11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K

11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.KI had the good fortune to hear Kristina Karlson, the founder of global stationery brand kikki.K, speak at the brilliant Big Small Business conference last week. The day was full of incredibly talented and successful people who offered so much wisdom and inspiration.

Kristina was a particular highlight, and she talked us through her story sharing the lessons she has learnt along the way and the life rules she tries to follow as a result.

Kikki.K was born after Kristina was trying to find her perfect career. After making a list of what her ideal career path might look like, she embarked on setting up her home office.  However, she quickly realised she couldn’t get the stylish stationery products she wanted and so kikki.K was born. Her stylish stationery products marry Kristina’s love of Swedish design with helping others fulfil their goals.

She is an incredibly humble and inspiring woman who has a clear vision for her life and business.

11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K

11 life rules Kristina lives by

During her story, she weaved in the 11 life rules she said she tries to live by each and every day, which are just as useful in general life as well as business.

  1. Love what you do – you only get one life, make the most of it.
  2. Set goals – and break these down in to small achievable steps. Each year Kristina sets herself three big goals, and breaks them down into bite-size steps in which to achieve them.
  3. Never say no and don’t take no for an answer –  seize opportunities that come your way and if you want something, make it happen.
  4. Never stop learning – you are never too good or too successful. Everyone can improve.
  5. Work hard, but work smart – don’t focus on to many things. Pick what you need to do to reach your goal and focus on that. Kristina sets aside 1-2 hours of every day to work on her top three goals for the year so she is always working towards them.
  6. Get up early – Kristina wakes at 5am every morning to meditate, journal and exercise and this sets her up for the day ahead.
  7. Surround yourself with great people – don’t spend time with the people who drain your energy or provide a negative influence. Get a mentor; someone who you look up to, who you can bounce ideas off and who can support you in your goals.
  8. Be grateful – regardless of how challenging some days or periods of time are, there is always something to be grateful for.
  9. Be healthy – treat your body like your best friend. Health is important; if you don’t have your health, you don’t have a lot.
  10. Take notes – you won’t remember everything  in life so take notes, look back at them and take action.
  11. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously!

11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K

These life rules are so simple, but I find it very helpful to have them written down and to go through them a bit like a tick list, asking myself:

What am I doing?

What am I not doing?

What do I think I do, but actually in real life don’t do?

Which of these is most important to me to consciously work on?

And which of these would have the greatest impact if I did work on them?

11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K

For me, I think I am good at ensuring I love what I do. After realising life is too short and making a leap of faith which turned out to be the best thing I have done; I now know to trust my gut and follow my dreams. You can read about that chapter of my life in my post about knowing when it is time to make a career change.

I think I am also pretty good and not taking no for an answer, being grateful and having fun.

I am already working on improving my health with a new gym regime that I am actually sticking to (hello second month), and I am currently making a conscious effort to learn more (hence my attendance at Big Small Business).

So, that leaves what I do want to focus on:

Set goals – I think about the goals I want to achieve each year, but I don’t actually write them down, let alone work out the steps I need to do to reach them. They just seem like these big, dream-like ideas that would be good if they happened. Sometimes they do happen, but this might be by more good chance rather than planning and effort.

Work hard but work smart – I am definitely afraid of a little (or a lot) of hard work, but I know I can definitely work smarter. Having goals will help that, as will my tips to be more productive which I shared last week.

Get up early – I am in no way shape or form a morning person and despite people telling me that as I get older I will wake up earlier it doesn’t seem to be coming true for me. I am a notorious repeat snoozer and it makes me so frustrated with myself how much time I waste in doing so. But when I do get up earlier than I need to I feel so great and manage to get things done I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise which puts me in such good stead for the day.

11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K

What do you think?

Do you think these are good life rules to live by? I’d love to know if you have any others, or which ones of Kristina’s you are rocking and which ones you need to focus more on. Leave me a comment below.

Habits notebook from kikki.K

I also love this notebook and this one both of which would help working towards these life rules.



  1. April 20, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I was so inspired by Kristina, she my role model and a formidable woman. I’m going to try to use her life rules in the way that you do. Great post, thank you for sharing x

    • greeneyed
      April 20, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Wasn’t she just amazing! 🙂

  2. May 28, 2017 / 8:55 am

    I really enjoyed this post, those life rules are fab. I too do a few of them, but in no means all of them! Im a procrastinator so these lessons could certainly help me!

    • greeneyed
      May 28, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Hi Kerry-oh I know, I need to implement some more of them in my life too! So glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 xx

  3. Tracey
    June 10, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I keep coming coming back again and again to this post. It helps me so very much in my life.
    Since using yours and Kristinas ways i have definately not only become more organised but less stressed.
    Thank you x

    • greeneyed
      June 10, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      I know, I need to come back to it every now and again to remind myself too 🙂 so glad you’ve found it useful xxx

  4. Hayley Atkinson
    August 26, 2019 / 9:15 pm

    What an absolutely fantastic site and blog, i love it!!! Claire you have super inspired me, im 35 and wanted to be an interior designer/stylist for as long as i can remember. How to become an interior designer without formal education has given me the push i needed to believe in myself and get cracking! I will without a doubt be on here a lot and look forward to all your blogs and stories. Thank you for the inspiration xx

    • greeneyed
      August 30, 2019 / 5:02 pm

      Hi Hayley,

      Aaah this is SO lovely to hear! Thank you so much and I am cheerleading you on!

      Claire x