I often think that an entrepreneur at the beginning of their journey is like a farmer who starts planting their crops on a new piece of land.

The first year(s) they do not know how abundant the autumn will be, because they do not know how fertile the ground is, but as they continue using the same land in the coming years, they learn how to work with the land and the environment to grow the crops, and get the best possible results. 

ERNL has a new refreshed look as our services have been further shapped by our clients needs, check it out

A refreshed website for ERNL after 3 years in business

ERNL is this year – 3 years in business and it was time for a new refreshed website to replace the one built during the last months of pandemic, back in 2021, in my Eindhoven kitchen, writing ideas on a white board, while trying to clarify what was I going to do as self-employed, what was I having to offer now that I did not have a top corporate title anymore?

Leaving my corporate role in London was very much a family decision, and I promised myself that if I was going to move country again (which was my 5th country move) I was going to explore being my own owner. An attempt I had 9 years before, when I was told I was not old enough nor was I having enough grey hair to be taken seriously as a board effectiveness advisor………. I know… I know terrible things to be told! But I worked on those, and fast foward 10 years I had quite some grey hair, more years and some more kilos under my belt, so that should have counted for more weight in my opinion as well….…… joking….. although the truth is somewhere in the middle!

The path in the last 38 months has been filled with many challenges, and the first one was to build a professional network, as I was going solo in a new country, new language, where at the beginning only my family members knew my name and what I did in my professional life.

Through the many challenges, I have also learned some amazing entrepreneurial lessons. 

  1. The first one was to consider myself an entrepreneur, as I did not think I was one.  For me an entrepreneur was someone who was producing something tangible, and what I was doing /offering was intangible services. To my surprise I discovered that an entrepreneur is someone who takes a financial risk to create a new business, and in doing so bares most of the risks and enjoys most of the rewards. With that in mind, especially the financial risk part, now I know I am an entrepreneur. 
  2. My second lesson was about the power of trust relationships in the extended network. My first three paid opportunities came from my network in the countries I worked in beforehand. All in very different circumstances which I could have not foreseen or plan for, and that taught me that at the end of the day the relationships we build in a work place and the impressions we create about our work ethics and ethos are the ones that remain and might follow us along the path. 
  3. My third lesson was that while my intention and vision for what I want my business to be, did not change in these 3 years, the way I provide my services and shape what I do, evolved as I learned more about the evolving needs of my clients & community around me. We live in a changing world and our services, no matter what we do, need to adapt to our clients’ needs.
  4. My fourth reality call was that it is a big myth to think that being “self-employed you work less”.  I discovered I worked far far more than before, and I thought I was already working a lot in corporate, but building a business and a reputation requires very long hours, days, weeks and months of commitment. 
  5. My last big realisation was that while I enjoy working alone, and having my thinking and creative time, which I was missing while running a team and full agenda of meetings and tasks, I do need the teamwork, the meetings for bringing people together to discuss how we are going to do things, the collaboration and the co-creation.  It is a paradox that I learned to embrace that my inspiration for new ideas comes from being with people, working in teams, and once I had the team and collaboration time, I need some reflection time, balancing the two is an act I am still learning more and more.

ERNL remains focused on creating human-centred organisations, transforming organisational culture and helping individuals and teams reaching their full potential.