Exploring Identity Shifts: Golf, Mindsets & Big Life Changes

Do you ever look back and wonder…who WAS I back then?

I evaluate my own identity evolution in the latest Scaling Life episode. 

Though my core values stay steady, my interests, confidence, and goals have changed tremendously through the decades. Having kids reshaped my sense of self overnight. Now they’re leaving the nest, triggering a whole new identity shift. Even taking up golf in my forties expanded my definition of who I can be.

I share openly about these transitions in my sense of self – join me on this reflective journey!

Have you experienced an identity shift that changed your direction? Let me know! I’d love to hear your growth stories…self-discovery is a lifelong adventure.  

Listen now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so we can evolve together!


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Maria: [00:00:00] In this episode of Scaling Life, Peter Erik is revealing some of his addicted personality traits. We are talking about golfing, identity, midlife crisis, and moving houses. Enjoy! ​ ​ Maria: Tell me about the decision why did you start playing golf? Petter Erik: 20 years ago, some friends of me started to play golf. And then I was so into being an entrepreneur and drinking alcohol and partying. So I was thinking, like, I can’t get addicted to one more thing. And I also figured out that my friends who was playing golf, they used, like, Four, five, ten, twenty hours per week and I didn’t see how I can do it. And I know I have an addicted personality So when I start on something I get addicted to the same thing. No, I’m not been drinking alcohol for over a year No, I’m addicted to not drink alcohol. And if I [00:01:00] start again, I will be addicted to that. So there is no middle in my life that was why I didn’t start before but then we moved to vietnam and we got some friends there some australian friends and also from England and there is so many that are playing golf. And they start to ask us, when are we going to start to play golf? And really pushed us to do it. And then we had a plan to start under Covid. we bought a package Mm-Hmm. And the day was going to start, they closed the border with, uh, where the golf course was. So we couldn’t go there. And then we waited two more years and then we started I really don’t know who is most addicted now because I think you are more addicted than me So so even but no and then I figure out that I want to play a tournament Because I want to challenge myself and I know I will be The last one in the tournament. I know I will the worst player But I have a goal that it will be won behind me. So that’s my goal for the tournament. So, for me, it’s more, it’s more fun to play golf and I have something to look forward [00:02:00] to. That’s everything in life. I need to have a goal. I need to have something with it. And that’s that. So, so what about you? Why did you start to play golf? Honestly, Maria: I don’t know. When I thought about this episode, I thought it would be about golf and identity. And I think for me, that’s a really interesting, um, like connection. Because. I honestly when I grew up, I didn’t know anyone that played golf. I thought it was like a very super snobby thing to do. And I was really, really, really, really skeptical. And I was definitely not defining myself as a golf player. And then I remember the first time we had like this, this PT sessions in school where one of my classmates were supposed to kind of arrange, um, a PT session. And what happened was he took us to a golf course and we were on the driving range and, and trying to hit the balls. And I found it so fun. And I was so surprised because I was like, I still had this idea that it was. super snobby and then I didn’t do it for a long long long long time and I [00:03:00] just I think I came to this point as you say with so many of our friends playing um and also thinking about like an activity that we can do for the rest of our lives because it’s actually physically challenging, but it’s not so physically challenging. Like we see people that are 70, 80, 90 even years old that, that can still play. So I thought for me, that’s, it’s kind of some kind of longterm investment now in something that I can, that I can do. And then when I started to play golf, as you say, like I just found it to be super, super, super fun. And now maybe, maybe, maybe I’m addicted to it, but I think it’s a good addiction because we are actually out. We can, play, we can drill, we can talk more about that, because I think that’s one of the most challenging thing is just the kind of how many times you have to repeat the exact same movement to get it right. One of my other things is this just driving around in the in the golf car Here in asia we have like everyone has their own caddy and we have a golf golf car so we can just drive around on the on the golf course in the car and i love that and [00:04:00] i think sometimes i think you think it’s like a go kart but it goes really slow so always trying to push it i think it’s super Petter Erik: mario i’m thinking like it’s a super mario car yes it’s a little bit slow but i sometimes i hope that i think i could just And Maria: then we got to do spend time together. Petter