To Learn More about Neils Jansen, [click here ] to view his Media Kit.
Janine Bolon: Hi, welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur. This is Janine Bolon and I have with me today a business coach that is not your normal business coach. I know some people roll their eyes and they are like, oh my god, another business coach. No. No. No. You need to listen to this guy. This guy is amazing. His name is Niels Janszen, and he hails from the Netherlands from us. I wanted to let you know that this guy has it going on and do not let his young face for you. He is well read. He is articulate. And he knows what he is talking about. He has made enough mistakes that he can keep you from spending excess money that you don’t need to.
Janine: So, let me tell you a little bit about what he has done. He helps new entrepreneurs build their business that they love and can’t stop talking about. Like you have a passion. You have an idea. He is your go-to self-made entrepreneur who started his first business when he was 18 and at the age of 28 he moved to Bali and lived alongside those digital nomads and monkeys for two years as a former Microsoft employee and a 10-year marketing track record. He has helped hundreds of businesses to scale up and attract clients. Now after a tough little situation of burnout and he hit rock bottom, he turned his corporate life frustration into a lifelong mission to help these same new and aspiring entrepreneurs to help them with a busy full-time job as well as have a meaningful location independent business for themselves.
Janine: So if you are thinking about a side hack or something like that, Niels is definitely the gentleman that you want to go to. So Niels, thank you so much for being with us on the show today. I appreciate you.
Niels Janszen: Thank you, Janine. Thanks for having me.
Janine: So, we were talking a little bit because this is Janine’s thing. You know, I always talk a little bit to my guests beforehand just to pick their brain, and that is when I realized there was a lot there that Niels’ has between his ears. So, let’s talk a little bit about the book that really helped you turn your business from you being in burnout and really turned you around to being a thriving entrepreneur. And that was Atomic Habits, wasn’t it?
Niels: Yes, indeed. Yeah. For me, this book has made such a big difference. And before, I actually was never a reader. I actually didn’t really enjoy reading books or self-help books or anything like that. I know there are so many people who are big fans of self-help books. I am actually like until the age of 30, I just couldn’t really focus on them. But at some point, I tried to give it another shot. And especially when I hit rock bottom, I had to do something right. I had to change. I had to do something. So I tried everything. I hired a coach myself. I did online trainings, podcasts, audiobooks, everything. And this book really made such a big difference because I actually never realized as a new entrepreneur myself that the foundation of Entrepreneurship is so heavily focused on mindset. I always thought like Entrepreneurship is just a bit more like hustling and just get it done and building it. But I realized that actually 90% is all mindset work. It is all about our beliefs, our habits, our thoughts, our emotions. And I became fascinated.
Janine: So we were talking about three primary points that I really want to go over because when you were talking about them your eyes lit up as you were describing them. And so that is where I always know then, ah, these are the gold nuggets that we need to share with the audience. And that is you were talking about boredom, goal-setting, and habits, and how those three areas for any Entrepreneur will either make or break them. So do you care talking about those for a bit for me?
Niels: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, especially for a situation where you are in a really busy full-time job and you don’t have a lot of time. Maybe also not a lot of energy. Maybe you feel a bit drained after a busy day. You still want to make this difference. You want to build a business you love, but things are still a bit off. You are not entirely certain what you want to do. And you are really looking for, okay, how can it make this work? And me personally, I was trying to set goals and just hustle and create this long to-do list and try to aim for the sky and make it happen. But actually what I realized is indeed goal setting is just one way to do it. Like I set this goal and then in the end, I will try to make it happen. But the funny thing is what I learned with goal setting, you can compare it with a football match, for example. Like both winners and losers, they set the same goals, right? They both want to win. But just staring at the scoreboard the rest of the game isn’t going to make any difference, right?
