So Dionne Warwick was Whitney Houston’s godmother and this song is one of my favorites. She sings it together with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. It is just the best! 

I mean where would we be without our friends? Our support group, the people who lift us up when we feel down and stick with us no matter what. 
The ones that believe in us when we have lost confidence. And the ones who talk us up to people who need to see us.  

Well, I have just been so lucky to have had those kinds of friends this last year. I have to admit I have gotten better over the years with finding those women (and men) who are authentic and also very supportive. Ones who aren’t jealous but actually cheer you on when you become successful. You need those kinds of people in your life. 

Daphne Feller to my right on this picture is one of those friends, We became acquainted in 2016 and have been growing our businesses together in the most supportive way. As it should be with women. Daphne’s expertise and passion on how the brain works has made me enthusiastic about a subject I never thought I’d be. What I love about her is that she is always in for all my crazy ideas. It is so nice when people just go for it because they believe in you.  

Go find yourself those kind of friends to work with or at work, You need them, they are like oxygen when you are having difficulty breathing.  


p.s. the picture was taken at the Board of Believers in Female Leadership Mentorship Breakfast on the 28th of November at TomTom’s. We brought 80 mentees and mentors together to connect and learn from each other.


So did this title annoy you or excite you? Well, it is what it is. And this is my 2nd lesson learned this year : you have to know your worth. And yes I was inspired by Rihanna because I love how she is such a disruptor right now in both the women’s undergarment business and make-up business. Her businesses are based on just one thought: everybody counts! So her make-up consists of all kinds of shades and colors and her lingerie is for all body types not just one kind of woman like Victoria Secret showed for years. And furthermore she is making LOADS of money and is successful! She is not afraid to go against the grain and follow her intuition and ask for what she is worth. I have struggled with asking my worth for years. And I even used to say: I am not good with money. Until this year when a client that I had given a huge discount made me feel less worthy. Well actually I allowed them to do this. I was not asking my worth. Maybe because I really wanted them (my ego did) as a client, they seemed so prestigious. Or maybe because I just didn’t think I was good enough for them. Any case it made me think of this: I need to start thinking differently of money and what I felt I was worth. Listen, this is still very hard for me, but I am getting there. I just sing Rihanna whenever I get uncomfortable in negotiations. And I think of this: women still make so much less than men, so whenever I think of a price I need to add at least another 10% on top of that because I am probably under valuing myself. How about you? Are you getting paid what you are worth? It’s like what  Oprah says: You teach people how to treat you.



This is a 2 minute read 

So this has been my most uncomfortable year and it was full of teachable moments. So many moments that it took me a while to gather my thoughts so I could actually put them on paper for you. Like I said last week, I will be sharing my biggest lessons learned with you week by week up until Christmas.
But don’t worry, I know you are busy and as you know…. I like to go straight to the point, so here it goes.

My first event of the year was organizing the Board of Believers in Female Leadership breakfast, and it was in the 2nd week of January. So I worked all of December on getting it sorted and set up the way I wanted. It was a bit of a gamble because I invited top women and men and I had made a big investment. And it was only the beginning of the year. So I had a lot of scary moments. Were they going to show up? How was I going to get them to even register for this event? Was I going to be able to engage them with my story about female leadership?  Lots of thoughts right? I was so used to organizing events for their employees, it felt weird organizing an event for the leaders. I felt like an imposter, who was I to do this? But then I realized: if not me then who, and if not now then when?  

In the end taking this leap of faith meant only one thing: Having faith in myself, believing in myself. Believing that in the end even if this would be a failure at least I would have a lesson learned. And I would still be able to recover. Because guess what, if you jump into the unknown the only thing that is certain is you. So you have to discover who you truly are, what excites you and what you want to achieve. 

And you have to be fearless if you want to become successful. It’s like a famous hockey player once said:“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” ― Wayne Gretzky

So my sweet, how have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone this year? There are still 6 weeks left so no excuses! It’s like the New Radicals sang years ago:

“But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light
You feel your dreams are dying
Hold tight
You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give”



Dear ladies,

It’s been a while but guess what?! I am back!
Yes girl your weekly side kick has returned. So what are we talking about this week? As you know I love to share lessons learned and today we have lessons learned from 5 top Dutch female leaders. Because in honor of Equal Pay Day, Great Place to Work in collaboration with BrandedU released a white paper called ‘What everyone can learn from women leaders’.

So what is it about?
It discusses the 5 level of leadership and talks about the different kinds of leadership with 5 Dutch women leaders. In the Netherlands men still earn 15% more than women. We need to fix that. A key element to closing the Gender Pay Gap is having more female role models. I believe that the new generation needs top level corporate women to inspire them, role models who are visible so they can raise the ambitions of other women. You know we always put our money where our mouth is and that is why this autumn we launched a new program called: Lead to Empower. 
And… The 5 women featured in the white paper were the first women to follow the Lead to Empower program. So today they are stepping into the spotlight and you can download the white paper and read the stories of: Sharita Boon (Commercial Director, DPG Recruitment), Wencke Lorber (Commercial Director, Great Place to Work Nederland), Jayani Masthoff (Co-owner and MD, Goudsteen & Danaë), Mirjam Bakker (Teamcoach Credit Risk, ABN AMRO) and Ineke Tolud (Manager Design & Development, Rituals).

The whitepaper ends with the 7 aspects everyone can develop in their own leadership style. 
Don’t tell me I never give you anything, because the coming weeks up until Xmas I will be sharing my biggest personal branding lessons learned of 2019.

I am excited to be back, how about you?!

XOXO Nancy