What are your assets?
At the top is Nina, my 14-year-old daughter. Next is my company. Entrepreneurship is in the genes. I like to start from a blank page. I am also a people person. Of course, I don’t own the people around me but they are a tremendous resource, including my clients. I build relationships from freedom to connection. Authenticity and real emotions are worth more than material things. Couple that with travel experiences and you get a nice capital.
Do you invest in others?
Yes. I’ve been single for four years but I’m a big giver. […] I give my heart and soul to my customers. Matchmaking can’t just be done rationally. It’s a matter of unconditional commitment.
What was your quantum leap?
Becoming self-employed in 2010. Suddenly I didn’t have the certainty of a wage and I had to think outside the box. But it gave me wings. In 2012 I started my first franchise of the matchmaking agency Berkeley International, where I searched for a long-term partner for high-end clients. That was also a big leap.
Have you ever experienced a personal bankruptcy?
After selling my business in 2017 I went through an identity crisis. The successful deal stroked my ego but the day after things went quiet. No more emails, no more WhatsApp messages from clients. The sale had been my choice but what was the reason again? Without realizing it, I had linked my identity to my business. And suddenly I felt myself changing. Who was I really? What did I want? I went through a grieving process, and carried it through to my marriage.
I still feel a lot of respect and friendship for my ex-husband. That’s worth more to me than the money. Financially, the divorce was not a good move: I had proudly given the capital of the [sale] to my family and less than a year later it was divided into two. I had to start from scratch again. After the sale of Berkeley, I was not allowed to work in a competitive position for three years. I returned to [the pharmaceutical industry] but the call of matchmaking was too strong. In 2020 I founded Jade & Jules.
This excerpt was originally published by Tijd.