Living where you like, working where you like


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A lot of people enjoy where they living, they do the work they like. They say. But did you ever get a blank sheet of paper and write down how and where you would live, work and what you would do if there would be no limits? If money was no issue? Would you live in the same town, in the same street, in the same country? Would you drive the same car, spend the same holiday? Would you go to your work, to an office?

Then you really see what you want to get outof life. Sonja and Mike work with us in the business. They decided to live in Legacy, Plano (TX) because they like it. They take the liberty that a passive income offers. But they still will expand and helping other people to get most out of life. They want to. I want to get there. We both made a plan that makes this possible. This little movie shows the goodbye they received in the office (Dutch spoken), and they will receive some characteristic Dutch delicatessen. Do you have a plan that will make possible what you really want to get out of life?


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Taiwanese Sports Drinks can be Contaminated

chemical structure of diisononyl phthalate

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The European Commission‘s Joint Research Centre has developed three new methods to detect an illegal clouding agent which can be found in sports drinks imported from Taiwan.

In late May, the Taiwanese authorities informed the European Commission that significant amounts of phthalates were illegally added to certain categories of sports drinks. These chemicals are believed to affect reproductive performance and fertility, and have been linked to developmental problems with children.

The Taiwanese Food and Drug Administration has published the names of 879 products of more than 300 producers that contained high amounts of phthalates. More than 200 products from 34 producers were exported to 22 countries. These include some EU Member States, in particular Germany and the UK, where some products were withdrawn from the market.

What are phthalates? Normally, producers of sports drinks, jelly and fruit pulps use a palm-oil based product to obtain a cloudy appearance, but in the Taiwanese incident, this was largely replaced by the two cheaper substances: bis-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (commonly abbreviated DEHP), and Рin one case Рdi-iso-nonyl phthalate (DINP). DEHP and DINP are commonly used as plasticizers in many plastic products. These substances, however, are prohibited in the production of food, and their use in plastic toys and childcare products is restricted in the EU.

List of products that contained high amounts of phthalates, published by the Taiwanese Food and Drug Administration

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Archery in the woods, shooting animals

Field archer using a freestyle recurve bow. Ta...

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Yes, we did it! In Dutch, we say: shoot a billygoat (een bok schieten) – which means that you have done something stupid. But we did it, today, in a clever way. We took some arches and arrows and shot animals: a rabbit, a fox, a billygoat, a deer. They were plastic which is normal practice in the so-called 3D archery discipline. It was a surprise: we had expected to have to point to targets in a field so we were not dressed for walking in the woods (especially looking at our shoes) but it was so much fun! Where golf involves walking on a field, hitting small balls to a put and trying to find the ones that went off-track, 3D archery is more or less the same. In woods, artificial animals are hidden and a marker is a reference to put at least one foot. With a ribbon, the track leads to the next animal. In a competition, you go with about five archers. And you have to target the animals with the arrows, and find and retrieve the arrows that missed target (which sometimes is a challenge!). We did it at short distances: 30m max which is kids game for the experienced archers, who brought compound arches where we used Olympic arches. The movie below shows our way round. After this challenging work, our hunger was taken care of by a huge barbecue which was prepared for us. Wouldn’t want to have missed it! Did you ever practice archery? And for golfers who are archers as well: which sport do you like better?

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The value of regional produce

On one of our trips to the UK, a friend of us, involved in the Artisan Food Trail made us aware of the Essex Food & Drink Festival which was held on the grounds of the characteristic Cressing Temple Barn. … Continue reading

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Marketing tip: sampling works

Olive oil with Balsamic Vinegar

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Do you like to get free product? Do you like to try before you buy, so you know what you will get and what the results are? Why would other people not experience these results? That’s why sampling is powerful. It leads to additional purchase as people have the product experience. They know if they like it, they know they want to have more if the product is finished. These are the elements which makes a car salesman to ask you to test-drive the car you like to purchase. Once you have touched the wheel, have felt the acceleration, the smooth gear change and when you have seen that the boot can carry the results of the shopping spree, you are more likely to buy it.

When you visit a wine shop, are you getting away there without having been offered a tasting? Chances are you like it. The same for perfumes, cheese, olive oil,… name it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Once you had it, you like it and you want more. Done deal.

Even Apple has understood this principle. In the Apple Store, people can use a huge number of iPhones and iPads to experience that the things the want to do with them will succeed. That is is easy to read the mail, to log into Facebook and find new contacts using LinkedIn. In de Apple Store in Regent Street London, the shop was packed with people who just wanted one thing: experience the gadgets. Apple wouldn’t do it if this was not profitable. Believe me.


