Category Archives: Energy and Inspiration

[VIDEO] Are you a commodity?

I recently went to the Camargue located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta.

It is a beautiful place and it is well known for a couple of things:

  • The white horses
  • The flamingos
  • And fleur de sel

And I would like fous on fleur de sel.

Fleur de sel is one of those small but indispensable touches, like good quality olive oil or fresh herbs, that changes an ordinary meal into a culinary experience. You may not want to use it every single day, because it is expensive, but there are certain dishes that will be markedly improved when you do.

Why is it so expensive?

3 reasons:

1.      It is rare

There are only a couple of regions in France, Portugal and Spain where this special salt can be harvested. It’s not like typical table salt.

2.      It needs to be harvested by hand

First of all, you need to wait for the perfect moment: hot summer days and no wind. Second, it is a very delicate process which requires manual labour and special tools.

3.      The brand

Fleur de sel has a very solid reputation, not only because of the quality of the project. I’m sure that these well-known chefs raving about fleur de sel have also improved the reputation of this special salt.


Now what does this have to do with you and your business?

It is clear that fleur de sel is not a commodity like table salt.

And you shouldn’t be either.

Because being a commodity means you’ll have difficulties standing out from the competition, attracting, clients, asking higher prices and living a fulfilled (professional) life.

So, how can we avoid being a commodity?

1.      Be rare, be unique

Identify your unique selling proposition. What makes you unique? How can you stand out? Check out my vlog if you want to know more:

2.      Ask higher prices

Asking higher prices (than the competition) will make you stand out. People perceive higher prices with a higher quality. Low prices equals commodity. Check out my vlog on how to double your fees here:

3.      The brand

Always be building your Personal Brand. How? Download your FREE ebook “5 steps to build your Personal Brand & move your business to the next level” here:

Btw, want to see the related video?  Here it is:


Your turn

What steps have you taken in order to avoid being a commodity?



[VIDEO] How to feel energized all day?

hi there!

People always tell me I have a lot of energy.

And that it is contagious – that I give them energy.

Wonderful compliments.

Now, first of all, I am not always energized but I suppose I’m able to generate more energy than most people.

Second, it is my mission to enthuse and inspire people to grow and never be small again. Grow as a person and with their business. You cannot inspire people if you are not able to generate energy and transmit that to other. So yes, I suppose my energy might sometimes be contagious 🙂

Now how do I do that?

Let me just give you 4 things I do in the morning and 1 during the day.

1.      When the alarm clock goes off – get up

I used to love the snooze button on my alarm clock. Nothing better than being able to snooze for 10 more minutes in my warm and cosy bed. However, this way you tell your brain your alarm clock is not important and that it should not give it a lot of attention. And this is a dead end street.

So when the alarm clock goes off – I immediately jump out of bed.

2.      Drink water with lemon

Once out of bed I drink a huge glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon in it. Water is good for you, you know that. You should drink lots of it during the day. Starting the day with a huge glass of lemon water immediately gives you an energy boost. Lemon is good for you too. Here’s an article about that. Hope it inspires you to leave the coffee behind and focus on lemon water.

3.      Work out

Go out for a brisk walk, or a run. Do some work-out. Get that heart pumping. Even if you only have 15 minutes in the morning, it will give you that energy boost you’ve been craving for. Promised.

4.      Love energy

Do you have a partner, kids, pets?… Cuddle and hug them. It’s good for your health, reduces stress and the love you get back … ooh such an energy boost. If you don’t believe me, read this

5.      Breath

If during the day, you feel a little energy drip… breath in and breath out – deeply.

Shallow breathing (chest breathing) prevents the body from getting enough oxygen. What you need to do is to focus on diaphragmatic breathing. This is when your stomach expands outward, while the lower ribs expand sideways, which causes the diaphragm to contract. Take your time. Do it slowly. I promise you. This will help reduce stress and increase your energy level.

PS: want to see the video ? Here it is!


Your turn!

What’s your most important energy tip?



[VIDEO] Should you work for free?

I got a call from a client of mine who told me she was asked to work for free. And she wanted to know how to react to that.

My first reaction would be: “no you should never work for free!”

But then again there might be situations where you could possibly agree with working for free.

Here are 3 situations I could come up with:

1.      Testimonial/Case study

Imagine you are a virtual assistant and Richard Branson asks you to become his Personal Assistant for 1 month, for free. I don’t know how about you, but I’d say yes. You will learn a lot from the guy, plus if you can tell others that you’ve worked with sir Richard as his PA I’m sure people will be impressed. Especially if sir Richard is willing to give you a fantastic testimonial.

