Our partner Bart Verreydt in the spotlight in Bloovi: "Helping people and companies in their development gives me positive energy".
After more than 22 years in the corporate world, from Benelux Marketer to Vice-President EMEA, Bart Verreydt (46) chose a full-time entrepreneurial adventure in 2021: with his management company, BoostR, he advises start-ups, scale-ups, and family businesses in their (international) expansion and sustainable growth development. A year later, he co-founded the healthcare start-up Bouncer, which co-creates medical aids (ADL) with and for the healthcare sector and then commercializes them across Western Europe. In the summer of 2022, Verreydt participated in a management buyout (MBO) of CrossInt, an internationally operating boutique firm specializing in executive, board & direct search, recruitment outsourcing, executive interim-management, and leadership advisory & consultancy.
What is the biggest mistake you've made so far?
"I've made several mistakes, and that's okay because I learned from each of them, and that's how you move forward. If I have to name one, it's that I viewed networking as something with a negative connotation for too long, as in needing something from someone. As a result, I didn't focus much on networking in the first ten years of my career, and that may have slowed down my development."
"Networking can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas that can help you in your role. Exchanging information about challenges, experiences, and goals is a significant benefit of networking because it provides you with new insights, things you might not have thought of otherwise. Expanding your contacts can open doors to new business opportunities, career prospects, personal growth, or simply new knowledge."
"A few years ago, I read the quote: 'your network is your net worth' and I completely agree. The fact that I get to meet many new people and business leaders and can play a connecting role between all these parties to strengthen each other's activities and to create the necessary synergies for each other is incredibly enriching and largely contributes to my work happiness and positive energy!"
"It turns out that many of the entrepreneurs I've talked to in recent years sometimes found it difficult to share their project, their so called 'baby,' with others. However, experience has taught me that you can't do everything yourself, and you're best off surrounding yourself with the right, complementary people who complement you so that 1 + 1 truly equals 3."
"Build an - international or diverse - network that you can rely on and that can also serve as a lever for your further growth. The different perspectives and opinions will lead to constructive, richer discussions that undoubtedly result in new insights, better decisions, and often faster and more sustainable success!"
What do you consider your most important entrepreneurial quality?
"I think it's a mix of passion, drive, enthusiasm, perseverance, and resilience. As a business leader and entrepreneur, I've often faced obstacles, challenges, or difficulties. The ability to persevere and push through can make the difference between giving up and being successful. Balancing vision and strategy on one hand, and disciplined execution and action on the other, is something I find personally very enjoyable and important."
"Over the years, I've learned that you have to know when 'good is good enough' and then have the courage to follow your gut feeling and jump or take a calculated risk."
Equally important: finding the right balance between analysis and substantiation on the one hand and intuition and gut feeling on the other. 'GEMO,' a former American colleague once told me: Good Enough, Move On. Over the years I have learned that you have to know when good is 'good enough' and then you just have to dare to jump on gut feeling or take a calculated risk."
In whom or what have you invested recently?
"You could describe my leaping out of my golden cage as an investment in myself. Too often I see people who are primarily focused on managing their careers and not so much on their broader life or health. I, too, became aware of this during the last years of my international corporate career, so after careful consideration, I chose for my own happiness."
"I earn a lot less, but I enjoy myself much more. Additionally, I can now better fulfill my goal of being meaningful and leaving a piece of 'legacy' by giving back to society and sharing my knowledge and experience with others."
What is your idea of work happiness?
"Personal development and the human factor are two very important ingredients for my work happiness. I am a real 'people person,' which is why my primary entrepreneurial activities are in the 'people business.' At Bouncer, I can contribute by increasing the self-reliance and dignity of patients and the elderly with our everyday inclusive ADL aids without stigma. Helping to improve the healthcare sector and being able to give back to the community are close to my heart and bring me a lot of satisfaction."
"Just like my activities at Cross International. A company may have the best product or technology, or the most innovative patent, but if you don't have the right and motivated people, you won't get anywhere. Successful companies thrive where people thrive, that's our philosophy. I don't like to use the word 'headhunter' because I believe you can't catch talent. However, you can invite talents to a goal they believe in."
"That's why we don't hunt for heads but rather inspire minds. That's why we talk to candidates about their development and career, not just a job. Being able to contribute to that and help so many different people with so many different backgrounds in their development and finding the missing pieces of the organizational puzzle for companies of various sizes in different sectors, countries and cultures is extremely enriching and gives me a lot of positive energy!"
Who or what gives you an irresistible smile?
"We regularly receive emails at Bouncer from caregivers or family members of patients who use our aids and want to thank us for the positive effect and the smile we often bring to the faces of those patients. It's very rewarding and gives a warm feeling to read about the impact our products have on people's lives. After all, that's what we do it for!"
What is your favorite motto?
"Then I choose one from James Dean: 'Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today'. This motto encourages a balanced approach to life and can be applied both personally and professionally. On one hand, you should dare to dream big, have high ambitions, set long-term goals, and pursue a sense of boundless possibilities without limitations. On the other hand, it encourages living in the moment, making the most out of each day, and living with a sense of urgency and purpose."
"This motto encourages me to live authentically, to pursue my passions and dreams, and to prioritize things that are genuinely important to me, so that I can lead a meaningful and satisfying life."
What is your favorite activity?
"I'm passionate about preventive healthcare and have a fairly holistic view of the definition of health and well-being. I strongly believe in 'a healthy mind in a healthy body.' I see health as a sum of four interconnected factors: nutrition, sleep, mental relaxation, and physical activity. Only when these four are in balance can you feel healthy and good about yourself."
"So, I enjoy dealing with all aspects of health and read a lot about it. But if I have to name one favorite activity, I choose my primary form of release, and that is (trail)running. I've always been a soccer player, but after an injury, I discovered running about fifteen years ago and have since run a few marathons. In recent years, I've switched to 'trail running' because I found that running in nature has a double positive effect for me! While running, I completely relax and can clear my mind, and the most creative (business) ideas spontaneously come up... I can truly recommend it to everyone!"