Hi all, for regular readers to this blog you may already know me, but I wanted to take the opportunity to say hello again, tell you about myself and to tell you about the new direction I am headed in with this blog.
A Bit About Me
My name is Becky van Dijk (or Rebecca van Dijk back when I worked in corporate!). Lets begin there, with my name – it’s hard to know how to pronounce it, and most people stop for a second and look confused when I spell it out to them. Surely, I didn’t actually say i-j-k?! Yes, I did. Dijk is actually pronounced like bike with a D at the beginning. My name is Dutch, my mother is from Holland, but I grew up in England (and no I do not speak Dutch sadly!).
I spent my younger life in Hertfordshire, a county north of London and about half an hour by train straight into the city. I studied Art, English Literature and Business Studies at school for my A-Levels (like OWLs for you non-British Harry Potter fans) and then went onto a degree in Business and Economics. As you can see from an early age I already had both a creative and a business / mathematical mind.
Most people tell me this is quite unusual – you are never really good at both. But I have found whilst I was never top (or thankfully bottom) of the class I was actually pretty good at both. I loved art, design, creativity, language, I also enjoyed classical literature and studying ancient greek mythology. Whilst on the other side, I cannot be more satisfied than when I build an amazing spreadsheet, or get all my calculations and equations to balance! Yes, Excel macros are my jam.
Education & Business Background
So, my Business & Economics degree led me to a career in finance in London. I started at Citi Private Bank, in prestigious Berkeley Square as an investment analyst. I went on from there after 2.5 years to UBS Wealth Management as an investment advisor to private individuals. The next step in this career was to become a private banker, managing a book of clients with investment wealth between $10 – 50 million. (Yikes – it’s scary managing this much of people’s personal wealth!)
Most of my clients were hedge fund or private equity managers, entrepreneurs and FTSE 100 company CEO’s – smart (and very inspirational) people for sure! In this role I had net new money targets, so I had to go out and cold prospect clients and get them to switch to our bank. I had to market myself as their advisor and the bank as a safe place to hold their assets. I then had to manage their assets advise on investments, meet with them regularly to review their portfolios and make sure they were happy with the performance. Essentially I ran my own business within the bank learning about lead generation, prospecting, getting new clients, managing clients, marketing, sales and keeping customers happy. I tell you this because ALL of this experience and knowledge was absolutely integral to my success when I left the bank to start my own business.
Time To Kick The Cubicle!
Honestly, I hate that saying. Kick the cubicle – it makes me laugh because so many people say they kicked the cubicle when really they spent a few months working in an office environment and then found it too much hard work. I know I may be generalising a bit here, but as someone who worked in banks for over 10 years I think I really can honestly say I made the transition from a well paid, secure job to become an entrepreneur. I had just been promoted to Executive Director and was one of just a couple of women at this level – so my leaving was a really big step and leap of faith.
But I did it. And this is where I like to pause in the story – because you know what – I didn’t really have an a-ha moment, a light bulb didn’t suddenly witch on in my head and I didn’t have sudden new found confidence that I could do whatever I wanted and be a successful entrepreneur. The truth is I was dating an American (now my husband) and quite simply we both wanted to be in the same place to see if our relationship had legs, and to do that we both needed to leave our roles to live in the same place. It’s important I share this because in my courses, when I am mentoring and when I have taught at my retreats I like to be honest and real. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and it is not for everyone. There probably won’t be a day that you suddenly think “OK, I am making enough money from my side hustle to quit my day job.” Instead, you will likely have to take a leap of faith and go all in even if you are not sure that it will work out, though I definitely recommend having a savings safety net set up from your corporate job!
So, there I was, quitting my well paid job and didn’t really have anything lined up. Except that I had started a fun project / hobby called We Are Travel Girls – a community for women around the world, and at that time it was basically just an Instagram page and the makings of a blog.
We Are Travel Girls
So at this point, July 2016 I decided that I was going to put all my energy and time into We Are Travel Girls and see if I could turn it into a profitable business. And I did! My friend Vanessa came on board and together we worked on the blog publishing new articles everyday, we launched events and meet-ups and then at the end of the year we decided the next step was to launch a Business & Blogging Retreat in Bali. I worked on planning the retreat for 9 months, from the seeds of the idea, through writing a full fledged curriculum to meeting the 24 girls who walked through the doors of our epic luxury villa in Bali in October 2017. We now host Travel Girls Getaways around the world, events and meet-ups and recently launched Travel Girls Giving to encompass our charitable efforts.
So, What’s Next?
During the last few years I realised whilst I love to travel and love my business We Are Travel Girls, my passion is also in education and entrepreneurship. I enjoy writing about business, entrepreneurship and blogging, I love mentoring and I really find teaching and sharing my knowledge with others rewarding. So I decided the natural progression would be to make BeckyvanDijk.com a source of business inspiration, blogging and social media education and business tips and advice. I also decided to take all of the information, education and eBooks that I created for our retreats, expand it and put it into an online course so that more people can access this content.
The Blogging Course by Becky van Dijk
I am so excited to announce that enrollment for The Blogger Course very soon! This was a labour of love when I first put it together, with 20+ hours of video content, over 300 pages of presentation material and 15+ eBooks. And now it’s even bigger!
Go to The Blogging Course page to find out all about the course, what is covered and how you can enroll, and be sure to subscribe below to get notified when enrollment opens!
Thanks for visiting my website. I am excited to share my tips, resources and ideas with you to help you build the business of your dreams!
- Find out more about my story on the About Page