Niels: So the difference is in habits. The difference is in how you train your people. How you stay focused. How you stay healthy. How you energize yourself. And also in the end because some of these things can be really repeating and even a bit boring, it is about falling in love with boredom and it is about staying in there for the long game and trying to find ways of how you are going to enjoy boredom and how you can create a system for yourself that will bring you to your goals naturally. So, that is actually what I learned. We can set goals so we can we say well, I want to earn 50,000 this year. Something like that. And then we create this whole long to-do list of all the things that we think we need to do in order to get there. But that is just one approach. And because this approach means delayed happiness, this means that we are going to delay our happiness until the point that we hit that goal.
Niels: But actually I never realized that there is also another way and yeah, it is actually really frustrating that no one actually taught me that there was another way and the other way is so much more fun. Because if we can just get 1% better every day by creating really healthy habits. For example, a healthy habit can be just sending one WhatsApp message to someone who is a potential client or just doing one post on social media instead of hustling my whole Saturday when I am off and the sun is out and I can just go out and take a nice walk. It is so much easier to just spend five minutes every day on the same thing, and then it becomes part of my system. Then it doesn’t take me any effort to do this one thing. So, yeah, bring it back to habits is really about this really simple things and really falling in love with them.
Janine: That is one of the things that I think is very valuable about the systems that you teach, and the PDF files that you are willing to share with people is that you have to have systems. And I was originally an analytical biochemist, and so I was in Automation and Robotics, so I naturally think in terms of systems. How can I automate? How can I automate? I am always thinking about all the stuff I don’t like to do. And so, I automate it, make it a system so that I don’t hit what is the next thing that is very awful for entrepreneurs and that is burnout. Burnout is caused by decision fatigue and we know all know that decision fatigue is the number one cause of burnout for us. So as you were talking to me about Atomic Habits and how you have changed your own life, what are some changes that you made when you went from goal setting to creating habits? And if you wish, some people call them habits. I call them systems because I am a geek. But what were some of the changes that you made in your own life that you were like, oh my gosh, this is so much easier and I still have money coming through the door?
Niels: Yeah. Wonderful. Well, are a few things and most of these things are actually pretty simple. Maybe even too simple, actually. But that is all beauty. And I can totally relate to this. I am also an analytical person. I have been in marketing, yes, but also always in bit more process roles or analytical and I was creating processes and systems except for myself, except my own system. Me as a person in this environment, I love thinking and creating all these beautiful flows and how to make sure that I don’t have too much manual work and that kind of stuff. But I actually never thought of myself as a system, as part of a system. So when I looked at it, it made so much sense. A few things are, for example, so what do I need on a daily basis to be productive, to hit my goals without thinking about my goals? So one thing is, for example, gratitude. I know there are a lot of people talk about this mega morning routine with gratitude and journaling and walking and jumping and everything.
Niels: Of course, there is so much that you can do, but for me gratitude was a big thing and because I want to be a loving person. In order to be that person, because I brought it down, that is what I want to be. Is that okay, so, how can I do that? I don’t have to build this whole business in order to be a loving person. I don’t have to. Every day before I start eating my dinner I can just say one word of gratitude and then naturally in time I will probably be a few percent more loving. And the same goes with writing, for example. If I want to write a blog, I am not going to spend my whole Saturday writing this blog. I can just sit there everyday writing 10 minutes, for example, but not just somewhere. Every place has one goal. So, I am now sitting at a very specific desk with a very specific setup that is only here for video recording and audio recording. So every place has a really specific purpose. So for writing, I am going to sit on my take kitchen table below on the other side. So not on the side where I normally work, but on the other side with the specific laptop after I have my breakfast.
Niels: This is also part of creating these routines for yourself. And the funny thing is, your body really likes it. You are going to program yourself and things will flow naturally. So gratitude, writing is for me a really big thing, and maybe a third one is recording videos. I actually have never done that before, but now it’s mass production. But that is mostly because of this very specific habit that I created where I dedicate a location in my house specifically to that purpose and only 4, maybe 5 or 10 minutes a day. So just by getting really specific on when you are going to do what at which place is going to make all the difference, especially if you are limited in time and energy.
