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Today we have Jon Olafsson, co-founder of Icelandic Water Holdings. He has spent the last 30 years building successful companies from the ground up and transforming them into industry leaders and he has done this in a variety of fields including entertainment, media, construction and many more. Jon started to build a media and broadcasting portfolio when he founded Skifan, Iceland’s largest music recording and distribution company with distributing rights for a variety of music and film companies such as Sony, Universal, Warner Music, Columbia Pictures, Miramax, 20th Century Fox and more. Jon co-founded the Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), before moving into television in 1990, when he took over the Icelandic Television Corporation (ITC). In 1999, Jon merged all of his companies (Skifan and IBC) under one umbrella to form Northern Lights Communications, Inc. (NLC) – Olafsson served as chairman until November 2003 when he sold everything and stepped down to co-found Icelandic Water Holdings with his son in 2004. Jon oversees Icelandic Glacial water which is born and bottled in Ölfus, Iceland. It is the world’s first certified CarbonNeutral® natural spring bottled water for both product and operations. Which means it is an environmental pioneer in the industry, using 100% natural green energy in the form of geothermal and hydroelectric power to fuel production.



Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [1:15] Jeremy introduces his guest, Jon Olafsson.
  • [3:00] The hardest aspect of the bottled water industry.
  • [6:00] Jon talks about competition and how his brand is faring in the US.
  • [9:30] What was it like to start building a team from the ground up?
  • [13:30] One of the lowest moments in business so far.
  • [15:00] A proud moment in business for Jon.
  • [16:20] Why you should check out Iceland’s premier music festival.

In this episode…

What does it take to challenge the big corporate bottled water brands and create a new offering that connects with people? Can a startup product like Icelandic Glacial water really challenge the big guys and make a difference? On this episode of Inspired Insider, you’ll hear from seasoned business leader and entrepreneur Jon Olafsson. In his conversation with Jeremy, Jon explains how Icelandic Glacial has expanded recently, why they’ve enjoyed so much success, how they deal with competitors, what it’s like building a team from scratch, and so much more! You don’t want to miss a minute of this engaging and informative episode featuring Jon!

How does a business leader from Iceland land a substantial arrangement to sell their bottled Icelandic water in partnership with a giant in the beverage industry like Anheuser Busch? According to Jon Olafsson, it all comes down to relationships, timing, and the quality of the product. Jon and his son were fortunate enough to make the right connections and get a meeting with executives at Anheuser Busch at the precise moment when they were exploring partnerships with bottled water brands. The quality of Icelandic Glacial water made such a strong impression on the executives that they ended up canceling all of their other meetings with bottled water brands and decided to go with Jon and his son. Hear more of Jon’s story and the growth of his brand by listening to this fascinating episode of Inspired Insider!

Can you imagine how difficult it would be to build a successful team from scratch? That’s exactly what Jon and his son had to do when they started Icelandic Water Holdings! On this episode of Inspired Insider, you’ll hear from Jon as he explains how he built his bottled water brand and competed with some of the heavy hitters in his industry. While it wasn’t always easy, Jon knew that if he wanted to build a brand that would go the distance and make a name for itself, he’d have to find top-tier leaders who could help him get across the finish line. Discover what worked and what didn’t for Jon and his team as they led Icelandic Water Holdings to increased exposure and lucrative partnerships over their 10 plus year run by listening to this episode, you don’t’ want to miss it!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Sponsor for this episode

Rise25 is where entrepreneurs of 6,7, and 8 figure businesses come together live and in person every few months to solve their biggest business challenges through this high-level Mastermind group. Each member leaves each week with lifelong friendships and actionable steps to take their business to the next level. Check out – a group run by myself and cofounder John Corcoran. Rise 25 is application only.

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