My name is Nick van Breda, I am born in Uden on a special day in February (29th). Since around 5 years I discovered I can also do special things I became a passionate Social Entrepreneur. This reflects for me in the urge of helping people transform their system – Finding their purpose & Start all over again.
From Game Addict to serial social entrepreneur I have discovered my true purpose: helping the world become a better place by speeding up transitions around the globe. Now I am constantly reforming my status quo as a redefined life-long learner and meanwhile training 1 million people life-long learning & entrepreneurship skills.
With my motto “IF YOU CAN DREAM IT YOU CAN DO IT” I am empowering people with no specific skills to go through an innovation process with me. In this proces I help people translate their superpowers into doing something. Now I keep on doing something and I believe that I can empower you to find your inner purpose and start doing what you really care about, for the rest of your life.
Please take a look at my resume to see what I have been working on and check out the projects below to start exploring your life-journey.
1. Getting the bigger picture
I started with Can-Do Productions in 2012 as a side-project for the study Advanced Business Creation (a bachelor study that combines Creativity and Strategy classes to come towards one of the ten types of innovation).
I wanted to share what I explored, some of the most advanced technology and trends that I found were not known by 90% of the people around me. As an innovator, you need to start at “What is happening now globally” to look at “which path is has evolved from the start” and “to forecast what it will look like in the next 5-50 years”. Once you become an expert in trendwatching you can also explain “Why things are happening the way they do”, you will have a broader understanding of people and the systems people created and how the world shifted from a scarcity era (the era of atoms) to an abundance era (the era of bits).
To have a certain form of consciousness with these trends and technology is important for entrepreneurial people to not waste time re-inventing the wheel. It also helps in becoming a global citizen, in which you come up with holistic solutions instead of only local solutions, it broadens your scope of scale 😉 (imagine making impact on a billion instead of just those around you in your city).
Singularity University, Draper University and MIT’s U.Lab are schools that help you get the bigger picture by informing you the first few weeks about world’s latest technology in each industry. I therefore applied in the challenge of XPRIZE of making impact on a billion through reforming education. I didn’t win this competition but the one that did I connected with so you can easily get informed with world’s latest developments in the field. Although I didn’t win I got invited to Amsterdams first Singularity University Summit, a 2 days conference where all sectors’ brightest minds presented the state of technology in all sectors (and of course I connected with a few leaders in these sectors).
I recommend everyone around me to do some sort of trendwatching, as a start you can do it in your own field by joining LinkedIn groups, reading specific niche blogs, watching videos like TEDxTalks and Vsauce or just by following my trendwatching channel on Facebook. As a student this can be a start to figure out in which field your ambitions and interests are and you can cross-link different trends to come up with innovative solutions that can impact you, your surroundings, the organisation you work for or even the rest of the world (remember if you can dream it you can do it!).
2. Start initiating and interacting with your field of interest!
After a year studying on Advanced Business Creation (2012-2013) I successfully got my Propedeuse and wrote a scientific paper about the “Future of Co-Creation and Crowdsourcing“. I realized that school projects that excited me the most were those that could have global impact. I ended up giving much more attention to self-initiated projects than to school projects that only would impact a single business, luckily they were supportive and not totally against that.
I started searching for meetups that could offer me more understanding about co-creation and crowdsourcing and I figured out that I love working in multidisciplinary teams with intrinsically motivated entrepreneurial people on market & business challenges. Gamechanger came across through a LinkedIn group discussion and I took the chance of co-creating solutions for these challenges in which people could sign up for 30 Euro to participate in. The difference here is that the small fee functioned as a trigger to only attract motivated people. I learned the essence of co-creation and crowdsourcing from these sessions and how this could help organizations to innovate. I saw great possibilities for nations, with the paper I wrote I looked at great examples of governments co-creating their policy with their citizens. I won a trip to EACA & Edcom conference to present my winning paper for 150 scientists. This was for me the success I needed to realize that I was doing something right for myself and for others.
3. Start writing about the things that excite you!
Start blogging, reflect on your experiences with words and inspire others with them! I started blogging late 2013 when I co-founded Articulum – a blog for and by young entrepreneurs within the Netherlands. We started blogging about the stock market, young startups, entrepreneur events, experiences while travelling, opportunities and visions of industries. The blog became a platform for young entrepreneurs of mostly under 25 aged entrepreneurial students. With them we visited companies, we helped them grow and we eventually also started organizing events for them. By writing for them I reflected on myself and was able to inspire not only youth but also older entrepreneurs that even offered free curation, mentorship and sponsored content / sponsoring events.
4. Start looking at business models in your passion
After you figured out what sectors you feel comfortable and happy with you can start to create your own job out of it. For this you look at market gaps – this can be found in the Google Analytics metrics on your blog deciding target group and content to have a direct market fit. You can start offering services from the expertise you built up with your blog or connect with the biggest ambassadors to start a business together and bring up new products/ services. Use all your free time to specialize yourself in it and learn yourself all the skills needed through meetups, online courses and such. Start to launch a product / service and offer a freemium model or for example, write a book that you start selling on Amazon, become a best-seller buy giving it away for free the first week. Get some income stream and a best-seller title and start offering consultancy. After my experience, I figured out that the gap in the market is hackathon-like events, offering living labs for future applications and services towards wake-up call sessions for SME’s, management teams and school directors. Also I am eager to organise Startup Travels and to boost the Startup scene in the Netherlands further with impact events.
My final advice is to start soon and fail hard, when you are young and have almost no responsibilities it doesn’t really matter how hard you fail you can only learn very fast from mistakes and if you are young you can really become a potential player in markets in a short period of time since of your flexibility. So start living your dreams because if you can dream it you can do it!