Erik: for me also, it’s, um, it’s back to, doing something different than working, um, because it’s so hard, um, I talked about it before, but I got this concept, uh, or. I’ve got more and more, uh, read books about entrepreneurship and read books about how to succeed. And it’s also good to have more breaks. And I didn’t have that for many hours. I was just working, working, working, working. I didn’t have anything more to do. So taking more care of myself, but also have something that get my brain out of it. And, um, is it before skiing is one thing, but also when I’m playing golf, I’m so focused on that. So I don’t think about, other things with work and all this thing. And I think that’s also make me like a better person. [00:05:00] Businessman or a better entrepreneur to just have other things to do And I know that so many entrepreneurs are saying to me like I don’t have time to do anything and I don’t think that’s right you can just need to pull in time and you will be at least I believe that I get more successful with doing other things and Having that and also like you said doing something else together when we are working together and not Talk about work then we’re talking about golf Maria: As you say, it’s kind of funny because we actually find like even 15 hours per week to play golf and those hours I didn’t even know that I had them and it is all about prioritization And it’s fun because when we are doing those things, and for example, when we’re playing a game in the morning, so we’re six, like, we’re playing from seven to twelve, and then we come home and we go to work, and then I’m more, much more effective, because I have been out, because I have been doing something else. I have not been thinking about work. And I think sometimes we, as you say, we tend to [00:06:00] think that Like entrepreneurship, it’s just about sitting there and kind of crazy working and putting in all the hours. And, and almost, I feel like I’m doing as much per week now as I did before. I’m just having more time to do other things as well, Let’s talk about the discipline, like the practice of doing the same movement and the swing and the setup again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Petter Erik: In the start, I hated it. Just so boring. It’s like why should I do this? I mean if especially when you do something that you don’t Get result from you’re just failing failing failing failing. I have the same thing when i’m playing tennis i’m, just failing failing failing failing, but We’ve come to a point that you see you get better. think it’s a lesson for many things in life that we are If things are not working, we are just jumping to the next thing jumping to next thing and jumping to next thing for me, it is a really good metaphor to when I coach people and mentoring people now I use that like a metaphor because there’s so many like Oh, I want to make a new product or I need to do that and it’s the same thing Oh, I want to try to change the [00:07:00] swing Oh, I want to try another club or I want to do this or or even just giving up. So So this discipline thing, doing the same thing again again is the same thing we’re talking with our clients, like you need to do the same webinar again and again and again, but people want to change it. It’s the same thing with, yeah, cool. Maria: I find it surprising and also actually fun to realize how much just comes from the tiny details of the setting up and for the, and the, like the technique, like one of our friends said. Maria, you’re going to be better and better quickly because, because men thinks about like the power, but it isn’t really about the power. It is about the technique. I haven’t gotten better than you, but, but it’s, it’s more about just doing all the small details and really focusing. And I find it’s a mental game as well. It’s, it’s a very mental game actually, because both the, the persistence of like doing the same setup and paying attention to all the details. And then if you have like a bad, bad hit, then you [00:08:00] have to set up again and not go into this like, ah, and, and kind of give up or, or not pay attention because then it’s not just going to be, be bad. And for me, I find like, every time when we play an 18 0 game, like around hole nine or the ninth hole, Usually that’s when I start getting hungry and mentally tired. so I find it like always when I, when I come to like around a whole nine and 10, I really need to be on top of my mental game because otherwise I will have this, this, one of these, um, games where I just, like, I use like however many shots to get to get the ball in the hole. And that’s because I kind of lose that focus. I think it’s really, it’s really a good exercise on, on, um, On keeping myself focused. And I do think that that’s just just concentration. It requires It’s actually a different type of concentrations from other sports I’ve been doing. I It’s probably a lot of concentration and kind of focus and details [00:09:00] and other sports as well. But in golf, it’s gotten super, super visible for me, or I’ve been so focused on it also because our trainer is like, it is about doing the same thing, like many, many, many times and keep keeping the focus. yeah, so I think I’m, I’m taking that focus and concentration, I’m