Social media marketing

  • 7 career lessons I wished I learned earlier

    My first job(s) sucked. I hated every single day. I dreaded getting out of bed early in order to sit at a desk from 9-5. Not only did I feel like my knowledge and effort wasn’t appreciated, I felt like I had no control over my work environment. It wasn’t until years later, I realized why I was unhappy. I really wish I had learned these 7 things before I started working!

    Why your first job sucks

    The first 22-24 years of our life is pretty simple: primary school, middle/high school, college, and then graduation! We all know what is expected of us, namely get good grades, pass the tests and move on to the next grade until you’re finished. Once you get the hang of this system, it kind of becomes easy.

    Once you graduate, you step into the real adult world: getting a job. And here’s the tricky part. We’ve been lead to believe that school prepares us for doing the job. Although school teaches us basic human life skills, like socializing, speaking in public and taking responsibility, most of what we do is focused on education and theory. Even though this knowledge gives you a head start in your career, it’s not enough to make you successful in your job. We’re not taught how to think, act, behave and feel in our new job environment.

    The new kid, the recent graduate, the rookie

    After years of build up – from preschooler to master student – you feel on top of the world. Graduating university, at least for me, was euphoric. You feel accomplished and ready to take on the world! Then all of a sudden you’re back at the bottom of the ladder, where you started in preschool, at your new job. You’re the new kid, the recent graduate, the rookie. And it’s precisely that feeling that crashes your big hopes and dreams.

    That is why your first job sucks.

    Now, let me save you years of your time by giving you 7 lessons I learned in my first years so that you can excel to the top a lot quicker than I did!

    Lesson 1: Nothing in business is life or death

    Unless you work as a healthcare professional, nothing in business is life or death. No one dies if you send that email a day later than expected. No one dies if you didn’t quite make the deadline. No one dies if you make a spelling mistake in that super important pitch.

    So. fucking. what.

    Colleagues and bosses tend to create pressure bubbles. Everything needs to be done today before 5. Everything is important. To me, this is a BIG red flag. RUN.

    Listen, if you’ve worked with me, you know I love a good deadline. I thrive in high performance offices. But what I don’t appreciate is stress, anxiety and perfectionism. At the end of the day, we’re all still human. We make mistakes. Your job is to own those mistakes. Honestly admit you didn’t make the deadline because you had trouble managing your time. Admit you forgot to spell check your presentation.

    Your employers’ job is to create a safe work environment so that you can make these mistakes without feeling like a complete failure and like it’s your fault the company is not succeeding. You can hold them accountable for that.

    Lesson 2: You are definitely going to fuck up

    Yeah, there’s no easy way to tell you, but there comes a time you are going to totally, utterly fuck up. Big time. Unlike the little mistakes in the lesson above, this mistake actually costs the company damage.

    And it’s totally OK.

    I’d lie if I said I didn’t have sleepless nights over my fuck up. I accidentally erased a huge database days before a deadline. A database that me and my colleagues had worked on for days. I cried in my boss’ office. I felt SO guilty. There was no way to reverse it, but to do the work all over again.

    There really is no way around this fuck up. It’s going to happen at one point in your career. You might as wel be prepared for it to happen. Again, you need to own up to the mistake. Take responsibility. Whatever you do: don’t blame others and don’t hide. Be an adult! Your boss needs to acknowledge that you meant no harm. He/she needs to take the necessary measurements to help you fix the situation and defend you from people that are higher up.

    Lesson 3: Treat your salary like an objective number

    If you don’t make as much money as your friends, you’re not less of a person. If you make more than you’re friends, you’re not better than them either. Your salary doesn’t determine the value you bring to the work space, and it also doesn’t define your worth. Salary is highly dependent on the industry, country, company (size), field and position you work in. You could be doing the exact same job at a small firm that you would at a large corporate, and still be paid half, even though you work twice as hard.

    Question is: how do you value yourself?

    If you’re working 40+ hours a week, answering phone calls in the weekend and taking on more responsibility for minimum wage – then that’s totally ok. As long as you’re ok with it!

