Marco Houwen - Zentrapreneur
Marco Houwen has long been the “Internet and Cloud guy” in Luxembourg. His atypical career of more than 20 years in ICT led him onto his path today where he supports leaders at the heart of their entrepreneurial process. He does this as a strategic life coach for senior executives and entrepreneurs. Marco frequently contributes to Trans-for-Nation sharing insight and his experience for practicing authentic and holistic leadership in a turbulent, disoriented world.
When I wrote the first article for Trans-for-Nation, the “Zen of BEing before Doing,” it was such a freeing exercise and moment to finally express my true self to the community which played a large role in making me who I am over the last 20 years. It also triggered a shift in me as I became aware of the insights and experiences that reside deep inside and worth sharing.
The leap of faith came in the form of a powerful question: Who do I really want to be in life? However, like so many others, I get typically stuck in the ‘doing’ question before acting on and knowing the answer to the Being question.
As an entrepreneur, I often would get into the frenzy of creating companies or leading game-changing projects…and then? As always, after the initial buzz of dopamine from all this doing would wear off, I would need to start the next big idea to maintain that high. A couple of years ago I woke up from this cycle of “doing dreams” peeling back the onion further and started to focus on what really was my driving force. I committed to giving my full attention to understanding and aligning what I was doing with who I truly am.
And then, an awareness became so abundantly clear: it was like when you break up with a girlfriend. The aftermath starts with not being able to or wanting to be alone. So, you move in with somebody else as soon as humanly possible to curb the annoying feeling of being alone. We avoid addressing why the break-up occurred and keep ‘doing’ with new people as a distraction. This has long become a cycle and program as how we go through life overall.
As in the example above, I did not want to be without “the doing,” so I sought out business models which seemed exciting and I pursued them. Reminds me of that 1987 glam-rock hit: “Here I go again” from Whitesnake.
And I’ve made up my mind, I am not wasting any more time and made an agreement with myself that I would break the cycle of endless doing no matter what it took nor where it led me. The realization that I had been underplaying my personal potential picked me up (almost literally) and threw me down hard into remembering who I was. And, who I am. It was this moment of accepting and then surrendering that has made all the difference in the world.
What was profoundly real for me was that I needed to look at an ugly truth: all my creations I did before were driven by a single idea and desire: a need to collaborate with others. Yes, a great and noble concept for sure, however the ugly truth was that I used collaboration to hide my insecurity and lack of confidence.
The time to bring out what had been buried in me so long was Now. This affected me so much that I knew I could not do it all alone. The concept of collaboration now came back to me from an entirely different angle and with a meaning that still gives me shivers: serendipity happened. A virtual meeting (“thank you” CVD19) put me in touch with an old friend and brand expert, who I engaged to help me to get all my ideas out of my head and structure them into a framework for others to experience and embrace.
And in doing so, I could step out of my own shadow. Actually, what transpired was that unconsciously the very personal leadership framework and journey I was about to birth became the very practices and manifestation I had craved my whole life to be. The personal leadership practice that has become is called zentrapreneur.com.
My own zentrapreneurial journey includes sharing this set of practices and the zentrapreneurial framework with as many people as possible.
As you’ve already read this far, where does your journey start?