Who, not How

inspriration Aug 12, 2021

How do we make the website better?
How do we ensure a correct dashboard?
How are we going to write the next newsletter?

The questions aren't wrong, but they aren't necessarily right either. As an entrepreneur, you are used to being proactive. Getting things done. See progress.

The risk? Weak output.

You are not a web designer. Erica is an office manager, not a marketer. Karel is an intern, not a copywriter.
NOT: How can we do this? BUT: Who can do this?

From Startup to Scale-up
I regularly see problematic examples popping up in my network as well as in my own companies. It is precisely in the phase from startup to scale-up that how rather than who is common. Why? It is precisely in this strong growth phase that speed and quality are needed.

When you come out of start-up mode, you are very good at the how — and you can be proud of that, this mentality has ensured that you have managed to build a profitable business. But it's a pitfall to get stuck in this mode.

The scale-up phase...

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My interview about the experience at the Marathon des Sables (MdS) of last year

Exactly one year I have finished the toughest marathon in the world - Marathon des Sables (MdS). To celebrate this small anniversary I decided to translate and transcribe the interview that I had with RTV Noord on the second day after arriving from the marathon.

Here is the link to the original interview (in Dutch).

Interviewer: This man next to me may have seen nothing but sand for the six days, he has run 227 kilometers through the heavy sands of the Sahara, at 40 degrees Celsius. Alex van Ginneken from the city of Groningen participated in the Marathon des Sables, as it was called. You came back last night with a few hours of sleep. How do you feel now?

Alex: Very fit actually. But I was home tonight at noon, I guess. And I was awake again at 6 this morning. 

Interviewer: To get a picture of your performance - How were the days? say how many kilometers per day did you have to run?

Alex: It varies a little bit per day, but on average was about 40 km a day and...

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[Corona update] Join me: Traffic & Conversion Summit 2021 San Diego

What is the best online marketing event in the world in my opinion? The Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego! I blogged about it before, but really want to share once more how very interesting and insightful this event is. It's the place to be for entrepreneurs and marketers, where you get an incredible amount of online marketing insights in a short period of time, meet like-minded people and brainstorm with other entrepreneurs how you can implement the latest techniques and insights in your own company. Last year there were 7,000+ participants.

What to expect? Actionable content, Inspiration, networking & fun (and sun)!

Corona update: the event has been rescheduled
The event was originally scheduled to take place in March but due to the Corona virus it has been rescheduled to 13-15 September in San Diego. At the moment we have 15 online entrepreneurs & marketers in our Dutch group who will join the event. Would you like to join?...

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Extreme marathon, growth and the black hole

After a year and a half of preparation, I started the toughest marathon in the world at the beginning of April; the Marathon des Sables (MdS), 230 km run through the Sahara in 6 days.

Happiness is not in the medal

Happiness was in overcoming what I was most upset about - the longest day when I had to run for 78 km in 40 degrees across the desert in 1 day. I was nervous the night before. Could I do it? My fears were more mental than physical. Could I handle it? What if I cannot go through? I discussed it with one of my tenants who had completed the MdS before. He gave me a last-minute tip. Till now I am grateful for this tip. I will share this tip with you at the end of my story.

On this long and heavy day, there were 2 real moments of happiness: the moment I saw the finish line looming in the distance after a 74 km walk on top of a mountain in the dark. The joy and happiness I experienced at that time were incredible. With a huge smile on my face. Unforgettable. As a powerful...

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The Future of Marketing and Sales

Last February I visited the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego. This is the go-to event when it comes to online marketing and sales. Major speakers such as Daymond John and Robert Cialdini explained the future of online marketing. It became clear to me again that Americans are really a few steps ahead of us Europeans. In this post I share my highlights with you.

The era of chatbots

In many of the sessions I visited, chatbots were a hot topic. With the help of pre-programmed dialogues, chatbots are becoming more and more human, making them more capable of having a conversation with potential customers. Many companies already use them on their customer service or Facebook, for example. Prospects can go to a chatbot, which then starts the conversation. A person can take over the conversation at any time, for example if it appears that they are interested in your product. 

It is expected that 95% of all customer interactions in 2025 will be supported by chatbots.


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Cold Showers, No Coffee and Flowing Time

In 2016, December 31, I posted this https://www.facebook.com/AlexVanGinneken/posts/10154888886189025 message on Facebook. And although 2016 was a great year, it turned pale compared to 2017, which was a year filled with special encounters, new insights and big, personal growth.

How it started

In fact, 2017 already started for me in 2016, December 11. I was on my way to Bali with my family to live there for 2 months. Only when we arrived, I truly felt how busy 2016 had been. I had been mainly focussing on business performance. And even though my efforts had shown to be successful, there were still enough things that I was not happy with, things that really needed to be addressed. This to too, comes with growth. 

From the first week in Bali, I decided that 2017 would be a year to address my health and habits. And I can proudly say that I have succeeded with a much better result than I ever expected.

In Bali I changed my diet and I started to eat healthier. I also decided not to...

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Closed deals in Amsterdam, Riga and New York

To help my clients grow their business, I regularly give the advise to enter new markets. For example to focus on expanding on an international level. Opening your own office abroad is not the most obvious option and therefor the Fryslân House was established.

This is an accessible way to profile your company abroad. The Fryslân House was established in 2004 and has been around for more than 10 years. The concept started with the first branch in Amsterdam and expanded to Riga (Latvia, 2006) and New York (2009).

3 locations

Entrepreneurs from the the region regularly meet up at all three locations. 
The main function of the Fryslân House is therefore a sales function.

The Fryslân House in Amsterdam

Especially for first acquaintances

Getting to know potential customers is a very important phase in the sales process. When a potential customer one region is looking for a supplier and he comes across a party from another region or country, it...

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