    Just know that your time and energy = money. How much money is your time and energy worth to YOU? This highly differs per person. If you earn minimum wage but are extremely happy in your job, there isn’t an issue. But if you feel drained, sad, unmotivated, unable to reach your personal goals (like buying a house in this economy) or like you’re giving more than you receive, it’s time to reevaluate your situation.

    How do you get a raise? By working on yourself and showing your managers that you are WORTH the money. Take on more responsibility, take ownership, brush up skills/knowledge, be proactive and track your process. Once you have the proof, you can step to your manager confidently and ask them for more money. Don’t ask, prove!

    Lesson 4: Boundaries are a blessing, learn how to play the corporate game

    In the beginning of your career, you’re driven. You want to prove to anyone and everyone that you can do the job. This often results in staying late, saying yes to all projects, answering emails at night and showing up to every office party. This is fun until you reach the point of no return. All of a sudden, every responsibility is on your plate. People start to see you as the rookie who’s always willing and able to do the work, so they leave it all to you.

    What you don’t see, is that people in a corporate office usually play a subconscious political office game. I call it corporate chess because it’s a strategic game. This is what it comes down to: people only care about the things they are being held accountable for, which is their job description. How well they perform the tasks in their job description is what determines their assessment interview at the end of the year. It also determines their success and salary. The people who play this game are very aware of the tasks that are in scope. Everything outside of that – even if it technically should be their responsibility – is not interesting to them. Why? Because it doesn’t contribute to a positive performance review.

    So this is how it works: these people are great at what they do because the solely focus on their core tasks. All the other activities that are not their main priorities are left on the table. Only for you to pick them up willingly in order to impress your boss in hopes of a raise.

    This is why it works against you: you take on too much responsibility, are unable to deliver maximum results, are stressed out and feel like your colleagues are not supportive. The lesson here? Stop biting off more than you can chew. Stop enabling your colleagues to slack. Do what you are hired to do, and do it well.

    Lesson 5: Manage expectations at all times

    The best business advice I’ve ever gotten was from a previous manager. He would always say “business is just managing expectations”. This was at my third job. I had no idea what he meant at the time. But boy, did these words make an impact on my career, my wellbeing and life in general.

    Next to setting up your boundaries, you have to let others know what they can expect from you. This eliminates 90% of your work stress – guaranteed!! Be very clear. Say: “Hey Jim, I know you asked me to get the numbers to you by Friday. However, it’s Wednesday and I’m noticing it’s taking me longer to complete this task successfully. I can get the statistics you asked for by Tuesday at the latest. Is that okay with you?”

    Bam. Crisis averted. Now the ball is in Jim’s court. If he really needs them by Friday, he either needs to find more people to help you or change the timeline on the project. You’re showing him you’re working hard, willing to cooperate and want the best results for all team members. It’s that simple.

    I’ve talked about managing expectations countless of times. You can listen to more examples on how to do it here.

    Lesson 6: Not everyone is your new work BFF

    Unfortunately, you’re not going to have a J.D. and Turk type of work relationship with all of your colleagues. I know that’s what Netflix series have shown you, but more often than not, your colleagues are not going to become your best friends.

    In order for a team to function properly, it’s important to get along, respect each other and have fun every now and again. However, treating all of your co-workers as your new BFFs with whom you share crucial information, like who you hooked up with last weekend, might not be wise. It’ll come back to haunt you.

    It’s super healthy to have 1 or 2 work besties that help you get through the day (and life). We all need those! Just make sure these are people you can trust with your TMI stories.

    Lesson 7: You are more than your resume!

    Last, very important lesson, you are more than your accomplishments! Don’t forget that. It’s easy to get caught up in a rat race. Showing off all of the projects you’ve completed, the clients you’ve helped, the money you’ve made. You are not just your career. Sure, your job plays a big part in your day-to-day life, but you’re also still a beautiful human soul!

    Invest in all aspects of your life: your relationships, hobbies, sports, spirituality, health, travel, dreams — whatever it is that makes you uniquely you. It’s super cliché, but we’re human beings not human doings, and therefore not defined by the things we do, but who we are. Strive to be a healthy, abundant, content, compassionate human being.

  • How to stop job hopping and find your perfect job

    Do you find yourself changing jobs (at least) once a year? I did. Especially when I just graduated university. No job satisfied me and I regularly found myself scrolling through while at work. In this post, I’ll tell you how I broke the cycle and how to stop job hopping. I’ll give you some action steps that will help you find the perfect position.

