Category Archives: Personal

2013 Year Summary

Welcome to the 18th newsletter on
Leadership. Creativity. Social Media Impact.


I hope you are having a great day. If you are new to my email newsletter welcome onboard. I usually send a newsletter once per month and if something important is happening I will send an extra update.

I am going to share my 2013 with you – some ups and downs, but here I will share mostly the good stuff.

I wish you a great break, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Most important thing I’ve done this year
Published my book.

I would be very happy and grateful if you would like to write a book review on Amazon! That would be a fab Christmas gift 🙂

The book Digital Leadership

Best lesson I learnt
Setting big goals and achieving them is awesome. I taught over 1,000 people about Digital Leadership and Creativity 2013.

Proudest moment
I was very proud at my book launch and grateful to the people who supported me then and throughout the period I was writing my book.

Most important reminder
Doing nothing and standing still can attract amazing opportunities.

Most productive meeting
When I met with Zoe Cunningham at Caffè Nero in Hammersmith in January. A lot of good ideas, partnerships and opportunities came out of this 60-minute meeting.

Strangest thing
I was hypnotized for the first time this year. This is something that I thought was going to be scary, but I went into a trance in five seconds flat. After I’d been hypnotized I felt extremely tired.

First big challenge of 2013
To exhibit my abstract art at Showcase Cities in January. I was very nervous about showing my art in public, but it went well and I got great feedback.

Most empowering thought (which I had when I was ill with flu in March) 
That I have to put myself forward more often. I applied to speak at a TEDx conference as soon as I was feeling better and they accepted me.

Best training weekend
The weekend event with William Whitecloud was great. He has a very positive view on human beings and is not trying to “fix” his audience. It was about finding your creative genius and getting rid of false beliefs.

Best on-the-edge personal development event
I learnt about finger print analysis from Helen Elizabeth Evans and I really enjoyed her one-day training workshop. I am programmed to share my wisdom, which is even indicated by my name. In Greek, Sofie means ”wisdom”.

Best confirmation that I am on the right track
It’s been very helpful for me to get to know some best-selling authors. I won’t listen to publishing advice from people who have never done it themselves.

Most surprising thing I learnt about myself
That I really love doing webinars and Google+ Hangouts.

Support I realised I need 
Help with administration and more kind moral support.

Best publishing advice
”Your book is about digital leadership,” said by my publisher Lenny. Great title. It seems to work well.

Best new skill
My new radio skills. I now broadcast with ZoneOneRadio #TechTalkfest and I am loving it.

Sofie Sandell in the radio studio

Best TV series
I don’t watch as much TV as I would like to, but I recommend that everyone watch the Swedish series Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves. It is currently available on BBC iPlayer.

Best documentary
Senna. The story of the monumental life and tragic death of legendary Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna. Watch it if you’ve not seen it yet. Amazing storytelling.

My best interview
Can’t pick one, but I really like this radio interview:

Best portrait photographer
Asya Barskaya, who took my portrait for my book.

Best mentor 
Mats Östblom, who has been my mentor for many years. He is based in Göteborg.

Most annoying technical problem
My bad internet router. Got a new one. Hope that fixes the problem.

Best shopping purchase
My two new dresses I got in December, one red and one black/gold.

Best hotel I stayed in this year
During my business trips I often stay in comfortable hotels and when I was in Aarhus, Denmark I stayed at the new Scandic Hotel. The staff there were very helpful and kind so they are the winners.

Best concerts
Naturally 7, amazing a cappella concert at Royal Albert Hall, and the Lucia concert in the Swedish Church.

Best lunch in London
When I met up with the Superwomen Babes Club for lunch in the beginning of January at the Eight Club near Bank. Very nice and an inspiring start to the year.

Sofie Sandell after the lunch with Superwomen Babes in London

Best restaurants
I love a few local restaurants in London and one new favourite is a sushi restaurant in Chiswick called ‘Makoto’. I still love ‘Sophie’s Steakhouse’ in Fulham, London, as well and it’s not only because of the name.

