It’s starting to become a regular thing, every Tuesday morning at nine o’clock we meet in a new coffee shop somewhere in Portland. We both come from ‘outside Portland. Only she is from another state and I am from another continent. Still, we immediately clicked and I look forward to our weekly tea time.

If I’m confused about something in this country or am looking for something, she is immediately ready to help me or advice. I get so much support from my new friend because she understands what it’s like to have to start all over again somewhere else. Because I also have to learn how the business world works here, she introduced me to her brother, a successful content writer in Phoenix. What are the odds, right?

In a Zoom meeting with him, it quickly became clear to me that I have to let go of my introverted character. The Dutch ‘just act normal, then you’re acting crazy enough’ is not going to happen here either. No, here I have to learn to sell myself, create an outgoing character, and learn to put myself in the spotlight. Hi folks, here I am and I’m awesome!

I had to process all this information because this means I have to go against my character. I remember so well how I had to do the same when I started my company in the Netherlands almost 20 years ago. I was constantly running into my boundaries, breaking through them, and growing, as a person and in my company. Do I want to do this again but in the pro version?

I discuss my thoughts with my friend. She nods and understands what I mean. She struggles with the same challenges in her work. On the other hand, we both know that in this country there is no room for introverts and quiet insecure grey mice. “Go big or go home.” I don’t want to go home so the outcome is obvious: it’s time to get big.

When we say goodbye after two hours of chatting, my thoughts are all over the place. One thing is a fact, giving up is something I’ve never done, I don’t even know how, if someone asks me to give up so GO BIG it will be!

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