We believe Mondays can be the day where real good things happen. That’s why we feature inspiring women who share their very best advice, in short, practical tips, tricks & lessons. Career Girls Danique and Adine hands on the torch to the inspiring Caroline Glasbergen (34), who lives by the motto ‘working harder is not always the solution, working smarter often is.’ We hope you enjoy the extra boost of inspiration & motivation you need to skyrocket your Monday!
Who’s Caroline? Caroline studied Hotel management and has a master’s degree in Finance. She worked as a brand manager for big brands like Bacardi and Unilever. Caroline decided to quit her job as a strategic & innovative consultant at Flare and plunged into adventure by starting FITSHE, a premium nutrition brand for women without any artificial sweeteners or other artificial additives. She lives in Rotterdam with her partner, their son Finn and their labradoodle Tony.
How did you come up with the idea for FITSHE?
Caroline: “Eating well and training my body – instead of dieting and exercising – lets me get everything out of life on a daily basis. I believe this could work for everyone. Especially for women. However, whenever you require a lot from your body, you also need to give something back. Most women tend to forget this. I noticed that there were no pure natural and organic protein options out there on the market to support women in their active lifestyle. It proved impossible to find a bar or a shake without all kinds of additives and sweeteners.”
“Not to mention that a lot of these products on the market either look like they were developed for Arny himself or taste like sweetened carton. I shared this story with 200 women and experts, who confirmed my vision. So, I started working on the product I had in mind. It proved to be a difficult journey because everybody assured me that it wasn’t possible: Natural and functional products that actually taste good, without adding artificial sweeteners. Luckily, in the end, I found experts that shared my vision and was willing to work with me on the creation of the FITSHE products.
What does success mean to you?
Caroline: “Success is partially subjective. Some people would say FITSHE is already a success. However, I’m always looking for new challenges and keep on seeing new opportunities to create products and services to support women. For me this is an ongoing process, it never stops. Therefore, I believe that success lies more in the journey than in a final pre-defined goal. I started meditating 2,5 years ago and I included it in my morning routine since that very moment. Apart from meditation, I changed a lot of habits that were no longer serving me into habits that help me to stay balanced. I feel that growing FITSHE while remaining balanced and happy is my biggest personal challenge and being able to have this balance is my personal definition of success.”
What quotation or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and what you love?
Caroline: “Great things never came from comfort zones neither from the paved paths. If it was easy everyone had done it. To summarize: don’t stop.”
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Caroline: “Whenever you feel you want to quit; sell your company, or throw your whole idea in the rubbish bin, stop what you are doing and create a relaxing moment for yourself. Take some time to sleep, exercise, see your friends, or whatever that makes you happy and gives you energy. 9 out of 10 times it is not your company or your job that is the real problem. Mostly you are just tired or you have not taken enough care about your own personal needs. Take a short break, and pick it up from there. You’ll quickly find back your enthusiasm, drive, and self-confidence.”
Wisdom you wish you had when you first entered the work world?
Caroline: “Working harder is not always the solution, working smarter often is. You do not have to do it on your own. In many cases, you can delegate (small) tasks to others, even when you are in your startup phase. In the end, I guess the most important thing is to accept that you do not have all the wisdom and that you will make mistakes (a lot). Bouncing back, being flexible and not giving up. Never.”
Photo credits: Nanda Hagenaars