The odd one out. How not belonging can liberate you as a business owner

When everyone goes left, I go right. I don’t follow the masses, never have done. If people tell me that something has to be done in a certain way, I question it. When people put restrictions on me, I rebel. Freedom is my everything, and my creative mind leads the way. I choose uniqueness over acceptable. I don’t follow trends, I have never been a groupie, I do not idolise anyone. Most people want to fit in with what is socially acceptable, are afraid to stand out and be ridiculed. I am very comfortable with being unusual. I have never given it much thought until now, as it is not something I daily study. It is who I am. But I do know that there are more beautiful, weird and unique people amongst my readers and followers, who may need some encouragement to ‘come out’ and feel supported in their weirdness. Today I give you full permission to flaunt it.

How Woo are You? Weaving a little magic into your life and business

Some business coaches are all straight-talking money-focused 6-figure-earning gurus. Others grow their business in a more gentle, organic and authentic way. I fall in the last category. I am a go-getter, and a practical, solution-focused business owner, for sure, but at the same time, I am an empathic human and I believe there is more to life than just earning the cold hard cash. I have always been interested in spirituality, and I try daily to find ways to utilise my intuition to improve my work and private life. I practice Reiki. I always carry a rose quartz crystal. I am also great at helping clients with their marketing strategy. Yep. It’s all me. How about you? How ‘woo’ are you?

Why you should curate your timeline to help you stay focused and aligned

I recently had a strong urge to clean up my social media feeds, or to ‘curate my timeline’. Sometimes I can get quite sucked into certain topics, when I am fully committed to learn everything about something. I am a curious being. This could be to with my business, but also politics, health issues or how to be a better mother (yes, always trying!). But what you then get, is not only a lot of the same types of posts – and information – coming past, but also the algorithm kicking in, giving you even more of what you are clearly lapping up right now. This can have quite a negative impact on how you feel. How can you best improve this?

Why rejection is a good thing when you are growing a small business

As business owner or creative freelancer, you are trying to attract clients, all the time. Some months that happens easily. Other months it’s like pulling teeth. I know it all too well! And sometimes, you are over the moon about attracting a client, only to feel utterly disappointed when they change their mind – or worse, you end up in a conflict. This morning a new copywriting client I recently booked, changed her mind. That doesn’t happen often. In fact, this was a first in a very long time. But this too, is part of running a business. And sometimes, these things are actually not a bad thing at all. Why? I will tell you in this story.

I have always been a coach, without even knowing it

I have only launched my business The Creative Business Coach late 2020. I never thought I would go into coaching, and even thought I couldn’t possibly call myself a coach without qualifications. I knew of other people being coaches, and thought that was a total different world than my own. But looking back at my career, I have always coached people. Helped them start their businesses, apply for grants, grow their audiences. In many of my jobs I have been taking on the role of coach, without being called a coach. Does 20 years of coaching without knowing it, qualify me as a coach?

The journey of entrepreneurship and what to do first when you start a new business

I have just finished a 12-week programme with a lovely client, working 1-to-1 with her on her business goals. She recently set herself up as a life coach for teachers. And although she went through a major transformation, in clarity, mindset and skills, she sign any new clients yet during our work together. So was this a failed coaching programme? No, it wasn’t. Because, although getting more clients and increasing their income is ultimately what my clients want, you cannot expect this to happen when the building blocks are not in place. What did she get out of working with me, then?

You were never meant to be normal. So stop keeping yourself small.

What will my ex-colleagues think of me when I post this on LinkedIn? What will my family say when they see me talk about my business on Facebook? What will my friends think of me when I do a Live video? Will they think I am showing off? “Who does she think she is?” Will they laugh at me? Will they talk behind my back? Do you recognise these feelings? Have you ever felt exposed, vulnerable, or not brave enough to post something, because you had the image of your sarcastic uncle John in your head, laughing at your business attempts? You are extraordinary. Start behaving like it.

People who inspired me to become who I am today

We all get influenced by people in our lives, whether family, teachers, colleagues, writers, or even famous people. They may have taught us things, inspired us, were a great example, or made you realise what you wanted to become in life. I was very close to my Dutch grandma, or ‘super oma’ Fenny. On the 4th of July 2021, she would have been 100 years old. If there is anyone who taught me how to be resilient, positive and not take life too serious, it is her. She died 14 years ago. She was a natural at enjoying the little things and making the most of it, no matter what life throws at you.

How life shapes you (and how bosses can have a huge impact on your self-confidence)

I can safely say that now I am in my 40s I am a lot more confident than I was in my 20s. But I do remember some of the bosses I used to have, when I was a young girl. You probably all have examples of those types: authoritarian, snobbish, with terrible social skills, and just making you feel like shit. It’s funny how, when you least expect it, they can suddenly pop up again in your memory years later. Here’s a story that popped into my head last weekend, out of the blue.

Have people ever told you to get a ‘proper job’?

Has anyone ever told you that “you’ll never earn money like that”, or “it’s better to find a ‘proper’ job”? I’ve been on the receiving end of such comments multiple times! I chose to study Art History at uni. I remember the laughs and sniggers of classmates (who all chose business economics) and even eyebrow raises by family or friends of the family, asking whether there was any work in that. Basically, they all thought I was stupid to pick a subject that was destined to lead me to poverty. Does this sound familiar?