I suppose you get the idea. If the gig is a great case study and you can get a super duper testimonial from the client, you might consider working for free.

However, you need a win-win (testimonial) and it should be limited in time.

2.      When you are sure you’ll be able to increase your price substantially afterwards

Let’s imagine you are a graphic designer and some big company wants to try you out with the promise that they’ll work with you afterwards (presuming they are delighted with your work).Well, in that case you might also consider working for free.

You have to see it as an investment.

Be cautious however. First, you need to make sure they are integer with their demand and are not inviting all your colleagues to do the same. Second, if it is only an investment of your time, you might be willing to take the risk. Be careful, however, if you need to pay other people or buy stuff to get the job done.

3.      Emotional connection

I’m an animal lover and I (financially) support charity organizations that take care of abused or abandoned animals. If such an organization were to come to me for some branding advice, I’d sincerely consider this. It is a dream of mine to start a foundation for abused & abandoned animals one day. It’s my mission.

Back to you, if you get a question from an organization or company and their mission is 100% in line with yours. You feel an emotional connection with them. Then this too, might be a valid reason to work for free.


This is also why my business partner & friend Karina Urbina and I are organizing a FREE 2-day live business training: (in Dutch). People who have attended the training are raving about it and keep saying: “you should ask hundreds of euros for these two days. It is so valuable.”.

And we do this for free. However there is a strategy behind this.

1.      Testimonial/Case study

During these 2 days we give a lot of value to (starting) entrepreneurs who wish to take their business to another level. We build trust this way. We can’t start charging right off the bat without our audience knowing anything about the value we offer. We are establishing expertise, knowledge and trust with our audience.

Great case study, great way to gather testimonials from raving fans J

2.      Next step

Some of the people attending our business boost event will want more help, knowledge and advice. And that’s what we can offer them in our advanced training. It is clear that these advanced courses are not for free.

3.      Emotional connection

It is our mission to enthuse and inspire our entrepreneurs to grow and never be small again. Grow as a person and with their business. We want to reach as many people as possible with this mission. Lowering the price enables us to help more entrepreneurs. And that makes us happy. That makes us feel fulfilled.

PS: want to see the video? Here it is:


Your turn!

What’s the reason you would want to work for free?



How I reprogrammed my brain

People always ask me: “How can you be so positive all the time?”

My answer is: “I reprogrammed my brain”

Say what?

A little bit of background..

Some of you already know my story, so I’ll be brief.

I used to be a very negative person. Blaming and complaining all the time. The bus is late, lunch sucked, weather is lousy, teacher is a moron, I am ugly, my sisters are stupid etc…

Until one day I had a huge row with my sister and my dad, the people I loved the most. At a certain moment they told me I was no fun to be with. Blaming and complaining. I had to get a grip on myself.

And the crazy thing about all this: I wasn’t even aware of that.

And even though I could argue that indeed there were a couple of things to be unhappy about, I decided that day that no longer was I going to be that negative person. No more.

And little by little I became a positive person.

Now you are wondering how I did that.

I could tell you a great story on how I studied the masters, read the books, etc… but that would be a lie. Well, not completely, in the meanwhile I have studied the masters and read the books on psychology, neuro science, cognitive behavioural therapy etc…

But back in the day, there were nog books like that in my house, there was no internet.

I taught it myself. Gut feeling.


  • By identifying what I really wanted and who I wanted to be.
  • By focusing on my thoughts – what was I thinking
  • Whenever a negative thought entered my mind, I redirected it towards a positive thought
  • I started giving more compliments to others
  • I started wearing a smile on my face 🙂


That simple.

Today, I add other actions to this list

  • Every morning and every evening I count my blessings – I am grateful
  • I use affirmations
  • And I do my random acts of kindness (RAK)


Mind you, there still are times where negativity gets a hold on me.

But I know what to do now 🙂

So, what’s it to you?

Maybe you are a positive person and you do not need to reprogram your brain in that sense.

However, there might be other character traits you have or behaviours you show you are not so happy about.

I believe we can do something about it.

People will tell you all the time: “I was born that way.” Or “Yeah well that’s because I’m an introvert” or “I had a difficult childhood”.

Well, it’s time to grow up and become who you want to be.

Because you can. By starting to reprogram your brain.

It is possible. Look at me.

So off you!


PS: Oh, and I used to be a shy introverted ugly duckling who wanted to be invisible.

And look at me now enjoying networking events, speaking in public, recording videos, showing people how they can become more visible in an authentic way, talking about personal branding…

I knew it was important to leave the introverted, invisible me behind.

I reprogrammed my brain.