My 2013 trips
At the beginning of the year I flew to Sweden to attend a friend’s 50th birthday party. Great fun, and I sat next to my old boss. Then I travelled to Morzine in the Alps for one week in March and stayed in a chalet for the first time with nine friends and their four kids. All good. I was in Monaco for a conference in June and then I was in Sweden for a short summer break in August. I’ve been to Denmark three times this year. That must be a record for me. I was there for a wedding, then visiting my friends who got married and then I spoke at a conference. I even went to Legoland, which was great. I also went on a speaking trip to Belgium. I love traveling by train so of course I took the Eurostar there.

JCI events
I’ve been to JCI London’s annual dinner at the House of Lords, JCI European Conference in Monaco, JCI Sweden’s National Congress – I was one of the keynote speakers, JCI UK’s National Convention – I was one of the keynote speakers there as well, and JCI London’s 60th anniversary party.

Best quirky charity project
The Bra Project by the Flamingo Foundation, collecting bras for an entrepreneurial project in Africa.

Best exercise 
Urban Vitality bootcamp with John Limpus. I’ve not done enough yoga but I will do more next year.

New dance moves
I learnt Burlesque with the amazing Jo King.

The group with our dance teacher

Most beautiful view
In Sweden by the sea on the west coast. True raw, natural beauty.

Best guidebook to London
Covet London. The book features female entrepreneurs in London. Get to know the city through them. I am in it, on page 225.

Best public speaking club
Pony Express.

Sofie Sandell at Pony Express

Beliefs that grew stronger in 2013
That I should teach and train more people in digital leadership and creativity.

Things that made me really angry
Violence against women in all its forms, and violence and abuse in general.

Things that annoyed me 
Bad customer service – something I’ve seen get worse in the last few years. Slow computers. The smell in Lush shops. Cats that don’t like to cuddle.

Things that made me really happy
When people felt inspired by me.

My plans for 2014
Get an agent for my career as a speaker. Publish my second book. Speak for bigger audiences. Find new love.

Thank you. Merci. Vielen Dank. Tak. Tack!


Read More

Book launch party for ‘Digital Leadership – Q&A transcribed

This is a transcribed version of the questions and answers MC Annik Rau did with me Sofie Sandell at my book launch. If the language sounds a bit funny it’s because it’s transcribed 🙂 Just ignore and read on.

After the introduction and networking game in which Annik Rau asked everyone to share a quirky fact about themselves to at least three people they never met before here is the interview.

Annik: Thinking about that what is a quirky fact about you?

Sofie: Well, one thing is that have a blog about Caesar salads.  Some people have had Caesar salad with me and I am judging them and I am giving them a point between one and ten.

Annik: I did not even know that… So when you wrote the book on digital leadership what inspires you to write it?

Sofie: I have been thinking about writing a book for many years and to be honest I have been procrastinating for maybe 20 years… but then last year I produced a lot of content when I was giving training and was lecturing and I just had to get it out to more people – I could not have everything inside my head – it gets very heavy after a while.  When you are creating lecture after lecture and you design training after training, you feel like – okay I have to get it out to more people.

Through Pony Express, the public speaking club, I got to know a friend called Emily and she wrote a book and then I went to her book launch in the end of November and I was very inspired from the event. The week after, I bought an audio recorder and I recorded my first ten chapters and got them transcribed by my PA in the Philippines.

In the beginning of December, I started to write the book. I was focusing to get the book done and then suddenly I had 60 pages. There are many things that inspired to write and share, but going to Emily’s book launch made me start writing my book.

Annik: We all do social media and we are good or not so good at it.  What are few things people and businesses do wrong when it comes to the social media marketing?

Sofie: I think it is a very big difference if you are a small business or big business.  Small businesses they sometimes over-promise that they are going to be active in social media. They promise it upfront and they tell the world -’we are going to have a blog’, ‘we are going to do this and that and we are going to engage with everybody’ but then other things come in between so they do not manage to fulfill their promise.

If you are a small business, do not over-promise what you are going to do in the beginning, because if you are not keeping to it you might just ruin your reputation.

Bigger businesses they often have a very short strategy – like a week or month ahead – and they never get social media integrated into the rest of the business. You have to get social media into at least three of four corners in your business to get it work for you.

