My Epic Journey from
Teenager to NATWERK!
Short Prologue (CLICK HERE)
What you are about to read is my take on an open job application (open sollicitatie). It will be different from the usual motivation letter + CV, but it will more accurately represent me and what I am currently looking for on a professional level. At the end of the motivation letter, you will find my curriculum vitae. Enjoy and I hope to hear from you soon. - Leon
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
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 found 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
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] .
Thank you for reading! Hope to hear from you soon!