What's the business culture like in Sweden? I've had a Swede tell me that it's culturally looked-down-upon to try and go off on your own and create a high-earning business. He also told me that business failure is very embarrassing, and people tend to hide failures from their past. Is this true of your experience as well?
It's looked-down upon to earn money in sweden.
No, really. I'm serious. If you're an extremely well-off person (currently, i make as much money as an entire, wealthy household of 2 people together after taxes), you don't want to around telling anyone. Ever. While i won't be in this position forever, i will always be careful telling people just how my finances look because of this. It also makes it very hard to find a partner who is financially suitable, because most swedes live very much paycheck-to-paycheck, but would never admit that they do.
The Law of Jante (Danish: Janteloven, IPA: [ˈjand̥əˌloʋˀən]; Norwegian Bokmål: Janteloven, Nynorsk: Jantelova, IPA: [ˈjɑntəˌlɔːvən]; Icelandic: Jantelögin; Swedish: Jantelagen, IPA: [ˈjantɛˌlɑːɡɛn]) is the description of a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities that negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. The Jante Law as a concept was created by the Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose, who, in his novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933, English translation published in the USA in 1936), identified the Law of Jante as ten rules. Sandemose's novel portrays the small Danish town Jante (modelled upon his native town Nykøbing Mors as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, but typical of all small towns and communities), where nobody is anonymous.
Generally used colloquially in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries as a sociological term to describe a condescending attitude towards individuality and success, the term refers to a mentality that de-emphasises individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers.
The above is true in every respect. It's gotten better with higher degrees of globalization, but you do not want to showcase your success, or even use it as an example to give advice, except to VERY close friends. Chances are, people will take offense in the "You're just trying to be better than me"-way.
Scandinavian psychology is that the more money you make, the more money you should pay back. To other people, to taxes, to society. It's one of the reasons i'm thinking of FIRE-ing in another country, though i do not know which one.
I'm not actually swede by birth btw, i'm german. I've lived here since i was 4 though.
Sweden is a very "special" country. My ex, who was from Seattle, hated how antisocial and weird certain aspects of our society are. When she described them to me, i could actually understand her really, really well.
But on the other hand, we have free education, healthcare, excellent public transportation and some of the best tax climates in the world (for dividend investment).
Where would i live if i could, and have everything work out, including taxes and the like? Probably Colorado or Texas, honestly.