‘In my family it is a taboo to talk about money. If someone is ‘for sale’ with material things, it is soon done with condescension. What is most important to us is gathering knowledge and doing the other person a favor. Because I’ve been working as a coach for years, teaching leaders to be authentic, at one point I thought: how authentic am I really? I have followed four studies and I have learned to always conform, with the family and at work. But since I’m self-employed, I’m showing more and more of myself, also on social media.
“I have been working in business for 23 years and have worked for several organizations. In the workplace I often saw people wearing a mask, so as not to fall by the wayside. That does not create a good working climate. If you only sail on intellect, you also have a lot of prejudices about others. But if you speak from your heart, you can also do beautiful things. If you do business with integrity, the money is less important, it will come naturally.
“In 2018 I decided to start for myself. As an employee I earned 2,000 euros net per month, so that was the amount with which I wanted to start as my own boss. Over the years, that has slowly increased. It’s enough to live on. The rest of the profit goes back into my business.”
‘I live with my husband and son (9) in Bleiswijk. When my husband and I got together thirteen years ago, we didn’t want to buy a house together, so we rented. But housing costs have now risen so much that we have been looking at buying a home since last year. Preferably two-under-one-roof or a detached house, somewhere near a forest or on the water and with a large garden. It may not be the best time to buy a house, but the money is there, so if we come across something, we go for it.
“I was brought up very soberly: we had to be thrifty and save, and not spend too much. I hated it when my mother sometimes went to buy clothes for me at the Zeeman, then I hid further away. In retrospect, I understood that she didn’t have it wide as a single mother. When I wanted a jacket from Claudia Sträter as a teenager, my mother told me to go to work for it. I cleaned for a month and ended up not buying the jacket, I thought it was a waste of all that slogging. That was the moment I learned the value of money.
“Even though we don’t have to leave anything now, I think it’s important that my son also learns to appreciate money. So when he wanted a Nintendo, I let him save one half and we paid for the other. I did not tell him that I did not eventually withdraw that money from his account.”
A version of this article also appeared in the March 6, 2023 newspaper