Inspiration shot Winter 2014

strive struggle shineMy central theme has always been ‘No Excuses!’ Everybody gets this idea: anything is possible! But how does it work, exactly? I recently explained the process of ‘strive, struggle & shine’ to an audience of entrepreneurs. They remarked that it applies both to their personal and professional life. Understanding the process gives valuable insights in people, organizations and brands. What phase are you?

Remarkable people

Jack Andraka was only 15 when his uncle died of pancreatic cancer. Jack discovers that the survival rate would be much higher if it was possible to detect the cancer in an earlier stage. He uses the internet to look for possible solutions. And finds one! His test can detect several types of cancer in an early stage and is simple, effective and cheap. A great story of passion, creativity, perseverance and the power of the internet.  Elizabeth HolmesMeet another ‘ordinary’ person who created a medical revolution: Elizabeth Holmes. She hated blood tests, was scared of needles, found the testing annoying and could not understand why she had to wait so long for the results. She found that our current system of blood testing dates from the ‘60 and had not been renewed since! Finally she came up with an alternative: you only need one drop of blood in a ‘nanocontainer’ to perform the most common tests. No needles! And the result is available within hours.

Salman Khan, a financial analyst helped his nephews with their algebra homework via YouTube. His videos became so popular that teachers all over the USA started using the videos to explain the basic principles of various topics, so that they could concentrate on helping slower or more advanced children. That’s how the Kahn Academy started. Salmans speech ‘Let’s use video to reinvent eduction’ from 2011 is still mind blowing.


When you do something special, or have a unique world view, you need to make sure you are visible to the world. Share your ideas. Use social media wisely. Many entrepreneurs don’t know how to add value to their posts. Some tips:

  • Share your inspiration: urls, books, articles, quotes, music, pictures. Don’t forget to mention why it inspired you, or what others can learn from it.
  • Answer FAQ on your area of expertise. For you those are ordinary, everyday issues, for others your answers/insights/tips might be very valuable.
  • Post your most important do’s and don’ts.
  • Alternate text, images, videos and music or podcasts to present your content
  • Stay close to who you are, use what you already know/have and what you experience on an everyday basis.
  • NO sales talk. Do not talk about YOU. Ask yourself with every post if it is going to inspire others, whether they are going to  learn something, smile or be challenged or involved in another way.

Video is becoming more and more important. Youtube has become the second largest search engine, after Google. Who reads a manual nowadays? The site Myngle has instruction manuals of any software you can think of. So (Visual) storytelling deserves your attention. For example look at how 6 important management lessons are wrapped in funny (totally irrelevant) stories, to make them stick better. Do you want to pinpoint and share your story? Come to Mallorca for the visual storytelling workshop.

One of the 2014 participants created this promo video. It’s in Dutch, but you’ll get the idea…

Eggs free range chicken

Why did I bring biological eggs from New York to Curaçao?!?

Personal news

Within 3 months the (Dutch) of publication my ‘Handbook for world citizens‘ had to be reprinted. Apparently a lot of Dutchies would like to be able to live and work in the most beautiful places on the globe. I hope to have an English version in 2015. ‘Have you found your Mr. Wrong yet?‘ will be available on in January 2015 and can be pre-ordered in my webshop.ChickenOur restored farm on Mallorca turns out to be very popular for (family) holidays, writing retreats and to experience the quiet local village life. Curious? Check out the (Dutch) site and pictures on If you would like to stay there, send me an email with your preferred dates.

New York tips

Early December I was on the inaugural direct JetBlue flight from Curaçao to New York. It’s a little over 4 hours and you’re in a completely different world! We had a lot of fun on the flight with the free champagne and the plastic emblems in the goodie bag…jetblueWith the Uber taxi service it took me only 25 minutes to get from the airport to the center of Manhattan. Want to try? Use promocode estherj30 to get your first ride for free. Via airbnb I stayed in this great room in the meatpacking district. Trendy Chelsea market, with nice cafe’s, shops and restaurants is just across the street. Via the spottedbylocals app I went to Sleep no More; an innovative ‘show’, where the audience explores a mysterieus building. Among them, actors dressed in ’30 outfits play a Hamlet based story. A unique experience!

Because it was impossible to find ‘happy eggs’ in Curaçao I brought some biological free range eggs back to the island. Since we have chickens in Mallorca I cannot bring myself to eat cage eggs anymore. How strictly do you stick to your principles? 🙂

I spent christmas with my family in Miami and will celebrate new year in Colombia. In the next newsletter I’ll share my experiences, inspiration and tips.  Happy holidays!

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