On June 5th Future Female hosted the Future Female Goes Buusti at Codento’s office in downtown Helsinki. The event was focused on the Buusti concept, which is all about taking success stories as a basis for clear and practical peer mentoring. Karoliina Luoto and Eeva Rahikka led the discussion, starting with an introduction to Buusti.

Karoliina and Eeva

The concept was born in 2012, when Karoliina and Eeva first got in contact through common friends. At that time, they found themselves worn by the useful but consuming continuous development mode shared by many organizations. The negative frame of mind which it implicates felt to secretly drag them down.

What if instead of focusing on the improving through mistakes we would focus on the improving though focusing on successes? To make this shift easier, they gathered with 6 other friends and started a group discussion with only one rule: Instead of mulling over things that went wrong, they’d analyze things that went well. Everyone would share success stories from the last quarter, and together they’d start figuring out the points that contributed to that success, and finding ways to replicate it.

The experiment motivated them so much that the group started meeting every quarter. They decided to call the concept Buusti – (Finnish for “boost”). It’s been going strong for 6 years, and it keeps growing organically. Eeva has even started applying the Buusti concept at work. She now starts every weekly meeting by encouraging her colleagues to share a success story. It never fails to set a productive and positive tone to the discussion.

“Tell me your success story!”

To help every woman at the Future Female event start experimenting with the Buusti concept, Karoliina and Eeva asked the group to share their recent success stories. This motivated everyone to speak out, and served as a powerful reminder that success can come in all shapes and sizes.The flipchart in the center of the circle was quickly filled with bright post-it notes that brought up the evening’s main topics:

Relativity: Success is a path and not just a destination

Dedication: Success doesn’t necessarily come from setting the right goals. Setting smart goals with an attainable scale can be a better way to get on the success path

  • Celebration:
    • Negativity is hardwired in many work environments, and celebrating success is a way to counter it and make work more positive. To take a closer approach to each topic, the women divided into 3 groups. Each group member then had 10 minutes to present a success story related to the topic and answer questions about it.
  • Relativity
    • This group brought up the importance of joining forces to get a more clear understanding of big targets. Many of their stories also pointed out the fact that not all success is work related. Whether the goal is to find purpose, bring on a culture change, educate others or promote collaboration, it’s always important to keep nourishing ourselves and keep our health in check.
  • Dedication
    • This group shared the impression that success can often be a lengthy path. Not everything along that path is down to luck. Learning is another key element to take into account.

With challenges as varied as keeping customers informed and happy, creating a startup, or moving to a new country, it’s vital to be systematic and keep energy levels up.

This group’s stories touched upon the courage it takes to look beyond uncertainty and leap into something different. A new passion or interest can help escape feelings of disappointment and disenchantment, so it should always be celebrated. Reaching new educational milestones, starting out in a new line of work and tackling business responsibilities can be an opportunity to leave things better than we found them.


Sometimes a small push is all we need to set out on our success path. Hearing someone else’s success story can be that push. By simply sharing our own success story, we can motivate or mentor a peer at work or in a social context. After all, the more we hear about success, the easier it gets to relate to it.
Buusti groups provide a safe space to start sharing success stories and finding inspiration.
At the moment there are 5 Buusti groups, but Karoliina and Eeva would love to see the concept spread further. Here are their tips for anyone trying to start a Buusti group:

  • To keep things practical, the group should have 5-8 members. When the group meets, everyone can get a slot to share and discuss their success story. The length of the slots will depend on the size of the group. 10 minutes can be a good length to encourage people to go straight to the point, and make the discussion dynamic and lively.
  • By including people from all walks of life, you can insure a wealth of different perspectives in your Buusti group. This is a great way to help group members remember there doesn’t need to be just one way to define success
  • Buusti meetings are energizing, but they’re also time consuming. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to meet with your group every week or every other week. Instead you might want to consider meeting every month or every quarter
  • Don’t let smaller everyday annoyances get on your group’s way. Instead of planning meetings at someone’s house, you can plan to meet in a nice public space like a café, a restaurant, or anywhere you think would make a good place for a frank and open conversation. This way group members don’t need to worry about anything other than showing up and sharing their success stories
  • Many success stories will probably include personal details or work related details. Encourage your group to keep discussions confidential, as a way to avoid any misunderstandings

About the writer
Helena has just created her 1st startup. The focus is on communication coaching. This summer she’ll be testing out the concept, offering group workshops in Helsinki and Tampere. The main topics will be Managing the Anxiety of Public Speaking and Using Plain Language as a Tool for Intercultural Teamwork.

After the summer Helena plans to start offering more in-depth workshops and training sessions to groups and individuals. You can start learning more about Helena and her project on www.okapitalk.com, or email her to hello@okapitalk.com.

Photos by Maarit Halonen

Slides for the event