That simple.


Your turn.

What are your thoughts on this?



The passive income myth

hi there

Over the past few months or years, I bet you have heard a lot of noise about passive income. Not surprising. It is a hot topic

When you search “passive income” on Google, you get 7.320.000 search results. Not bad. A lot of business coaches and marketing gurus are talking about it. And many entrepreneurs are dreaming of it.

Question is: is passive income worth looking at or is it just a fad?

The short answer: yes, it is worth looking at. No, it’s not a fad. But, you need to be cautious. Read on to find out why you need to be very cautious when it comes to passive income.


What is passive income, and how does it work?

I prefer to define passive income as revenue you earn even when you aren’t actively working. By contrast active or working income is money that stops coming to you when you stop working.

Example, a coach working one on one with his coaching clients – that’s active or working income. If this coach does not have any clients, he does not get paid. If on the other hand, our coach writes a book that he sells to his coaching clients, we are talking about passive income. He has to write the book once, but afterwards the money keeps “rolling in” every time he sells his book.

7 ideas to generate passive income

  1. Write a book, sell it or collect royalties
  2. Create an online training
  3. Affiliate marketing – you promote other people’s products and earn a commission when you sell that product to your audience
  4. Create a software and sell that
  5. License your photos
  6. Write a blog and attach Google AdSense to it
  7. Same for your vlog on YouTube


It is clear that there are many more ideas out there. Just go to Mr. Googles and find out.

Now that you know what passive income is and you have some ideas on how it works, you’ll probably tell me something like: “yeah yeah, but writing a book or creating an online course takes time.”

And that’s so true. And that brings me to the topic I wanted to discuss with you:

3 myths about passive income

And why you need to be cautious when it comes to passive income.

Passive income is 100% passive

I’m sure it’s clear by now that it is not 100% passive.

You might think you can sit back, sip on your piña colada in Curaçao for the rest of your life and still make money.

It actually requires a lot of time and work upfront and some time after. There is always time involved.

Imagine you create an online course. Well, you need an idea, you need to do the research, you need to create it…. And afterwards, you still have to market that course and sell it. Some parts of your course might also become outdated or obsolete, so you need to update once in a while.

Passive income will make you rich

There are people who make a lot of money thanks to passive income. However, this is not a get rich quick thing.

As already mentioned, you are going to have to work really, really hard upfront. And what’s worse, you will have to work very hard for no money at all.

You need to find the right audience – you can’t sell to everyone. Then you’ll need to turn these people into fans and collect subscriber emails. And when you don’t have a big following you better give more personalized help to your first fans. You’ll also have to offer value for free. You can’t start selling your stuff without your audience knowing anything about the value you offer.

You do all this in the hope that you will then get paid at the end and that ultimately the payoff will be greater than the effort that preceded it. In many cases this does actually happen but we cannot guarantee it is going to make you rich in a hurry.

Passive income will make you happy

If you are only in it for the money, it will not make you happy.

First of all, it will not make your audience happy if they feel you care more about the money than about them. And eventually they’ll stay away, you won’t be rich and certainly not happy.

Second, think about why you started your business. Was it purely to make a lot of money? Or was it because you felt you had a mission, a purpose? Because you felt you could serve people? Because you want to leave a legacy? To do something bigger than you?

If you are only in it for the money, well, sorry to say, but then you are not my favorite reader or client. Oops, there I said it.

If, on the other hand, you feel there is more in life than money… then I am sure you will not be happy lying on the beach all day doing nothing but sipping on that piña colada of yours.

I know I wouldn’t. Money is an extremely important by-product of your business but it is a by-product in my opinion. My main goal is still living my purpose: “inspiring & enthusing entrepreneurs to grow as a person and with their business”.


Now all this being said… should we try to make passive income or not?

Yes I think you should.

Keeping into account the three myths.

What do you think?




5 sources of inspiration during tough times

This is the story of my friend Jan who might lose everything….

He is an entrepreneur too.

Always very busy.

Always very focused on new clients.

Always very focused on income.


And to me it feels he is always running running running.

He gives me the impression that he is climbing a steep mountain

He wants to reach the summit

He never takes his eyes off the summit

Problem is the mountain seems to get higher and higher

And he never seems to reach that summit

And worse, he never takes the time to enjoy the view whilst climbing.


“Once I’ll have reached that summit”, he says

“I’ll be able to enjoy the view”

“Once I’ll have reached the summit, I’ll relax”

“Once I’ll have reached the summit, I’ll have time for yoga and personal development”

Today he is not inclined to ‘waste time’ on reading books that are not related to his business.

