"When you want change in this world, you can either watch it happen or make it happen. It's my choice to live a life dedicated to create real impact and build a better life for so many people around the world."
“Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable”
CONNECTING THE DOTS
THE STORY BEHIND THE ‘RITCH’ NETWORK..
The network was organically created because of the actions Ritch Europe undertook in the past. Actions for people without a home, with a physical or mental disability, people in poverty...
Throughout the years, entrepreneurs with a sustainable and inclusive vision started contacting Ritch. Although it wasn't the original intent to connect people, it was extremely satisfying to see companies grow due to your connection. The ripple effect it created by people was addictive. Their mood changed, they became happier, more enthusiastic, more energy and their business started to grow more than we could have imagined. The network was born.
A ROUGH START IN LIFE ...
Based on my own experience and twelve years of illness, I founded Ritch Europe, the previous name of The Ritch Network. On this 'about' page I would like to respond to the numerous recurring questions from members, partners and other connections. As the founder of a network for like-minded entrepreneurs, I consider it my job to put my vision into practice. Practice what you preach. And this regularly presents challenges.
... IS JUST ANOTHER BRICK FOR YOUR ROAD
I didn't wake up one day planning to create a network. It's because of my own actions and the strenght to surround myself with people who lift me up that people started noticing how much value it has and how it impacts your life. I am proud, as a founder, when I see what wonderful projects arise simply by bringing people together. And I am very honored that so many people saw my actions as an example, strong enough to build this entire company.
HOW DO YOU CREATE A HEALTHY NETWORK ?
The answer is simple. You build a healthy network by following your gut feeling and daring to say no. That might be less impressive than expected. But a healthy network can only continue to exist by talking to the people around you, listening what they say and by daring to make the right choices. Rich or poor, a day only lasts for 24 hours. How you spend that time is something that you decide and which determines your future. A world of connections is at your fingertips. But as an entrepreneur you owe it to yourself to make choices. And I do that very consciously.
DARE TO CHOOSE AUTHENTICITY AS YOUR VISION.
A good network starts by being yourself. The more true you are to yourself, your goals, values and boundaries, the more you recognize the right people. This is how you discover your own soul family, the name I give to the supporters and members of The Ritch Network. Each and every one of those people are imperfectly perfect and they choose Ritch because we share the same mission, values and vision. But there is 1 important thing to remember: “Trust God but put a lock on your bike.”. Anyone with a good heart can be toxic too now and then. It’s part of life’s ups and downs. A piece of advice I give to all my Ritch networkers (Ritchies) is to trust your own vision. Do not blindly step into a partnership with others based on the trust of a third party. Everyone is unique and carries their own experience. A strong connector looks at everyone with his own gut feeling.
DARE NOT TO BE LOVED
Those who can be themselves and do not shy away from expressing their opinion, aren’t always the ones who are loved in this fast paced society. 'Let's agree to disagree' is the golden rule. Letting go. You simply cannot be liked or understood by everyone. It's the best way to discover who suits you and who doesn't. That's what makes ‘rich networking’ so special. Special connections form your soul family.
DARE TO SAY NO
If you have a big heart for those around you, it's an art not wanting to please all the time. Saying no is self-care. You manage your,own agenda. Only you decide how and with who deserves your time. Especially in a network where giving back is the core mission, you connect with a lot of people who want to give. So making a conscious choice to say ‘no’ is not always a pleasant task. But time is precious and you are your own greatest asset. Take good care of it.
RECOGNIZING TOXIC LEADERS
A subject that most of the time isn’t being discussed. Yet I want to raise awareness on this matter because some people do not always have the right intentions and therefore have a toxic effect on others. Entrepreneurs with a big heart can also show toxic behavior under certain conditions, when they face challenges by example. When you are part of a solid and high-quality network, it is best to look at others without blinders. You need to be strong enough to intervene if necessary. Stand up for yourself. Do you feel that a connection is asking too much of you or do you feel that someone is draining your energy? Know that you have the right to take action. Putting yourself first and taking care of yourself are the keys to building a quality network. A network of people you can rely on, count on and where you can grow together. Your choice. your business.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
The question I receive the most: 'How long have you been working on sustainability & inclusion?'
Let this article (Greenpeace kids magazine) in 2014 be your guide. I was already working for several years on this topic. I created artwork, video & photography with children while teaching them because 'doing & creating' lasts longer than learning from any book. Before that (2004), I created digital artwork about sustainability to raise awareness. I gave the profit I made towards several organisations who plant trees in third world countries which provides work for them. And before that, as a kid.. my favorite color was green, the color of nature.