Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carlijn Nelissen, Co-Founder of ON. PURPOSE STUDIO, located in The Netherlands, Gelderland, Netherlands.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The ON. PURPOSE STUDIO guides founders, leaders, and changemakers to grow in self-awareness, well-being, and authenticity. Through online programs, workshops, and retreats, for leaders and changemakers. Less ego, more impact.

Tell us about yourself

I get excited about making complex stuff simple. Behavioural change, spirituality, conscious leadership, and often vague concepts. I love making that practical and applicable to your daily life. Because when you experience it, you feel it, and when you feel it, there is space for change. And change is needed in our personal lives, companies, and nature.

To shift from daily harming one or more of those ecosystems, we can choose to heal instead. This starts with unbecoming who we were taught to be. Ego. Fear-driven choices in order to prove, please, fit in, hide, etc. Feeding a feeling of never enough. True change is possible when we shift from our heads to our hearts, whether that is in the way we live or lead.

To create our ripple effects on purpose. With our energy, our words, actions, and reactions. We can break cycles of stress, generational trauma, and toxicity. Our mission is to remind people of this and share the tools and insights based on ancient wisdom and modern science to be the change each day, each moment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Poh. Tough question. What comes to mind first is the team I built during my prior company, seeing people excel like that, overcoming their own barriers, that’s something else.

Another thing that comes to mind is betting on myself. Giving myself time to evolve my vision, going for it, and sticking to it every time I doubted myself or our business, etc. Not stopping believing, when you are still the lone nut, is something I am proud has become a part of who I am.

And lastly, the obvious one, the impact our programs have on our clients. That we have created something people commit to, and it empowers them to shift limiting habits, stories, and beliefs in their life, that’s just huge to me. Touches my heart.

Even though it’s not about the number, we do have big ambitions, but I am equally happy we choose to grow slowly, fine-tune the product, learn from customers, and turn it into what it is now. A game-changing studio with programs ready to scale.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

That your mood, your weak spots, and your ego modes are always reflected in your team and your company as a whole. Super confronting. Equally liberating because if I am the problem, I am also the solution. To keep seeking to evolve, learn, and grow, even when you are sick of observing your own patterns and being so aware.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be a learner, not a knower. Start before you have figured out how to do it right. Less ego means more impact. So invest in unlearning your limiting habits, beliefs, and stories. It will save you so much time in the long run.
  2. To keep believing, even when no one else does. To follow your gut, even when your mind doesn’t agree. Trust you will figure it out along the way. Focus on what brings you and your customers joy.
  3. Knowing that it is ultimately not about you, but you are a tool to make things happen in the world. That has been a long and freeing process for me. Letting go of who I thought I should be, seeking outside validation, and trying to match others’ expectations.
  4. Do less: think of yourself as an employee you would have to pay per hour. What would you want to work on? Just do that; leave the rest. Make time to rest, recover, exercise, and eat well. Design your days so that you work in a sustainable way and not drive yourself gradually off the cliff. Your energy is crucial to make this a success; care for it.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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