TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
My current business is called Camp Bluff. I’m a coach for creative entrepreneurs (to be). I am specialized in three areas: mindset, marketing & personal branding. I guide my talented clients to dream bigger, gain more focus, achieve more by turning their inner critic into an inner leader and to attract (more) clients.
. Besides being a coach, I’m also an interviewer with my own (currently Dutch) podcast about inspiring young Dutch female creative entrepreneurs.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
I guess it’s been a combination of factors that have come together. Since I was about twelve/thirteen I dreamt of having my own international (fashion brand) business, so that entrepreneurial drive has been with me for a long time.
Besides this, I’ve been known for my networking skills since my teenage years and when I was seventeen I discovered the Australian FRANKIE magazine in the art room I was working in for my graphic design classes. That day my dream was born to create my own (alternative) magazine that helped young people to pave their own way. I wanted to read something that was different to the fashion & beauty publications that were only on offer back then.
During my own thesis project, that magazine idea turned into workshops about personal development/personal branding & networking, because that felt like a better way to support people on their journeys than purely providing inspiration. And those workshops have made way for more 1-on-1 coaching sessions to be able to go deeper and provide even more value.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
Before going all-in on the coaching business, I was working as a freelancer in the corporate innovation space for international companies. At first sight, this might seem like a bit of a jump but actually like I am now, back then I was also working on new business development through marketing/communications, partnership building and coaching startup teams. So basically I’ve just made a shift from working for corporates to working for small business owners in the creative sector.
But those experiences gained in, for example, joining and hosting C-level meetings in my early twenties was invaluable. Camp Bluff became my first registered business in late 2015.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Start small and start experimenting with what fits you!
Gain experience with selling your products or services, doing your admin and pitching your business at events.
I think my first ever paid job working for myself was getting paid 25 euros to do a photography shoot with a young couple. At that point, photography was just a hobby. And 5 years later I was charging ten times that amount. When I had that first sale, I wasn’t registered as a company, didn’t have a proper website, just a camera and a small portfolio. But I gained my first customer, had a lot of fun and learnt a lot.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH IT:
Umm to do this day because I have a lot of interests and I’m good at several things, I sometimes have trouble focussing. That’s why I’m really happy I developed the ‘daily huddle’ together with a friend about three years ago. We answer five questions Monday to Friday stating what we’re grateful for, what we’re running up against, what our most important task is, what we’re going to do for our bodies/minds and we share our intention. For me, that’s a small powerful daily ritual.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
This is a tricky one… Probably quitting my first job out of university after four months and choosing my own path instead of the beaten track. And consequently being able to inspire other people to chase their own dreams through the work I do.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
One of my best guy friends thinks I do a little too much blending sometimes haha. But I love working overseas, doing workcations, creating my own work schedule. Sometimes I’ll finish up really early during the week and catch-up in the weekend, I love that flexibility.
My work is focussed on personal development so those themes are almost always a topic of most conversations, I live and breathe work so taking breaks through holidays, sports etc. is really important.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
Ahh, lots of things…
Lyrics in certain songs, walking in nature, creative people I find on Pinterest and Instagram (Paloma Wool, Like Knows Like..)
American Entrepreneurs like Marie Forleo, Piera Luisa & Amber Rae.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
Because life is short and I want to support others in creating lives where they let their inner leaders led instead of their critics. Helping people create a life they are truly proud of, that is my mission! And being an entrepreneur fits me because I have a very clear vision about how I want work to be 😉
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
Several things come to mind, I could probably write a book about this question 😉
New surroundings & Disconnecting
I truly believe in the power of taking time off, time away from your daily life. To be surrounded by different architecture, hear a different language, eat new food but mostly, consciously take time to reflect and jot down notes. The best ideas I’ve had, have often come during long-haul flights alone, long walks by the sea….taking time to literally disconnect.
Besides this, I’ve been keeping a 5 min Journal for the past two years. I don’t fill it in every day but often enough for it to have an effect on me. The two most powerful questions to me in that diary are: Morning: What are the 3 things that you are grateful for? Evening: What were 3 amazing things that happened today?
Making time for those moments of reflection and gratitude is really important to me. This quote comes to me: “If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” – Roy T. Bennett
When I read these words a few years ago, they stuck!
I also have my big yearly goals on my mirror, and I’ll see them several times a week. Seeing those big goals regularly keeps me focussed.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Hmm, I was part of this training programme a number of years back and we had to make a traditional report stating our target market, financial prognoses, goals etc. And that time it was a helpful exercise but two months later I could throw it in the bin because a fantastic opportunity had come across my path and because of that I had met my five-year financial goals by far. I believe more in a lean startup methodology whereby you really test the proposition with the target market in an early stage instead of basing the plan on a bunch of risky assumptions.
For my current business, I have high over financial plans, a document with dreams & goals and a number of next steps written out. Next, to this, I really believe in the power of reflection. I do this in several rhythms: daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly. Looking at what is going well, what I need to stop doing and what I should start introducing.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A FEMALE BUSINESS OWNER?
Not any that I can clearly specify.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
I really believe in the power of coaching. I’ve had coaching myself for the last couple of years and it had bought me a lot. It’s so easy to get stuck in thinking that doesn’t serve you. And when someone is neutral and is paid to help you grow; this process can be really transformational.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Probably one that my dad instilled in me: “Don’t forget that people like helping other people”. Even as a solo entrepreneur you never run a business alone and it’s so powerful to work as a team. So whenever I doubt asking for help, I remember this quote!