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Rising Stars: Meet Heikki Talikka

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heikki Talikka.  

Heikki, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My dad was born in Finland, my mom was born in England, and I was born in Houston, Texas. By age 12, I had lived in New York, Florida, West Germany, and Ohio. This diverse, cultural exposure incited my curiosity which never seemed to stay idle.

After college, I moved to San Diego to start my professional career as a project manager. After 14 plus years there, I relocated to downtown Cleveland, OH in March 2020. While the pandemic seemed to disrupt everyone and everything, I used this time to focus on building and focus on what is necessary to truly create a sustainable and successful brand.

Personally, I enjoy golf, books, traveling, the curious things in life, quality time with family & friends, and focusing on how to build a better podcast, consutling practice, and B Corp.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth journey by anymeans.

The last two years included walking away from a 14-year successful career, moving from San Diego to Cleveland during a pandemic, trying to establish a new social circle in a city that’s locked down, and building on a bootstrapped budget.

If life is an Etch-a-Sketch, I basically shook that f*cking thing clean and started over. A huge loss of identity has been experienced; however, this is all part of the happening and I feel pretty good with where I am present.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I spent 14 years as a Project Manager working with government contracting. I’ve worked with many government agencies, and state agencies on infrastructure repair contracts. That was the normal 9 to 5 gig that paid the bills. The project I’m most proud of is the painting and cleaning of the Coronado Bay Bridge. If you haven’t seen this superstructure, Google it. It’s amazing. It was about $20 Million to paint the middle section which was 200′ above water. It involved a lot of coordination, communication, and planning. But we got it done, no one was injured and it won a ton of awards.

My project management capabilities are what I’m most proud of. It doesn’t matter if it’s huge construction projects, podcast production, charity golf fundraisers, or moving across the country. Knowing how to initiate, plan, execute, monitor & control, and close a project, regardless of size, takes a certain level of communication and skill.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Overall, I was self-assured with my own capability but masked it by trying to be the ‘fun kid’ or class clown. Being raised in an Air Force family, I learned about diversity at a very early age and was humbled by the various cultures I experienced.

I played sports growing up, into high school, and college. I had a paper route in 6th grade and have had a job since then.

My family thinks I’m a bit of an over-thinker at times, which can be true. Sometimes. However, I chose a life of travel, not wanting marriage or kids, and have made a career out of ‘thinking’. I just tell them they don’t think enough about things.


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