Over the past few decades, I worked in real estate, before shifting my focus to listed buildings and heritage, equestrian sports, and family businesses. I am fascinated by the lasting links between a family and their business, and the long-term nature of this relationship. Rather than pursuing a quick win, these businesses are about looking ahead and investing in future generations.
In 1989, I got my first job with one of the country’s oldest developers in Hilversum. This nationwide developer has continued to operate to this day and is a great source of inspiration for me. Working in different parts of the country, developing new initiatives, making connections, and entering into partnerships and alliances are very appealing to me and are very close to my natural core qualities. This lets me tap into my strengths, at which point work costs less energy. That’s why I have always held ancillary positions in addition to my work. I believe this is very important, as it lets you widen your scope and play a more meaningful role in society. Being an all-round, socially committed entrepreneur matters a lot to me.
Of course, these ancillary activities take time, time that someone else may spend on the sofa, but I have found that all this extra work tends to give me energy. I consider it no more than normal that one would organise these activities on the side, in addition to their job. Some of my ancillary activities are closely related to my background in real estate, but many of them are also outside my comfort zone or take place abroad. The latter are usually the most exciting and educational, in addition to being abundant sources of creativity and new energy, which I can then use for other things.
If you do this work and take responsibility for yourself, your family, and your business, you will often find yourself in a place where you can help, supervise, and coach other entrepreneurs. I like this role and it suits me as a person.
Naturally, working so closely in and with businesses impacts on your family life. Children take in so much at the kitchen table and I have often been surprised by the young age at which children can step up and take charge of the family business.
After more than 30 years, I have started to realise that running a business is a long-term endeavour and that, as time passes, you start to consider your legacy and what you can pass on to future generations, your business, and the world. Sustainability is a core principle in the businesses I am involved in and I would like to support managers and directors in becoming more aware of the importance of sustainability. The sustainable and green development of businesses, and mainly family-owned, non-corporate, businesses have an eminent role to play in this respect.
It is good to have solid foundations, in order to remain profitable and save up. Savings can be source of extra security when the chips are down or when your existence is jeopardised by an extraneous threat that may undermine an entire economy or public health.
It is important to create this extra layer of security, because business owners know like no other that times can be good and times can be bad. Prepare yourself for uncomfortable, unwanted situations. I would love to use and transfer my knowledge and experience in this field.
Running your own business comes with ample responsibilities, but also confers many freedoms. Within this freedom, I would like to coach, guide, inspire and monitor entrepreneurs and businesses to see whether they keep track of and respect their vision and mission.
Connecting businesses, sectors, organisations in the Netherlands and abroad, and families is a tremendous challenge to me and fills me with inspiration and energy, which I would love to share with you. Moving from success to value together!
Jan de Mooij
Director JDM Management B.V.