If you had said this to me 10 years ago, I might have laughed it off. But today, I am upgrading my company, watching it grow, and taking on new challenges. There is a passion in me that may not have been there before, which is why I’m giving back to society. On a voluntary basis I help young entrepreneurs in difficult times as they do not have experience yet, but I do!
I come from a working class family and we certainly didn’t have a lot of money at home. We only knew one thing: “work”. So I started working weekends from a young age. It was not a punishment; I was driven and enjoyed it. But after receiving my degree in Business Administration, I realised there were further steps I was aching to take. Together with my partner, an electrician, I set up the company GNA from scratch. A combination of electricity and software soon led us to automation, which is what we are committed to as a company today.
One of my passions is cooking. Although time does not always permit me to, attending cooking workshops is something I enjoy. It’s nice to meet like-minded people in such a gastronomic setting and has also resulted in a wonderful little tradition at work: I make delicious fresh soup for everyone at work every week.
Another of my passions leans more towards the professional. I like helping young entrepreneurs to understand their back office and, above all, to stay ‘healthy’ and grow in a well-thought-out way. Accompanying them in this process is important to ensure their continued success. After more than 30 years of experience, I can really help them with this. And my own contacts and networks also benefit. I have joined several organisations aimed at experienced entrepreneurs, giving my input and receiving information has been added value. Everyone wins!
However, the Corona pandemic has brought social contact to a standstill. The coaching, workshops, networks and so forth have all come to a stop. We will hopefully be able to socialise normally again by the end of this year. Fingers crossed!
What I have enjoyed in the past year—against all expectations—is the peace that the pandemic has brought. It’s been good for me. With my batteries recharged, I’ll be ready to move ahead at full steam for the company, the employees and the big investments that are planned for this and next year.
From my experience, I would like to share some tips on employee motivation, whether to boost your business or give you food for thought. It’s up to you what you do with them:
- Dare to take on a challenge. Don’t stand still;
- Surround yourself with the right people in the right place (both internally and externally);
- Attract positive motivators, repel negative ones;
- Do not underestimate the importance of a good back office, and always manage it well;
- Stay in control of the company—financials, sales and customers—but delegate as much as possible;
- Continuously stimulate your employees and show them you are proud of them;
- Create a flat structure with open and direct communication; and
- Dare to take risks. It’s the only way you’ll grow.