It’s been almost two months since my last article. If you haven’t read it, maybe you should. Now, we are two months further and I feel like I am already on another roller coaster, and here’s why:
While spending an amazing time in Belgium for the holidays, I had the feeling that the previous 7 months I had been doing all the things I wanted to do in Cartagena but it was not really going somewhere. I was teaching English to kids in a very poor neighborhood 2 days per week, I was doing yoga, going to the gym, making music, writing my blog, traveling a bit, taking salsa classes, etc. It was great! But I felt I had no real purpose.. all this effort was not adding up to something. Plus, making friends was still difficult. I knew so many people, but only with two of them I had a real friendship. So I created a plan with two goals: finding purpose and finding friends.
In Belgium I spent a lot of time with my friends. Two of them started a business together in the previous year. They produce and sell their own Limoncello. Another friend was working on an idea to standardize small scale hydropower generation (what? I know, lets just say it’s something with renewable energy), and now he’s in the process of setting up his business. Just being with them and listening to their stories about their product or about setting up their business, made me equally enthousiast about their ideas. It inspired me and made me want to create something of my own as well. Could I? But how? What would I do and how should I do it? I needed to know what makes someone start his own business? A good idea? A heap of money? Some craziness? I wanted to figure out what it takes to set up your own business and answer the question ‘What does it take to be an entrepreneur?’.
At that moment, I was also struggling with what I should be writing on my blog (nobody is interested in what I do all day every day, except maybe grandma). I wanted to create a bit more interesting content. So, I came up with the idea of interviewing the oh-so-inspiring-entrepreneurs and putting their stories on my blog.
This was part 1 of my plan. Interviewing entrepreneurs. This would inspire me and teach me a lot about entrepreneurship. AND I was convinced that I would be meeting a lot of new people and possibly some new friends. So the friend issue would also be tackled with this one. Part 2 of my plan was finding a freelance or part-time job. This would give me more purpose while not killing my freedom, collegeas (that maybe turn into friends), and money (well, actually just a little bit of money as a Colombian wage is peanuts compared to our Belgian wages).
Still in Belgium, I started executing my plan and did my first interview with my good friend Phaedo to practice my interviewing skills. Result? I loved it. He inspired me with his outlook on life and his just-do-it mentality, and makes me want to go after the things I want in life as quickly as possible.
When I arrived back in Cartagena, I kept working towards my goals. After a few weeks trying very hard but seeing no result whatsoever, I got a little bit demotivated. I quit as English teacher and got involved in a lot more activities than before. Meeting a lot of new people. But besides that, nothing had changed. Nevertheless, I kept going. I was so determined about my plan that I started talking to people about it and then something amazing happened! My plan suddenly got executed by itself. Being around all these people and talking with them, got me thinking about a service that is not available in Cartagena, and that I have been missing ever since I arrived. I decided that if it’s not there, I can just try to start it up instead of waiting for someone else to do it (details will follow soon!!). And now, step by step, I am working on my business plan. And as if this was not good enough, I got offered a job, somewhere where I wasn’t even looking! I signed a part-time contract with This Is Cartagena, where I will be working with a fabulous team to make sure you’ll have the most amazing experiences when you visit Cartagena (Seriously, if you’re planning to come to Colombia, visit us… We’re amazing. It’s true. The best. Can’t wait.)
So here I am, feeling like finally everything is just falling into place. I am super excited about what’s to come and love sharing this journey with you. For now I can share with you that in the past two months I have learned three important lessons: (1) Creating a plan with personal goals is a good idea if you need some direction in your life. (2) Talking to people, and maintaining your relationships automatically helps achieving your goals if not leads to better things. Because in the end, we all want to help one and another. (3) Having your loved ones supporting you makes a difference. Without Mathias’ support and guidance this journey wouldn’t be as great as it is now (thanks baby)!
Anyway.. I bet you can’t wait to read the interview, hu?