Inspirational mission to Dubai

Hey Belgian CxO’s, need to be inspired in only 4 days?

Together with ex-top tennis player Sabine Appelmans and her coach Serge Haubourdin, we will organise an exclusive inspiration tour of 4 days to Dubai from 19 until 23 March.

Enjoy the desert, be inspired by the vision of Dubai, meet successful entrepreneurs, meditate with our coaches and experience Hercules Trophy in the desert. A truly unique experience you can’t afford to miss!

Places are limited. Download the brochure here.

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What a year!

From a business perspective, 2013 was probably one of the toughest years ever for me personaly. I’m not going to elaborate on all the hurdles we took, but we did it and we came out even stronger! I thank the best team in the world and the Herculean fans for supporting me in reaching our goals.

I was pessimistic for 2013 – I’m optimistic for 2014. Our theme for this year: AMBITION!

We are all set for a massive year. The global dream is becoming a reality, the team is ready and focussed and our network of fans is increasing by the minute.

My dreams:

* I hope Belgium, Dubai and New York are set for fabulous editions
* I hope Hercules Trophy can start in one new region – why not Australia or the Baltics or Hong Kong?
* I hope Corporate Wellbeing will become a hot topic in the boardrooms and I’m convinced that the Hercules Academy comes with an offering that is unseen in the market.
* I hope we’ll have a great inspirational mission to Dubai with Belgian Executives


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Farewell Nelson Mandela, may you rest in peace

Farewell Nelson Mandela, may you rest in peace

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Dealing with failure

Many people struggle with it. Especially entrepreneurs in Europe, where it’s “not done” to fail and where the underdog always gets the sympathy. Or perfectionists. The problem with fear to fail or insecurity is that it can kill you. If you are afraid of failure, you don’t take risks and nothing will happen. Here’s a great article from James Caan about his lessons learned.

How I look at failure? First of all, I know I fail constantly. When failure is happening: attack the problem, don’t run away because it will get worse the longer you wait. Look it in the eyes. Pretty scary I know, but next time it happens you won’t be. Try to fix it on the spot as much as you can to really understand the source of the problem and not the result. Once you did the quick fix: Don’t change the dream, change the plan! And most importantly: I DON’T CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!

Here’s a good one I borrowed from Dave Crane:

Photo: Like (& Share) of the Day...

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Belgium is surreal

I hear so many Belgian start-up entrepreneurs or companies that want to expand globally complain about the non-existence of Belgian Venture Capital and the lack of support from Belgian banks. I don’t complain, I confirm.

There has never been so much capital on Belgian bank accounts, but so called VC’s only invest in proven business (and then they need a majority of the shares for 100K, and most of them can’t even follow through)  and Belgian banks require a balance sheet of the past 3 years to get 100K… (which you don’t have and if you have it, it shows that you are investing and they bloody hate that). Oh and by the way, if you are going to use that money for international expansion you’ll scare the hell out of them. Oh and don’t ask them their balance sheet of the past years by the way….

Most Belgians even think you can become a global brand on the cashflow of your existing business. Get real! Ripping of your existing customers to finance your investments??? I don’t think so!

It’s surreal – I know – but that’s why Magritte was so successful. It is what it is. Don’t complain and don’t try to change that culture. It’s naive, it will drain you and take your focus away.

Go find capital in other parts of the world. They will understand you. Start from your strengths, to name a few:

  • Belgium has the best Universities in the world, even though others have better marketing.
  • Belgians can easily work with all nationalities. We can easily lead a very diverse team without posing a threat to all the big ego’s from the big countries. We have one of the smallest and most complex countries in the world, so I guess we can manage everything.
  • Belgians are humble and hard workers. They get things done, while others talk about it.
  • Belgians are the perfect mix of North and South. Structure from the North and good life from the South.
  • A lot of great things started in Belgium and were bought by big countries. Is that a problem for you as an entrepreneur? Why should it be? Let your baby grow! You want to be a global brand anyway, so why would you care? You won’t get any appreciation for what you did in Belgium anyway. Is that a problem for the Belgian government? It probably is, but they don’t care and you shouldn’t. They have other things to do like making sure you pay all your taxes.

So to all Belgian entrepreneurs (and no, that’s not the managers who work in big companies and claim to be entrepreneurs because it’s the new sexy): buy a ticket to UK, US or AE and convince venture capital there. It’s the only way!

Good luck! You’ve got my support and let me know how it went.

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6 Exercises To Strengthen Compassionate Leadership

Want loyal, dedicated, and passionate employees? Be a loyal, dedicated, and passionate boss. Here are some tools to develop well-being in your workplace through better communication.

Check out this post by Andrew Newberg MD

It’s September. Start of the last quarter of the year for many of us. Never too late to become a compassionate boss!

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Maybe you’re just making excuses

“Focus, Most Important”, wisdom from mister Miyagi. “Your Focus Needs More Focus”, wisdom from mister Han. Thank you Karate Kid!

Focus is one of the 4 things in our mantra that I had to coach the most in all the business I worked. I believe it’s one of the most difficult things to learn because it’s about getting motivation from pain and people tend to avoid that. People like to do things that don’t hurt them. It’s about saying no to the things that take your focus away. It’s about spotting the excuses.

I believe a big dream helps, but it’s much more than that. Surrounding yourself with a great team that aims for world class performance and being supported by a network that wants you to achieve that dream is crucial. Looking at how top athletes did it always helps. Here’s a good one from Michael Jordan.

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