Did you know that I have already built and sold 2 businesses? The first one was a restaurant. I was the proud owner between 1996 and 2004, while I also had a job as a university teacher. The second business is called Workshoptrainer, and I sold this company 3 years ago.
I have been self employed for 22 years, after I graduated in two studies. I have worked every day of my life. I have been raised in a conservative calvinist family and ‘working hard’ is always much easier than ‘playing hard’ will ever be.
All my life I have put aside my own emotions and wishes. Instead I focused on the needs of people around me: clients, friends, my ex husband.
But in these last 4 years, while I was traveling in a campervan, or living in nature in different countries, I have been going through a transformation.
I am starting to learn that owning a business is meant to be good for me, not only for my clients.
For me this is a revolutionary idea. One that turns all my calvinistic ideas about guilt and sin and service to others upside down.
These days I visualise the life I want to lead, and I am building my business around it.
When my business is good for me, it will also be good for my clients. Because I can only take care of my clients when I am confident and strong, not when I am feeling tired or depressed.
My wishes are not so complicated. During my journey I have made several important choices:
- I live in nature, wether in Spain or in the Netherlands.
- I connect to different people who may be black, purple or green and come from any country, as long as they are kind to all living creatures, and to me.
- I enjoy the freedom to do work that is meaningful to me and the world around me.
These wishes all come together in the so-called Tertulia meetings, that I started organising exactly 2 years ago. Tertulia is a Spanish word for a meeting that has some similarities to the French salons.
My intention with the Tertulia is to hold a space where different people connect to themselves in a workshop, and connect to each other and to nature during a shared meal under a tree.
I never made a plan for the Tertulia’s. I just started organising them and went from there. I have invited more than 300 people for these meetings already, and I know all of them. During the last Tertulia in Tarifa we were with 18 people from 10 different countries.
These meetings make me feel alive, and very happy.
We use a very simple solution to the language problem. When I speak one-on-one with someone, I speak the language that we both know best (Dutch, English, Spanish, German). But when there is someone else around, we always speak English, so no one feels isolated or left out.
Today I have made the revolutionary decision that from now on, this will be the model in my business as well. Because I want my business to be good for me and to my clients, and I like to connect to people and that no one feels left out.
That means that from now on, all my blogs will be in English, because when I send out a blog I talk to more people at once. But if we talk one on one, feel free to use your own language and if I can, I will reply to you in your language.