Koen (44) is a BA from Antwerp who started 11 months ago. Before that, this music lover spent over 15 years DJing for the Hip-Hop and Dubstep underground scene, 3 of which he spent touring in Los Angeles and other Californian cities. Tired of only seeing his family through Skype and playing for a crowd half his age, he decided to come back to Belgium pursuing his independent work as a graphic designer. Although an expert in his craft, Koen had very little experience regarding the business side of things and would eventually end up losing his most important client.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Koen knew there was no other way: he just couldn’t work for a boss. One day, he got a call for an observation day. Although he had little experience in sales, he knew it was a skill he wanted to develop. “When I entered the co-working space, I enjoyed the atmosphere straight away and the fact that everyone was so supportive of everyone else.” It took him a couple of weeks to feel really confident sales wise and after a few months it felt like riding a bike: “Sales have become a natural part of me, it’s like muscle memory. Another thing is that, the moment I stopped worrying about sales and focused more on the development process, the results came on their own. The endless possibilities also appeal to me a lot, it feels that the only person it depends on is myself.”
What’s great for Koen is that it’s all about hard work and determination to go as far as possible and there’s a clear path based on criteria to get there. “It’s great because in the past there was always someone above me telling me what to do. Remember that you’re in control and that’s the best thing there is!”
While Koen is older than the average BA, it serves him well, “I believe that my age and experience give me a better understanding of people. When I find what triggers people I can adapt my pitch, it’s constantly evolving and it’s never twice the same.”
Building his network was easy: “I met some great BAs at the Meetups and the Ski Trip in Zakopane, we give each other great tips and we call on a weekly basis and that’s what makes this whole community awesome. Doing this alone is tough, having a network makes things so much easier: teamwork makes the dream work!”
Today, Koen is looking at the future and although his goal is not set in stone, he would love to open his own co-working hub in a few years. Father of a two-year-old son, he’s finishing the renovation of a house and aims to finally move in by the end of the summer!
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