    Job hopping – why I’m a fan

    Many people – mostly older recruiters – will tell you job hopping looks bad on your resumé. And while I understand that it looks like you might have commitment issues, job hopping can be super beneficial for a number of reasons:

    • you get to experience multiple work environments, so you’ll better know what suits you best (and what you absolutely want to avoid)
    • you build a network quickly
    • you can earn more money (asking for a higher salary with each new job)
    • you learn a bunch of new skills

    Job hopping can be a lot of fun, if – however – you do it because of the reasons above. Unhealthy job hopping looks a bit different. And I’ll tell you my story…

    Unhealthy job hopping – what does it look like?

    Let me paint you my picture. And maybe you’ll recognize yourself in this pattern….

    Month 1 – 3

    In the first 3 months I was always mega excited about my new job! They were pure bliss. New office, new colleagues, new rhythm, new cafeteria food. I got to know my colleagues outside of work by getting coffee or drinks. In most jobs, the first 3 months equaled not having a lot of responsibilities either since I was new and couldn’t possibly know everything that was going on. So I’d just do the things asked of me and shut down the computer at 5pm to go home.

    Month 4 – 6

    During these months, the speed usually picked up. I got my own projects and started playing a larger role within the team. This was the time I got to “prove” myself. At first I would always enjoy this stage of my job because the work itself started to become more challenging (aka fun).

    However, in the later part of this stage, some sh*t would go down. Something along the lines of my boss calling me out because of a mistake I made, having my first disagreement with a colleague or truly failing at a project. Whatever it was, it kept me up at night. For weeks at a time. I’d have a knot in my stomach going to the office.

    This was usually my breaking point.

    Month 6 – 9

    Months 6 through 9 mostly consisted of me bitching about my job to anyone who’d hear it. My friends, family, work friends, and my cat. During this phase, I would be completely aware of the office politics and I’d knew how to navigate the game. But the job itself was already ruined for me because of months 4-6. I started getting bored with the projects, the environment and people.

    Month 10 – 12

    After moaning for 3 months and talking it over with many people, I would usually decide to start looking for another job at this stage. There was just no going back. I would always go to work excited again because of the prospect of finding a new adventure. Because I was applying for multiple jobs, I’d have this “I-don’t-give-a-f*ck” attitude at work. Which made me one of the worst team members. I would no longer care about getting work done on time….or even at all.

    Until one day, I’d get the good news that I’d been hired by a new company!

    And this cycle would repeat all over again. No exception.

    Let me tell you. I’ve kept up this pattern for about 5 years. Some jobs lasted a year, others didn’t even make the 6 month cut.

    Reflecting on choices

    At one point, maybe after my second job – I started to wonder:

    • Why am I unable to invest in a job/company?
    • Why am I always bored/annoyed after 6 months?
    • Did I choose the right education?
    • Is there something I can do to change my behavior?
    • What is it I actually want to do?
    • What is my purpose?
    • What is my why?
    • Why did God put me on this planet?

    You know, the usual quart-life crisis questions. But if I wanted to succeed in my career (and life) I really needed the answers. That’s where it was time to dig deep.

    Here’s how to stop job hopping

    First, let me start by saying that this is a process. A process that can take years. And that’s totally ok <3.

    Upgrade your mindset

    You can’t change life, but you can change the way you react to it. It all starts by upgrading your mindset. You need to look at yourself critically and define what your beliefs are around the key areas in your life: work & career, love, health, finances, family & friends and yourself. What stories have you been telling yourself around these topics? Which stories empower you to get the best out of yourself? And what stories can you upgrade or unlearn in order to level up?

    Getting out of victim mode (I am upset because….) and stepping into my personal power was one of the biggest changes I made in the beginning. Stop blaming outside sources of your anger, sadness, stress and discomfort. Take responsibility for everything that happened in your life.

    Get to know yourself

    “Know thyself” is the MOST powerful thing you can do for yourself. Knowing who you are, how you act, what triggers you, how you come across to others etc. – can help you navigate life.