practicing the focus and concentration and it actually affects my, my work. Petter Erik: And it’s also another lesson that, uh, I think I’m a lot of, and also you with your new personal development course, you have an exercise about this, but this. Competing with yourself instead of competing with others because golf is really like you’re competing with your own handicap, but that’s also whatever you are doing if you are running if you are Skiing, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re selling, if you are doing copywriting, if there is something it’s all about to competing, of course you can compete with others, but just first compete with yourself, like, be better, be a better person, and take it to the next level, and that’s really easy when you have a handicap, but I think so many are [00:10:00] just looking for other people and what they’re doing and trying to compete with them, and they get sad, or they feel like nothing is working instead of competing with self and, and, and I like that concept. I’m always competing with myself. Um, even with work, I’m always trying to be better, of course there is an inspiration to compete with others also, but most of all see that we are improving. Maria: So, so let’s talk about identity because for me, as I said, When I grew up or like the first time I tried golf for for many years, I thought this is something that I won’t be doing. And it’s not for me. like it was my identity around who I was and what golf was. And, and now I’m actually doing it and I’m having fun with it. And I can even envision me doing it this for the rest of my life. and so I had this also because I’m working, working on the personal development program. I had this exercise with people where they kind of identifying who they are or, or, or writing down who they are. And I have this realization that humans, and I think you, and I think other entrepreneurs, like we change identity quite a lot. We, we aren’t [00:11:00] the people, we aren’t the same person as we were like a few years ago. And, and I just realized this for myself and it’s actually interesting and a bit surprising because I thought at some point that identity was, was kind of very, Set or it was very stiff or it was kind of I was the person I was and I and I’m I’m kind of happy to to discover that that isn’t so and that I always have the chance to to change you have changed through the years we work together like you’ve been you said you’ve been workaholic like you’re having addicted personality. So you kind of go from from one side to the other. Do you ever reflect on like how your identity is changing? Petter Erik: Maybe it’s my identity, but I look at I am more confident in myself So I think also that was a part that I didn’t start to play golf because I think oh, hi I’m so bad. Everyone will beat me. But no, no, I just don’t care. I think that’s uh, kind of also why i’m trying more things now that I think was Not scary, but I didn’t feel comfortable because I’m not like really a sports [00:12:00] talent And so but now I am more about trying out things and I don’t Care so much that uh, someone is better than myself and uh, that’s like you said it’s more about competing with myself see that i’m improving instead of Looking at other and thinking like oh you think i’m bad in golf or you think i’m not good in golf or you don’t think i’m good in that or Because i’m doing my best and i’m happy with that. So so maybe say identity, but I also think is something with life experience And don’t Looking at what others are thinking so much, and, uh, just be there. Because it’s all about to be a human and being there. So no one, no one are laughing because I’m not good at something. I’m just the best version of myself. so it could be identity, but I also think about, uh, Trying new things and I think both of us have done so much personal development and every if you read a book about personal development or um, business development and it’s all about to try out new things that you think will not [00:13:00] work out for you or your company. And that’s kind of a mindset I get over here. I need to try out new things. I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I got this aha moment for myself and I saw a lot of older people than me and started to Talk about how old they are and what they cannot do when they get older and I figured out I don’t want to be That person. I think it’s all about to be in the books the a4 books or like if you If you get older and you are In the books, I think the books get smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller if you’re not challenging it and that’s something that Are really important for me I always need to challenge myself every year with something I feel is uncomfortable something I don’t think i’m good at something that and it could be doesn’t need to be sport It could be everything in life. It could be something else also. So if I i’m doing that every year, I think I will be have an open mind when i’m 80 Do much more fun stuff when I older Maria: yeah, I’m thinking about what you say about identity that that you are getting more confident and also more willing to [00:14:00] try things that You you don’t really think that you may be going to be super successful at but