There is a lot of things you can do with help of social media and many companies use social media in ways that are not connected with anything in the business, they are not aware about their brand and what the brand stands for… and it makes you look unfocused.

I think getting more structured thinking, getting involved in the right forums where your audience is, get to know who they are, get to understand who actually will connect with you and then put a lot of effort into the right message will help a lot. It is better to have a few messages online that are good and the audience will really sort of ah! Instead of multi-messaging all over the place with bad content.

Annik: I can relate to this. I’ve read the book and it is very different because it seems like it is really broken down, it is structured, and it has a lot of tips and tricks.

What makes it different to other digital leadership books?  I am sure you probably have read some other ones and most importantly why should everyone here tonight take one home?

Sofie: Well, I have read a lot of books. I have been a book addict for many years and I have read a lot of books about social media, leadership and creativity, but there is no book that is mixing it all together.

I think when you do anything such as social media, e-commerce, and working with your websites you have to really put on your creative thinking hat, otherwise you are just going to do something on an average level, and I think the extra 20% that you put in, which are your creative abilities and your creative thinking when you are working together with others, that is what is going to make a huge difference for your brand online and that is what is going to pull your customer to you and they are going to go back to your website again and again.

It is the first book that is combining the importance of social media, leadership, and creativity in one place and it is not very technical either.

I read a lot of technical stuff online and if you want to know the technical things, you can just find it on YouTube or Google.

Annik: Nice.  It is very engaging. And last question.  What is your favourite social media platform?

Sofie: It is hard.  Do I have to pick one?  I think Facebook because that is where I have the most friends – I like to see what they are doing. But I like all the other social media platforms as well.

Annik: Okay, Facebook.  Beautiful.

Keep thinking and I am going to ask you a few questions later but what is it for you on social media like what sense are for you?

I am honoured to just to sit here and hold this book in my hand and that concludes the question and answer.  What Sofie will do, she will say some thank you.  So, I am going to disappear for a minute.

Sofie: There has been a lot of people who have been helping me with the book and everything I have been doing.

I would like to do it very quickly and easily and ask them to come up on stage and I am going to give them a gift and then we are going to give them a big round of applause.  So, I would like to first of all have my mum and dad, Vince, Annik, Sarah, Alex, Anna, Emma, Kit and Reza. (They all got a red rose each)

These people have been helping me a little bit extra. Some people who could not join tonight have also been tremendously helpful, I will send them a rose online.

Sofie: Everybody who is here tonight…, it means a lot to me.  I am very grateful, and it is very emotional to write a book. What’s in the book comes straight from my beliefs what I think about the world and what I think is important. So if you read it, you are going to get to know me better. Thank you, guys.

Annik: Shall we all get up again and do some more networking..?  Sofie came up with one question and in a minute you will find a partner preferably one you have never met before and then just really briefly discuss what will be one extra step, just one, you would take home tonight and really re-work or improve your social media.  I am going to give you three minutes to discuss this.

The end! Thank you everyone who attended!

Big hugs, Sofie

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Why I wrote a book

Just over one year ago I went to a seminar with Entrepreneurs in London and Patrick M. Powers who did the introduction said:  “To publish a book is the best marketing method there is.” At that time it was not on my radar to start writing a book later in the year.

In September/October 2012 I had developed a lot of course content and training material about digital media and creativity, and it felt extremely heavy to have it all inside me. My brain was packed with too much stuff and I started to play with the idea to put it into a book.

In November, 2112 I went to a friend’s book launch (Elemental Magic) and it was both inspiring, and a big eye opener for me. The following week I started writing my book with help from an audio recorder. I recorded about ten chapters and got a transcriber based in the Philippines to write them down for me. In the end of January I had over 60 pages of content. I found a publishing consultant and I got a few friends to give me feedback.

It feels great now that I’ve put together my thoughts in a book, and that I can share it with more people around the world. To explore creativity as a subject is one of the most interesting things I’ve done 🙂

The title of the book is Digital Leadership – How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results. I will reveal how the book cover looks soon!

I am on a mission to teach and train at least 1,000 people in digital leadership and creativity this year, and I’ve done over 500 so far. I am invited to speak at three conferences and I am also doing some more training, so fingers crossed I will reach the goal 1,000!

