Thank you all for your support in 2014. It’s been an incredible year in so many ways. Looking back I’d like to share some of the highlights (and the lowlights) with you. It’s very hard to focus on just a few things, but in the spirit of brevity, I’ll try to keep it short!
*My client Janneke Niessen, the founder of Improve Digital, won Entrepreneur of the Year. Not ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year’, but ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’. This does not surprise me, as she’s one of the most inspiring and dedicated women I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching. She’s been asked to give lots of presentations in English – which she really enjoys doing now!
*Diana Matroos, from RTL Z and BNR, hosted an international conference celebrating 200 years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was broadcast by over 50 networks worldwide, and attended by the King and Queen of the Netherlands and the President of Germany. It was her first public presentation in English. (No pressure, right?) She sailed through it and glowed the whole way through!
*Coaching the Management Team at Linda. during an in-company training program. I loved working so intensely with Jildou, Leanne, and Marielle during that period. They work so hard to make that magazine as brilliant, funny, and clever as it is – it’s just how they are as people, and it’s reflected so well in every aspect of Linda.
*Speaking during the kick-off of the amazing BrandedU program that my manager Nancy Poleon and project manager Anouk Schepers put together to empower women to get the most out of their careers. So much awesomeness in my own career has come from their dedication and passion for what they do. Huge hugs and love to Branded Personalities for always believing in me.
*I showed up on Hadewych Minis’s doorstep 5 minutes after she took her pregnancy test. We were working on her new album but had happy tears first! I so admire her ability to act, sing, dance, and rock out on her bass night after night with a baby due very soon. Amazing woman!
*I sat in my darling Bart’s kitchen and fed him Bossche Bollen and he fed me Zeeuwse Bollen as we worked on the new Racoon album. His writing moves me to tears. How he can just belt out a song in the middle of a conversation gets me every time. Love weighing every single word with him.
*Doing Media and Interview training with Paul Rabbering from 3FM. Which means laughing. A lot. And learning, too! We will be continuing that soon again – really looking forward to that, it’s a pleasure to work with someone who is so curious about everything and ready to learn and learn and learn!
*Helping Harry Piekema work on new material for a new show he’s doing. I knew his acting so well… we all do, but I had no idea he was such a great singer – soon you will all know! Mark my words.
*Sitting on the couch in Utrecht with Mister & Mississippi working on their new album. It’s hard to top their debut, which was stellar, but Jeeves, I think they’ve done it. It’s incredible and I can’t wait for you all to hear it. They give me goosebumps on my goosebumps.
*Helping Jacqueline Govaert put the finishing touches on her new album via Skype when she was in LA recording it – and just this week checking a song she wrote for the Serious Request auction. I have loved her for 14 years and that will never stop.
*Working with Sunday Sun on their new album – they started as students of mine at the Rockacademie (which hired me because Jacqueline told them about me when she was studying there – thanks, J!) and then they became my esteemed colleagues in the music industry. Spotify says they are the ones to watch for 2015. Believe me, they are!
*Taking my kids to see BLØF at the ZiggoDome a couple of weeks ago. They loved every single minute of it! Then I took them to their first afterparty backstage where they hung out with Máxima and Willem-Alexander. (“And Chef’s Special, mama!”) It was a magical night to remember. They are such a great band and are some of the kindest, most talented and most generous people I know. Love to B,P,N and P! Maybe I should change my name to Bløffie.
*Launching my first online Business English Communication Course. It was a biiiig thing, at least it was for me – new website, new setup, writing new material, filming for days….what if no one signed up? What if it failed? I’m so proud to say that people did sign up and now so many people have completed the course with great results. We are launching again on March 30!
*Working with over 500 students a week and seeing their eyes light up when they get their tests results back (most of them…) – and showing them that learning can be fun and nothing to be afraid of. And thank you all, my sweet hungry heroes, for continually laughing at my lame jokes.
*Interacting with all of you –every week I got reactions and comments to my newsletter or my posts on social media – I cannot tell you how much that means to me – thank you all for being there for me in 2014 and being part of my life!
*Getting the keys to my very own workspace. For the first time since 1990, I have a room of my own to work out my own ideas and let my creativity fly. I cannot even begin to express how excited I am about this!
Not everything was starlight and rainbows, however. I’ve also spent waaaaay too much time in the hospital this year. For those of you who don’t know, I have a thyroid disease, which is so serious that I’ve actually lived without a thyroid gland for the past 30 years, as it had to be removed. This year my medication, which keeps me alive, didn’t really do its job, and I was in the hospital a lot for blood tests, working with specialists to determine why it wasn’t working as well as it should. I’m happy to say that now I’ve just gotten my blood work back and the levels are more stable now! I think eating well, working out, mediating every day and just being happy and thankful really helped me get through this. Without that, I would have been an absolute mess!
As the year comes to an end, I look at the world and I see light. I see love. I also see darkness. Violence. Anger. Frustration. I try to live in the light. Every morning I see as a new chance; a new opportunity to be better. To do better. To live in grace and gratitude. Every night before I go to bed I think “Did I make a difference today?” I know that no matter what next year brings, I will be true to myself and find the light no matter where I am. I will share that light with all I meet.
A candle doesn’t lose its flame when it lights another candle. Go out there and be the light in 2015. And share it with the world.
Thank you all for making 2014 such a special year to me.
With love and gratitude,