Rune Sovndahl – A Business Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link

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By Andrew Stotz. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Rune Sovndahl is the co-founder of Fantastic Services – an international brand with 10+ years of experience that combines technological innovations with bespoke customer care to deliver services for the home, office, and garden.

Rune is Danish but moved to London 20 years ago to study for a BA (Hons) in Business Information Systems Design at South Bank University. Following the completion of his degree, he was accepted into a graduate program with British Telecom.

In 2003 he also established the European Young Professionals committee in London and was involved in its website’s creation and the recruitment of more than 200 new members. Most recently, he worked for lastminute.com as Head of SEO.

“For any investment that you get into, be prepared to lose it all.”

Rune Sovndahl

Worst investment ever

Rune was running a successful business, and he had managed to put aside some good savings for 12 years. He decided that he wanted to invest this money in something that would make him a good return. So he started researching possible investment ideas.

Getting some of the Amazon pie

Rune came across Fulfillment by Amazon, something he found quite fascinating, and after he did his math, he saw that he could make some pretty good money. So he got into this.

Mixing business with friendship

At the time, Rune had a friend he had worked with for a couple of years on many other things. Rune spoke to his friend about his new investment, and they agreed to run it together. They signed a contract, got the paperwork in order, and the partnership was good on paper.

Return on investment

The business picked up, and Rune started getting good returns. It grew into something useful, and there was money continually going into their Amazon account.

Though Rune was busy with his other businesses, he would occasionally check on the account and confirm that everything was ok.

Getting blocked

Rune’s account got blocked at some point, so they had to set up another one with a different company name and details. In the process, the money in the previous account was moved to the new one.

Suddenly, Rune’s login details would not work for the new account. But since he still had access to the spreadsheet with the money details, he didn’t pay much attention to the logins.

Bleeding dry

Money over time stopped going into the Amazon account, and when it came back, it was transferred to another account, which wasn’t Rune’s bank account. Suddenly there was no more money in the Amazon account.

Rune was notified that the account was shut down. He found this strange because, as far as he knew, they were still in business. He tried to log in, but it said the account was shut down. That’s when Rune found out that all the money they had made was gone. His trusted friend had siphoned all of it.

Lessons learned

Partner with people who have something of vested interest

When partnering with people, even if you have the correct paperwork in place, these people should have assets or anything else that is of value. This makes it easy for you to recover your investment should the deal go sour.

Don’t let past success blind you

Most investors think that because they’re successful and what they want to invest in somehow seems easy, they can do it. You realize later that that’s not true.

Be careful who you trust

When getting into partnerships, most people trust blindly. They believe their partners have the same integrity as them and, therefore, expect them to deliver the end of their bargain faithfully.

Be prepared for losses

For any investment that you go into, be prepared to lose it all. Have a stop loss for all your investments to protect your downside.

Andrew’s takeaways

There’s a difference between a business operator and an investor

There are so many people who are very confident and very successful as business operators, but when they take their money and invest in something, it doesn’t go the same way. Be careful because this kind of overconfidence can spill over and ruin your investment portfolio.

Prepare for loss

Think about the investments you have and the ones you’re considering making and ask yourself how you can lose on them. Don’t get stuck with telling yourself that you are not going to lose. Always ask yourself how can you lose in this situation and come up with ways to protect yourself from losses.

Be careful when granting people access to your accounts

Put securities in place before you share access to your accounts with anyone, including your managers.

Actionable advice

Manage your accounts, no matter how busy you are. Do not give complete access to other people.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Rune’s goal for the next 12 months is to attract the right people for his next challenge to create 1,000 millionaires.

Parting words

“We have to remind ourselves of some of our losses and some of our failures in order to get stronger.”

Rune Sovndahl

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