How did you start your career?
My career has been very diverse and includes everything from crisis preparedness and the civil defence.. to cleaning and event management! I started in retail when I was 16 and I stayed there for ten years. Afterwards, I had a successful career in b2b sales, marketing and event project management. With this experience, my interest in the human mind and behaviour in combination with leadership grew and my focus turned to management and education. In 2017, I started my own company as a professional speaker and organisation developer and moved to the Algarve in 2020, two weeks before lockdown. My market died but my strength to start again survived and now I work with my passion – the Algarve.
Who is the businessperson that has inspired you most?
Richard Branson. Not only a brilliant businessman, he is also a great leader and employer. Richard has never let anyone stop him from following his dreams and his impact in many business areas is outstanding.
What is your greatest satisfaction in your business day?
For me, it´s crucial to feel that I give people a long-term value, which has been a driving force through my whole career. Now when I show people the authentic Algarve and give them a chance to get to know the Portuguese culture and history, together with breath-taking views, it is very satisfying to know that I have given them a memory for life. At the same time, I have contributed to closing the gap between expats and locals. Knowledge is the key to understanding and respect.
What interests or hobbies do you have outside of work?
Nature, horses and heavy metal. To be out in nature, with or without a horse, is my way to reload and enjoy life. I love the silence which is the opposite of my other passion – heavy metal! I need both aspects to feel good. In Sweden, I was a heavy metal reporter for several years.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what film / book / piece of music would you want to have with you?
If I could bring my favourite heavy metal Spotify list, I would survive! It would give me the energy and power to find solutions for any other challenges.
What is your favourite place in Portugal? And in the UK?
Barragem do Funcho outside Sao Bartoloemu de Messines in the Algarve is where my soul belongs. Now, I do need to admit that I am a Swede… and I haven´t even been to London yet. I do apologize but BPCC is one of the best business networks in the Algarve, so I sneaked in, regardless my lack of British blood.
Are you active on social media? (if you wish you can indicate your online profile)
I am, with a hate/love relationship. I need social media for marketing but it´s sad to see how badly people treat each other, hiding behind their computer screen. If you want to add a positive profile to your flow, follow https://www.facebook.com/wowguidealgarve or https://www.instagram.com/wowguidealgarve/
There is much talk of digital disruption of both business and personal lives. What are the changes that you can see over the next ten years in your sector?
As in any other area, it all comes back to personal responsibility and choice. We can let the digital world take over our lives or we can choose to create a balance. It has been too easy always to blame someone or something else, but we still have a choice in almost everything.
Regarding travelling, digital channels have definitely taken over the market overall. But at the same time, we can see an increased demand for personal references. To find the best restaurant, guide or activity in Portugal, you can Google and get thousands of options. This is a paradox because it´s too much information for the human brain. Instead, we ask a friend or a Facebook group to recommend the best choice instead. So, yes, the digital channels are important, but word-of-mouth marketing is more important than ever. It´s also a clear trend that people want to go back to basics and get away from digital life. Off grid living and vacations based on nature will become even more popular. In Sweden, tourism businesses are selling silence for big money. A simple hammock in a forest. No Internet connection. Almost no costs (although they can charge a lot). Great business idea but at the same time a sign of the lack of balance which many people experience.
This is also one of the reasons I started my guided road trips. I give people a chance to get away from daily life and both the digital and physical crowd.
If you want to speak to Elise Slotte, e-mail: [email protected]