Marco: So Gerrit, thank you for joining us as our speaker at our hybrid event Celebrates your happiness – Being human in business this November. Can you tell me something about yourself?
Gerrit: Yeah, Of course. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the event on November 19th Most importantly, I think it’s a great platform to make people kinder, be more vulnerable in business, and at the same time to really be able to pass through what we have experienced and embrace the things that really matter and also be pride of our the future. And I’m happy to contribute to that. I have experienced a Forrest Gump like career. Without the shrimp adventure. I’ve been able to be part of many different, what I call subcultures, specific work environments with their own distinctive values and way of working, for instance, the military. And the world of corporate finance which has also a very specific culture if you look at mergers and acquisitions. Work hard, play hard. And of course, the recent 12 years as an entrepreneur myself, where I was in the beginning, able to help out family-owned businesses or private equity companies with restructuring in their businesses as more an operational interim type of manager. And later on, I wanted to create my own company based on a personal frustration I had with the onboarding of myself in various companies I worked before, especially in corporates, and I started from that frustration with a great team: Appical. I left Appical in the summer of 2018 and basically after that my life went south. It’s caused me a big reset, and after that I really started to see the light, which was in the beginning very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel but once I was working more with young people being able to share my story and experience. I got more enthusiastic and basically, I made it my mission to be vulnerable in business and provide people with insights about the lower end of the iceberg of what can go wrong in the life of an entrepreneur. To educate people about the pitfalls and the mistakes you make. That’s now actually my work as a lecturer at a university where I’m guiding and coaching, young professionals, building their own business, and at the same time also improving the impact of an entrepreneur in the world of education. Secondly, be in the trenches myself with my brand new concept with Circus Tent, a brand new podcasting platform. So it’s all comes together now and I’m pretty excited about it.
Marco: Beautiful story, very happy that we have you as a speaker at our event.
Gerrit: Thank you Marco and the same goes for me, I’m very happy to be able to join the movements and to be able to contribute.
Marco: Well, the event is called being human in business and what does being human in business mean to you?
Gerrit: Basically, it means to me about being vulnerable and allowing yourself to make mistakes, and share them with others. What I learned from myself that I was especially in the beginning not really open to talk about my mistakes, until the moment that a colleague from my previous team, a software developer stood out to me and he told me like, hey man, you’re a good guy and I see you, your pain, I see you’re stressed. Tell me a little bit more about it. You know we’re here to help you. That clearly opened up my eyes at that point, to really be able to speak about it, because a lot of people will see it as a purple crocodile you know it’s somewhere in the office or at home or somewhere your head between the ears. And I think if you talk about it, you make it easier to also ask for help. That was not the factory setting of my personality because I’m a fighter and I really want to win, especially in my pre-big reset period. So figuring out things myself. A lot of times, everything got across the finish line and was able to celebrate a lot of beautiful moments. But yeah, this particular conversation opened up my eyes. I am a big fan of NBA basketball competition in the United States. I follow the playoffs the recent few weeks, where there was a good basketball player who actually became MVP of the Finals. Last night. His name is Giannis and 26-year-old long guy who basically addressed the thought or ability also from an interesting standpoint if you look at success. And he explained in his interview after winning the Finals that if you look at your past you basically look at your ego and painful moments. Moments that your brain actually derailed. And if you focus on the present, you focus on, pride, you know, you’re working hard to achieve a destination, to meet up your goals, to be happy. But the actual invaluable part of life if you focus on the present, you know, it’s about being humble. Humility and also vulnerability and I think it’s important that you are able to enjoy it, and be connected to others when you are needing help
Marco: Beautifully said. I think that’s also a great stepping stone to my next question. What are you going to talk about it at our event?
Gerrit: Yeah, basically I’m going to talk about the 11, vulnerabilities, for any business founder or young aspiring person, if we look at the Achilles heel. I made a podcast about it last week. It’s been airing, since yesterday. And every, every person whether you are an entrepreneur or not, has a certain part of the body and mind, or character of the personality where we are vulnerable. And I think what I will do is open up the eyes and ears to be aware of those vulnerabilities, especially open up the dialogue in terms of the stupid mistakes I made, which sometimes have led to wonderful results, but embracing with also a positive standpoint and a lot of smiling, and I believe it’s important because if you see what’s going on in the world of mental health for entrepreneurs. And you’re seeing that that’s 50% of the entrepreneurs are struggling with work stress you know at some point because the entrepreneur is one of the people whose position, is closest to the sink. And that means that a lot of stuff that cannot be fixed by your management team ends on your plate. So, you are the final destination for a lot of drama and struggles, and it’s lonely at the top. To dive a little bit deeper in the research to see that one out of the three entrepreneurs are also facing depression or even worse, contemplating suicide.. And I think those vulnerabilities are universal. By talking about it we can remove ours. so-called elephants in the room. And in the end, that’s my Uber mission to also make sure that there are proper resources and facilities for entrepreneurs. But I noticed myself when you have everything, becoming a multimillionaire and when all of a sudden something happens and you lose everything. Then basically a lot of countries, and especially the Netherlands people are more positioned like hey how can we keep you down or how can we keep you in the naughty corner and drill, drill you down with negativity. I want to cause a breakthrough and to simply be able to say like, Hey, it’s okay to make those mistakes, but also call for help too, I would say vulnerable people, when one mission is failed, that doesn’t mean anything for the new mission. Keep going and believing. And I think that comparison with business, if you look for instance at the, the Dyson vacuum cleaners, this guy has made over 5,500 experiments, you know, with, with new prototypes, and every time his money was gone. The same example goes for Walt Disney, when he was wandering around with his drawings and videoclips. Nobody believed them. And I think those stories behind success and make the conference, but also my keynote, so special.
Marco: it’s a beautiful mission. I really cannot wait to hear your keynotes, and after your keynotes, people can also ask questions to you so that’s also pretty cool. Exactly. And right now, can you give away one practical piece of advice to our audience.
Gerrit: Yeah of course actually has two.
One of the things I asked quite a lot when I’m giving a lecture for young people at the university, I was asked them to raise their phones, want to like to open up the average screen time for the week, and then people go in the number of hours they are spending on their mobile phones, and then I’m asking them to, like, hey, what if you spent one hour less the upcoming week. Please spend one hour less and give that back to give a call to your parents for your grandma or grandpa or to your children. Train yourself to be physically and mentally fit, or to do nothing at all land rest.
Don’t dive into your phone for that moment. I think that’s a big, big winner. Always if you look at the amount of stress, especially young people have. When they see nice pictures on social media and they get frustrated. I understand that, I’ve been there and I think it’s, it’s a, it’s a big springboard if you provide yourself with those objectives. 1 hour per day less. Start small and we get an impact if you calculate it forwards on a 365 day period. Imagine how much time you will save up.
Marco: I’m going to watch how much time I’ve spent on my phone after this interview.
Gerrit: the last tip I have is about, you know, be kind to each other and if be positive. At some point what I experienced that sometimes you were dealing with, with different people, which is okay, and that also influences your mindset, I think you close yourself down for positivity but if you look at the real authentic you and what drives you and hang out with people who are resourceful you will make it happen. People who are not resourceful and costing you energy, you know, simply ignore them and move your own direction, carve your own fucking path.
Marco: I think that’s amazing. Thank you so much, Gerrit
Gerrit: You’re welcome, buddy.
Marco: I’m really looking forward to the event.
Gerrit: Same here, it’s going to be fun and we’ll create a great happening there.
For more information about the event schedule, go to: www.celebrateyourhappiness.com/en/schedule