HomeDream ChasersMarc van der Zande: Do things that are close to your heart!

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Venelin Dobrev


Venelin loves telling stories that make you smile.

Marc van der Zande: Do things that are close to your heart!

I have had the pleasure to know and work with Marc for over one year now on different projects related to supporting SMEs in the area of sports and vitality. He is a great and inspirational person and a true dream chaser! I am happy to share his story on the blog.

Tell us a bit more about yourself and the dream you are chasing. 

Hi, I am Marc and I wish to help companies that create brand new things that help people be active and feel more healthy.  

How was the idea for your dream born and how it developed over time? 

I was for a rather long time involved in a national program to support elite sporters with innovations. It was very satisfying to help athletes that were very motivated but the long-term impact was limited since we reached only a small population. Therefore I was motivated to help set up programs that reached a larger population with also health needs. 

What are your plans for the future? What do wish to achieve in the next 5 years? 

It is my ambition to create together a movement in Europe that can create this impact, by bringing together stakeholders from all different background: scientists, innovators, businesses, NGO’s, investors, social programs. 

What are the most important lessons you learned along the way so far? 

  • It is important to involve businesses to keep a permanent involvement. Making money is not a bad thing, because it helps maintaining and improving good solutions 
  • It is also important to involve end-users in the whole process, and keep testing with them, since the real value is in the practise. Sometimes you think you know the solution, but reality is a hard thing. 
  • Start working with the motivated people, to keep the energy, even if the rollout is small. Only when they create a positive vibe others will follow. If you start with a large but not motivated target group the loss of positive energy will drain the initiative.  

How do you find work and life balance and prevent burnout? 

Good one! Remember that quantity of work hours conflict with quality, and good output is not created by long work hours. Do the things that you like, since that keeps the positive energy. Do not try to do it all by yourself, delegate the stuff that other people like to do and you don’t. And do not be afraid to make mistakes, but share your failures, others might help you out. 

How do you take care of yourself – physically, emotionally, and mentally? 

I go to the gym, like to walk to free the mind, and try not to be online in the evening or in the weekend. A relaxed mind can better judge what is important and what not. And remember we work to live, not live to work. 

What are your daily routines/habits that you believe contribute to your success?

Read the news, take my time for dinner together with the family, try to be kind. So no real work related things, since I believe that only with a good work/private life balance you create success. 

What would you say are the three principles or qualities that can help a person make their dreams come true?

Do things that are close to your heart, since it has to make you happy.

If you are positive you motivate other people and so you create a positive environment and movement that can grow. 

Share since sharing is multiplying. 

What inspires and motivates you when times are difficult?

Connecting to other people. People are more important than material things. 

What would you say to the people that are still hesitant to chase their dreams? 

Just try to be happy, dreams can be large or small, but if you are happy with the things you do or like to do, life has a positive outcome. 


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