Ludvig Sunstrom is a relatively new name in the “self help” world – with “Breaking Out Of Homeostasis” (BOOH) and “The Ultimate Commonplace System” (TUCS) to his name.
The problem with this is that although he’s risen quite rapidly, there is very little reference to him beyond his social media presence (which isn’t actually that prolific) – leading a number of people to become quite curious as to who he is, and – more importantly – what basis his work is published under.
In the world of online promotion – where 12yr olds have the same “reach” as 100+ yr old businesses – it’s vital to actually appreciate WHO you’re dealing with. As we all know, it’s EASY to fake your life on social media… much more difficult to actually live in congruence with what you’re *actually* doing.
This is why I originally reached out to Ludvig, and why I ended up spending 1+ yr working with him on a number of projects (including TUCS 1.0). This article is my honest opinion of him – meant as a reference for anyone looking to do business with him by purchasing his work or reading his website.
Swedish National Living In Stockholm
Ludvig is Swedish and lives in Stockholm.
I don’t know what he does for money, as he does not have regular employment and did not appear to have any commercial clients – at least when I met him.
I met him by discovering his “blog” in 2014. He wrote a number of articles which impressed me, so – like with many people who seem to have things figured out – I contacted him and started talking. As we talked for about 6 months, he invited me to come to Stockholm which I did with my friend/business partner at the time.
When we met him in Stockholm, we didn’t really do very much for most of the week. There were several instances where we met up and did some filming or whatever, but apart from that – there wasn’t much by way of interaction.
However, the one thing that really defined the trip – for me at least – was when he introduced us to a new friend he’d been cultivating a relationship with for some time – Mikael Syding. Syding is a former hedge-fund manager; relatively successful by account – Ludvig had been talking to him just like how I’d been talking to Ludvig.
Anyway, Ludvig had spent the entire day talking to Syding in his apartment in the centre of Stockholm; he invited us in the evening where we were able to discuss everything from business to Napoleon. This was enjoyable for me particularly; the ability to connect with people of such reverence & depth is extremely rare.
What He Actually Does For A Living
I don’t know what he does for a living.
Like many Swedes, he seems to live a life of wistful indulgence mixed with sporadic bouts of “work”. The work he actually does – like many other Swedes – could best be described as humanitarian. For some reason, Swedish people don’t like talking about money, don’t like to kick up a fuss and generally don’t like looking out of place. For all the talk of “contrarianism” that Ludvig espouses, he’s actually a big stickler for “rules”… he just identified different rules to most other people.
Irrespective of that, Ludvig’s primary “asset” when I met him (he’d just graduated university) was a blog called “StartGainingMomentum”. This was started when he was in University and was a blend of his own progress/indulgences and any discoveries he’d made from the massive amounts of “reading” he’d been committing to. This focus on reading is predominantly what attracted me to him – as I’d never really considered the process of growth to be so closely associated with the material you feed your mind. This seems to be where many of his core fans began to appreciate what he had to offer as well.
In 2015 – approximately 1 year after I met him – he began the “25Minuter” podcast with his friend Mikael. The real boon of this was that it was promoted as the “official” podcast of the “TradeVenue (.) se” web community. Mikael’s pedigree as a 10-year hedge fund manager, matched with Ludvig’s potent insights from his reading, and the reach/audience derived from TradeVenue, made the venture immediately successful. It gained around 1,500 listeners after the first episode, a number which grew to around 2,500 for the duration of its existence.
Whilst Ludvig often quotes numbers of 20,000 listeners or 2,000,000 downloads – the simple truth is that the podcast likely had around 1/10th of that number of “real” listeners. I’m not overly concerned with the actual figure; just that several thousand people tuned in each week to listen to what the duo had in store. This is both respectable and a great achievement; considering the podcast was originally done in Swedish.
To this end, I would consider the “podcast” (and its ancillary services) the core of what Ludvig could be described as “doing” with his time for that duration.
25Minuter was continued for 2 years, during that time remaining entirely free of charge.
There was once instance – where I helped – whereby Ludvig utilized the Podcast’s audience to offer TUCS 1.0 (The Ultimate Commonplace System). This was very successful, with over 350 people buying in the first 78 hours. He was also EXTREMELY generous by giving my a portion of the first week’s profits (which I never expected). This highlights a level of generosity which I have found to be RARE – especially in the “professional” world. This was a very endearing gesture on his part.
