A goal is a dream with a deadline
- Napoleon Hill
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About my journey

For me, becoming an entrepreneur has been a journey. It still is a journey. It is hard work, learning and excitement. Most importantly, though, it is a passion. Even as a child, I have always been an entrepreneurial and self-starting person – at age eight, I created a magazine and asked friends and cousins to write about their hobbies. Just like real journalists. I was in charge of the layout, puzzles and jokes, and called myself Editor in Chief. At age 20, I got a sense for entrepreneurship once again – though certainly in a more professional setting. After doing a voluntary marcom internship at a well-known publisher and being surprised by them not having an English-language website, I decided I could make a difference. I took the advantage of having lived in the USA for three years and founded Chelle Media to help companies translate their essential content into on-fleek English.  Translating soon turned into copywriting, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO), communication planning, consulting, and communication plans. With Chelle Media, I focused my services largely on entrepreneurs and startups, which me brought me that much closer to the topic of hard-core entrepreneurship. At a young age, I had the chance to experience many organizations on the inside and from a distance – which later triggered my interest for people in the workplace. 

After graduating, I decided to stay in the tech startup scene by supporting tech incubator YES!Delft and acted as Product Owner for the new YES!Delft website, thereafter co-initiating Startup Corner, a platform for startup-corporate collaboration. During this time, I was intensely involved with Female Ventures – a community for female founders – for which I coordinated the events on national level. Yet, there was still something more I wanted to commit to.

In the rather male-dominated scene that tech entrepreneurship still is, I saw the potential and – in fact – the need for a more prominent female presence. With a desire to share my knowledge and experience, and keep audiences on the edge of their seats, I embarked on a new professional journey – professional presenting and moderating.

I started vlogging about my journey to becoming a presenter, talked to experts in the fields of authenticity, passion, pitching and more. After a few months, I realized that live presenting with an audience and room for improvisation fits my personality perfectly.

I decided to become an event moderator! Working towards this new goal of mine, I was hired by a corporate client as their Project Lead and Host for a five-day hackathon end of 2018. Ever since, I have had the opportunity to moderate some really amazing events, including TEDx Amsterdam Women Startup Awards and EMERCE Lean Innovation Summit.

From 2019 onward, I deepened my experience as project manager in the digital field as a Product Owner. But more interestingly, soon thereafter an unpleasant experience made me realize that my ‘freelancer work life’ wasn’t what I wanted to pursue much longer. I no longer wanted to be depending on a client or contractor.

In the summer of 2019, I co-founded FRGRND to align organizations and the future generation of workers – Generation Z (1995-2015). A digital savvy, opinionated, mission-driven, opportunity-thinking group. We saw a gap widening between the two groups: organizations kept telling us ‘we can’t find or keep young talent’ and young professionals showed us that the promises made (especially in terms of guidance/mentorship) weren’t actualized. We started offering youth advisory panels, that would advice organizations with their Gen Z related issues. Our slogan: “Talking with Gen Z, instead of about them”. We caught the attention of corporates and municipalities who knew the issue would be becoming larger over the years, as this group started to flow into the workplace. However, end of 2019 we decided that – because of exploring this field – we had different interests regarding the topic of young people. We both pursued different business, whereas for me the topic of young professionals in the workplace was the most intriguing.

In 2020, I initiated Calibrated with which I support young professionals in the workplace to feel empowered and add meaningful value to the mission they’re working for.

Calibrated was born out of the idea that young professionals – Millennials and soon many more Generation Z’ers – are dying to have a valuable attribution to their job or freelance projects. Often, it is the lack of self-knowledge or action on discovery that blocks them from living their why and thus holds them back from happiness in general.

By organizing one on one online coaching sessions, I help young professionals do what they are dreaming of and get in the driver’s seat of their life.

Around the same time, Jennifer Reinhard and I started SYNC Master Minds to bring together change makers with a mega growth mindset. We facilitate online group calls to discuss topics like energy, focus, support network, goals, spirituality and current challenges. The intimate groups are exclusive to people that want to drive themselves to the fullest of their potential by taking concrete steps in bi-weekly calls.

Always learning

Summarizing, my career consists of hosting events, advising others, bringing groups together – all of it done in an international and entrepreneurial setting.

I am always learning and developing myself. I try to read a book per week (my goal for 2020 is 55 books), have a business coach myself and follow many courses regarding (online) business, designing your life, health and coaching.

My career highlights

  • Co-Founded SYNC - Masterminds for change makers
  • Initiated Calibrated - Young Professional Coaching
  • Co-founder at FRGRND - Gen Z Consultancy
  • Product Owner at Connext Lab
  • Co-Initiator at Lean In Circle Rotterdam
  • Started as Event Moderator in Tech, Startups & Diversity
  • Co-initiator and Project Manager at tech incubator YES!Delft
  • Entrepreneur exchange at Bolt Accelerator - Malaga, Spain
  • Co-Initiator Female Ventures Utrecht and Coordinator national-level
  • Graduated from Communication Sciences - Utrecht University

Feel free to check out my profile and connect with me on LinkedIn!

Rachelle Leerling

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Contact

Rachelle Leerling

hello@rachelleleerling.com

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