Mårten Runow: An insight


It was over 35 years before I understood why I have constantly been drawn towards difficulties and challenges. I could have easily created a very calm and simple life for myself.

The key to understanding this came when I studied a book by L. Ron Hubbard wherein he defined the word "Happiness" in such a way that makes it possible to attain Happiness for real. He wrote that Happiness is the overcoming of not unknown barriers toward a known and wanted goal. That is why I seldom felt happy for long after I had achieved my goals. Happiness lay on the road towards the goal.

When I was 6 years old I moved to Sollentuna, north of Stockholm. I lived there with my two younger brothers, Johan and Kristopher. When I first moved in I was quite lonely and felt a little lost in this new environment. The other kids on the street looked very active and happy, but despite that I kept to myself. The kids we lived next door too were called Thorstensson and they played badminton over a home-made net.

I remember one day,I was sitting by myself, contemplating in the sunshine, behind our little house. I felt lonely and my Father, Lennart, came and sat next to me and told me that I could probably play Badminton too. I started crying and said I'd never done it before but after a while I became convinced that I actually could play it. So I went to the kids who were playing and introduced myself.

Ann Thorstensson was an extraordinary friendly type of person full of life and freckles. She told the rest of the bunch "Mårten is new here and he plays badminton". She gave me a racket and told me to start playing. After 3 full-blown misses I suddenly hit the shuttlecock and it flew away nicely. Right there, at that moment, I experienced one of the happiest moments of  my life because I knew I was on my way to overcoming my fear of others and could meet real friends.

From that day sports became something close to being a religion to me. Everything that included a ball, a bat or a bar should be conquered. And as soon as I began feeling that something had become simple, I started with another sport. I realized much later that it was because of that I was almost always happy when growing up.

Anyway, looking for challenges became part of my nature. I felt that life was more interesting when I had something unknown in front of me that had to be conquered.

The biggest challenge I've found so far is Man. There we have a vast area where difficulties and opportunities are mixed together in complex dimensions and provides for a real challenge.

As a new salesman in the office business Sten Dalnader, at the end of the 70's, I experienced how different people treat a salesman. I had a lot of happy times there but when I was doing very successfully there I quit in order to instead work on learning how to sell ideas and concepts. (Commercial Ads to be placed on taxi-cars.)

To sell a product, which was not easy to demonstrate was a bigger challenge, so it was rough in the beginning.

What I actually realized was that no matter how professional and experienced a media-buyer was it was easier to be understood when I spoke of "a herd of a 1000 buffalos with signs on their backs running around town promoting your business in every corner of the street for two weeks." rather than "in this package you will have 1000 taxi-cars driving with signs which approximately 873.000 people will see per day and the average amount of time each person will see these signs are.....". There the client had already fallen asleep! I realized that analytical number-arguments is something a salesman should know, but rather not mention. With that realization and with the ensuing results, happiness returned.

The key to success for a salesman, or in business, is dependent a great deal on having a product or service you yourself really believe in and like. I have realized that the saying "a good salesman can sell anything to anyone" is false and that only a criminal idiot would sell "anything". Along that path lays no happiness. Believe me, I've tried.

In 1986 I started my first Business and since then it has developed to be now operating in about 20 countries. Today I help Companies, through training and education, to understand how to improve the quality of their Hiring and I have , together with my staff, built several Internet based systems that makes it considerably easier for Clients to find the right people and save time in the process. This job provides constant challenges and, apart from the fact that I have to travel a bit more than I'd like to; it is a great source of happiness for me as we constantly have to overcome problems, which always appear when you expand.

I have a fantastic family who inspire me endlessly and gives me energy. My wife Carina and I have been married for nearly 20 years and we get along great. That I am so often traveling might help as every moment we get together is a special occasion.  Our 4 wonderful children and 3 dogs give us a lot of joy. I also have 3 adult children from an earlier marriage that I love dearly and for me the ultimate in life is the times where we manage to meet all at once.

Unfortunately, we live on a planet where people are far from happy and to be one of the many who tries to solve this problem is another challenge that I feel urged to work on, no matter how easy and comfortable it might seem to "mind ones own business". What I would most like to do is help children to a better life and even if that feels like an overwhelming problem, I still believe something can be done about it and I can and will contribute. I believe in a better and happier future for all and even if the road gets bumpy it is a goal worth fighting for.

Mårten Runow

“The biggest challenge I've found so far is Man. There we have a vast area where difficulties and opportunities are mixed together in complex dimensions and provides for a real challenge.”