Welcome to our ‘Conversation Starter’ series, that aims to introduce you to more business owners around you, and to help get to know each other better.
Through these questions, we want to learn more about you. Not just your challenges and what you’ve experienced along your entrepreneurial journey, but the person that you are, beyond your business…about what makes you, you!
We realize that work does not always define us and things may not be what they seem. Often, we tend to work with people we know and trust. Most work partnerships fail because people hold back and don’t openly speak about what they want, and think.
As business owners, we have to show up and make ourselves known, if we want our business to grow. For some people, it is easy. For others, the idea of networking and social gatherings is not something they look forward to. In a world where people ask you right away, ‘What do you do’, what if it were more about who you are and what your story is?
How fun would it be to first encounter people without knowing what they do? Just meeting them and finding out what you may have in common and what you can learn from each other. Work and business opportunities could come second, naturally.
Here are a series of icebreaker questions answered by the people that inspire us. We believe the answers to these questions can help start conversations in a different way.
- As business owners, we’re constantly networking and meeting new people. Let’s say you’ve just met someone for the first time. What’s the first thing you’d like to know about them?
It depends where I meet them for the first time. If it is at a networking meeting, I tend to ask them what they do and then I get to understand how they got to do what they are doing now – their background, their former career, which countries they have lived in etc. I am a very curious person who really likes to find out about people. I like them to feel confident when talking to me so I try to bring out their strengths.
- We know you’re super busy – as all business owners are, no doubt – but when you’ve had the time to squeeze in some TV-watching, what’s the last thing you watched? What made you choose that particular show?
Right now my husband and I are watching a Danish crime series called ‘Deceived’ which has all our attention. It’s thrilling and filmed in Copenhagen, so it’s nice to see a bit of “home”. Other than that, we love ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Narcos’, ‘Homeland’ and thrilling stuff like that.
- Before you decided to go solo and be your own boss, you must’ve worked for someone else. What advice would you give your previous manager?
Haha, that’s a good one. I might say to him that “nothing comes from doing nothing”. And, to also remember the small stuff, as that little thing just might mean a lot to one customer or employee.
- A koala bear jumps in through your window, and he’s looking at you. Why is he here? And what does he say to you?
I really think that he’s looking at my 3 and 5-year-olds and wanting to play with them. He’s seen how many cuddles they give our little dog and he wants some loving too.
- A resume can only tell you so much about someone. Often, the most interesting things about that person can’t be learned from those pages. What do you think is the most interesting thing about you, that your resume wouldn’t tell us?
My commitment and dedication to doing something 100%. Once I’ve started something, I don’t stop before I am 100% satisfied with the outcome and do not drop the ball on the way. And my care and compassion for people. I want people around me to be confident and happy and I want to bring out the best version of themselves – be it my family, my friends, the lady in the supermarket or a wild child that everyone has given up on.
- What gets you out of bed every morning? What is it that excites you, or is meaningful to you?
Life. I want to see and explore everything that is out there. My mother has always said: “Whenever you have a choice in life, rock ‘n’ roll!” — go for it. There is always something new and exciting to wake up to and we shape those things and our lives, ourselves. And having a wonderful family and friends to share it all with makes it so much more fun and meaningful.
- We’ve all got different talents and skills. It’s what makes us unique. What do you think you’re amazing at? And what are the things you’re not-quite-the-best at?
I always want to put my best foot forward – so even when things are a bit tricky I still tend to put on a brave face. Moisten lips and smile as my mother would say. And I’m amazing at seeing the best in people and in situations. I’m not quite the best at getting up in the morning – it takes some time for the batteries to be fully charged!
- Building a great team takes time. It’s not easy to find the right fit – like, the people who share the same work values, have the same vision for your business and have a sense of humor. If you were granted a wish to hire any 5 people – people you know, celebrities…anyone – whom would you bring into your team?
My practical husband (and rip that corporate shirt off), my son’s godfather (his energy and creative mind are amazing), my father (the most charismatic and forward-thinking person ever), one of my best friends, Sidse (for her power, uncomplicatedness and sweetness combined) and Michelle Obama (for her big heart, intelligence and ability to engage with every person in a room).
- If you woke up one morning and found yourself on a deserted island, which three things would you want to have with you? Why?
My husband and 2 children. My husband is quite practical and at times fearful of me – so if I were to demand a hut to sleep in, he would find a way to build it! And my children are so adventurous and have traveled so much with us that they would see the desert island as a new playground and would find solutions to whatever we may be lacking a lot better than me.
- Inspiration can come from anywhere…a picture, a bike ride, the lyrics of a song, a pet, or even a gorgeous sunset. But people have the power to inspire us like none other! There is always someone we look up to, someone we admire. Who has inspired you in your life, and in what way?
At the end of the day, I must say, my parents. My father is sadly no longer with us but he was an admirable and well-respected man. He was very charismatic so when he set his mind on something, and believed in something, then everyone believed in it too. I still seek his advice, hoping for answers. My mother is a unique person. She has not aged since 1975 – physically or mentally – and can out-party anyone. She is more comfortable on a horse than on the ground, and her story is terrific. I love her point of view on things, her temper, her inner fire and ability to woo people.
- What is your spirit animal?
A horse? They are strong, playful, intelligent and kind animals.
12. What characteristics do you admire the most in a person?
Loyalty, compassion, being uncomplicated, responsible, a good sense of humor, not taking yourself too seriously, empathy, dedication, inner strength and being a go-getter. If you have the ability to help someone – do so. If you have something to contribute – do so.
- Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to try? What’s stopping you from doing it?
No. Whenever you have a chance in life – rock ‘n’ roll. Go for it. And I always have.
- We’ve all been impressed by someone’s skills and wished we could have them too! If you could have a new skill at the snap of your fingers, what would it be?
Maybe to be better at demystifying digital marketing…
- What’s your idea of a perfect day?
There must be many versions of a perfect day – but something outdoorsy. Probably a ride on a horse with my mum, a dip in the sea with my family. A delicious lunch with yummy wine with a lovely breeze and a gorgeous view and then to finish off with a dinner and a concert with good friends. Or maybe a day on the slopes – those days are pretty perfect too. 😉
Oh, now my thoughts are now on nature, deserted islands, wine, riding, skiing, koalas and family – I hardly remember what I do anymore!
My passion is excellent customer service. You may have a great product, but for me, the greatness arises when you deliver your product to your customer in an empathetic, kind way, making it all about the value you provide to your customer.
So, I set up workshops to train staff in providing better service, leading to improved customer experience, add-on sales, positive word of mouth and improved sales. On top of that, I help companies develop a tailor-made service framework and service manual ensuring that service excellence becomes an integrated part of their brand strategy.
The essence is that you are investing in your staff in order to invest in your customers. One of my services is also to help companies develop a tailor-made team building day where the staff can learn, have fun and feel valued by their company, strengthening their role as strong brand ambassadors for that company.
About Alexandra Ravn Birger Christensen
Alexandra is passionate about service excellence and thrives on empowering others with skills and confidence to provide a better and more engaging customer experience. She has a background in luxury retail and has led the service culture at top global luxury brands including Hermès. Alexandra holds a Master’s degree in Marketing Communication Management and a Master’s degree in International Management from Copenhagen Business School and Bocconi University in Milan. She is a Certified Singaporean Professional Management Consultant and is the Managing Director of ARBC Service Excellence.
Now that you know a little more about Alexandra Ravn Birger Christensen online, you could make things more interesting by connecting offline!
You could contact Alexandra Ravn Birger Christensen here:
Whatsapp: + 65 90 23 37 44/