And I will invite you to my book launch 3rd October soon! Book the date in your diary and sign up to my newsletter if you would like to get the invite sent to you!

All the best, Sofie x

PS: Check out my talk about setting your conditions for creativity.

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Happy New Year and best wishes for a great 2013

Looking back, looking forward

2012 has been a fascinating year in digital and a year that changed my life in many ways
Now it’s almost over and we’re soon entering a new phase

I am looking forward to next year’s innovations
Please make room for some new foundations

To design and deliver my creativity workshops has been great fun
Everybody who’s been to them have left inspired to run

The Digital Marketing Christmas Elf Digital strategies can be a complicated challenge and your online brand is fundamental

Look after it well and your success will not be incidental

I wish you all the best for 2013,

The Digital Marketing Christmas Elf

(Thank you Simon for inventing my Xmas name during one of our meetings in December)
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The social mentions of Aveqia London

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a VIP evening at Aveqia. It was absolutely amazing and we had lots of fun while cooking a delicious 4-course meal with help from two chefs who both have been working around the world at Michelin stars restaurants. Aveqia London, the new cooking and entertainment concept

The concept of Aveqia London

You start the evening with a drink in the bar, then you are gathering in the big kitchen and listen to what the Aveqia team has planned for the evening. Everybody are divided into four groups and each group are responsible for one dish each. While cooking you are socializing and getting to know the other in your team quite well and you can mingle with the others as well.

When the food is ready you sit down and each team serve their course. Easypeasy and all you have to do is to enjoy an amazing meal with perfectly matching wine.

This event is perfect for any team who would like to do something different, it’s perfect client entertainment and everybody who The food we cooked at Aveqia Londonlikes food and cooking will absolutely love it. Combining both a top-class restaurant and cookery school…

The Aveqia team are inviting lots of people for a taster over the upcoming weeks and the concept will travel word-of-mouth all over London. So far Aveqia has been mentioned a lot on Twitter, I counted to over 200 tweets (after just been opened a few days) that I could find using As you can see in the slideshow images and food goes very well together.


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The story of the cracked pot

This is an inspiring story that I’ve heard on a couple of occasions that I would like to share with you guys. Some good reminders about how life works.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water, at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily , with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path , but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw , so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path , and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Sofie x




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My latest creative art

I created these paintings over Easter. Used lots of colours and some glitter to get the inspiring effects. At the moment the paintings are in Göteborg, Sweden but they can be transported anywhere in the world. All art are for sale. Contact me for more information at:

Art is hard work, but someone must do it.

Much love,


Sofie Sandell, art in pink

Acrylic on canvas 70×70 cm

Sofie Sandell, gold adventure

Acrylic on canvas 100×80 cm

Sofie Sandell, art with spine and heart

Acrylic on canvas 100×70 cm


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Tick tack, tick tack. How do you use your time?

During the TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young People) ceremony in Osaka in November one of the winners Antti Yrjänä Pentikäinen, said that he thought that evil people are using their time more efficiently than good people.

He has been a medical doctor in conflict zones and seen the effect of bad leadership right in front of him ; no democracy, inefficient public sector, women are far from equal to men, no education system, no health care, no infrastructure… you name it, these factors are creating a lot of problems for the people living in in the affected areas.

Are bad leaders more determined to achieve their goals? Are the better at spreading their vision? Better at using their time and resources? Compare this with Osama bin Laden the leader for al Quada, loads of people follow him around the world and they are prepared to die for him. Very efficient leadership creating results that are devastating for the world.

Is it easier to gather people around an evil mission than a good mission?

How are you using your time? Have you been evaluating  your own values lately? Where do you put in your time? What is important for you?

If you want to use your time better and create something good out of it you have to know where you stand. What’s your beliefs? Do you do what you want to do with your time? Will what you do now matter for the future?

Lots of questions, and they are very important to ask ourselves so we can become better at using the time we have. Time is though the only thing we have.

If you want to read more about bad leadership go to the Harvard blog and read some of Barbara Kellerman’s posts:


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Social Media Q&A

Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.

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