We ask our members to share a few thoughts: to introduce themselves to fellow members, and those who are interested in our community.
In this instalment, we interview Dymphna Elsink of Jouw Assistente.
Tell us about your business:
My business is called Jouw Assistente, I am a freelance PA that can be hired by the hour.
And I have uploaded my expertise in more areas. Under the umbrella of Jouw Assistente, there is now Jouw Werkruimte. This is flexible office space that can be rented for half a day or a full day. The office space is right in the hart of The Hague, Lange Voorhout. Very handy that if you rent a working space, if necessary you have an assistant nearby 😉
Also, I am a Zoom moderator: Jouw Dagvoorzitster. I love moderating! In these challenging times we need connection and it is wonderful to practise my skills trying to make every virtual meeting that I moderate as interactive as possible.
What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
Diverse, Handy, Practical, Generalistic, Affordable, once you hired me you can not go back 😉
What are your most popular products or services?
Back Office tasks such as updating websites, handling email, making appointments, admin and getting things in the right order or sequence. Digitalisation and automation is one thing that I offer as well.
What do you like best about owning a business?
I love the freedom of owning my business, even when things are not going too glorious I still like the fact that: I decide with whom, where, when and how I work. That does not mean that clients have no say, it means that we treat each other as equals. When I had a job, it was not always that obvious, unfortunately.
What or who inspired you to start your business?
I became a business owner because of my desire of freedom. I had a job as a pedagogical employee. I had ambition to grow into a manager role. Unfortunately after doing a procedure to move up, they told me I did not have the right required skills yet. This was ridiculous as I had worked there for many years doing a great job. And I had the right HBO/WO thinking with the diplomas to back it up.
As a matter of fact, when I realised I was not going to get into such a position for a long time at all. I decided quickly and furiously to stuff the job completely and start a business myself.
There isn’t a day that I regret this decision as being a solo-entrepreneur is now my way of life.
What makes your products/services special?
I guess I make my product/service special. The personal side of the Personal Assistant is what rocks my boat. I like to become the partner, the ally, a true support to my clients in favour of their business. I just like being the perfect side kick.
Who is your role model or mentor?
Good question as for me they change all the time. But my buddies in my Mastermind have helped me over the years. And since months I hold a weekly buddy call with Lisa Hall, that time and mirror is very dear to me.
What is your biggest fear?
Not having any clients at all. Fingers crossed as this has not yet happened to me in 14 years.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Being of help. It is that feeling of being responsible for the tasks that have been assigned to me whilst being appreciated and needed by the client.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
I am right in the middle of my biggest challenge, I think. Corona has really put me in a real stretch. I need to move faster into areas than I had planned and work has changed. I am still breathing, so I am ok! NB: I have time for more clients 😉
What advice would you give women who are starting a business?
Make sure you like to go out there and sell yourself, be brave, we have all been there. It is really a way of life this solo enterpreneurship. Also get the right people around yourself to motivate, inspire, support and to ask questions to. If there is one thing that I get out of the WBII, it is just that!
What is your favourite business book?
OHHH…..I am a terrible reader. I like TEDx talks, one that really inspired me is this one: Emilie Wapnick – Why some of us don’t have one true calling – because I feel like I am a generalist, knowing a lot about a lot.
What are your top tips for networking?
Talk to people, ask questions and always follow up on Social Media.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Sometimes it is crazy but usually we are ok. It is really because my husband and I spread all tasks equally according to workload so there is always a (sort of) right balance.
What is your motto or theme song?
Be kind as it is easy to do.
How do you relax?
Cycling or walking in nature, sleeping in, talk to friends and watching a film or series.
What place inspires you and why?
Meyendel and Mallorca, Meyendel because it never bores. Mallorca because of its diversity and the smell.
What do you care most about, as a business owner?
Having the right click with my clients. If there is not a click, it just doesn’t work.
What are your future plans?
Carrying on with what I am doing and hopefully getting more into moderating and becoming even more digital.
Thank you, Dymphna!
For more information about Dymphna Elsink and Jouw Assistente, visit jouwassistente.nl