you’re still doing it And I think that’s that’s part of Doing all the personal development and growing as a person and being willing to go out of comfort zone for me at least I, I kind of I have a much more open definition of myself and it’s not like my identity. I think before when I was like 25 I feel like my identity was super fixed or I had these thoughts about who I was and I felt like it was very set. But now I feel like But I can choose every day and I can choose to be a golfer, even if I want to, and it’s, it’s really nice to, to not take it so seriously. You very often also say that entrepreneurship is a game and I feel like sometimes being here on earth and living a life, like it’s a game and we can, We can choose every day how we show up and what we do and who we are and it’s like it’s like my sons play these these video games and they can They can change the outfit like one day they have like this type of hair and the other day They had like long hair and then then they had like a wool [00:15:00] Face mask something and then they have a cape and it’s like every every day. They’re changing Uh how they look and I actually do think that we can change our identities or we can Take the role of what is needed and just being more flexible with that and having fun with it and not taking it super seriously. I’m like, I have to be the best, best golfer there is because that would never happen. Then we like, then I wouldn’t have started. It’s just having fun with seeing what happens. Petter Erik: So what do you think is the biggest change for you over the last 10 years? Maria: I feel like one of the things that I’m, I’m teaching in this personal development course, for example, is the, is the self confidence or the, or the, like I call it an unwavering self confidence or something like that. And, and it’s, um, just knowing that I’m going to be okay and that I am okay. Even if I fail, or if I say something wrong, or if things doesn’t go as planned, or if I make a fool of myself, or I’m not good at golf or, uh, whatever. And just kind of owning that [00:16:00] humanness and, and that makes me so much more relaxed. Like I’ve been such a control freak for, for a big part of my life. And I feel like the last few years and even the last months like I’m, I’m just allowing things to happen and allowing myself to be myself and just, Not kind of freak out so much about the process or the result and that’s actually much more Relaxing and it’s much more fun because now I’m exploring and I’m on this journey Did you answer that question what you changed most in the last 10 years Petter Erik: If there is a belief I have changed is that I didn’t do so much workout or training or take care of my body and health and eating habits and all this thing. But I don’t know if it was because we moved to Vietnam, but I think the journey started there. I was doing some workout before, but it started to be more regular. Um, I also did the 75 hard for a couple of years ago. I was thinking this morning that maybe I should do it again, because now I’m fitter and I have. was last time, so maybe I get better [00:17:00] result now. so 75R, it’s, uh, it’s Andy Frisella who have made a challenge that they call mental toughness. And it’s a challenge where you’re going to work out two times a day, 45 minutes for 75 days. I’m going to drink four liter with water, going to No Maria: alcohol, be on a diet, or eat No Petter Erik: alcohol, being on a diet, no sugar, I think that’s all. I’m only going to do that for 75 days. The first time I tried it, I made it for 18 days. And the point is, like, if you don’t drink 4 liters of water one day, even if you have done all the other things, you need to fail, and you can start again. There is an app also, it’s free. And I did it again, and I think I got to 25 days. And then I failed again. And I started again. So it took me 75 plus 25 plus 18 days. So I was actually almost doing it for one half month before I get through it. But, um, but after that, it’s also about the habit because I saw that how good it was [00:18:00] to cut out sugar, how good it was to work out two times a day. Uh, and I think I, The biggest thing with that is to doing some extreme thing is that you change. And right now you’re also doing a challenge. You can talk about that. Maria: Yes, I’m doing a week challenge, uh, which is called the hell week and I’m up at 5 a. m. also exercising hard every day and Doing some morning routines is actually really nice. This morning I was out on the on the beach when the sun was up, was coming up and I was really nice. And I thought I should do this every day. like the point of these challenges is, is to kind of go extreme for a while for like a short while. I’m also into five days much longer than a week, but to kind of prove for yourself that you actually can do things and also get a taste of how it is to actually be. Go to the extreme. And I think that’s, that’s the really useful learning of it is like, wow, I, like, I don’t have a problem of going up at 5am in the morning for a week and, and really like, still, I can still focus on work and I can still get things done. And I can still, [00:19:00] and I can exercise really hard every day. And I’m still like, my body isn’t cracking down or kind of failing