Rookie Republic is proud to present to you Leal van Herwaarden. He participated in Rookie Republic in 2010 with his business partners and made it to the third place. Rookie finds the way they are combining art and business inspiring and motivating to others.
Who are you + what kind of a company do you have?
My name is Leal van Herwaarden. I am a professional dancer, event organizer, program manager of HipHopHuis (hip hop culture organisation) and owner of Circle of Codes (youth marketing agency).
Why did you decide to participate at the Rookie Challenge?
The reason I decided to participate at the Rookie Challenge was to win the title, prize money, coaching program and business property of course! We came pretty close too and finished at 3rd place. But the most important aspect was to learn as much as I could and develop the network to grow the business of my dreams.
What was your motivation to start up your own business?
The motivation to start my business came from seeing a wealth of potential in building bridges between street culture and the business world. For some reason there wasn’t much development between these two worlds and I wanted to make this happen and improve my community.
What were your first steps?
The first step I made was just finding opportunities for me and my friends to do cool stuff with businesses just for the fun of it!
Why was Rookie Republic important to you?
Rookie Republic was very important to us because the reaction we got from the other contestants (who were actually also rooting for us), the judges and the organisation was so overwhelmingly positive that it really cemented our belief that we were on to something beautiful and big.
How has Rookie Republic helped you?
Rookie Republic also opened some doors because of the exposure we got after the final event and the people we met.
Why do your clients love you?
Our clients love us because they feel the passion we have for what we do, they appreciate our ambition to grow as entrepreneurs/influencers/artists and they sense our drive to make a difference for them and our community.
What’s your ambition for the next 5 years?
If I summarize my ambition for the next 5 years; it’s mostly about developing my company to a financially AND socially high level. Meaning making big profits and big positive social changes at the same time, which in most people’s eyes are two opposite goals. It basically comes down to becoming free to do the things I want, actually having the power to making things happen and serving as an example for others that it is possible to do all of this.
What’s the best advice you can give a Rookie?
The best advice I can give a Rookie is to stay hungry to learn and improve. Be aware and critical of yourself, but always optimistic. But mostly stay focused on accomplishing your biggest goals and taking massive (direct) action towards them!