My Epic Journey from Teenager to Chunk! - Studenthousiast

My Epic Journey from ​
Teenager to ​​​​​​​​​C​hunk!?

​Short Prologue (CLICK HERE)

​Humble Beginnings

My journey starts in a small village near Breda​. I was a small boy who grew up in a ​closely knit community inside a large rural area 20 minutes out of the city. This remote and boundless childhood, I found later, led me to think more out of the box and helped me ​stop restrictive thinking, leading me to come up with more ​cool and useful ideas. One of which was particularly memorable and creative. ​​​It demonstrates my adventurous and entrepreneurial mindset that I developed all the way back when I was a teenager. Quite fitting for this brief anecdotal intro. ?

It ​happened on a hot summer evening in the backyard of my parents house when I was around 13 years of age. Me and a local friend of mine were sitting ​on ​a small pair of old wooden stools enjoying one of the last few ​summer evenings of the year with little to no inspiration on what to undertake in order to entertain ourselves for a couple more hours before heading off to bed. ​When suddenly​ my ​creative funny bone started to tingle, and I come up with this crazy idea... ?

​It involved going to the nearby golf-field to go for a swim in one of their many ponds and see if we could maybe find some golf-balls to take home. Absolutely bonkersofcourse. Now we wouldn't be us if we wouldn't at least give this absurd plan a try. So as soon as dusk fell, of we went! With our swimming trunks tightly tied and only a small backpack on our back, we walked off to the golf-field and proceeded to quitely jump over the fence. Once we both got over we searched for the nearest pond, which was surprisingly tough in a pitch black night... but we managed to find one after walking and looking around for a bit. ?

Without second-thought we jumped in and hit the cool colourless water with a swift and gentle splash. Trying to keep noise-levels to a minimum. Immediately after touching the mushy sandy bottom we felt golfballs underneath our feet, and slowly grins started to appear on our faces. We struck GOLD! ​​​​?

For the next 2 full hours we proceeded to throw golf-balls on the shore, ​not just a few, no.... they came by the handful! After an intense couple of hours our internal batteries started to run dry, and we decided to throw in the towel. With a good haul of 300 golfballs we triumphantly walked off the golf-field, headed home, took a quick shower and went off to bed. Just so we could have a good nights sleep, to recharge our batteries for the days to come. And oh boy, did we need that energy! ⚡️ ?

​As the sun slowly rose above the horizon we got up and started to enthusiastically clean and sort our treasure from last nights heist. After a good few hours of scrubbing, brushing and polishing we had a couple hundred golfballs glimmering on the floor in front of us. Now... we ourselves weren't the biggest golfplayers, so we decided we could maybe earn ourselves a golf-cart if we sold off all of our golfballs. An overly-confident goal, yet a very educational and enjoyable endeavour. ? ?

Thus off we went! With our zipper-bags full of sorted and shiny golfballs, picknick rug and our unduly ​optimistic ​vision, we headed off to the side of the golffield and sat down in a nice shady spot. Over the next few days, and successively the next few summers, we succeeded to sell ​our ​adventurously obtained golfballs to supportive and friendly golfers. Making us a hefty sum of money! (golfballs are expensive, so we could sell them for between 50 cents to 2 euros ​each!) ?

​In the end, this little entrepreneurial venture lasted until the cuteness-factor wore off and we hit puberty. But even though the life-span of our little 'company' was limited, the experiences and skills it brought us ​stick with us until this very day. It taught us about marketing (packaging the balls, presenting them nicely on the rug), sales (upselling, cross-selling, ​persuasion), accounting (keeping track of the income), and​ so SO much more! This creative, entrepreneurial and pro-active approach to life is what I'm all about. ? ? ?

​"​If you never get rejected, you're not aiming high enough" - Anonymous

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​Studies and Preparing for the Next Step ->

As all usually do, I went through the formal education system and obtained my degree. I ended choosing a Uni-Bachelor related to International Business and was overall not disappointed with my decision, yet... I felt it could not prepare me for the fast-changing world that lay ahead of me. ?

I f​ound out that I could partially fill up that void and calm that slight anxiety by overloading myself with extra-curricular activities. To learn stuff school could not teach me. I was basically, applying to all honours programmes, exchanges, masterclasses and scholarships available while working at a challenging direct sales gig on the weekends. Fun times. ?

​After an honours summer school in Beijing and a semester abroad at one of the best business schools in Asia, located in Singapore, I was almost done with my bachelor. ​While I was abroad, I came to the realization that everybody has a degree nowadays and that the way to differentiate myself was through my skills, creativity and professional network. So I decided that I would delay my masters and focus on work and connecting with pro's in an area that I adore: Online Marketing. ? ?

​The whole premise of selling your idea online and creating massive growth and scale just clicked with me. By this time I had been reading, watching and listening to big-time entrepreneurs for a few years and I recognized that most of their succes could be attributed to ​brilliant marketeers and killer sales people. Of which most of them (e.g. Gary Vaynerchuck, Tai Lopez, Tim Ferris, Derek Sivers, Kevin Rose, etc.) were one or the other, or both. 

​Thus to learn this progressive craft, I opted for an Online Marketing internship at a small but innovative start-up near Utrecht. While they could not properly teach me all of the online marketing skill-set (they only had an SEO & SEA guy on payroll), I did have the support, freedom and budget to experiment and teach myself the fine strokes of the art (Paid Social Ads, E-mail marketing and automation, Content Marketing, Display advertising, Web Design, Lead generation, you name it)​. Yet, I felt with proper feedback and coaching I could improve much quicker

"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement" - ​Tim Ferris

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​Therefore I said my goodbyes to the start-up peeps and we finally arrived at the present moment, ​at which I am actively looking for an Online Marketing agency to take me under their wing. Ideally I would like to work on more strategy-based tasks, however anything goes. Learning as much as possible by just doing is my goal here, so being allowed to work with different departments would ​amplify my development tremendously. I do not yet know if this fits your company, ​therefore I do expect to take just one step at a time. ​Fortunately, I know I can ​work self-reliantly and independently on many facets of Online Marketing already, so I am sure I can be of good use without much mentoring on your part. ?

If you feel like I could be a good fit for your team(s), I would be more than happy to come by and introduce myself, shake a good number of hands and talk about the possible needs/opportunities that I could be fulfilling. ​My apologies for the long read, ​I just felt this way of sending an open job application would sketch a ​more accurate picture of me than doing it the "normal" way. Lastly, if you are interested you can always reach me on: +31621305574 and [email protected] . ?  ?

Kind regards,

Leon Lanen

Curriculum Vitae

Thank you for reading! Hope to hear from you soon!

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