me. And I’m strong enough to do that. And that’s, that’s both physically and mentally challenging. And that’s when. You see that you can do things that you maybe didn’t think you could before. Petter Erik: And also, like you said before, you can find time for it. Because so many say, I also do that. How can I find two times, like two hours per day to do workout or train or do something because I’m working so much. But when you start to just decide to do it, you find time. It’s like golf is like everything else. And someone says like, oh, I’m so busy, but I think many people are busy because they’re thinking too much That’s my thing. I think the busyness is more in the head and really actually doing stuff. Yeah, if you do other activities or other and work or If you are entrepreneur other and do being an entrepreneur if you do other things, I also say Or I know for myself that I got more effective. I can do the same. I know that you say [00:20:00] sometimes, Oh, Petraeus, you’re working too much. But I know that for four years ago, I had more hours in the calendar to work. Uh, it’s just like now I start the day later. So, and I feel like I’m doing the same. I’m doing the same for the time. It’s also the same. I’m like, I’m too busy. Saying to myself, someone after saying, Oh, I work 12 hours every day. Yeah, but then it’s something wrong because you can do the job on eight hours. I think that’s something that all of us can look at. It’s not about to work more. It’s to do things and do more of the most important thing in a shorter time. I think that’s all in life. If you do that, you get more happy and you get more success and you have a healthy And we’re also in a big change with a lot of things in our life now. And that’s also maybe affect our identity, because Sigurd is moving out, he’s starting on university. Vemund got older, he’s uh, he got a girlfriend, so we’re almost not seeing anymore. I think it’s more about you, how you, how your life changed [00:21:00] when your kids are growing up. Maria: I actually saw a reel on Facebook the other day that was about How teenage parents aren’t prepared for the sadness of their kids growing up. And I’m almost crying when I say it because it’s, I knew it would come, but it is so sad isn’t the right, the right word because it isn’t really sad. I’m super happy to see them become adults and to take responsibility and to take good, make good choices. And I’m really proud of myself, but it is really weird when you have. Kind of taken someone from tiny baby, even like in my belly. And now they’re just taller than me and they’re moving out. it’s a great opportunity. And also it’s so, so it’s, it’s definitely related to, to my identity because I’ve been identifying as a mom. if you ask me, like, who are you? I would say mom very quickly. and I probably still will, but now, because they are moving out, It’s freeing up space, it’s freeing up [00:22:00] for me to, to do other things, to focus on other things, to have other choices. And it is really interesting to, to be in that phase and, and because it’s a transition. And then on top of that, you were going to say something? Petter Erik: No, Maria: no, no. we’re moving houses or to going to talk about that. I don’t know. No, Petter Erik: that was you to talk about that . uh, we are. Had the same house for almost four years and now we are moving to another place And and I also think I don’t know if it’s identity, but we have different needs and thoughts about and what we’re looking for Or maybe not but some part of us we are I don’t think we are not agreeing, but we have different needs and that’s also kind of our identity So when you are moving house, what are what what is the most important thing for you? Maria: That it feels nice. It feels like a home. We’ve been talking about this in previous episodes about like for me when we uprooted from Norway came here. [00:23:00] My whole concept of like home and belonging and and things were shaking and when and I think that’s why I also feel super vulnerable every time we’re actually moving houses because I I feel like there’s some kind of Kind of support system in having a base and having a, a place where my things are and where I know, and where I kind of, where my bed is , where I can sleep and where I can rest and where I can be safe. And, um, and where the people that I love can spend time and, and, uh, the most important things when, when you ask the question now, I feel like it has to feel like a home. It has to feel supportive and safe and cozy and, Yeah, I think that’s the actually most important thing. That’s a Petter Erik: lot of word and I don’t understand what you mean with it. It’s like cozy, safe, uh, uh, that’s, it’s hard for me to go out and say, oh, is this a house? A house? Because it’s a house we’re looking for. Is this a home? Yeah, we’re looking for a home. So, so what do you mean with Maria: So homestay in Vietnam is basically this concept of, [00:24:00] like, a family living in a home and then they’re renting out rooms. So it’s, it’s, it’s kind of a. Basic hotel, so the most of the home stamps, like they have numbers on the rooms and, you can come in from, from the garden and, and go directly into the, into the room. And I, I’m looking for something that is just, feels