Coming from a family of sportsmen, Jiri was destined for a career in basketball.
After various injuries, he was forced to stop this project in order to embark on his very first professional experience.
He started with Geninc and soon became a franchisee.
What did you do before Geninc?
I was in college studying ICT—Information and Communication Technologies.
So in IT, programming etc.
At the same time I was doing a lot of sport.
My dad is a sports coach and my mother was a huge Dutch swimming champion.
All my family members are sports enthusiasts.
I myself had the desire to devote my life to sport.
That’s why my parents encouraged me to do this. They gave me the chance to follow my goals and build my life around sport, but they also insisted that I study on the side.
From the age 13 I started to play basketball quite a lot, and after 2-3 years I started playing at a very high level in a basketball club in Antwerp.
So my daily routine at that time was training 6 times a week, having 2 physical training per day and then games during the weekend.
My physical therapist was not looking after me very well, so I started to have pain in my knee, my back etc. to the point of having to have knee surgery.
So, it was impossible for me to continue a career in basketball.
I’ve never been the kind of person to say “I am giving up because I have been unlucky”.
I really wanted to achieve something in my life. So I decided to start working directly.
Obviously I had to rethink all my plans. I had never had any work experience before this.
So I had to think about what I wanted to do with my life. And that is when I first got in touch with Geninc.
How did you start as a BA?
During my first interview with Jorik, he explained that being a brand ambassador takes a lot of work. He really emphasized on work ethic, and the freedom I would have. We really understood each other from our different points of view. That is what made me want to join Geninc in the first place.
Moreover I realized that the mindset I had developed through sport, I could also find it at Geninc. It is something that appealed to me a lot.
What drew you in when you first started?
What drew me in even more after my first days was the working environment.
Everyone helps each other out and drives each other further. We grow and learn new things together.
You wake up and you get better everyday.
Moreover we are all about the same age, so the atmosphere in the coworking hub is very vibrant. It is not the case in most workplaces.
Obviously what also appealed to me was the fact that it works on commissions and that you can become independent.
What made me stay at Geninc was that when I went home I thought “ok, this is the place I see myself being for a couple of years”.
Looking back, what do you think of how you grew?
I have always been a hard worker with a strong mindset. I am not someone who gives up easily.
But I have never really been “super talented” in everything. It means that if I want to achieve something, I can do it, but it takes a lot of work.
When I started in Geninc, I was very introverted. It was to the point I had to ask for help to get something from someone. I was really afraid to talk to strangers.
So yes, I can say that being a brand ambassador at Geninc is one of the biggest challenges I’ve taken on.
It made me confident in my ability to be around people, talk to people and it really helped me grow.
What is going to change now that you are a franchisee?
Every step we take is a refresher course.
We are always learning. With each new thing that happens to me I become more aware of what I need to work on to improve.
The reason why I wanted to be an entrepreneur is to be able to establish myself while having support on the side. But what I really like is the flexibility you have.
That is why, as a franchisee, one of my goals is to be able to make our tools and our environment more dynamic, and that means innovation.
What are your goals now? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Through my father’s experience as a coach, I learned how rewarding it is to help someone develop and achieve their goals.
I would like to take the same path.
My main goal is to give everyone the same opportunities.
So help them open new coworking hubs, whether in Belgium or abroad. Push them to go further and further.
I would like to contribute to the network in general. Helping in the development of new tools for example, in recruitment, etc.
Your 3 tips for a future franchisee?
- Always come down to the process. Results are important, so if you create the right habits and right process, results will come eventually. Don’t be stuck too much on the result, be more focused on how you are doing things.
- Don’t give up. You will have highs and lows, that is normal. But the most important thing is to not rest on your laurels and always want to go further so you don’t get stuck in a negative mindset.
- Always take people with you. Every chance you get to help someone succeed, do it. Because that will be recognition for them and for you. It is also a way to learn how to act with someone else, or how to act if they don’t give you anything in return.
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