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Entrepreneurship is like an expedition

Edco Wallet, co-owner of OptimaData, and friend Sjoerd Oskam participated in the Baltic Sea Circle Rally Winter 2022 at the beginning of this year. From Hamburg via Denmark, Sweden, Norway to the North Cape and via Lapland, Finland and the Baltic States back again. Without a navigation system, it was a true expedition. Why did they do this and what are the parallels with entrepreneurship? Edco explains in this blog.

Edco Wallet

Co-Founder & eigenaar
Edco Wallet - Co-Founder & eigenaar

A journey full of lessons

Sjoerd and I both wanted to go to the North Cape once in our lives. Of course you can take a plane in July or hop on a tourist bus and enjoy 24 hours of sunlight a day, but that’s not quite our thing. The Baltic Sea Circle Rally is an established (winter) rally to the North Cape and back. You do have to meet a number of conditions.

For example, your car must be at least twenty years old, and you are not allowed to use a navigation system or to use highways. Just old skool map reading and using a compass. And that for 8,500 kilometers, through 11 countries in 16 days, at temperatures between -10 and -30 degrees Celsius with snow, lots of snow. A journey full of lessons. It’s like entrepreneurship…

1. Make sure you have a good preparation

Like entrepreneurship, an expedition also starts with thorough preparation. For example, we did extensive research into what type of tires would be most suitable for the ride. Following the advice of local Norwegian people, we opted for a special Norwegian winter tire, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta.

Such a tire works like a sock on ice, making spikes unnecessary. We also decided to bring a refrigerator. It may sound strange, but if it is 18 degrees Celsius above zero in the car and minus twenty outside, where do you put your beer?

With a fridge you can regulate all that a bit better. We also needed a good heater, a double battery, better coolant and extra lighting. Other than that we just had to go with it. As a control freak I would have preferred to arrange all our accommodation in advance, but that was impossible because we had no idea where we would end up.

It was hard to let go, but it also gave us flexibility. Setting up a business also starts with good preparation. You make a business plan based on research, you decide to go for it and then you just have to let go and be confident.

2. Think in stages