The year is coming to an end. That’s always a good time to take a step back and reminisce about the past year, don’t you think? To sum up what you’ve experienced, what you’ve learned and what you can be grateful for. And I have so much to be grateful for! Time to write it all down and share it with you. Life has so many beautiful things to offer, but you can’t really enjoy them when you haven’t got anyone to share it with. I love to share with you, I hope you can appreciate this.
My own boss
Since November 2016 I have been working as a freelancer, and this was a pretty big step for me. Letting go of the (financial) security of a permanent job and trying to make an income in an area that’s pretty unfamiliar to me. Can you make a living by providing people with advice and information about Tiny Houses? As it turns out, yes you can! I’m doing it somehow. I remember getting a gift certificate for the organic food market from one of my colleagues at my farewell party. In case of a money shortage, I could use it for food. A thoughtful gesture, by no means implying that I might not make it. I used it up the other day because I had it for almost a year, but I never really needed it. How awesome is that! I started my own company and I’m successful too! It’s hard work and a lot of things I’m doing practically for free, but I’m doing what I like and I’m getting by. I have so much freedom in choosing what I do and when I’m doing it. And to top it off, I’m learning so much from it. This is wealth! I’ve never regretted for a second taking this step, and although business is a little slow at the moment, I’m spending my time and money mostly investing in the future and although sometimes I’m a little worried about the bills, deep in my heart I know it will be ok.
This year I have been admitted to the Speakers Academy as a public speaker, and I consider it a big milestone. I really love talking about the Tiny House movement and philosophy, about my own adventure and experiences on the way to and living in a self-sufficient Tiny House. I think it’s really special to see how excited my listeners are. The many questions that are being asked, having people come up to me afterwards and thanking me, letting me know I inspired them. Last year I applied for the Speakers Academy, asking them to include me in their repertoire. I had to submit a bunch of references and material I didn’t have yet. But I’ve been working on that, and this year I could hand in the required items: a video of a talk I did, professional photos, a biography and multiple references. And I’ve been accepted! There are some big names in this Speakers Academy and I’m so proud that ‘Marjolein in het klein’ is part of them. It also helps in asking a fair pay for my lectures. For me, it’s not easy asking for money. So, the past year I’ve often been away for half a day or even a full day giving a lecture on the other side of the country, for next to nothing. That’s not right, and therefore I’m very happy the Speakers Academy team will be handling my bookings going forward. Learning point: pricing my own value.
I still love my house!
Not a day goes by without me enjoying my little dream house. The second winter in, I know better what to expect and I have everything pretty much under control. I can live a little more relaxed now. My house has everything I need and it’s really cozy. The place where I live is unique and very beautiful. There are so many birds here: robins, blue tits and great tits, magpies, blackbirds, thrushes, ducks, coots and a swan every now and then. I love it! I’m so grateful for my house and the place I get to live in. And I’m thankful I’ve found the courage and inspiration to walk this path. It brings me so much more than I could ever have expected.
Tiny House Alkmaar
Next year I’ll be getting neighbors, I’m sure about that. The people who are supposed to become my neighbors can’t wait and the only thing holding us back is the protest from the Water board Hollands Noorderkwartier. But I can just feel it in my bones, this is going to happen! During this past year I had a little conflict about the execution of the project, but I won. I can design and execute the pilot project as I see fit, together with the residents and according to the Tiny House philosophy. It’s going to be so cool! A small community of self-sustaining Tiny Houses and their residents, sharing with each other, living ecologically and minimalistically, and sharing their experiences with the world. I hope to welcome my first neighbor in February or March; by that time I will have lived here by myself for almost two years. It’s about time, don’t you think?
Thursday the 21st of December, one more dream of mine will be fulfilled: the TinyFindy platform will be launched. I’m so excited! Ever since the beginning of my own adventure going tiny, I’ve dreamed of a website where people can offer and search for Tiny Houses and Tiny House plots. And now it’s almost a reality. I hope with all my heart that the website will be used well and that it will help the Tiny House movement grow. There is a growing need for this type of living, but there aren’t enough locations available. Although the people who are building their own Tiny Houses all manage to find a place somehow. But for most people this pioneering is a little too adventurous and that’s understandable. I expect a lot of Tiny House locations will emerge in 2018, and that the first Tiny Houses will be offered for rent. TinyFindy is the place where supply and demand can meet. It’s going to be so beautiful! I’m very thankful for being able to fulfill this dream together with Marcel van Mierlo. He’s great to work with and he’s been a huge support. Thank you, dear Marcel! And let’s not forget stichting Meo. Although I already had a high regard for them, they managed to exceed my expectations. They’re great!
A big thanks to everyone, dear friends and family, followers and fans, customers and supporters, for all your support this year. I’ve realized once more I haven’t made enough time for relations and I plan to make up for it next year. I’m aiming for balance, I know it can be a real challenge! To all of you: happy holidays, and a 2018 full of happiness, love, health and satisfaction. Also from Hella of course! <3