Interview with … ME! By EmpowerME.nl

Good morning! What a happy day. The interview I gave a couple of weeks ago is finally online.

Tamara Heskes from empowerMe.nl interviewed my about my view on entrepreneurship and the power within us.

If you are interested to read it, here you go:

Interview for empowerme.nl

This is what happens when you do something you love

Friday afternoon. Satisfaction has settled in. Today was the first time I interviewed someone for a big fat blogpost. I have been interviewed a couple of times before and believe I have also interviewed someone back in highschool for something… maybe the school paper?

Today was different. It meant something to me. I really wanted to get this straight. And the task seemed simple. I would meet with this designer girl – a female entrepreneur – and talk with her about her company. Then I would take some portraits of her in her office and give her a high five – or a hug. I ended up doing both. High-five followed by a hug. I am making this a ting. The high-five-hug-combination.

I was perfectly on time and the girl welcomed me with a warm cup of coffee which was much appreciated given the current Berlin nastyness (talking about the weather). She seemed nervous. I think it was the first time for both of us. But we did not talk much about it. We knew what we came there to do. So we prepared everything and jumped right into it.

I prepared her a bit talking about what I was planning on doing: Recording the interview, take portraits, publish it on a blog on http://www.wefound.org, maximal time frame 1 hour. She nodded.

The interview went smooth. The questions (I had some prepared but wanted to have an organic conversation) came quite easily and she talked about her experiences super open. And what had started a bit awkward ended quite elegantly with a short portrait shooting. Nice!

To finally get to the title of my blogpost: I felt REALLY good on my way home. The experience really brought me to a state of excitement and fun. As soon as I was home I transcribed the recording and wrapped the text up. Then I edited the pictures and everything was over way faster than I would have predicted.

Now I am left with the feeling of accomplishment. Awesome! That´s what happens when you do something you love. 🙂

What do you really sell?

Thursday afternoon. I just came back from the hairdresser where I had the sobering realization that cheap indeed means cheap sometimes.

What do I mean with that? Well, the task looked simple. I needed a haircut. Nothing easier than that! Let´s get a haircut. That´s at least what I thought. But during the process I found out that getting my hair cut was the smallest part of what I expected to get.

Here is the full story:
I went to a cheap place arount the corner from the subway station. Why? Because it´s cheap and it looked OK and seemed rather convenient. What I missed in that equation was the small little fact that I did not really get what I needed.
First off I had to get a number from a machine and wait until it was my turn. A number from a machine! Then I was told to walk over to the sinks to wash my hair. A girl came and washed my hair. She did not introduce herself. So I got up from my chair, shook her hand and asked for her name. She looked surprised. Then she told me to walk over to the cutting station. There another guy came and prepared his equipment. He did not introduce himself nor did he ask me how I wanted my hair cut. So I asked him what he would like to do with my hair. He looked confused and asked me what kind of hair I have. Ehm… isn´t that your job to find out and look at it? Imagine the rest.

It became very clear to me that what I wanted was much more than a simple haircut. I wanted the full experience. The cappucchino, the kiss kiss from the cute little hairdresser, a nice magazine, smalltalk, a head massage, an assistent who takes my jacket and all those “add ons”. And yes – I am willing to pay for it!

Having this very boring experience did not uplift my spirit. The people did not have fun doing their jobs. The hairdresser incident is just one of many situations where I thought: “Wow, you could do so much better.”

I once went into a vegan cupcake store. I saw the sign “vegan cupcakes”, walked into the store and straight up to the guy at the counter. The place looked amazing and I wanted to hear more about the concept of the company and the story behind this cool idea. So I asked the guy: “Beautiful shop you have here. Tell me more about the company. What´s your story?” And the guy replied: “What do you mean? We sell vegan cupcakes.”
Sad story. Sobering experience. That´s not what I came here to buy. A silly cupcake. I want the inspiration, the passion and the “add ons”.

I strongly believe this is true for every business. What is it you really sell?
If you get clear on your vision and your core values and you manage to communicate this to your clients you can give them the whole experience. And your clients will be happy to pay for it.

Blogging about freelancing

Thursday. Did you know I love to write? From now on I will get more chances to write professionally. I am collaborating with the twago blog. Twago is a platform where freelancers can find projects and where companies can find freelancers for their projects.

I signed up on twago a couple of weeks ago. And now the twago and freelance community will get to follow my freelance experience once per month on the twago blog.
Here is my first post:

http://www.twago.com/blog/my-journey-into-freelancing-the-first-step/

Do you like to sleep in? Here is why I stopped that habit.

Monday. It´s all about priorities. I am repeating the same task over and over again and hope some day it will stick.

I keep on asking myself the same questions:

Is it what I really want?

Does it serve me and the vision of my life?

By answering these questions I am able to filter out all the distractions from my life. It allows me to let people, situations, fights and many other things go without ever looking back. I am practicing to ask these questions as often as possible. And from my experience there is always a clear answer inside of myself. My inner voice – what most people would call intuition or gut feeling – gets stronger every day. All I have to do is to listen.

I would like to give you two examples of things that don´t serve me.

Sleeping in. I know sleeping into days can be tempting. Pressing the “Snooze” button on my alarm sometimes happens without me even noticing. And suddenly it´s 10 or even 12 at noon! Sure, sleeping in and being lazy is lovely sometimes. But mostly it makes me feel like I wasted half a day. And usually when I slept until noon it gets really hard for me to get going and to have a productive day. I guess I am somewhat of a morning person. Thus, I realized there is no point in it for me. Sleeping in is cancelled – for the most part.

Getting drunk. Yes, everybody who was there at my birthday party last weekend will think “oh yes, now she has one of these *i´ll never drink again* moments”… And yeah, I have to admit. I was very drunk. And it was a lot of fun. However, I generally dislike getting drunk. It´s not only the evening that usually ends strangely. It´s also the next two days that feel unproductive and like hangover hell. The reason for not liking drunky-leska is similar to sleepin in. I feel like I am missing out on a lot of fun stuff I could be doing the following days. AND I can feel the poison in my body. Why would I do this to myself? Getting drunk – cancelled – (for the most part).

Now you might think: OMG, being focused sounds like a lot of work. And not like FUN. I don´t even feel like I am giving up on anything because the gain outweighs the couple of hours of sleep and glasses of wine by the thousand!

Porn … and why it took me longer than expected

Finally I get back to this open browser window. This post was staring at me for the past week when I started a discussion about porn on my facebook account.

I found an article called “Why women don´t watch porn” on huffingtonpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/teresa-lee/why-women-dont-watch-porn_b_5631141.html

This article stirred up some feelings within me as well as my friends on facebook. But my facebook account was not the right place for this discussion. It´s a public discussion.

So, yeah… I started to write a blogpost about porn. Not ranting about porn and how awful it is. But more giving my perspective on porn. Me, a female who watches porn. And about my concerns and experiences with it´s influence on men as well as women. But while writing I lost my fire and was not sure anymore if I wanted to publish a blogpost about porn. After all my Blog is called “TRAVELS, PHOTOGRAPHY, FINDING YOURSELF”. How does porn fit in there?

And I believe this is the exact position of porn in society. It does not really fit in. It´s still considered a taboo even though porn has become more socially accepted over the years. But still – porn is not something you would write about without thinking it through. So instead of going into graphical detail here I´d like to share a ted talk from Cindy Gallop from 2009. She asks people to make love – not porn.

Reality is much different from what you see on your screen. We are real people. 😉