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Xue Mei Rhodin

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Risk Strategy: How to take over local markets

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 26 April 2016


Companies don't just blow up and take huge markets over night. They take gradually larger and larger territories until they gain the momentum and capital to take over the biggest markets.

Gaining smaller territories helps you take bigger territories. That's how you win when playing RISK. The same principle works when growing your company's market reach.

By focusing down on cities, neighborhoods, and streets, you can quantify your goals and success. When one territory falls to you, the others aren't far behind.

This target local market approach also helps you lead your team better. When you are wanting to reach every cafe on one street, your team has very tangible goal.

Once you've won the smaller markets, your reputation and influence will precede you. The next territory can see the value you've provided to earlier territories.

UBER took over New York one area at a time, then moved on to the next city. Each victory propels you onto the next, and so on.

Next Video: How long until I'm profitable?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy

Video first: The new content revolution moving away from text

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 09 March 2016


In this video Xue Mei Rhodin tells us about how online content is moving to Video First.

Your audience or your customers prefer video to any other kind of content. This new shift brings many new challenges to businesses and entrepreneurs who have been able to remain unseen. Now people want to see you, and you have to learn how to work video into your brand.

Luckily, we're here to help. Send any questions about getting into video to us here in the comments or at Twitter or Instagram

Read Next: Reverse Brainstorming Creativity Hack

Topics: Brand & Storytelling, Marketing Strategy

Entrepreneur Q&A Video: How long until I'm profitable?

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 07 March 2016


How long until I'm profitable?
Entrepreneur Q&A Video

Xue Mei answers questions we've received from YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Questions in this video:
1. How long until I earn a profit?
2. How can I create a new marketing technique?
3. How can I make money without doing degrading work? (Dangerous question!)

If you want your questions about entrepreneurship and business answered,
come ask us in the comments on YouTube, on Twitter @startupcabin or Instagram @startupcabin



Want more business hacks?

Xue Mei has been featured in Dagens Nyheter, Cap&Design, DigitalTeknik. Expressen talking about building businesses, brands and working smart as an entrepeneur.

Subscribe today for free and be the first to get new insights and tools to build a better business, invites to our entrepreneurs workshops and events and exclusive content.

Subscribe now.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset, Sales Strategy

Why you need to try sports you suck at.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 03 March 2016

This story was originally posted on my Instagram, HeyXueMei, where I share stories every week on how to improve your mental attitude towards leadership and entrepreneurship. I train entrepreneurs to become super-entrepreneurs for a living at Startup Cabin’s Tribes program.

 If someone told me 5 years ago, that I ‘d be the closest to a cowboy you could get in the inner city of Stockholm, I would have laughed.

Now though, two of my main hobbies are horse riding and shooting guns… Well, why is this relevant to you and how the *$*%# does is relate to the digital industry and being an entrepreneur?

I’m a sport shooter in competitive handguns. Meaning I shoot Beretta pistols every week and aim to compete in field shooting and rapid fire-shooting. I’m new in the sport, and learn every week.

Why would someone so pacifistic do that? Well, pistol shooting demands extremely controlled focus, the ability to slow down you heart rate, your breathing and be calm under time-pressure. You need to know you body and mind. Every shift in posture, breathing and though effects your scare results on that black and white board at the end of the shooting range. 

I would say it’s one of the most extreme mindfulness challenges I’ve ever encountered. 

As my club mentor says: “You can’t think about shit that happened at work at the shooting range. You will shoot like a drunk crow. Sharp shooting will tell you how you’re doing in life. Your results will tell you if you’re stressed out, tense, frustrated, hungry or tired. You mind and body can’t hide from the scores.”

Horse riding demands agility, non-verbal communication skills and confidence that the 6'9" / 175cm withers height, 1000 lbs/ 450 kg horse will obey you every instruction. Grounding yourself and stepping into the stables with confidence, and an open and inviting body language is crucial to have a good relationship with a horse.

Both my main sport make me a better dealmaker, a more confident speaker, a calmer leader and a balanced person. The horses, as well as the points on my target, will tell me if I’m stressed out at work or not focusing. 

Multi-tasking and constant distractions in today’s work environment will make you not only loose focus, but get worse at keeping it.

Yes. You heard me right. You’ll get dumber.

If you keep your body and brain under constant negative-stress (which all long term stress is), it’ll deplete your body of vitamins, have a harder time processing information and worst of all, make you take less informed and strategically built decisions.