Janine: And that is where we definitely come back to that decision fatigue. So a lot of the people I work with and my demographic, you know, they are in their 40s and 50s and they do have that full-time job and they are trying to build up another business because they know they are hitting retirement age and yet they are not done. That is what so many of them say. They were like, I know the old model of retirement is no longer applicable to me, but I am not done and the problem is I have never worked for myself before. And so, I really wanted to have Niels’ talk about systems because each person will have a set of systems that is different. So just to let you know about mine, which of course a lot of people call me crazy. But you know what? This works for me. And this is why I run my own business because it works for me. And that is, I get up at 4:00 a.m. I am writing by 4:30. You guys know I write a lot of books. By 6:30 I am having breakfast with my eldest son. We are chatting. I am building the dinners and the food that we need for the rest of the family. I have four children.
Janine: And so, it is like there is a lot of stuff I have to do. And then I am headed downstairs into the basement to work out. And after I get done with that, I am singing happy birthday to all my friends on Facebook that have a birthday that day. So my entire morning is just totally crowded in with all the things I absolutely love to do and keep my body healthy and keep my family in harmony. So Niels, when you first mentioned mindset, I was like, that is the key. It is like you have worked really hard to build your own business, to get a business. You have a passion for this business. Don’t give up the lifestyle that that business can feed. Would you like to talk a little bit more about that for us?
Niels: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So yeah, especially around this mindset, I am certain this is around like 80, 90 percent of all the work and also all the morning routines as you explained it. These things sound like it is nice to have, right? But this is actually the key ingredient. I also have my morning routine where I wake up and I do this, I do that. I write. I jump. It is a system in itself, but it all has to do with feeding this mindset and believing it and staying true to yourself. And also, mindset is a tricky thing. It is really fragile. So especially if you are not surrounded with the right people, the not like-minded people who are supporting you because this is probably one of the most tricky parts here. This is really slippery. This is also what I hear from everyone, without an exception. Everyone I talked to is saying, “I just want to surround myself with like-minded people and exactly understand what I want to do and who are going to support me on my mission.”
Niels: Just building the business on itself is pretty simple. It is not easy, but it is pretty simple. The tricky part is the mindset and keeping yourself focused and feeding that motivation by surrounding yourself with the right people, building the right habits, building your morning routines. I think this is mostly 90% of all the work and especially if you are in a busy job and you are just considering this or you have got the 4-hour work week. You have built your website, or you did a few things and you are trying to make it work, but still it is not working. Most of the work is probably on the mindset part and the community part and the supportive system part because that is definitely going to help you to take another step and also to not give up too early or to get into this area of border maybe at some point because you don’t have enough business nutrients coming in.
Janine: And that is where we are headed. If you notice, Niels and I haven’t talked about anything that has to do with prospecting or client generation, client retention, prospecting. We haven’t talked about anything like that because it really all starts with your personal systems. What are you doing every day not only to feed yourself spiritually? So gratitude or journaling, whatever that is for you. And then you have to look at your physical health because trust me, if you sit behind the computer for 30 minutes a day, that is not that big a deal, but that is not what we are experiencing in 2021. We are experiencing a whole different realm of sitting in front of video cameras. And so, those are the things that we want to really work with you. So Niels, talk to us a little bit about how you can help somebody who is transitioning? They are going from full-time employment. They have this passion and this idea. Talk to us a little bit about what you do as a coach to help your people.
Niels: All right. Yeah, definitely. So what I do is I always try to meet people where they are at. So when someone comes to me is like, okay, I want to build this business. I want to transition. I am in a corporate job and I want to do things differently. It always with why. And this is where the deep dive starts. So always try to look for what is the real reason why you want to do this. So before even talking about how to do it and all that kind of stuff, I just wanted to figure out what is your angle? What is the thing? Sometimes it’s even a wound. Like the wound is where the light comes in. It’s what is it that you actually really want and try to get clarity around that. I even created a small program around it where I can help people to get clarity on your business idea, on the next step that you wish to take. But this is not about building a business. This is just about finding your own why, finding your own some would say Ikigai or can be anything. But for me, I would just say, just try to figure out what you want.
