NICE TO KNOW YA.
2015, Ghent Town, BE.
But let me take you back a while further…
At the time, I was working for a big corporation in automotive…
That's where my corporate life ended...
(and another one began...)
I lived a typical white collar existence ..
Shared an island with 3 other corporate slaves...
(4 on Mondays...)
Well maybe not so typical...
The guys at the office were THE best running mates
And my job was pretty cool
I got to travel... and test ride the products and so.
Oh man, 5 years went by fast ..
At the beginning of 2013, I had a tough cookie to bite...
One Monday I went up to the office at 9 am.
And found myself back on the sidewalk 15 minutes later.
Without a job.
Started looking for my phone to make a despair call...
The phone was the company's.
No calling then.
I had a decision to make .
To follow everyone’s advice and find a new job…
As quickly as possible.
We don’t want to be “lazy” or “take advantage” of the severance pay.
To consciously do exactly the opposite of what was expected of me.
Yep, I knew that something else was waiting for me out there ..
I had to find another,
way to make a living...
I was determined
to invest in my own dreams
instead of spending my time,
my energy and my talents
building dreams for large organisations.
Packed up. Booked a flight.
Off I was ..
Landed in: Bangkok, Thaïland.
Leaving my comfort zone...
turned out to be an unexpectedly welcome,
game-changing point in my life.
Away from the framework as we know it,
opened my eyes
for how I really wanted to live and make a living.
And it’s not just me.
Abroad I got in touch with
lifestyle bloggers, startups founders,
yoga teachers, vegan and raw food independent workers,...
The common denominator is that they all find inspiration
in their natural talents and life experiences
to create sustainable work around their life instead of vice versa.
With this crazy idea in mind,
I deep-dived into the topic of entrepreneurship
and making a living being you;
...devoted all of my time on study and research.
Like a maniac...
I was convinced that self-employment
would allow me to make living being me.
So I took on conventional business classes,
business modelling workshops,
went to business seminars,
enrolled in a start your own business course.
I drew up a business plan.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t convinced.
Even with this allegedly mighty document,
I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.
In the end, any business plan
proved to be almost an exact copy of my resume.
nothing had really changed,
I put myself on the market as the marketeer that I was.
But instead of working for a single company,
I would be working for several.
So how would I ever benefit from that?
The ones getting the advantage would have been the clients,
as I’d probably be costing them less than as an employee.
So I was back at square one.
Being obsessed with tech and startup scene,
I continued to study their best practices.
What fascinated me,
was that tech startups are able to become viable on a market
and grow their business
in a tremendously exponential way with a minimum on investment.
And doing so,
they outperform established competitors
in their field and disrupt their industry.
In other words, they are able to build products that people actually want,
they pull a market to their offerings,
instead of pushing,
and make customers happy to pay.
So how the heck do you build a product people want and why
doesn’t anyone else attempt this obviously insanely effective approach?
Well, the fact is, startups don’t just build a business plan,
which is basically a document investors make you write that no one reads,
they use one single diagram called the lean canvas.
They use this canvas to systematically
develop a product and determine a market.
But that's not where they start, oh no...
they start by asking: do I have a problem worth solving?
So this one day I realise that it's all about problem solving.
And that the best way to market yourself is...
to dive into your own problem-solving skills,
I bump into another problem:
we are stuck in our conventional compartmentalised thinking...
and not at all used to verbalise our skills and our talents in a natural way.
How is that?
We think in stereotypes:
I’m a marketeer,
I’m a social worker,
I’m a legal counsel,
I’m a trainer,
I’m a coach.
In the end, these designations don’t really say much
about who we are and the problems we are able to solve for who.
The lack of a descent framework to help us identify and define exactly that,
led me to two inspirational women doing groundbreaking research.
Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike, a community for multipotentialites.
And Barbara Sher, business owner, best-selling author
and creator of a nuts-and-bolts method for uncovering natural talent.
What they had in common, was that they countered the exact
problems I was facing when I took conventional business counselling:
you have to stick to your conventional profile skills,
you can’t do what you like
you can’t decide how you work,
and you can't make a living doing everything that you love.
“While conventional profiles are supposed to inspire us about what we could be, they do not inspire us to think about all that we could be. In fact, it does just the opposite. - E. Wapnick.
Once I implemented their findings...
It worked like a charm ..
I created something fast ..
I knew I was good at ..
1) Creating concepts
3) Putting things on the market
4) Writing stuff
5) Online tech
I mixed everything together ..
Iterated. Made mistakes. Analyzed feedback. Improved ..
.. And picked up momentum ..
And that's how my own soul searching process resulted in Optimize for Happiness.
Let me tell you why my business coaching works...
I have one single focus at the beginning...
To pivot a business concept around your personality, passions and lifestyle.
If you invest in your own talents,
focus more on respecting your personal values,
your natural skills and abilities
you will benefit in terms of productivity,
in terms of your own personal development
and in terms of your work-life balance as well.
And that's what you aim for ..
You becoming master of your own life.
Are you ready to build, test & launch your business IN LINE with your personality, passion and lifestyle...?
Think about it ..
Are you willing to do that?
Because I am.
The game is simple.
If you work extremely hard to stay true to you.
You can get paid to be you.
If you mix creating business concepts around your problem-solving skills with lean canvas-wudhu, you end up in a purpose-driven and meaningful business like me...
Now let me show you how to do that ..