He refuses to take a step back and have a look at himself, his inner self.

All a waste of time.


I wonder…

Will he ever reach that summit?

What is that summit anyway?

Some big goal? Say earning a billion euros.

And imagine he reaches that big goal – will he be able to relax?

Will he be content?

Will he be still alive and kicking?

Will he still have a family left?

And friends?

I wonder.


“So what’s this to me?” you might ask yourself.

Well, I just want to give you 5 inspiring tips.

Tips that will enable you to enjoy the view whilst climbing the mountain

Tips that will enable you to enjoy life while working on and in your business.

Tips that will make you feel better even if you do not reach that summit.


Here we go:

  1. Read Robin Sharma’s book “The Greatness Guide
  2. Watch Brendon Burchard’s video “How to have more fun
  3. Watch Candy Chang’s Ted Talk “Before I die I want to…”
  4. Have a look at my vlog “How to have more fun and energy in life
  5. Listen to Lisa Gerrard’s Sacrifice – soooo beautiful you just HAVE to slow down and stop.



Your turn – what’s your source of inspiration?

Oh boy, you’re a woman. What a pity.

“I’m surprised so many men follow you and work with you.”

“It’s a shame but I bet men prefer working with a man than with you.”


This is what 2 people said to me last week.

The first statement was made by a (male) friend.

The second by a female client.


I’m surprised.

It never crossed my mind that men have a preference for a male personal branding & business coach.


Is it true?


As I’ve said, never thought of it.

Was I ignorant?


Actually I’m not really into those man/woman discussions.

I’m not fond of the fierce discussions about the glass ceiling.

And these networking events and networking groups focused on women only.

Not my cup of tea.


When I started my business, no way was I going to choose a 100% female target audience.

Was I wrong?

Should I have been focusing on women only?


What’s your opinion?


Other question: imagine it is true.

Imagine men do have a preference for male business coaches.

Why is that?

Do they believe we (women) don’t know anything about business?

Or are they afraid to open up and talk about their challenges to women?


What do you think?


Last question: should I do something about it?

And if so, what should I do about it?

Tell me.


To be honest, I think I’ll stick to working with fantastic, inspiring people.

Men and women.

I’ve been doing that so far.

Suits me fine.

Thanks for all the men and women I’ve been blessed to work with over the last couple of years.

You are great.





Your turn – join the conversation. Give us your opinion on this diversity topic.


3 stupid things I believed regarding goal setting

3 false beliefs i had regarding goal setting

I’ve been so stupid! 

What goal do you wish to achieve?
Have you written it down?
Shared with someone?

You do know that chances to reaching your goal
increase exponentially
if you write them down
and even better if you share with others

And what did I do for almost all my life?

I never dared writing my goals down
Let alone share it with others

Do you have a bucket list?
I never had.
I was afraid to have a bucket list

What a chicken I was ! 😮

But why?

3 stupid reasons:

1. If I write down my goal, I’ll have to stick to it

Euh, well yeah, that’s the purpose of a goal, right?
Thing is, I suffer from the Bright Shiny Object Syndrome
Like a lot of entrepreneurs

I like novelty
I like change
I have lots of new ideas
I like choices

Every new bright object is so exciting!

So writing down a goal would not give me the room to change….
would not be exciting
I thought.

What I know now is that if you do not have goals in business life
you’ll never gonna be successful in that business life

2. If I share my big dreams and goals people will think I’m crazy

That was another silly fear of mine.
Yeah, well maybe some people will think I’m crazy
if I claim I want to make a million euro next year

And so what if they think that?!
The hell with them (excuse my language :-))

Dare to set big goals.

It’s not because dare a small business owner that you should think small! 

Plus, chances of achieving big things when you set big goals
are exponentially higher than if you set small realistic goals

3. What if I don’t achieve my goal, will I be a loser?

That is so black and white thinking!

If I set a million euro goal
I’ll do everything that it takes to achieve that.
If I “only” make 500K I’m pretty sure I will not be called a loser.
And again, hell with people who call me a loser! 🙂

If I were to set a 100K goal and achieve that
maybe I’ll be happy to have achieved my goal
but will I feel like the big winner?
You decide 🙂

In the meanwhile I do no longer have these stupied reasons
for not writing down my goals and sharing them.

>>>  So how about you?  <<<

What’s your goal?
Tell us.
Or do you also have some kind of stupid reason not to? 😮

Enjoy your day!

[VIDEO] What makes you unique?

Hi there

What makes you unique?

Do you have a clue?

Personal Branding is all about standing out from the competition in an authentic way.

In other words, you need to stay true to yourself.

But what is that?