more contained I think. And I think maybe that’s, it has a lot to do with energy. It has to do with, with. My need to maybe have like a space for our family or or, a space to kind of hold what we’re doing. we have our offices also in our house. even like having the office and the And the rooms were living in in that same house. And there’s something about like, the containing of the energy of that, for some reason, I feel that that’s important. And I don’t know if I can explain it to you, because you’re not so into all this energy stuff that I’m talking about. Do you get what I’m saying? Yeah. And what is what is important to you? Petter Erik: I always want to upper the game. Yeah. So it need to be as Better than the previous Maria: one. Petter Erik: Better than the [00:25:00] previous one. If not, I am feeling like I’m on the way to die. So if I find a house that are lower, range of how how nice is I think it’s all about the waking up in the morning and feeling inspired up here. I want to stay also because we are I’m working from home the most time. So it’s something I need to get inspired. I’m working with sales. I’m working with entrepreneurship. I need to just feel good, good about it. If I see something that are Falling apart. I’m not detail oriented, but I get really frustrated if I see Something that are not matching in the house how it was built And it need to be style and another thing I need space I know that we have some discussion about we are not going to spend too much Money to rent a house, but I also need space. It need to be many rooms. It need to be space It can’t be if I feel locked in I just feel like i’m not jail and I don’t want to have that feeling I need to have openness and yeah, and uh, I know many of our friends like why do you I are looking for so big house And it’s all about yeah, but i’m working there i’m living there [00:26:00] and also need to wake up and feel happy and You know Good about things so Maria: So one of the things I, I find fascinating and kind of as a good opportunity is that we don’t own a house. So there’s, there’s like many reasons, but now because we’re, we’re here and it’s not easy for foreigners to own a house in, in Vietnam. Um, we are renting and, and of course that, that’s kind threatening to my need to really root and feel like this is safe and this is my home, but also it’s, it’s a good opportunity. As you say, we actually have the chance to, to upgrade and to look for something bigger or better, or, or kind of adjust our needs. And I feel like one of the things that has happened with all our move, moving houses was, you because the kids grew, because we grew as people, because our company grew, because we, our needs changed. Maybe our identity changed. We also kind of needed a different kind of house because the first house was, was great for a while. And then we were like, we just, this isn’t kind of, we need something that can kind of grow with us or, or we are, we are developing [00:27:00] ourselves so much. And I think that’s one of the super interesting things about being an entrepreneur is, is how we develop. our personalities, how we develop our skills, how we, we see that more is possible and, and we grow like our expectations or our wants at the same time. so I think it’s a, it’s a good opportunity to, to be in this phase where even if it’s a bit scary and uprooting, it’s, it’s really good to, to really go inside and think about what do I want and what do I need and what. Are our needs together as a family as well. Petter Erik: what is my biggest challenge with that is like we are in a place that we want to invest and we want to have, uh, and I know that we have this discussion about it, but I also there. I just figured out over the time I lived that the more you own, the more problems you get. So I always have this discussion with myself when we talk about investing in or building our own house, it’s like, yeah, but then we are more like set. Then we’re like, okay, of course we can [00:28:00] sell it, but we just have something we need to take care of. Now it’s really easy for us. To move on if we want to do that we get more freedom. Maybe we want to move to another country Maybe we want to do something else and that’s also it’s easier to just leave when we don’t own it So but that’s something are going on in my head all the time. Maybe it’s identity problem Maria: So my, my son called this the mid midlife crisis that we started to play golf, so maybe it’s an identity thing. Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think so.

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Business Strategist and Visionary

Petter Erik Nyvoll has worked in sales and has been an entrepreneur for 20 years. He has sold courses and conferences, sponsor packages, consulting services, shares, investment opportunities, telephone and server solutions, ads, exclusive memberships, and network marketing products.

He loves to keep up with what’s happening in sales and marketing around the world, is continuously testing new marketing strategies by himself and helps online entrepreneurs implement new sales and marketing strategies. He is well known for challenging his clients to double their price , to think creatively and to break out of their comfort zone!