Hi! My name is Evelien and I’m part of the Bind team since January 1st. Exactly, my year couldn’t start better! In this blog I would like to tell you more about myself and how I was always subconsciously busy with connecting people.
Daughter of an entrepreneur
I grew up in the Achterhoek (cultural region in the Eastern Netherlands), as the daughter of an entrepreneur with his own chocolate shop business and the youngest of four children. Taking responsibility and being proactive are the core values that I have been taught by my parents. From an early age we helped in my dad’s chocolate shop, and I gathered friends to help during the busy December month. I already understood that everyone wants to help in a chocolate shop in exchange for some chocolate 😉
The power of stories
From the age of 16 I worked in a bar for over 13 years. Here I’ve learned how to use hospitality to let people share their stories. And how we somehow feel connected to stories and which leads to connection.
Connecting while traveling
During my Tourism Bachelor I did a Minor Anthropology for Tourism in Kuala Lumpur. This is where my interest in people’s behavior started. And here again I saw how people are always looking for connection through storytelling and how the right conditions unconsciously activate this, for example: cooking together in a hostel or a travel blog that can be shared with friends and family.
Community management on a professional level
After my studies I started working as a community manager at Impact Hub Amsterdam. A worldwide community of social entrepreneurs with the same goal: influencing social issues through entrepreneurial action. Here I really learned how to work with communities on a professional level and it became clear to me that I was always subconsciously busy with connecting people unconsciously all my life but could never put words to it.
Authentic connection cannot be forced but emerges from putting into place enabling conditions. Especialy in today’s individualistic world where people are more used to work in a transactional way than in a collaborative way. To be able to build an engaging community is important to understand how to create the right preconditions. And this is exactly what I love most about my work, both online and offline!
Ask & have fun!
Two basic principles I learned in community building and always remember:
- Ask the members! When I bake a cake for someone (one of my great hobbies) I always first ask for the favorite flavor because then I’m sure that person will like it. Makes sense, right? We often forget to ask the community members what their wishes are. Then there is a big chance that we miss the boat. So my tip: draw a cake on a post-it and stick it on your laptop!
- Think about it… when was it that you had a great day? When you have laughed and had fun, right? Fun is a universal emotion and I think its power is greatly underestimated. Fun creates a huge connection between people, regardless of culture, language, or background.
I can’t wait to add an extra paragraph to this story with new lessons, insights and connections through Bind.
Hopefully see you soon and Let’s connect!