    There are many different ways to get to know yourself. Look at your personality type, for example. You can take the Myers-Briggs test (cognitive functions) or look into your Enneagram. Although your personality type is not set in stone, it does give you insight into your nature. For me, it finally put into words how I felt inside. The MBTI gave me the tools to explain to others how I function best and how to treat me to get maximum results. It also showed me how my behavior affects others and what I can do to communicate more effectively.

    Then there is also the spiritual route. Connecting to your higher self is a great way to understand your mission. Astrology is a wonderful tool to get the blueprint to your soul – what are you meant to do here on earth? What are your strengths? And I’m not talking about reading your daily horoscope. I’m talking about doing a full birth chart analysis. Gene Keys, Human Design – they’re all great ways to connect to Source and find out more about your soul and how to navigate this human experience.

    Whatever route you choose – do everything in your power to know WHO you are at your core.


    You don’t need to figure out life by yourself. Invest in a couple of sessions with a coach. That’s what I did! Friends and family are great resources and people to discuss your life with, but they’re not going through the same process as you. Plus, because they’re so close to you, they might not give you the tough love you need.

    A coach can hand you all the tools you need to step up. Most of the time, a coach has already gone through the things you’re experiencing right now. They know how to get through it with success. Coaches don’t teach you their ways, but they guide you by asking the right questions so that you can figure out what’s best for your situation. Having someone by your side who holds you accountable and is there for support is genuinely a nice feeling. You feel supported & heard!

    Define your purpose

    We are human beings not human doings. So, who exactly are you when you’re not at your job? What sets your soul on fire? And no, I’m not talking about passions/hobbies. Again, that’s human doing not being.

    What do you value most in life? Why do you do what you do? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What qualities do you enjoy expressing?

    What does your intuition say? When did you last experience pure joy? When you add up all of these joyful experiences, what is the common denominator?

    Lots of questions…Lean into it. Read books, listen to podcasts – heck, visit a Tony Robbins conference. When I first got into personal development, I would wake up and go to bed with Tony. Not literally. But you get the point. Invest in finding your purpose.

    Break the cycle – find career bliss

    Listen, one thing’s for sure: you’re not the only one. Everyone in their life has wondered what the f* they’re doing here on earth. It’s just that 30 years ago we called it midlife crisis. Now it’s the millennial problem. And really, who can blame us? There are so many options for us. We can basically open a laptop and start a business. We don’t need to work 9-5 for 50+ years. We have so much freedom, so much choice. But with choice, comes great responsibility.

    Don’t freeze up, get some help! Talk about it. Together we can figure out what your next steps are going to be!

    Need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

  • What to do in times of corona…

    Since 90% of us are sitting at home in our sweatpants, we can’t deny that this situation hits business owners hard. Assignments are falling through, stores/studios are closing and coaching sessions are canceled. But even in these times, I’m seeing a lot of positivity on social media. As a business owner, I know you are creative enough to evolve your business and get through this difficult time. All you have to do is pivot. [Insert Ross meme here].

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Humor also lightens the current circumstances, so I’ll use it to my advantage.

    Now I understand it’s difficult to focus on the good, but it’s the only mindset that is going to get you through the financial troubles going on at the moment. To make this a bit easier, I’ll share my priorities at the moment!

    #1 Move services online

    The first thing I did when corona hit? Launched my content creation course. Say what?! Some say this would be a ridiculous idea. Why launch in a time when people are hesitant in investing money?

    I don’t see it that way. I saw this moment as the perfect opportunity to completely move my business online. The course had been sitting on the shelf for more than 4 months and I never got around to publishing it. Even if sales are momentarily slow, at least all systems are set up in place when the time’s right.

    Find a way to move your services online. Whether you can offer 1:1 sessions through Skype or sell products – now’s the time to prepare everything necessary to foolproof your business. How can you offer your services in new, innovative ways? Can you make products from your services, like a course or packages?

    #2 Build your network

    Are you already bored with watching Netflix? Let’s find a more useful activity – networking! We don’t need events to meet new people, we have social media for that. Usually, when my regular work schedule is in full force, I don’t have much time to DM or meet up for coffees. However, now that I work from home, I am able to focus on building relationships.

