If you’re looking for an English teacher, please hang up and try someone else. I’m not an English teacher.
So….what do I do?
I help highly motivated people redesign their English communication strategies so they can share their business, passion, and talent with the world in order to create true impact, value, and growth, both personally and professionally.
I’m a Word Wardrobe Wizard, a Confidence Catapult, and a Mindset Magician. At least that’s what my clients say. Het Parool called me ‘radically compassionate’, the Volkskrant said that I was a ‘grammar fairy’, Jinek called me ‘the English coach to the stars’, and De Telegraaf said ‘I was a super ball full of positivity’.
Whether I’m working with a global CEO in Brussels, coaching a startup in New York, in the recording studio in Amsterdam, or volunteering for my foundation in the north of Bali, I’m here to make a difference in how you talk to the world. And how you talk to yourself.
From Brooklyn to Brabant because of Barcelona.
Do you want to read the long or the short story?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1968, one year after the Summer of Love (connect the dots). We moved to Highland Park, Illinois when I was young, and I went back to New York for college. I graduated in 1990, with a degree fresh in my unlined hand, and I went to Europe for 6 weeks for a final hurrah before I started my work at Planned Parenthood in NY.
Or so I thought.
You see, life asks questions.
And I always answer with my heart.
Even if my brain does not understand what is happening.
4 weeks after graduation, on a train in Prague, someone heard me speaking English and asked me if I had any teaching experience. I sure did, as a refugee volunteer for many years in NY. She then asked me if I wanted to be the first English teacher in the very first language academy for adults in Prague. I would get 80 cents an hour, and there were about 70 adults who were dying to learn English but also afraid, as just a few months before, they could have been arrested for playing a Beatles record or reading an English book in public.
Chance of a lifetime.
I grabbed it.
Signed a contract in Russian.
Didn’t understand a word.
But it felt right.
I called my mom to tell her the amazing news.
In my excitement I forgot all about the time difference.
‘Mom! I’m not coming home! I’m staying in Europe to start a language academy! For adults! In Prague! I signed the contract and everything!’
My mother sleepily said ‘This is a nightmare.’ And hung up.
I still had 2 weeks left on my train pass. My new boss said ‘Go travel, then come back in 2 weeks to start.’
I went to Barcelona.
I met a very tall man at 3 am who tried (or so I thought) to break into the apartment I was staying in. His first words to me were ‘My name is Peter, please don’t hurt me.’ (I was holding a very large rock at the time.)
We fell in love fast and hard.
But I had to go to Prague to start This Historical Job As The Very First Native Speaker at the Very First Language Academy. Ever.
I said goodbye to him, and ‘Ahoj!’ to my new life in Prague. I made all the materials myself, learned Czech very fast, and taught English very slowly and carefully.
I loved it. But that guy. I loved him too.
After 1 year of writing letters (no email, smart phones, or any of that fancy stuff), I decided to say yes to another big question – ‘Will you come and live with me in the Netherlands?’
This fella was a keeper.
But he wasn’t enough.
I needed a job because I was an Independent Woman.
That one-night stand is now a one life stand.
The man deserves a medal.
I got hired at the most prestigious language academy of the Netherlands and worked there for nearly 11 years. I had a small voice inside of me that told me that I could do more. That voice got louder and louder. I wanted to make my own materials again, and work long-term with people. So I decided to leave that very safe, well-paid job, and take a huge leap into the unknown.
I had to follow my dreams to become the first Personal English Coach of the Netherlands.
There was nothing like this – no one had ever heard of such a job.
They told me that it did not exist.
But it did.
In my head, and in my heart.
I started with nothing, and I had to work hard to prove my value. Very hard.
I had to convince people that they could improve their pronunciation, write better emails, level up their business skills, and feel much more confident with a personal coach on their side, helping them step by step. In regular coaching sessions, full of honesty, humor, and hard work, using materials that were tailor-made for their own needs, goals, and challenges.
I started in the music industry, coaching artists.
People started hearing a difference in their pronunciation.
Their music managers asked me for help in negotiating contracts and writing press releases.
Their labels needed help with international communication.
Then I branched out into Business English for Fabulous people.
And elite athletes.
And Ted Talk speakers.
And lots more.
You can see my client list HERE.
Now I’m living my dream. Everyone who works with me can feel my energy, enthusiasm, and excitement – I truly love what I do, and every day when I get out of bed, I can’t wait to see what the day will bring me. If you hate Mondays, it might mean that you hate your job. Mondays are awesome!