparency for the end user.

[00:22:21] Meaning that if you’re eating our fish, I want you to know who caught this, when did they catch it? And that kind of supply chain transparency seems like a nice to have, like, why do you wanna know who your fisherman is? Well the issue is, if you don’t know where it comes from, first of all, you can’t make a sustainable choice. But there’s also just so much base for bad actors and for things to be moved around and misinformation, which is absolutely rampant right now.

[00:22:44] If you look at studies that show that 20 to 25% of seafood is mislabeled as a wrong species. Meaning that if you’re out eating like five people at a seafood restaurant, you all order Halibut, one of you is not going to be eating Halibut. And the problem is not just that you as a customer are being tricked, it’s the fact that that fish, no one knows where it comes from. There is no control. It’s one big kind of gray market where information is flowing out everywhere. And the problem with that is, that fish and seafood is a natural resource. We have a limited amount of it. So we can’t just keep sucking it out of the oceans. We’re gonna run out.

[00:23:21] And in that, we’re going to seriously hinder our chances of actually keeping to our climate goals because the ocean holds so much CO2 and is such a, you know, just like the Amazon rainforest is like lungs for our planet. So if we’re destroying the biodiversity in there and ripping up the ocean’s floors, meaning that we’re actually emitting even more CO2. We’re could have been in a really, really tough spot.

[00:23:44] So something as small as saying, I want you to know where your fish was caught and who caught it, it seems like a weird kind of marketing gimmick, but it’s really not. It’s about creating transparency so that we can know where our fish comes from, so we know where it was caught when it was caught, and our governments has a chance to actually keep track of it.

[00:24:03] A.J. Lawrence: As a consumer, informed decisions allow you to kind of provide impact on the world. How you bring to bear that value. As you look to kind of create this broader market, this greater transparency, do you look to see like how you are as an entrepreneur, not blue lobster, do you define what success will be for you separate from the company?

[00:24:27] Nima Sophia Tisdall: I think for me, success is, in terms of Blue Lobster, it is the business being run by the best possible people. So I think that’s one thing that all founders kind of have to, as I said before, I’m always kind of trying to replace myself, right. And I think that’s one thing I wanna make sure is that it’s always the best people running the parts of the business that makes sense, right?

[00:24:48] Meaning that if I’m sitting on finances right now and on marketing right now, if there’s a better marketing person, I need to be open to that. And that can be difficult because if you spend this many years of your life building something, it’s your baby. And you have an idea of how things are, you know, how things should be run.

[00:25:06] And you, as I said before, you’ve written the playbook that you want someone else to copy. But the truth is you need to surround yourself with smarter people. So if someone comes in and says, you know, says this person’s better at marketing than you, which is something that I’ve been like driving in the company, I need to be in a spot mentally where I can accept someone telling me that I’m no longer best suited for that specific role.

[00:25:28] And that takes on a personal level, a lot of reflection and peace of mind. But also critical thinking, making sure that you’re not just being, you’re not just giving the reins over to anyone at any time, but that you’re able to distinguish between this is someone that will benefit the company versus your own want to keep owning everything.

[00:25:48] Because I mean, I make it sound easy, but of course there’s an innate need to just hold onto everything. And because you feel like I would do everything best because you started it. And I think on the other hand, I’ve become a lot more aware of wor-life balance and that’s something that if you spoke to me three years ago, I would’ve said I love working and I can work, you know, a ridiculous amount of hours. That I don’t get tired and I don’t feel it.

[00:26:08] And I think that’s something that a lot of passionate entrepreneurs have a hard time with. Like understanding that taking time off and making sure that you are not stressed and that you’re taking care of yourself, is a lifeline to your company as well and to your project. And allowing yourself the space to be a human outside of your company. It sounds a super basic, but it can be hard to accept when you’re in that space. So for me, success is also having a life that I’m happy with overall and not being stressed out.

[00:26:39] I think people sometimes misunderstand stress and busyness because like, you can be super busy, but not stressed at all. I could work 18 hour days and not be particularly stressed out. But it’s when you’re consistently confronted with big decisions that you don’t have brain space for, or you are navigating great uncertainty, that’s when you get stressed. You need to be in a good spot yourself. It’s like in an airplane when they say, you put on your own life mask before you can help others.

[00:27:07] And that others, in my case is the company. It’s our employees. It’s our customers. It’s our suppliers. It’s the bigger mission. So I need to take care of my wellbeing to be able to take care of all the rest. And that has really been a lesson I’ve had to learn on my own body. Pushing myself to limits that I wish I hadn’t probably, in order to take a step back and say, we’re done now and getting proper coaches.

[00:27:29] And in that sense, I think Copenhagen and Denmark and Scandinavia probably is quite a good space for this. Because there’s a lot of mentors, also in the startup space, that help you take control of your work-life balance again. Because it’s ingrained into our society, that’s something we need to do.

[00:27:45] And to be honest, I feel ridiculously privileged to sit at 28 years old and already be focused on that. Because I see so many entrepreneurs across the world that I speak to, who are way further in their careers, who are only at a very late age starting to understand that this is important too, and that it can actually really, really benefit your projects and your business.