    If you haven’t done so yet, send your business BFFs a message or host a Skype session. You could also spend a bit of time doing research if you’re in need of new connections. Go to LinkedIn and find out who are key players in your niche, or go to Instagram and connect with followers from your colleagues.

    There’s a lot of value in a network. Invest in it now that business is slow, so that you can thrive when things are getting better! We’re all in it together.

    #3 Drive traffic to your website

    The world is at home, bored, and on their smartphone as we speak. Netflix and YouTube have lowered their video quality so that more people can watch videos at the same time without shutting down the internet. That’s insane!

    Take advantage of this period! Now’s the best time to invest in advertisements. Literally everyone is using the internet right now. I don’t know about you but I’ve been on Facebook more this week than I have been the entire year.

    Traffic to your website/social media profile is crucial. More eyeballs = more chance at sales. So, if you know how to – set up ads, or do everything in your power to get people to look at your website. Write newsletters, post content, send DMs – grab attention!

    #4 Create, create, create!

    Don’t sit still. There’s so much to create. Whether it’s inside your business (like that online course…) or content that you can use for marketing later. There’s no right or wrong here. Just don’t stop working. The creativity may not come easily now. Totally normal! Best to go out, take a walk, listen to music and then get back to work.

    I know that at the moment it might feel as if you’re creating out of desperation. A friend of mine, as a store owner, is only just now starting to use social media to promote products. And even though it might feel like it’s too late, it is also a beautiful moment to gain new skills and test out any type of content.

    Let me know how you’re feeling

    We’re in this together. I would love to know how you’re feeling and dealing with these circumstances. Do you feel a certain block? Or are you thriving? Is there something I can help you with? You can let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram. And of course I hope you are safe and healthy!

  • Ways to turn your side hustle into a full-time business

    Do you work a 9-5 job right now, but would you like to hand in your two weeks notice? Congratulations, you belong to the club of dreamers! Before I started both of my businesses, I would daydream in the office about making my own time schedule and working with people I chose to work with. So the idea of side hustle came very quickly. But at some point, you start hoping the side hustle can replace your income. In this blogpost I will show you the things I did to turn my side hustle into a full-time business.

    What’s your side hustle?

    You are an incredible talented person, and I know for a fact you’re really good at doing at least one thing. It may writing, photography, organizing, building websites…Whatever it is, you need to monetize that skill!

    One of the thing I hear my former colleagues say was: “I would like to have a business like you, but I just don’t know what to have a business in.” My answer to this would always be: “Well, what’s your current job? Can’t you turn your current job into a freelance thing?” There’s always a possibility to turn your current skills into a side hustle. You just have to let go of the limiting thoughts. For example, if you work as a personal assistant or a secretary at the moment. Why not become a virtual assistant? Or why not become a career coach to corporate support staff?

    If you don’t know where to start with your side hustle. Look close to home. Don’t make it any more difficult than it has to be. Second, do your research. Find and talk to business owners to see whether your side hustle has the potential to become a full time job. Ask them what some of the profitable business models are.

    Step 1: focus on the necessities

    In order to get ahead quickly and replace your current income with the one from your side hustle means focussing on the things that really matter at the moment: making money! You need to generate money in your side hustle. In order to do that, you need to focus on finding clients.

    Finding clients in the beginning stages can be difficult, but not impossible. Let your current network know that you are starting your own business and are able to offer X, Y and Z. You can do this by sending all of your friends and family a simple email and posting about it on LinkedIn and Facebook. Tell everyone you meet you recently started a business! Share it with the world.

    Putting yourself out there in the beginning can be super scary because you feel like you’re competing with freelancers and businesses who have years of experience. But don’t forget that most people buy from other people they trust. So if a friend shares your post, you already have a big advantage to, let’s say, a random local business.

    Step into the “hustle” mode. I generally don’t like using this word, but in the beginning stages it’s inevitable. Most of the time, a friend of a friend or your mom’s colleague needs help with the thing that you offer. I guarantee the first 5 – 10 clients probably come from your own network.

    More inspo on my Instagram if you need it!

    Step 2: Build your brand

    Ok, so now that you’ve helped a handful of new clients. It’s time to let your business idea take shape. Because you’ve had a few clients, you get a feeling of what people are looking for when they want to hire you. That’s the basis of your brand.