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Win2Lose Before the Holiday Season

Beach volleyball players; Huntington Beach, Ca...

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The summer season is approaching rapidly. The time most people enjoy getting a tan on the beach. But how do you look like in bikinis or for men, in swim suit? Most people don’t want to look like one of those beach balls on the sand, and men often look to create their six-pack (women appreciate looking at them as well).

How do you get results? We used the Win2Lose programme, which is basically aimed to increase the metabolism using natural herb-based supplements in combination with simple exercises. Of course the programme looks at your eating habits as well but the Win2Lose programme focuses on optimising the food and exercise programme. Which does not mean dieting, as this often has not a durable effect. Thoe exercises are aiming to use the big muscle groups that burn most. By stimulating the growth of muscles (which always burn fat), the basic metabolic rate (what you burn already with minimal activity) will increase. That’s why we regularly will measure values like weight, fat, visceral fat, basic metabolic rate, muscle weight, water percentage and virtual age. Then you will see the progress, even when it not always is visible on your body.

I lost about 16kg, and Liz lost 40kg using this programme and we like to share our experiences with you as this is a realistic and easy to realise way to get your body in balance.

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Marketing tip: are you getting paid on your recommendations?

Land Rover Defender Experience 2006

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It is obvious… who do you ask for good places to go, things to do or a car to buy? Who do you ask for a good restaurant? Do you better trust your friend, or an advertisement telling you to see the latest movie? According to research, up to 90% of people trust the recommendations from friends. Imagine, what do you do yourself? I once went to a Land Rover Experience day, crawling on a hilly, muddy and water-covered track with a Land Rover Defender, greenlaning with a Discovery and a Freelander. I also had a go with the at that time just-launched Range Rover. And I told all people around me that this was really a great thing to do! What do you do when you have eaten in a nice restaurant? You tell other people! I think you can’t make enough use of the power of sharing your own experience in marketing. Sometimes you even think you should get paid on the recommendations you make! Don’t you think it’s strange? The biggest business is made on telling other people about product benefits, without having the experience… and the people who share experience most often don’t get paid for their efforts. Wouldn’t you like to see that reversed?

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Marketing tip: Use the products you promote


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Marketing is about making people enthusiast to buy products that are promoted. Often, these promotions are made by an agency. Do you think it is easy to promote a product that you don’t know in reality? Are you able to really promote a product if you don’t know how it feels, how it looks, how it works? Do you think it’s strange is an owner of say a Mercedes dealership is driving a BMW? Don’t you thnk sometimes: how did that agency get to make this statement on a product – they would do otherwise if they’d known it? That’s why David Ogilvy had the habit of using the products he was promoting. Just to know what he was talking about and to see sometimes surprising benefits.

If the marketing is done by the owner of a company, it’s no more than natural if he is to use the own products. Do you think a butcher is buying the meat from the supermarket instead of his own shop? Or that a computer specialist is buying his computers from another shop instead of using his own stock? If he is thinking his products or services are superiour, of course, not using them is no option!

Using the products you promote is a great tool to have in-depth experience with them – and you will be able to recommend them in a convincing way. You are the authority – who can take away the experience you have with your own products or services? I bet no-one can.

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Discussion on lap bands for children

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In the US, the FDA is likely to approve the application of lap bands for kids of 14 years and older. This is a kind of ring placed around the stomach so the kid feels full quicker and eats less. There are side effects such as nausea and vomiting blood. Most importantly, it is not known how the implantated material will be after a longer time as the technique is known since 2001. Alternative treatment is a gastric bypass, reducing the size of the stomach. This is a surgery which can not be reversed and therefore also is subject to controversy.

For me, the idea of both surgeries is not appealing to me. We know of very good results of people increasing their metabolism using supplements like Biolean or Biolean Free, in combination with exercises. I even would recommend to really try this method before applying any surgery as this is not as durable as it may seem like.

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Spicy food contributes to burning fat?

balance yourself

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The Dutch edition of Runner’s World reported that spices like chillis may accelerate the metabolism and make you feel ‘full’ faster. They may thus contribute to the battle against kilos. The nutrient capsaicine makes your mouth feel burning when eating it but also increases the body temperature for a little while. Other spices like chilli and ginger have a comparable but less prominent result. You may add them but don’t expect results. In combination with sports like running, supplements containing¬†these herbs will work as they are developed for the purpose of optimising the muscle to fat ratio.

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