An Inspiring Profile: Frederik Ploug Søgaard
Students at CBS are known for having aspiring and bright minds, and for being full of innovative ideas that they want to bring to life. One such student is Frederik Ploug Søgaard. He studied Cand. Merc. Fir. (Cand. Merc. Financing and Accounting) and is currently working as an account manager for Hello Group. Frederik has, with his innovative ideas, developed relevant extracurricular business activities at CBS by founding both FinanceLab and MarketingLab.
When working with Frederik, the first thing that comes to mind is his smiling face, which is always ready to get down to business immediately. Setting up the agenda, he has everything in his head and the creative ideas just keep popping out of him. He is, in a way, very philosophical and has a kind yet distinct personality which is hard to capture with words.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: school, life, and other interests
My spare time is traditionally spent behind the piano or with the guitar. These past few years, painting has also become a weak spot for me. When I get time, I like to camp out with a good bottle of red wine and paint. My paintings are in no way worth any money, but I love it. If there is ever any love-trouble, I work it out through my art, some good food, and red wine. I am dangerously philosophical and I easily let myself get carried away by the world of ideas, the sincere, the beautiful and the good.
The spring sky, Venus’ glow, and the body of a woman – are all observations I try to describe and analyze until they are dead to my eyes. I am not a poet, but I do have a hard time shutting my mouth when I see something beautiful. And I do all the time. In the weekends, I unfortunately spend far too much time and far too much money on the club Simons. In this matter I am a big cliché.
How did you get the idea for both FinanceLab and MarketingLab, and how did you manage to grow them into integral parts of CBS?
Good question. Energy is probably the best answer. All actions are rooted in energy and for my part it is not just physical energy but also spiritual energy and a pent-up fiery soal, which really took off when my dad died shortly before my teenage years. I have channeled that energy by being innovative and putting new things in place. But FinanceLab and MarketingLab weren’t just created because I needed to abreact, but because we need organizations of interest of that kind and so the projects attracted many students of all kinds of students looking for something similar and also with a need to abreact.
How do you manage to have so many things going on like school, work, your own big projects, friends and family, when you as everyone else only have 24 hours in the day?
When I was 7 years old, I was an inventor. I figured out how to build a time machine from a vacuum cleaner. It is standing in my closet and is being used when I haven’t gotten enough out of the day. Besides from that, I literally suck at time management. Theoretically, school is my first priority, but in practice it always ends up being my last priority. When I had to choose between finishing a chapter in tax-law or work on FinanceLab’s homepage or a commercial movie on MarketingLab, I would almost always find myself doing the latter. Then comes my job. School was always postponed to the last moment just like my final thesis project. I have got an extremely interesting project with Hello-Group and I am desperately trying to combine this with my thesis project. Killing 10 birds with one stone is always a good start in time management.
What do you think is the advantage of being a first mover inovator?
My advantage from being the first mover is that I will always be a first mover. In relation to my career, it work as a kind of personal branding. It is both a good and a bad thing to be and I still don’t know how many of my fellow students and colleagues perceive me as either “Kong Gulerod”(Mr. wise-man) or as a worthy inspiration. There are also big advantages in the personal experience and the kick one gets from releasing ideas in the real world that are built up in your mind and I can feel and see the reactions from more than one person.
What does it take to get an entrepreneurial idea put into practice? And do you have any advice for students currently sitting at home with an idea in their stomach?
Invest your energy and your interest with care. Small people talk about things, average people talk about people, and great people talk about ideas. I am no saint and can watch “Divas in the Jungle” or “Paradise Hotel” with my girlfriend. But do reconsider how much time you spend being occupied or worried about your material capability or if other people are right or wrong on Facebook or TV3.
If you have a vision – dedicate yourself to it. Spend every single moment on it, and be aware of when you fall back into the mediocre lifestyle. Be constantly in contact with your vision from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed.
When you choose to pursue a vision and commit to a project, you usually have a lot of courage and inspiration because you are proud of your decision and mission. But shortly after, the idea will start to fade and decay. The spring has come to an end, and the idea is no longer new. You realize the complexity, the extent and the distance required to reach the goal and then it feels like it is just going down hill until you reach the dip. At the same time you have to provide more for less as illustrated through the graph. It makes sense seeing the Y-axis as happiness, enthusiasm or energy. You are in the middle of all the work and it is hard to feel the vision and the happiness. The effort starts to decline and one will naturally start finding new visions which are more interesting and competitive because they are new, more exciting and take off from a higher level. But this will only be a quick-fix without rewards. If you continue on the road down, you end up at “the dip”. This is where you really get the chance to face your inner entrepreneur. This is where you separate the sheep from the goats. You make up excuses. You convince yourself that you are happy with the work you have already carried out. You lie to yourself and downgrade your goals. Your visions become an illusion, a nice dream, or you make up something new and more exciting to spend your time on. Maybe, like most other people, you give up when you reach the dip.
Learn to love this stage of the process no matter what you are doing – 24-hour case, exam preparation, sport, your own project. It is crucial. Feel when you find yourself located in the dip and be thankful. You will know that this is where you finally have the change to step out of the masses. The dip is a punishment everyone will have to take. Every action can feel like a slap in the face and now you have the opportunity to laugh out loud and crazy for every battle while everyone else are crying and fleeing.
You can develop the ability to turn exhaustion, despair, a lack of motivation, continuous repetitions around and turn them into a new Super Nova of new energy. No matter what leads you towards the bottom – 20 hours of work every week, school, sad love, failures that keep coming or an idea which loses its glance and virginity. I believe that one can unlock the energy all the way down on the bottom, and this is what gives us the power to carry out the ideas to life.
What can we learn from Frederik?
As Frederik states, it is crucial to not be afraid and take that last step out of “the dip” in order to get a project carried out in life. Also for businesses and companies it is crucial to be innovative and also show proactiveness. Just like Frederik it is important to have an open and creative mindset in order to think out of the box. Frederik is amazing at getting great ideas. He steps out of the dip and makes them happen which is a characteristic many companies are looking for. It proves that he has an open mind and is curious and eager to learn. He has the will power, strength and courage to cut through complexity and step out of the dip, and at the same time, he proves to have a great passion for everything he does. He does what most just dream of, making him and inspiration and a model of one way to live life.