    You need to ask yourself the following questions:

    • Who do I want to help/serve in my business? What does this person look like and what do they need?
    • How am I going to help/serve them? Will it be 1:1 sessions, an online course, live workshops – what’s the best offer I can give my clients?
    • How am I going to reach my ideal client? Do I need social media and online marketing? And if so, what would be the most effective for my business and ideal client?

    Building a brand means building a tribe around your business. You need to extend past your current (offline) network of friends, family and colleagues. This is also the phase where you build your website, social media profiles and maybe even a newsletter.

    Watch out to not get stuck in perfectionism. Staying in this phase for too long will not move your side hustle forward. Also, don’t invest tons of money in your website, logo and all the “fluff”. You can do this at a later stage when you take your business to the next level. For now, everything needs to be functional and effective!

    Step 3: Create systems & automate (or delegate)

    After you’ve helped a few of your clients, review the process. What are some of the things you can automate or find a standardized system for? Maybe it’s the onboarding process that you can standardize. Or maybe you can write out the workflow for when you have a new client. What will make it easier for you to find & serve clients? What do you need to speed up the process from social media follower to paid client?

    You need your side hustle to take as little time out of your day as possible so that you can spend more time with your clients (and make actual money…). Anything from Facebook advertising to find leads to having a standardized email asking for a review will help your side hustle get ahead. Figure out how much of your business you can automate (or delegate). Do you have discovery calls often? Great, create a standard questionaire you can send your prospects beforehand. Sign up to an online booking system like Calendly if you want people to schedule appointments without emailing you.

    It’s little things like this that will make running your business next to your job easier. You need to work smarter, not harder. Let systems do the heavylifting of your business. You are the expert and you should be focussing on your acquisition and serving clients. Not on silly things like admin, emailing or social media posts. You can automate most of that!

    Step 4: Nurture your client base

    It’s the 80/20 rule. In most cases, 80% of your income comes from 20% of your client base. Once you’ve helped a handful of clients, it’s important you nurture that relationship. Chances are, if you launch a new product or service, they’ll be buying from you again. The reason being that they already trust you, so it’s easier for them to hand you their dollars.

    There are many different ways of nuturing this relationship, but one of the more popular ones is having a social media presence where you can connect with them or sending relevant newsletters that include lots of value. You need to make sure that whoever is in your tribe now stays exactly where they are. Word of mouth marketing is the most effective tool when it comes to business. The more raving fans you have in your network, the more clients will come your way. Trust the process.

    If you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time business and leave your 9-5 asap, focus on your clients. They are the ones who allow you to make your dream come true. Be grateful and always show them love.

    Step 5: Just LEAVE your job

    At one point or another, you’re going to feel the need to either work less or leave your job completely because your side hustle is taking too much time and energy and your motivation to work for your boss becomes less and less. Trust me, I’ve totally been there. I quit my fulltime job without any money in my savings account, with student debt, a mortgage and a negative bank balance. But I just couldn’t stand to go to my full time job for one more day. I just couldn’t. So I just quit.

    To tell you the truth: not the smartest idea I’ve ever had and I definitely don’t advice you to do this. However, I do believe in taking action before you’re ready. There is no time like the present and I trust the universe enough to know that things will always work itself out. I told myself that if I couldn’t live off of my business I would just go find another job. With a university degree and some work experience, I know that this shouldn’t be a problem. But to be honest, it hasn’t come that far yet. Because somehow you just make it work. You find creative ways to get new clients. And you’ll notice that once you finished working with one client, the next one miraculously shows up.

    You need to decide what you want out of life. If you never quit your job to pursue your dream, you will never know if you are able to make it come true or not. I think the biggest failure in life is to have regret. There is nothing worse than looking back and saying “I wish I had done that”. So, talk to your family and your partner. Inform them about your decision and ask for their support.

    Your side hustle into a full-time business – are you ready?

    Is it time for you to turn your side hustle into a full-time business? Let me know down below in the comments because I would love to be one of your first supporters! I would also love to hear more about you and your business. Did you just start out? What is the biggest struggle you run into? Let me know in the comments below. And let me know which of these tips you are going to implement!

    If you need any help figuring this whole “setting-up-a-business” thing, you know where to find me.