You’ll take decisions based on old patterns and your reptile brain. The easy paths for the brain to work through. So all your hard work improving your entrepreneurial skills, leadership style and most importantly, your weekly success rytm, will be lost. 

Find a sport that challenges you. Mentally, physically. And most importantly: You’re not allowed to be great at it when you start out. 

I repeat. You can’t ace it. Because then you’ll get no struggle out of it. You’ll just get a false sense of accomplishment. So that’s why I picked up sharp shooting as a completely new sport, and horse riding, as I had a break of several years since I sat in the saddle the last time. 

I could have chosen to go back to swimming. Something I’ve done since I could voluntarily throw myself of a boat. (Which was early on and a frequent problem for my adventurous sailing parents. You can see more about that here:

I’m a natural swimmer. I swim twice as fast as the average person. Without any formal swimming practice. And I’ve done for years and years. But hopping back into the pool won’t be hard. I did it a couple of weeks ago at a spa to see what it was like. With a hurt shoulder, I still swam like I’d never gotten up of the water. The body simply remembers.

But riding, that was a challenge. And I have to get back onto a live animal. Do I still have a good communication style for them? Do I have the right chemistry with this horse? How do I react to different temperaments and types of horses? 

In the end, it will give you that cool, calm and collected confidence that will help you forward. Overcoming your fears will give you kick! And the struggle of failing and making mistakes will simply make you tougher. 

What sports do you fear? Try a new one.
I dare you!



Want more business hacks?

Xue Mei has been featured in Dagens Nyheter, Cap&Design, DigitalTeknik. Expressen talking about building businesses, brands and working smart as an entrepreneur.

Subscribe today for free and be the first to get new insights and tools to build a better business, invites to our entrepreneurs workshops and events and exclusive content.

Subscribe now. 


Xue Mei Rhodin started her first company at 18 and has been a self-made entrepreneur for more than 11 years. She works as an advisor, specialising in business models, growth strategy, marketing, branding and leadership.

Xue Mei has founded several companies, including Startup Cabin — a growth program for entrepreneurs, and Cedarwood — a consulting agency, both within the tech, design and game industries.

Startup Cabin’s Tribes
12 month growth programs for advertising agencies, production companies, tech/it companies, design/fashion companies and game companies.

Rent-a-CFO service for IT, Tech, Design and Game industries.
Take control over your finances, find a rythm, get support making the right financial decisions.

She also vlogs and hosts podcasts for Startup Cabin and writes columns for Digital Teknik, runs Founders' Lunch and Sweden YouTube Meetup in Stockholm and started the Nordic YouTuber and Nordic Podcaster network.  Business channel Startup Cabin  Vlog Channel HeyXueMei  Startup Cabin Podcast  Sign up for Founders’ Lunch

...And she also loves bulldogs, champagne, sci-fi, vegan brunch and gaming. 

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Leadership & Mindset, Goals and Accountability

How to Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 16 February 2016


How Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER: Amazing success can be found in digitizing an old industry, especially if you're the first to do it. But before you join the ranks of Uber and AirBnB, you must meet some important needs of your customers.

How can you change your business model?
What can you make customers feel safe when you disrupt an industry?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling

Vlogmas Winners Anounced!

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 01 February 2016


Our three winners for the Vlogmas giveaways are announced!

New Q&A videos are coming soon!

Topics: Marketing Strategy

2015: A Year In Review

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 20 January 2016

A year in review 2015: 5 things that has changed my everyday life as an entrepreneur this year.

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2016!
What has been your experience this year? Comment and be featured in my next vlog episode!


Our YouTube Meetup in Sweden:

Office Tour Video:

My vlog channel HeyXueMei

Louise Bennetts channel:

William Sjögren Gomez channel:

Startup Cabin Tribes Program:

Topics: Marketing Strategy

Startup Cabin Meetup: How to forge a great team. With Jonas Dieden.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 17 February 2015


This month's guest is Jonas Dieden.

Jonas Dieden has years of experience managing team development at companies like IBM, Accenture and Connecta, and schools like Hyper Island. Jonas is a Civil Engineer in Industrial Economy, and an expert in team development. He is certified in UGL, Susan Wheelan's GDQ and CTT. 


Startup Cabin Meetup is a new meetup in Stockholm for entrepreneurs and startup founders.

We meet every last thursday of the month for an evening of business development, coffee/beer and peer-to-peer feedback. This is the place to meet other founders and learn from each other, great mentors and specialists from Startup Cabin's network.

