Aksana Kurola, entrepreneur of Yoga Nature, with her husky dog

Courage opens new doors

Business requires risk management skills, a way to deal with uncertainty, and a bit of courage. And the Lappish way of life and nature teaches how to handle it all. Lapland has an environment where bold decisions bear fruitful outcomes.

Lapland’s nature and surroundings teach people how to do risk control almost without even realising it. It’s unwise to fight against the weather, and sometimes you have to either slow down, wait it out or try to come up with another solution; when a bad snowstorm is building, it’s better to have a change of plans.

Risks and risk management are a part of Aksana Kurola’s everyday life in many aspects. An entrepreneur and extreme sports enthusiast, risk control comes naturally to Kurola when climbing sky-high mountains, skiing for days on end, or managing her travel business, Husky & Yoga Nature. When coming across a challenging situation, she considers the worst possible outcomes and then calculates the risks within them and whether their worth taking.

– Considering worst-case scenarios is different than just being negative: it’s about being aware and prepared for the situation coming ahead.

The most dangerous circumstances arise when there are variables one has not thought through.

– Though, those events also carry a positive effect, because afterwards you never forget them and hopefully learn from the mistakes, Kurola explains.

Aksana Kurola, entrepreneur of Yoga Nature, with her husky dog

It takes courage to do things in your own way with what makes sense to you.

Aksana Kurola, entrepreneur and extreme sport enthusiast

Northern business culture involves courage, as seen in the investments and reactions to the changing world. Challenges are met with the best operating practices, forged through trials and experiments.

Examples of courage in business are the big tourism investments entrepreneurs have made to grow the sector. During the last decade (2010–2019), international customers’ overnight stays doubled. Business owners have developed their services over the years with innovations and new solutions, such as new types of accommodation and services like glass igloos, treehouse hotel, completely exclusive resorts and even a sauna in a gondola lift cabin.

The interest of international operators and investors towards the north is increasing strongly, and there is still large investment potential in Lapland’s major business sectors.

Kurola handles uncertainty in her spare time and work with decisiveness: once you’ve assessed the risks and decided a comfortable way to proceed, you must commit and go full-on.

Kurola has tried new and venturesome ideas with her travel company which offers husky experiences in Rovaniemi and hiking yoga retreats in Lappish wilderness areas. Though most ideas have been a hit, not everything can work flawlessly from the start, like in husky skiing, the skiers zoomed across an icy lake trying to stay up. She laughs at the memory but she’s happy that they did something out of the box.

– It takes courage to do things in your own way with what makes sense to you.