Niels: I believe there is a really interesting quote from Simon Sinek, like if I am already talking about in these areas. Before we can stand out, we have to figure out what we actually stand for. So this is always my starting point. If you don’t have clarity on what it is that you actually want, then we just have to start there. But for some they already know. Maybe it is a bit fuzzy. Maybe it is not entirely clear. That is totally fine. But if you already started somewhere, you already have some sort of a website life, but it’s like you want to go deep. You want to make it happen. Of course you have limited time, limited energy maybe. I have this program that is going to help you to take all the steps, which is a step-by-step coaching program. It is called an accelerator that is going to help you to build your business in, let’s say three months and even get your first clients. This is the fastest way, but it is definitely not the — Like there are lots of people out there who will say, well, quick success and overnight success and that kind of stuff. That is really annoying and really frustrating because no one believes that, right? No one believes. Who does believe that?
Niels: Having a first client is definitely possible. But overnight success is not going to happen. Like what is possible, and that is the beauty of it. What is possible is you can build the foundation for your business and create a mission for yourself. Try to get some clarity on your next steps. Who do you want to help? And of course, you can build some sort of a website. You can start somewhere. You can start communicating. And that is where I come in. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I definitely have all the questions. So I just asked a lot of questions that guide and help people to make the right decisions for themselves or just see what they want to do.
Janine: So just so you folks know, this guy is so talented that he has three online coaching programs that when I took one and look at them I was like, oh, I am so sending people to him because a lot of people come to me for business coaching, but they don’t have the proper foundation. So what my systems are and what I can do can really elevate them and separate them from the crowd. So what I wanted to share with you is he has a boot camp, which is a 10-day program, and that is for people who just want to get clarity on their idea. How many times have you said I want to run my own business? But you have no idea because you can do so many different things. And so, Niels is going to help you nail down what to go after first? It is not to say that you don’t do all of those things because I am proof of that. Every time I have a new thing, I do. I build a business around it. But you start off with one, and then you build a business after that. Once up running and bringing money to you, you use the money from that first idea to build the second idea.
Janine: And so, his 10-day boot camp is perfect for giving you clarity on that. Then, he has his accelerator, which is a 90-day program for new entrepreneurs to launch their businesses and get the first clients, which is what Neil’s was just talking about. That is brilliant. If you have client number 0, talk to Niels. Get on his online program. Start doing what he recommends because this man knows what he is talking about. And then the last one which is one of my favorites is the six-month Mastermind Program, and that is where you get that community of like-minded people to come together. So you are getting lifted up by other people who are right there in the trenches building their business alongside you. So Niels, if somebody is really interested in what you have to offer, how can they get ahold of you? Is LinkedIn the best place? What do you recommend?
Niels: Yeah. Well, I am pretty easy to find. So yeah, I am on LinkedIn. Definitely that is a really good place. I am on LinkedIn every day. You can definitely reach me out by sending a DM on LinkedIn. Also, if you prefer Instagram, Facebook, that is definitely an option as well. I think my website is the easiest place because then you can also get a little bit of the background story and a bit more information on all of those things. There are some freebies as well that you can already get started, which is nielsjaszen.com, or you can just reach me on LinkedIn, also Niels Janszen. You can just type it in. You will see it somewhere.
Janine: And also below these in the show notes, you will also have links to where you can connect with Niels. Niels, thank you so much for joining us today. I know it’s kind of late and it took us a couple of months to finally connect across the pond, but it has been a delight to have you today.
Niels: Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. And indeed, yeah, we made it happen. So we found a slot. So yeah, that is excellent. Thank you so much for having me here. And thanks for taking the time to share this with the world and helping Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs around the world.
Janine: And this is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. And we want to remind you to keep your feet on the ground as you reach for those stars. Create those systems and create habits. Then after all that is done, then start doing the goal setting. Have a great day. Talk to you soon.