Your uniqueness?

In this video you’ll find the 2 most valuable answers to that question.

  1. It’s all about YOU
  2. And about your signature system.

Signature what? Discover it in our video.


Good luck with that!

And tell me, what makes you unique?



6 influencing strategies to attract clients

Hi there
Being an entrepreneur is often hard work.

And unless you want to be another one on the burn-out list,

you need to take some time off once in a while.

So… is there anything better than checking out

“Welcome back! It’s always a pleasure seeing you. Log on to discover the 50% discount deals”

That was the message I got when I opened the site.

Next thing I see is’s USP:

  • Great deals for every budget
  • 1,221,092 properties worldwide
  • Make changes to your booking at any time!
  • Millions of authentic traveller reviews
  • Need help? We’ve got you covered in 43 languages, 24/7!

Next, a constant flow of information about people who just booked a hotel:

  • A traveller from Australia just booked at Commodore Hotel in London
  • A traveller from France just booked at Hotel Belfort in Paris
  • A traveller from Kuwait just booked at DoubleTree Hotel in London

And I thought to myself… wow – they are good!

Marketing-wise that is.

You really should have a look at the site with your marketing hat on.

And learn!

I immediately recognized some of the influencing strategies Robert Cialdini explains in his book Influence: the psychology of persuasion

I received the book from a friend about 10 years ago.

In the meanwhile I read the book a couple of times and even bought the audible version.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole book, here is a crash course 🙂

In his book, Robert Cialdini explains the 6 influencing principles.

I’ll cover them quickly and give you some practical examples of how

and you can use them to attract more clients.

  1. Liking

“People prefer to say ‘yes’ to those they know and like,” Cialdini says.

People are also more likely to favor those who give them compliments.

And that’s what did when saying how wonderful it is to see me back.

You can use this by doing likeable things – being kind, generous, gracious.

Be authentic, use humour when appropriate.

Or by humanizing your branding & marketing, ie your photo on your website.

Your story.

  1. Authority

By adding things like:

  • ‘1,221,092 properties worldwide’ and
  • ‘We have 117,615,855 verified reviews made by real guests.’ builds its authority.

Maybe you can’t show these stats (yet :-))

but you too, you can build your Personal Brand (=authority position).

By downloading my FREE Personal Branding book where I teach you how to build an expert position in 5 steps.

And if you don’t feel like reading and filling out your Personal Branding workbook,

here are some tips: share your valuable content with your target audience via LinkedIn, a blog, a video, public speaking, a book, an eBook…

  1. Social Proof

When people are uncertain about a course of action (like buying your stuff), they tend to look to those around them to guide their decisions and actions.

That’s the reason why shows you that “just booked carrousel” and all those reviews.

Typical example of social proof.

Back to you, ask for testimonials from your clients.

If you have a lot of followers on Facebook: show it…

  1. Reciprocation

Reciprocation recognizes that people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift.

For marketers, Cialdini says: “The implication is you have to go first.

Give something: give information, give free samples, give a positive experience to people and they will want to give you something in return.”

Giving you the possibility to download my Personal Branding Book for free is not only because I want to build an expert position and win your trust.

It is also a great example of reciprocation.

You too, can give away valuable stuff and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

  1. Commitment and Consistency

People do not like to back out of deals.

We’re more likely to do something after we’ve agreed to it verbally or in writing, Cialdini says.

People strive for consistency in their commitments.

Have you ever noticed the “wish list” on sites like Zalando, etc?

That’s the fifth principle at work.

Studies show that once you have added something on your wish list the chances of you actually buying it are very high.

Because your brain wants you to be consistent in your commitment.

Another example is when you bought something at a certain place, you are likely to buy there again (unless you had a terrible customer experience of course).

That’s why and others keep a record of what you have bought in the past and keep on reminding you of that.

And you can do the same.

Stay in touch with your clients.

Don’t be afraid to offer them something extra, something new, something more expensive…

  1. Scarcity

Scarcity relates to supply and demand.

Basically, the less there is of something, the more valuable it is.

Again let’s have a look at

  • “Booked 2 times in the last 48 hours” followed by “Only 1 room left on our site!” and “62% discount”

In other words:

you better hurry up or you’ll miss this great opportunity to get the 62% discount when you book this fantastic hotel.

I know a lot of people dislike the fact that marketers use scarcity.

But it works, so don’t be afraid to use it too.

For example: offer discounts or bonuses for a limited time period…

So how about it? Ready to use these principles in your marketing?
I can help you with that. Just contact me.

Good luck!


Your turn:

What influencing strategies do you use in your marketing?
Tell us about it.