Starting point of 2021 – thoughts of the Gang CEO Emma

The year 2021 has kicked-off and honestly, we couldn’t be more excited about it. But why isn’t this positive mindset at all obvious to us, though we are often so passionate about running this business?

This is why: we truly hit a low point with Iiris just two months earlier. When the year was coming to an end, due to numerous reasons, we questioned ourselves if there’s any point to keep this business up and running and if so, do we have the strength to do it. As Iiris already shortly explained in her recent blog post, it had been a tough year with lay-offs, tough negotiations with clients and countless other covid-related situations. But we can’t blame covid-19 for all. After founding the network and concept 6,5 years ago and the limited company 5 years ago, we suddenly felt quite exhausted with where we were at that point. We are used to making small changes constantly and not sticking to old ways too tight, but it still felt like we had been dealing with the same challenges for too long and not getting forward as much as we had wanted to.

After making exit plans together and picturing other rather negative future scenarios for two days, we talked again and humbly agreed that we are not yet ready to let go of this precious creation. It took almost two months to reboot and let ideas evolve in their own pace before suddenly the slowly cooked, improved vision of the business was there. We found energy for the intensive business strategy work and as a result, I think the execution plan is more professional than ever before (thanks to all the lessons learned previously and to seeing the possible outcomes more clearly).

Though big changes are ahead, you’re not going to hear about major expansion plans or fancy go-to-market strategies from us (at least not this year). The change we felt that was most in need, was in the core of the business: culture, values and ethics. These are things that are there every day, but in time they get blurry, and even outdated, if not thought thoroughly on a regular basis. Our dip in the deep end last year motivated us to work on the actual core and the meaning of our business – exactly what was urgently needed.

I wish there was an easier way to develop the company, but so far it seems that every year the challenges get more serious and we need to dig deeper every time in order to find the right way. But at same time I see the silver lining in all those tough phases – without all the serious questioning and melancholic feelings, we wouldn’t need to work on the solutions hard enough, and we wouldn’t know if the business still meant us enough to be worth keeping it up and running.

I’m writing this after working on our new website copy for all day, on a Sunday. Feeling quite tired but the excitement of the ongoing changes is strongly present. 

To sum up: I can’t wait to see our strategy in action alongside with the refined values and guidelines, and to see where they will take us during this new year..! 

Sending all the strength and optimism to fellow entrepreneurs and colleagues,


Gang CEO & Co-Founder