[00:28:08] A.J. Lawrence: So do you see yourself, is blue lobster your life mission? Or is this something you’re taking and you see yourself doing more beyond? Or is it too early?

[00:28:20] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Probably it’s a bit too early to know that yet. Right now, this is my whole life. So it’s sometimes can be hard to imagine at the same time. Life is really long, right.

[00:28:28] It’s difficult to say when you’re in the middle of it because, but I really hope to keep building. I know what I really enjoy is starting things, right? And I also think that’s what I’m best at. If I was to reflect I’m good at when we have new projects, when we’re going in new directions, in that early stage building, that’s what excites me.

[00:28:46] And a propose kind of how you build a team, how you develop as an entrepreneur, identifying what your strengths are and what you enjoy and what gives you energy, what you’re good at, that helps you build a team around you that help you fulfill that. So I now know.

[00:29:03] And it’s taken me some time that that’s, it’s discerning and it’s the ideation and it’s the 0 to 10, like the first kicking the door and you’re running and you just wanna like build a rough sketch and I can build the generic frame of the foundation of the house. And then I would like someone else come in and like put in all the details. Like go in and do all the little fine work. And then, for me personally, that means that I need some very good operators around me. People who know how to execute, where I can like I can pivot over to a new project when a new opportunity comes and run with that.

[00:29:34] And I have some strong people who can consistently execute on what we’ve started and people who are very detail-oriented and who really obsessed about all the the fine print. I think that’s another thing, understanding who you should be surrounding yourself with, and understanding your own weaknesses, but also strengths because you wanna be spending majority of your time doing what you’re good at.

[00:29:57] Personally, I found it really difficult in the beginning when I was building my team to ask people to do tasks that I didn’t really like to do. So all of the like nitty gritty paperwork or whatever that I didn’t enjoy, I couldn’t find it in myself to ask my team to do it because I just assumed that everyone hated it.

[00:30:12] So I felt like I was punishing them if I asked them to do tasks that I didn’t like. And it actually overwhelmed me because I just kept on loading onto myself tasks that I didn’t enjoy. It took some reconciliation with myself, and how to be a leader to kind of outsource some of the tasks that I didn’t enjoy and hopefully find people who do enjoy them.

[00:30:32] But that’s just a little note to anyone who might be in a similar situation. It’s that don’t assume that just because you don’t like to do it, that everyone else doesn’t like to do it either. And then, don’t be scared of offloading some of that work between the team either way.

[00:30:45] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. I have heard that from a lot of entrepreneurs, and I know I’ve fallen into that where it’s like, Ooh, you know, I’m sorry, this stinks. And someone else is like OK.

[00:30:56] Given that you’re strategically expanding Blue Lobster, the audience that’s interested in engaging to you, obviously links to your site, your app, where else can they engage?

[00:31:08] Nima Sophia Tisdall: I think you can sign up for our app. Right now, we’re in Denmark and we’re just testing out in a little bit in the German Swedish markets and the Faroese, but yeah, but otherwise follows us on social media. I think we’re most active on Instagram and LinkedIn. So one of those places. Instagram more for like the chefy what guys, and LinkedIn a little bit more for the startupy people. But feel free to interact there.

[00:31:33] I mean, we’re super responsive and you can follow along where we’re going and we’re always happy to hear good ideas.

[00:31:40] A.J. Lawrence: Very cool. I’ll make sure in the show notes, everyone, and when we post everything in the social media, we’ll have links to the LinkedIn for Blue Lobster and they’re very active on Instagram. So cool.

[00:31:52] Thank you, Nima. Thank you so much today for giving us some time.

[00:31:55] Nima Sophia Tisdall: Yeah of couse. Thank you for having me by.

[00:31:58] A.J. Lawrence: Everyone, thank you so much for listening to this episode. This was a lot of fun to talk with Nima. I am really, really impressed with how they go about looking at the problems that are around Blue Lobster, but what they put into it, the business processes that she used to not only come up with Blue Lobster, but to take it and continue growing it.

[00:32:19] It’s something that I think, when we look at problems or opportunities that looking at the bigger picture and bringing in the things that we want to change, not just how we wanna go about earning our living, is something that kind of adds value to the process. And listening and learning from how she did that I think can help us all push a little bit further into our own opportunities. So really excited to see where she goes with Blue Lobster.

[00:32:51] Just because, this is something I love seafood and so much of the practices right now really are horrible. And it’s just kind of one of these things where we just don’t pay attention to the same degree as we do in other areas that really there is a lot that’s going on, with how the fishing industry works. And this is something that really could potentially change a lot of what’s going on. So I really hope for the best here.

[00:33:20] Please, if you enjoy today’s episode, leave us review. Let us know what you think. Let us know if we can improve. I really appreciate you listening. And hey, go to our website beyond8figures.com, sign up for our newsletter so every time we have a new episode, you’ll be the first one to know. And you’ll get some additional insight into some of the cool people we get here.

[00:33:44] All right, everyone. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to be back on the next episode and I’ll talk with you soon. Bye bye.

[00:33:55] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye bye.

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