Plecto’s purpose is to promote an active and hard-working attitude and then owning your success. For this reason, we constantly search for inspirational stories that can motivate our users to do better day by day.
For our first interview, we wanted to have someone special whose life experiences represent that with the correct mindset, everything is possible.
That’s why we are glad to introduce you to our Success Story of the month: Peter Haahr!
1. Who is Peter Haahr?
I’m 36, living south of Aarhus with my family, wife and two boys (3 & 6) in a small town. Peace and quiet, birds singing, great neighbors. Currently helping the 4th fastest SaaS startup to expand internationally and grow the Danish team and brand. When I’m not working, I dig holes in my garden and build stuff with my hands or go Kite-surfing.
2. What about your younger years?
I grew up with my two older brothers and mother. My dad left before I turned 1. I started my entrepreneurial career selling lemonade, cherries and peas from our garden at local events. I have always been able to make 1 crown into 2. I always had a job as well. Bike-smith, baker assistant, grocery, truck-driver and many other jobs.
But in my younger years, life took a turn when I hit my teenage years and ended up with the wrong people. Unfortunately, I spent many years and energy in the wrong place and ended up dealing drugs, entering a local gang and finally had to go to prison for 2 months. This was not me, I was not proud of the direction my life was in. My family helped me turned it around, I got a lot of help sorting my head out. I bought a ticket for South America, back-packed 12 months, worked my way around for 5 dollars a day.
"Let the past stay in the past and leave it there, not controlling your possibilities to achieve what you want"
3. Did you get any learnings from those days that you still use today?
Letting the past stay in the past and leave it there, not controlling your possibilities to achieve what you want. Letting go of pain and the feeling of neglect and truly, almost biblically, forgive the people in your life that you hold a grudge against. It will set you free and give you endless opportunities in life.
4. What has your career path been like through the years?
My career path is absolutely weird. I started being an entrepreneur as a kid. Then having multiple jobs until I started street-husting.
Then, finally, I took a teacher’s degree before ending up as an entrepreneur again when I turned 28. At that time, I founded my first legal entity and company, Intempus, where I built the commercial relations, internal operations and sales team - without any prior professional experience. Now I just exited Intempus and I’m growing and developing my professional self with GetAccept, which is the coolest company I have ever worked at. But also the first and only one that I did not build myself.
5. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made throughout your career?
Giving my co-founder and the business angels an opportunity to fire me.
I got in a brawl while playing football at a team retreat. A drunk employee tackled me, then pushed me and then I snapped and grabbed him and threatened him not to that again… or else! Hah - I can't help laughing. I just knew at that moment that I fucked up and that the street had caught up with me.
Feels pretty damn stupid now as we had just made that crucial breakeven point and were on a growth journey. But then again - things had turned out really bad between me and my co-founder and we were fighting openly internally, which was bad for everyone.
I am in such a better place now. Taking my career to the next level, because learning how to scale with my old company was challenging to achieve. So we parted ways in an, unfortunately, unnecessary bad way. I wish it hadn’t gone like that.
6. What brought you to being Sales Director at GetAccept?
Network and dedication, and that I got fired from my old company from one day to another. I was not ready to kick off a new company now that I have kids. So I planned to grow my network, grow my experience and knowledge in a more interesting space, sales and sales enablement.
7. What do you like the most about being Sales Director?
It has always been about the team and growing something from zero. As the Sales Director at GetAccept, I get to be an entrepreneur and learn how to structure and align our Danish entity with the Swedish, while giving them feedback on how we succeed in Denmark as fast as possible.
"I have seen and gone through the toughest of times and no matter what, I always see the bright side of life"
8. What is your motto in life?
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Like getting fired from your own startup. I have seen and gone through the toughest of times and no matter what, I always see the bright side of life. (Monty Python, gotta love these guys)
9. How does a normal weekday look like in Peter Haahr’s life?
I get up at 6, the kids are already up playing with my old Matchbox toy cars, they enjoy the Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini Countach, and Ford Mustang a lot. Then I make me and my wife a cup of coffee with loads of milk - no fancy espresso machine - yet. Then I do a 10-15 minutes work-out to strengthen my back and neck. Afterward, we eat breakfast and I normally hit the bike and ride the 13km to our office downtown Aarhus.
In these Corona times instead, I enter the home-office that we’ve established in our basement. Normally, I would work until 5-ish, but at the moment I have to take care of the kids from 12 - which makes these days super hard, as I then need to work every evening to catch up on all the stuff that happens during the day.
I also try to find some time to slowly establish my other private businesses, which are Growth&sales consulting, Public speaking & podcasting, Collector cars, and Real Estate investments - which is boring right now, because prices are high - but let’s see how things look at the other end of Coronavirus - then that might get a little bit more interesting.
10. If you had the opportunity, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t think you have to experience everything yourself. You can learn from people that are older and wiser than you. And Pete - no need to try and prove yourself all the time - you are as good as you should be. But keep the energy high buddy, and trust in your self.
11. And what is the best advice you’d share with someone that wants to follow your footsteps?
Don’t - there is absolutely no reason to make (all) the mistakes I’ve made. But stay positive and optimistic, and believe in yourself. Add all your energy to positive activities and know when not to. Accept that and yourself - and go do what you love. But not like I did - do it better!
"Add all your energy to positive activities and know when not to. Accept that and yourself - and go do what you love"
As a Plecto user…
12. How has Plecto helped you with the company’s day-to-day?
I grew Intempus from Plecto’s office in the early days. Getting our KPI’s visualized from our brand new Pipedrive CRM completely changed our game and company. We started focusing on what mattered and it motivated us to work harder and more.
I still hold the record for most demos booked in a week and most demos completed - I think it was 35 demos or so completed in a week - almost six in a day, in-human! I remember power-napping between demos on the floor. And the price we gave ourselves, me and the sales-guys: A PS4 and Fifa16!