One door closes and many others open!

Looking back at my first period as an entrepreneur, after letting go of ABN AMRO where I worked over 20 years. Yes, you were all right! I should have done this sooner:) In my defense, I am levering lots I have learned the past two decades. Read my lessons learned, also about dealing with the admin hassle.


The past two months have been quite dynamic. Like all you entrepreneurs and self employed know, such an admin hassle comes with the job. I spent time setting up structures that help me to be in control of things without too much effort. Teaming up with NAHV to automate things helped. But I also had to arrange a lot of other private stuff I did not have to deal with as an employee. New insurances, new mortgage, new mobility solution, new telecom subscription and so on. I was quite lousy with the admin at ABN AMRO, but I must say now it is something I like and control better than ever. Maybe because it is for me and my clients and not for the corporate system?


Most friends I spoke to advised me to take it easy for some time after 20 years non-stop working. That would have been my biggest challenge, not doing too much for some time. I am too restless for that. I decided to let the market decide. If there was not much work in the beginning, no stress an enjoy. But the market pulled me(nnovation) in. A highlight of my first self employed working experience.

Impact assignments

For QMG with their labels HTC , ATIR and GRIP I was asked to help them on their Digital Strategy. Really love working for SME companies where the focus is on getting things done. That is exactly what we worked on making digital strategy as practical for the company as possible. I learned that being an outsider with an expert view helps, as long as you stay connected with the people and don’t rely only on powerpointing. Also the facility services market is an interesting one - so it fed my curious brain - where technology is creating new business models for a traditionally humanized, consultancy driven industry. Of course a hybrid model is where the opportunity lies:

Grip Facility digitizes key information for facility management to gain transparency, optimal cost and contract control on a continuous level.  Their platform empowers consultants to differentiate and improves the efficiency of facility management and enriches the experience in buildings.

For the consultant this means becoming a personal advisor, in a digital age;) And as you can expect from me, sustainability is a topic we talked about being increasingly important as key information and to advise on.

For NN non-life, market leader in NL with property, casualty and income insurance, I was assigned to help them out by improving their sustainability strategy and actions. My experience of how ABN AMRO took sustainability to the core of their strategy and worked on proof points such as the Impact Nation program I founded really comes into place. Applying best and worst practices to NN. I am very excited about the opportunity an insurer like NN has to steer on impact. The role they play as ‘insurer’, underwriting risks, protecting financial losses, is so aligned with sustainability goals. They have the distribution power to accelerate sustainability shifts with their products, promoting behavior change and best of all preventing it. A big commitment has been made to become net zero in 2050 with already some proof points in the portfolio and lots of enthusiastic NN colleagues throughout the organization motivated to take on this impact opportunity. I will keep you posted on the many innovative and impactful initiatives we will scale. In one track NN is working together with Impact Nation (how did that happen?!?). I will still have a foot between the door I closed and I am experiencing the client side of what I set up. Eat your own dog food in practice,

With Holland Fintech - I have been working with Don since he started in 2014 - also a collaboration started. Increasing the fintech startup and scaleup vibe is the goal. I already could deliver some value by sharing my experience to Israeli Fintech looking for a springboard: fintech blog .


So many doors are open! And more new doors are about to open. I will write about those in my next article. It really feels like Sustainability and Innovation are the pressing topics in more and more companies where strategy and delivering proof points have to go hand in hand. An open door for Mennovation.