Dennis van der Spoel
 
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.01

Finding my purpose in life

I was born and raised on welfare in a small Dutch village by my mom who divorced my dad when I was about three years old. My mom decided to send me to anthroposophical and Montessori inspired schools where I graduated without ever spending a minute doing homework. 

Since my mom lived on welfare, and any scholarship funds would be deducted from the welfare my mom received, regular university education was out of the question. So, I decided to find a full-time job to pay for evening college.

Once in college, I thought I could continue on the same foot as in high school. A big mistake. After a couple of years of poor grades and boredom I pulled the plug on becoming a Bachelor of Economics with a major in Marketing Management and switched to be trained as a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. However, I quickly discovered that I didn't enjoy the math and was bored out of my mind with the way things were taught. After a few semesters, I finally dropped out of college.

I decided to take my education into my own hands. I read a book a week for the next ten years, always careful to pick a book that really interested me because of the challenge I was confronted with at that time. I also invested heavily in training my skills as a manager, trainer, and speaker. This skyrocketed my career as an employee, and subsequently got me going as an entrepreneur.

But it wasn't until I discovered the writings of Richard Branson, Peter Diamandis, Steven Kotler and Ray Kurzweil that my purpose in life became clear. My goal is to elevate humanity and create a world of abundance by leveraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

 

.02

Finding my Mojo

I am curious by nature. But as a kid I often got bored easily and quickly. What can I say? I have a very high IQ, and once I find out how things work I start looking for the next learning experience. That is why traditional education is not for me. This character trait stuck with me all the way through college and most of my career. Although some would say that I am a theorist in the way I learn, I am a pragmatist in the application and validation of new insights. I consume media (text, audio, video), and experiment and emulate a lot, but only with relevance to subjects that are of interest to me at this time.

I guess that’s why I ended up in innovative environments. I never really had a plan for my career, and I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I was drawn to R&D and product development like moth to a flame. The life and times of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are incredibly fascinating to me. And the world of innovation and entrepreneurship with all its unique assignments, such as projects, programs, and transformational change truly makes me tick. That’s why I have spent almost 30 years launching new products and businesses as a project controller, project manager, program manager, change manager, portfolio manager, interim manager, trainer, coach, consultant, entrepreneur, and investor. 

Ever since project management and change management became professions, authoritative institutes studying these unique assignments have been reporting a failure rate between 50 and 70 percent. I have always tried to beat that number, and I have surely had my share of painful failures and jubilated successes, but I knew there just had to be a way to create a failsafe system to delivering projects and changes. The fact that everybody said that it couldn’t be done didn’t stop me from trying. So, for over 20 years I have been working, searching, reading, taking courses, and experimenting until I uncovered all the secrets to making innovation a success. In doing so I created multiple systems that will literally change the way you conduct your business.

 
 

.03

My roots in Business

I have always been a dreamer. So, in my early twenties my mom kicked me out of the house. She felt it was time to grow up and meet the real world. I found a small apartment and my girlfriend moved in with me. She didn't want any kids, so we lived the luxurious life of the DINKs (Double Income, No Kids). We got to travel a lot, for work and for pleasure.

After a couple of years, I started my own business, we bought a house, and got married. Both the business and my marriage had their ups and downs, and when I lost her faith in the business and me, on the brink of bankruptcy, my marriage was over. We muddled through another couple of years, during which I got a job at a consulting firm. But the divorce was inevitable.

Another couple of years later I revived my business and found another woman who was crazy enough to marry me. She pushed me to grow as a person and entrepreneur. When she introduced me to the teachings of Robert Kiyosaki my mind just blew as a world of possibilities opened up to me. His teachings are about using leverage to achieve exponential growth in business and investing. Business success, financial freedom and good health are the ultimate vehicles whereby one can fulfill his or her true purpose in life. While money is the means, not the end goal, it is nonetheless crucial to making any kind of purposeful impact. Learning how to leverage helped me to finally break free from the rat race and scale my business to touch the lives of millions of people.

Today I use my interpersonal skills to help people to regain control over their business, profession, income, and lives by sharing my expertise about change, innovation, technology, science, and entrepreneurship.