After TUCS’ release, the duo seems to have become bored with their podcast and decided to “expand” it onto the international stage. At the beginning of 2018, they changed the name (to “Future Skills”) and introduced Oskar Faarkrog into the team to provide more effective back-end work. I was invited to join them but I had my own things to do.
In terms of the next phase – the release of the new podcast was also off the back of Ludvig’s releasing his book “Breaking Out Of Homeostasis” – which became a best-seller on Amazon (where it was released in December 2017 for the Kindle). This book was well-received on Amazon, with over 60 positive reviews. There was one 1* review which appeared to be highlighting the fact that BOOH was not very “actionable” – dealt a LOT with theory and happenstance.
The current standing of Ludvig’s professional persona seems to be that he’s a co-host of the “Future Skills” podcast (with his friend Mikael), an author (of Breaking Out Of Homeostasis) and is putting work into the introduction of a “Risk Management” program for the podcast (video course presented by Syding), as well as releasing the next version of TUCS (2.0).
The reason I decided to write this is actually simple.
One of the MAJOR problems I’ve found with Ludvig’s work – and this should be considered a “warning” for anyone looking to buy from him – is that most of what he does is extremely surface level.
This isn’t a jibe at his persona or anything, but when you consider the “work” that people put out – especially more esoteric offerings such as what he produces (that generally have little-to-no competition), it’s important to consider what you’re actually getting for your time/money.
The projects he works on have a LOT of potential, but just don’t seem to DELIVER on their promises…
TUCS 1.0 could have been a GREAT piece of work – but was too focused on the “mindset” behind “commonplacing” (with various references to Napoleon) to be an effective (actionable) product
BOOH could have been a truly remarkable community-driven experience – but took too much time talking about lots of nonsense with the brain that doesn’t even matter
Future Skills should have been focused on MONEY. The current offer/product is EXTREMELY weak because it doesn’t really offer any one any specific RESULTS that they can attach to the system
TUCS 2.0 will likely be extremely surface level and neglect the PLETHORA of opportunities to really craft a remarkable life by the adoption, development & optimization of SYSTEMS
I think the core of the problem is that Ludvig is happy being a “messenger” for many different ideas; but is presently unable to provide specific (actionable) RESULTS to support everything he espouses.
This lack of results means the products mostly feel UNDERWHELMING.
For example, if you consider that “TUCS” (The Ultimate Commonplace System) was meant to give the reader an insight and perception into the possibilities associated with keeping a “commonplace” – all they got was a paltry PDF file that explained about 2 different “methods” to keep notes – you’d probably appreciate the frustration that I personally felt with it.
The core recommendation I have – as a third party observer & fan of Ludvig’s – is to focus more on the application of the various ideas he espouses.
He originally did this well with his “fasting” + “workout” posts on his blog (which are actually his most popular and very informative); problems arise when you look at the other aspects of what he’s doing – particularly from a “professional” perspective.
I would want to see both more risk-driven and “deeper” products delivered on behalf of his brand. This is only really feasible if he puts himself through a multitude of experience which he may not have had already; perhaps on behalf of businesses or individuals to help improve their brands or some other thing. The point is that rather than putting out quite dry solutions, achieving immersion will be one of the best ways he can achieve a deeper connection with his audience.
Presently, the lack of this depth prevents his products from really inspiring people to really shift their habits. They are great at describing the “process” of attaining certain results – but from an underlying perspective, this doesn’t do very much for the buyer beyond introducing them to a number of new concepts.
Ludvig is generous but in my opinion needs to focus more on the APPLICATION of the ideas he expounds.
It’s very easy to sit down and talk about how things “should” be done, a MUCH different matter to actually build systems, ideas and RESULTS from applying them himself.
To do this, I would ardently recommend he start focusing onto actually basing his observations onto experiences he had himself. Of course, if you don’t have experiences to draw upon, it means you actually have to work on creating them.
If you’re considering buying any of his products, you need to be careful about what you’re expecting to receive, and what you’ll actually get.
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