Lockdown Economy World in a Personal Development practice with Yvette Eersel

The interview was transcribed and adapted into an article by Anna Lucia

Lockdown Economy: Interviews by think tank AlterContacts.org with real entrepreneurs sharing insights, challenges and successes during the COVID19 global pandemic to inspire, motivate and encourage other entrepreneurs around the world.

In this interview, we speak to Yvette Eersel, a trainer and coach at the Intensive Training Academy in the Netherlands. Yvette discussed how she diversified her work during the pandemic in order to keep cash-flow coming in to stimulate her core business. She mentioned the challenges she faced in moving her business online, as she had to learn new skills, explore new platforms and market herself digitally. Yvette invested in training to help her overcome these challenges and move her business into the online world. She is now looking to increase her online exposure to reach more people in need of her help all over the world. What 3 things does the guest need help with? Exposure, digital expertise and social media management

Watch the video version of the interview.

Could you tell us about the Intensive Training Academy business? How long have you been doing it?

Yvette: I have been a counsellor for many years and a coach, mostly for people in the faith-based industry. I’ve helped a lot of people going through different periods in their lives. I’ll tell you a little bit about myself and why I actually do it.

Many years ago, maybe 40 or 50 years ago I was a drug addict. I walked the streets. I got trapped in a relationship with a boyfriend and he started giving me drugs. That’s how I got addicted. My life was very bad. I was walking the streets and seeking men just to pay any money to buy drugs, and then getting beaten up when I got home. I didn’t know anybody could help me at that time. So I just called out to God.

If you live on the dark side of life, you don’t find any help anywhere. The only place I could go to was up. And I said ‘Well if you exist, really, then help me’. At that moment, I felt like an energy, a power came over me. And I said ‘Wow, I can do it! I can stop with drugs’.

So, I called my mother and she could come home, but that she’d take me to rehab the next day. The next day, she took me to rehab and I got free from all the drugs, cigarettes and everything. I’ve been free right up to today.

So that actually why I do it.

Thank you for sharing that personal story, giving us a real insight into why you’re in this business. With the Intensive Training Academy, what exactly do you do as a business?

Well actually at the moment I’m busy writing another book. But I’m also making online training as well because as we go into this phase, we can’t go anywhere. You can’t follow a course, a conference, or anything, live and be present. That is so difficult. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. You just have to find other ways to meet your people, relate to them and help them. That’s why I’ve developed training online.

Okay, and so like you said, you said you started face-to-face before the pandemic. But after the pandemic, I imagine that had to stop completely. How are you adapting to taking your coaching online? What are some of the difficulties that you faced in doing that?

Yvette: I think the most difficult part is just to be present in somebody’s space. We can be online, but I cannot easily read everything like body language, like a sigh, or something like that. So it makes it a little bit more difficult. But it’s manageable. And the more we do it, the more we get used to it, the more we see things or can ask different things.

We need to adapt. Life isn’t the same anymore. We need to adapt our business, our lifestyle, our presentation. We need to adapt everything. And actually, I see it as a positive thing. It’s a moment to grow.

Yes, something good can come out of this situation, after all. You mentioned some things are difficult with taking your business online. Do you have any tips for people who may be in the same situation, like how you personally managed to make it work?

Yvette: I changed strategy. Last year I developed two websites. One of the websites is called ‘Gorgeous Boss’, and the other one is ‘My Immobility’. In one webshop, I sell products and the only other one I sell disability aids, like scooters, steps and other electric mobility aids. When the pandemic came, I thought this was very good to do, but my core business is working with people.

I decided to go back to my core business and who I am and what I can give. And that’s working with people. Sometimes, you need to change your business again, and that’s what I did.

Those two websites are for sale, so if somebody is interested, just DM me.

Great, we’ll definitely add a few links to those two because that would help you to continue with your core business, which is to help people from overcoming addictions, which is obviously a very worthy cause.

You mentioned how you tried to diversify a little bit, I guess to get some funds in the time of the lockdown when things weren’t moving so well. But now in the present day, how is your business going. Has it picked up again?

Yvette: Just before I start telling you about that. I’ll say that I had to change too. If my business needs to change, then I have to change. And if I don’t grow, I won’t get my business in the next level.

I have invested a lot in my own education, on different levels like finances, social media marketing, building websites, making Facebook ads. I can go on and on. I’ve learned so much. I’m not a young lady, but there are so many young people that can benefit so much from what is online. And sometimes for free. That is incredible.

This is a very exciting time. You can have so much knowledge. I use that knowledge to enhance my businesses. And now we’re doing fine. Right now, I’m building one of my training online. If people buy it, I then will go to a live session with that. And I can sell my training online, so I can get paid for that.

