This week we’re bringing to you the inspiring story of Roeselien! From professional dancer to pitch and personal branding expert, read about her journey below!
Who are you?
I am Roeselien Wekker, I am 46 years old, and the first 20 years of my working life I was an artist on stage and in front of the camera. I started to perform when I was 17 and then at 22 years old I became a professional dancer. The other 50% of being an artist involved acting and singing. It was a passion of mine because when I was 4 years old I wanted to be a prima ballerina and I was studying classical ballet from that age. At 13 years I had to do the admission for the academy, and I was really talented and good. But then they decided not to take me because of one specific “flaw” of mine. The report said that because I might get an “African butt,” therefore I cannot become a professional classical dancer. This is what used to happen in the 80s – it was perfectly normal to deny me such opportunity with this claim. That is when my career crumbled. At 15 years old I started my education as a dancer again because I went to the performing art school.
At 36 I stopped because the artist’s life is hard and sometimes a bit shallow. It was always about the work and never about personal development. I became interested in psychology, helping people, personal development and communication. In 2011 I started my company Pitch You! because I wanted to do more with my life. Otherwise I would need to play the witch or the mother in a musical, which I didn’t want to do until the rest of my life.
I went abroad to Curacao for almost two years to find myself and my identity when I’m not on stage and in front of the camera.
Three words to describe yourself
Transparent, fiery, decisive.
What do you do?
I am a pitch and personal branding expert. My whole business is about 3 important pillars for success (both personal and business wise).
- Identity: Knowing who you are
- Presentation: verbally communicating your ideas, products, services
- Profiling: aiming for the right target audience and place for your idea.
I provide this for organizations, companies and professionals with ambition, and all three pillars work for each group.
Sometimes my clients aren’t sure how to express what they want to, and often what truly lies below this insecurity is their personal beliefs. So then we first need to work on their beliefs and then on their presentation.
What do you aspire to do in the future?
It’s very idealistic. I want to combine my dream with my business. To stimulate diversity by first discovering a person’s talent and the essence of this person internally; and then combine with the three pillars I already work with. Then on top of that I want to change the way companies perceive candidates. I want them to shift perspective and understand that it is about people and talent. In other words, I want to help individuals to bring out their own talent to their desired employers, and on the other side – have the employers look beyond just the CV.
Biggest struggles as an entrepreneur
My mindset is to see every struggle as a challenge. When I have a struggle I first challenge myself to turn it into something positive. A great example is with COVID-19. When we went into lockdown on the 16th of March, on the 17th of March I already started up a podcast.
As an entrepreneur you continuously have to redefine yourself and your product. The world is changing so fast and every 2 years you have to totally transform everything you do. Otherwise you’re not going to be in business anymore.
Secondly, I always have to stay close to myself and values despite external input. There’s a constant challenge to react and engage, especially on social media, but I always try to see if it’s for me!
Third, you have to admit sometimes that some clients are not for you, despite the money. You need to choose yourself above the money and say goodbye.
How do you feel about Planet Venus?
My first feeling is always a bit of sadness that such platforms still need to exist. Just like with racism, you still need supportive and empowering platforms to help each of these groups.
But these platforms need to exist in order for its members to feel more confident, safe and connected. For example, I personally already feel ready and empowered but I still would like to stay connected to these types of communities!