I’m Juho Uutela, entrepreneur at Beyond Arctic. Beyond Arctic is a photography tour and small-group adventure operator in Rovaniemi with thousands of guests joining our adventures every year. We also offer a wide range of different photo shooting services.
I wanted to become an entrepreneur, because I have always been fascinated by the well-known freedom of entrepreneurship: the possibility to define your own work and way of life. Beyond Arctic is the first company to combine travelling with photography in Rovaniemi. A business of my own has been an amazing opportunity to combine my passion and knowledge in both of these fields and create something unique and cool for the tourists.
A business of my own has been an amazing opportunity to combine my passion and knowledge and create something unique and cool for the tourists.
Starting the company has been the hardest part so far as we created something totally new, a service that did not exist. My mind constantly reminded me that this is something that might not work. The first years we worked really hard and tried to overcome these thoughts of failure. Something that I learned as a new entrepreneur was that sharing responsibility is absolutely crucial as the company grows. Entrepreneurs should remember to value their free time because it’s the key for healthy work-life balance and motivation. Even if you are an entrepreneur, the company does not equal you or your life. Now that I think about it, I wish I would have known how hard it actually is to build a company during those first years.
The best part of being an entrepreneur is creating something new using your skills and talent, and to see that people actually enjoy the services you provide. At Beyond Arctic, we get constant feedback praising what we do and that really helps us keep going. As an entrepreneur, I’m also free to create my own work – and that makes every day and trip interesting and unique.
For us, the pandemic was a shock.
For us, the pandemic was a shock. It taught us that we should never take things for granted – the growth you’ve been working so hard for can be gone in just one week. In the beginning of the COVID pandemic when the restrictions hit, we lost 98 percent of our business. International travelling has been on hold for 1,5 years now which of course has had a major impact on us. The pandemic made it also very clear that you should never focus solely on one business function – especially if your business is in the travel industry. We learned this the hard way and now we have five different functions that we are developing.
Even after some hardships, I still recommend entrepreneurship to all. Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to build a more sustainable future – that is why I hope that being an entrepreneur would be easier in Finland, and that the public sector would promote it as an option more proactively.
Learn more about Beyond Arctic at beyondarctic.com.