Startup Cabin Office Hours

Startup Cabin will offer free advise slots each meetup for individual feedback from business angels and mentors. Book if you are serious about growing your startup the year to come. Startup Cabin's Office Hours are limited. First come, first served, so be sure to book well in advance. Book Startup Cabin Office Hours here: 

Book Office Hours


This month's guest is Jonas Dieden.

Jonas Dieden has years of experience managing team development at companies like IBM, Accenture and Connecta, and schools like Hyper Island. Jonas is a Civil Engineer in Industrial Economy, and an expert in team development. He is certified in UGL, Susan Wheelan's GDQ and CTT. 


 In this meetup, you'll learn:

•  An introduction to team building methods

• Learn to give feedback in a motivating way. 

• Start building your team with a great culture.


Meetup schedule: 

• 20 min talk by Jonas.

• 20 min Q&A session.

• Work on you startup. 

• Get peer-to-peer feedback.

• 5 Open Office Hours slots for private meetings with advisors. 
Sign up quickly before they are taken.

This event is for entrepreneurs/founders.


Go book it!

Attend the next meetup.

Topics: Marketing Strategy

The entrepreneurs guide to planning holidays and setting focused goals

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 20 December 2014

holidays_and_goals_featured_imageIn this special holiday Podcast, I give some of my advice on planning to have a real holiday as an entrepreneur, and also some effective goal setting strategy you can you use for yourself and for your company.

Listen to the podcast here

Here is the summary of what advice was given.

You don’t have to be available 24/7

This old fashioned idea with entrepreneurs results in a reactive lifestyle that will wear on your mind and productivity. You need to give your self breaks so that you can reflect and get back into your work later with greater clarity and perspective.

You need your holiday.

3 boundaries to help you keep it.

1. Set a holiday deadline, when it starts and ends. Tell everyone and add your holiday availability into emails. Give a deadline for contacts to confirm appointments so that your schedule is set when you return to work.

2. Go through emails and schedule them to go out in January. I use the add-on sendlater3 in  Postbox. Having people resond before a certain date so you can have your schedule confirmed in advanced.

3. Use Rescue Time. It measures what you do on your computer. You decide what apps and wesites are work, and what is distracting. You can limit your work. You decide how many hours of productivity is enough. Great for when you need to step away for a time.


Set simple, focused goals

1.Keep it to 3 goals. You should know it by heart. Too many and they don’t stick.

2. Plan in quarters. Set goals in 3 month deadlines.  It's easier to stay on top of your goals and track them in these shorter intervals. Goals, whether for you, or for a team need to be visible everyday so they stay at the front of your mind.


How do you make to sure you have your holiday time to recharge? What have you done to meet your personal and business goals? 

Tell us in the comments. We want to heart it.

Topics: Marketing Strategy

What's your hedgehog concept? It will make or break you.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 19 December 2014


There are two types of people in the world, foxes and hedgehogs. When these two types of people lead a business, the outcomes usually award the hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have one simple thing they do over and over, roll into a ball, and the clever foxes fail no matter how many things they do. Your business needs it's own "Hedgehog concept" to set it apart for exceptional success. Here's how to define yours. 

One of our favorite books at Startup Cabin is "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins. Collins explains that the hedgehog prevails because it does one simple thing better than any other animal. While the fox is looking for new approaches and schemes to get that fat little rodent, he often ends up with spikes in his nose.

Take it into business.

They key is not doing a lot of things well, but totally owning one area because you're better than any other sucker out there. That's your space! If you want to win like a hedgehog, find that one thing you can do better than anyone else. Here is what Collins recommends for you to consider while defining your concept.

  1. Determine what you can be best in the world at and what you cannot be best in the world at;
  2. Determine what drives your economic engine; and
  3. Determine what you are deeply passionate about.


I'm just thinking of of a pitch I saw once where the investors, audience and event were totally lost as to what this app was because of the huge amount of stuff this guy's app did. Essentially he wanted to aggregate all your social media, calendars, Evernote and Skype into one place. 

"That's mighty impressive Mr. fox."

Needless to say, it was painful to watch the poor guy try to explain why his Swiss Army knife of an app was a great thing for the world.

Do one thing better than anyone else! That's it.

If you add too much, it gets confusing. And if you make movies like this, trying to be a lot of different things once, you'll get a fantastic mess of cinema like this hilarious video from Jimmy Kimmel.

So what's your experience with foxes and hedgehogs? Tell me in the comments.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling, Sales Strategy

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