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Retreat in Zeeland

 

Today, exactly a week ago, I left early in the morning for Zeeland (The Netherlands).  I was going to spend two days at The Grand Hotel Huis Ter Duin in Burgh Haamstede, together with a group of lovely like-minded women.  We met eachother for the first time somewhere around February-March.  We are all starting a business and we enrolled in the Business Angels program with Godelieve Tubbax, who is a spiritual business coach.

I immediately felt at home.  Most ladies are Belgian and then there is one other lady from the Netherlands.  Always an interesting mix, the Dutch and the Belgians.  Very friendly and open and supportive…absolutely.  But I cannot deny that there are certain cultural differences, and that is totally okay.  I felt good surrounded by my Belgian sisters (and my Dutch).  So at ease, so relaxed, so connected…

 

Topics

 

The reason for us being at the Grand Hotel in Burgh Haamstede was a retreat, which is part of the year program.  When Godelieve announced the first topic, I was a bit surprised…  Hadn’t we already discussed the ideal customer?  So why again?  But okay… I am always flexible… and perhaps also a little bit headstrong.  But boy oh boy, what an eyeopener!  It is super important to have your ideal customer very clear.  Because if you don’t… how are you going to cut through the noice and get clear?  We want customers who value what we offer to them.  And we are in business because we are passionate about what we do.  And we want our customers to be just as passionate about what we provide to help them and solve their problem.

 

Ideal Customer

 

But okay… I thought I had a clear picture of my ideal customer and when I held my presentation I did not really feel it myself.  And nor did the rest. All of a sudden I started talking about a totally different customer than the one I had in mind.  Which I now understand… preparation is everything and I have to admit… I did not prepare.  I did not plan enough time and when I realized that, I did not prepare all together because I could use the extra time to finish what I was doing.  Choices…  But discussing with this group and Godelieve, made me realise who my ideal customer is.  And how important it is to have a clear picture!  If not… you are going to talk to people who you don’t even want  to help or even can help!  It was such an eyeopener…  That… and the blue banana…

 

The Blue Banana

 

What is a blue banana?  Have you ever seen one?  Maybe not, but let me give you a few examples…  A broker who sells real estate based on what numerology tells her… that’s a blue banana.  A business coach who is also very spiritual… that’s another blue banana.  A life coach who has been in rehab and still does not point the finger at moderate drinkers, is a blue banana.  An organizing consultant who is also a personal shopper and gives styling advice, is a blue banana.  Get the picture?  The message here is: be different, be authentic, be special, be unique… be you!  People will work with you because they like YOU!

 

Know – Like – Trust

 

There is such a thing as the Know-Like-Trust principle.  It simply means that people have to get to know you.  How do you make that happen?  You just get out there, expose yourself, make use of social media, do life streams, tell stories.  Everybody loves stories…  Don’t hold back and tell yours.  The world is waiting for your story.  Because other people can learn from your mistakes.  Or from your successes.  It is great if we can all help eachother.

Once people know you, they either like you or not.  And that is just something we have to accept.  It is also a matter of chemistry, recognition, emotions, etc.  Just keep in mind… you can’t win them all. The people who resonate with you, will come eventually.  The ones who don’t, might change their minds later, but if not, that is also fine.  Concentrate on the people who like you for who you are and for what you have to offer. And last but not least: trust.  Once people start to trust you, the goodwill factor kicks in.  If you have the solution to their problem, they will work with you rather than with someone else.  Because they got to know you, they like you, and now they trust you.

 

And that might not happen overnight…

 

I have three business coaches at the moment.  I have Marjo Landsman, who is my dearest business coach right here in my home time.  We meet once a week. She is always there for me.   When things are tough, or I lose faith, or if I have great news to share…  Marjo is always there to support me.  She was recommened to me by a mutual friend and it was a match made in heaven, right from the start. Marjo is a former lawyer who now helps people as  coach in divorce matters and in business.  She also helps me with practical things and makes sure that I am in compliance with the rules.

And then there is Max Van Rooy and his lovely wife Leoni Van Rooy from Orange Funnels in Deventer.  They are life savers for starting entrepreneurs or for people who want to grow with their business.

From the moment you take a decision for your own future, things start shifting in the right direction.  For me, one of those things, was Orange Funnels.  I knew Max and Leoni from a distance through another network.  When I saw a video of their Business Breakthrough Weekend, every fiber in my body knew that I just had to be part of that.  At the time, I did not have the money, but I knew it was coming.  Leoni surprised me a couple of weeks later, telling me that she had secretly reserved my place!  And that was the start of a very special journey.

You see…  I have been following lots of coaches, inspiring people, business gurus, etc.  And most of them are good… but I was looking for someone with integrity.  And I really felt it when I interacted with Max and Leoni from Orange Funnels.  The way they share their knowledge and support their customers is very refreshing…  I have never seen it before…  A lot of famous people say they “want to help other people”.  True.  And they do that.  If the person who needs help pays an enormous amount of money.

And sure…  Orange Funnels does not give it for free, but they really create a win-win situation.  I have been working with the Sustainability Challenge Foundation for 17 years and that was all about Mutual Gains Approach, enlarging the pie, win-win, creating value…  Orange Funnels is a natural in doing this.

Max is amazing.  He immediately sees opportunities and thinks out of the box.  Amazing ideas are born that way.  Creativity at its best.

And Leoni adds spirituality in the mix, in a very smooth way.  It all comes naturally.  Even people who have never experienced spiritual things, are gently guided into the process.

As an entrepreneur, you just need to keep learning and developing yourself.  As far as I am concerned, I am going to be around for a very long time working with Orange Funnels.  I am creating my own life and I am super proud to be a Legend.  And together with the other Legends of the Legacy Program, I will show the world what Legends of Orange Funnels are capable of!

And then last but not least, I am part of the Business Angels of Godelieve Tubbax, who I mentioned before.  I had been following Godelieve for a while as well before I went to her Soul Event in February.  I had heard about the Law of Attraction before, but Godelieve taught me the practical way of implementing that into my own life.

After the event, it was clear that we just had to work together.  What I value the most is being in this group where we all support eachother.  There is love, respect, friendship, support and a lot of fun!  That is so valuable to me.

So I have this group with my Belgian friends (plus Ankie!), and the Legends from the Legacy Program @Orange Funnels.  I feel blessed with so many inspiring people in my life.

So what about the coconut?

O yes…  The spiritual significance of coconut in Hinduism is this … Coconut water symbolizes cleansing, therefore, when a preacher or spiritual mentor cracks a coconut, he destroys the egoism of a person! In Hinduism, it can be considered a way of humbling yourself to God.

During the retreat in Zeeland, the coconut was symbol of all the limiting beliefs that we carry around.  And so it was smashed outside of the hotel by my fellow Business Angels.  I took my coconut home but I am not going to eat it.  I will also smash it, and I will smash it hard!!!