Great, so you took this opportunity to retrain to learn some new skills, particularly with online marketing. Where did you look for this training? Could you give any tips as to why you found them?

Yvette: Yes, I have some tips. If you have a business and you need some people to do things for you like maybe making a cover, making websites, translation, administration. You can go to certain websites. There are lots of freelancers. You can just send them an email asking for what you need and the timeframe, and they do it.

There’s even a site that helps you publish a book; This year, I’ve released a book on Amazon. This is also something I had to learn because I didn’t know the dashboard. But now, I have a publishing company.

You need to know what you would like. If you have online training, you can go to Webinar Jam or Webinar Geek.

Or you look to YouTube and search, ‘What is the best online training course for …’. You have to learn. And when you find one, you go to the training and invest some money there. There’s a lot for free on the Internet. That’s why at this moment in time if you don’t know it, it’s your fault because it’s there. But sometimes you need to pay to have the best of the best.

Yes, some quality. You’ve spoken a lot about how you almost redefined your business by moving online, retrained, gained some new skills. That’s your state right now. But what about your outlook for the coming few months, do you have anything new you’re planning to do, or are you planning to grow on this base that you have now?

Yvette: When you have online training, there are different platforms where you can put the training. You can put it on different platforms where people can buy online so it’s a passive income stream. I think that’s very important for these days. It’s very expensive to talk one-on-one with an expert. But when you give online training, then they will have and get the knowledge that normally they couldn’t afford.

For me, it’s very important to be online and to reach as many people as possible, to get my message to them and help them go from one point to another. This could overcome fear, overcome a poverty mindset, or feeling like their life is on the wrong course with nothing accomplished. I help them from addicted to non-addicted. I can reach them online, and that’s awesome. But if they want to reach me really for me, then I’m very expensive of course.

And so you should be.

Yvette: This is what I’m going to develop in the coming months.

Great, so extending your outreach, your visibility to reach more people online.

Brilliant, so you have given us lots of tips about changing strategies, learning new skills. But of course, with every business, there is still something that we need. If you can name three things that you need right now to help your business grow, to move on from this point, what would you say there would be?

Yvette: I would say exposure is very important and I need to be on platforms where normally I don’t get exposure. Everybody has certain circumstances or situations when they reach people. I would like to be exposed to more platforms and levels. And also I would like to grow more on social media. I am in the public sphere, but I’m not a very public person. So, I would like to be more on social media, just put myself out there.

I need to learn that and it’s another learning curve. But I’ll take on the challenge.

I would like also to have people who can do video editing and putting training together because it takes a lot of time to make 60 slides. I would rather spend my time developing the training.

So you need a bit more help with visibility, social media, and also with the more technological side of things that you can’t just learn quickly. We’ve spoken about intensive training. But I understand that you also have a few more initiatives that you are doing on a charity basis. Do you want to explain a bit about that, give them some visibility?

Yvette: As an entrepreneur, I think we also need to look at the people around us who are not as fortunate as us. We need to take care of them. That’s my point of view. I donate my time to a foundation. Their name is No Budget. That means that the people I serve have no budget. They live on welfare. Sometimes they only have €30 a week with 4 children, so that’s not much.

I decided to help them by giving them a free meal. Actually, it’s a free dinner, 3 or 4 courses sometimes. I invite the families that we have selected, who needed it. They come along and they are well dressed, all the children are well dressed. The mother and father come in and they served at a restaurant. We have a meal and can dance and sing. They have a really great time. Normally they can’t even afford to go to a snack bar.

We also give them food packages, and I’m trying to get some money from the bank to make hygiene packages for them containing items such as soap, facemasks, bleach and all the things to keep everything clean and safe in the house.

That’s a brilliant initiative, trying to do your bit in these times where many people are struggling. We recognise we are in a fortunate position.

I will link the pages where people can donate to that below. Hopefully, we can share some visibility.

Yvette, do you have any final words to say?

Yvette: I just want to encourage every entrepreneur — actually everybody — not to give up. Look at ways where you can, if you have to, change your business. If you have to expand the business if you have to use new tools. Just do it. Invest in it. I want to encourage you not to give up. This is a time to step up. And continue on the next level. Thank you so much.

About the Guest

Yvette is a trainer & coach at the Intensive Training Academy. The purpose of the academy is to help people from addiction to freedom, poverty to abundance, from fear to faith and from curse to blessing. Her main goal is to help others to overcome problems in their personal lives, become successful and fulfil their dreams.

https://twitter.com/EerselYvette

https://yvetteeersel.com

The UN-registered nonprofit social initiative that helps small businesses and self-employed professionals to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.