CHOOSE TO GROW
FROM IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR TO IMPACT INVESTOR
At the age of 26, I started working at the Belgian television news. It was my dream to become an investigative journalist and travel the world. Reality at the news desk turned out to be quite different. I soon realized there were 2 options. I could stay and hope that one day management would grant me the opportunity to do what I was passionate about. Or I could quit and start doing it right now. Looking into the newsroom, I saw many people who were disappointed and disillusioned in their careers. Like me, they had a passion. They wanted to make a difference by becoming a great journalist or an anchor. Unfortunately, they hadn’t succeeded, and they lost the passion. Yet they continued to do the work because it provided financial security. The thought that there was even the slightest chance that this could happen to me, that was my worst nightmare. So the decision was quickly made. I left and started as a freelancer. A month later I was traveling the world, reporting humanitarian projects from Africa. A year later I had set up my first business: a media house producing empowering stories for broadcasting.
Since then, I have made many more life-changing choices. I chose to embrace the challenges, to continuously learn and grow. This has brought me to where I am today. This has made me who I am today. An Impact Entrepreneur and Impact Investor with a clear purpose: inspire and support other Impact Makers and co-create a new society together. I sincerely wish for everyone to experience the fulfillment of this entrepreneurial journey. But I learned one thing. I can wish it to someone but I can not make it happen for someone. Everyone has to make their own choices and make their own commitments to make it happen. That is the only sustainable way.
Grow beyond your comfort zone
It all starts with you and the choices you make. Once you start making conscious choices, you understand that not choosing is also a choice. You choose to do nothing and for a while things may stay the same. But if you want to make a sustainable impact, there is no other way. You will have to grow as a person in order to grow your project. The same applies the other way around. As you grow a project, you yourself will also be growing as a person. So do you consciously choose to make that impact. Do you believe in it? Do you have trust? Do you want to go all the way?
Whatever your Impact Project might be, you will need a strong motivation. The bigger the project, the stronger your drive and your belief must be. Without it you might want to give up at the slightest setback. Of course you will experience a lot of joy and satisfaction. But there are also going to be moments of frustration and disappointment. You will have to deal with your fears and insecurities. You will have to get out of your comfort zone, speak up and show what you stand for. All of this requires an inner drive, a passion, and a rock-solid confidence that you can do it.
In my latest Impact Projects, my drive is my children. I wish for them to grow up in an environment where they can thrive, now and in the future. That is my personal why. That is why in September we start QP College, a high school for the conscious entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. My children will be amongst the first students to start.
Next step is to grow an international network of Micro-Societies. These are self-sufficient ecovillages where conscious Impact Makers can live, learn and work together. The school is of course, an important part in this. Furthermore, we also include biophilic housing, co-working space with media house, vitality facilities, and of course our own healthy food production and energy solutions. This is a huge undertaking that was started in 2019 by 3 people. I must say it was quite a ride and sometimes it was a challenge to keep believing. Today, all three of us have grown and reached the next level. As a result we have taken major steps forward and now all doubt is gone. The Micro-Society Network is coming. In one of my next blogs, I will talk in detail about the Micro-Society in the Netherlands.
Grow your project sustainably
To grow your Impact Project, you need different passions. Passion for your project, passion for your product, passion for the people involved, when relevant a passion for the place, but always a passion for profit.
It’s obvious that you need passion for your project. Then you need passion for your service and product that will generate income for your project. You need passion for all the people involved: your team, your clients, your partners and suppliers, your Impact Investors and Impact Lenders. For some projects such as a Micro-Society a passion for the place is helpful. And yes, you always need passion for profit. Even if your primary goal is to make impact and bring social and environmental change. You need to be profitable. You have to be able to pay your expenses, so you can grow sustainably. The more your project grows, the more impact you can make. I already described this path from start-up to scale-up to sustain-up in another blog article about the QP-Quest.
Too often I get questions from people with a great idea, who have passion for the idea but not for the work. They are not interested in setting up the business structure that is necessary for the manifestation. They don’t want to make a product that they can offer and sell. They don’t even want to make profit. This kind of undertaking has a name. It is called a hobby. By definition a hobby is not sustainable and will not continue to make impact long after you’re gone. Serious Impact Investors will not be interested in funding this kind of project. They want their money to make a sustainable and lasting impact.
That brings us to funds and funding. Many startup entrepreneurs think money is the problem. If only they had enough money they could start this or that Impact Project. I have to disappoint you. Money, or the lack of money, is rarely the problem. Usually the problem is a lack of creativity to come up with solutions, or a lack of courage to take action out of the comfort zone. Of course funds can help. But it is still the initiating entrepreneur who will have to commit and make it happen.
Grow your ripple impact
When you notice the positive impact you start making with your project, it almost becomes a moral obligation to increase your impact. There are different ways and strategies. You can set up spin-offs or new Impact Projects. You can expand or copy a project to other places. For example, we developed the concept for a Micro-Society in the Netherlands. Following the same principles, Micro-Societies can also be developed in other regions and countries. You can choose to help and support other Impact Entrepreneurs. For example, QuantumPreneur supports Impact Projects with mentoring as well as business services such as virtual assistance, sales funnels, digital products and so on. As an Impact Investor, you can of course help through investments or Win-Win-Win Impact Lending.
My business partner Christiaan Baan is a great example of the driven Impact Entrepreneur who quickly became to be an Impact Investor. When I first told him about QuantumPreneur, its underlying values and goals, he immediately felt that this resonated with him. He jumped and committed himself to make it happen. Today he is an Impact Investor and Impact Lender. He is generating a good return while supporting Impact Projects in a sustainable way: win-win-win. Win for the Impact Project, Win for the Impact Investor and Win for society and planet.
In the end our aim is to help conscious Impact Makers grow as we did, from Impact Entrepreneurs to Impact Investors. Thus creating a sustainable network of people helping each other out both with experience, expertise and funding.
Let’s join forces
Does this purpose resonate with you? If so, I invite you to connect in a live connection call. I’m looking forward to hearing your story.
For Impact Entrepreneurs who choose to grow their Impact Project.
For Impact Investors who choose to explore Impact Lending opportunities.
For Impact Communicators who choose to share experience and expertise.