Founder – Chief Change Optimist – Author – Host – Speaker – TV/Radio Personality – Mentor
Ariane de Bonvoisin - Founder and Chief Change Optimist

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Change Heard Round the World

I am in Europe for the week—I went to London to meet my new godson Havana! What a gift he is. I'm now in Brussels where I was invited to speak live on Belgium's number one radio station, the RTBF, about First30Days. There's also a write up about me in the Belgian newspaper, Le Soir.

Another exciting opportunity came up for me to address an audience of entrepreneurs at a Belgian conference for business where I was one of three keynote speakers, including the Prime Minister!

It was an interesting day, both personally and professionally. I've never given a presentation in French before—for 90 minutes, no less!—and had my entire family in the audience to boot. That's a whole new experience and I also never had to really be sensitive to the issues around change that are different in Europe than in the U.S. Europe has seen a lot of changes in the last century which is probably why individually people perhaps have wanted stability, not wanted to change so much.

I was pleasantly surprised at how thirsty the audience members were for information and inspiration. I would say 90% of them took notes and were actively engaged. Many people wanted to change jobs, wanted advice on how to figure out when was the right time, how to know the difference between your mind feeding you things and your intuition. Changing careers brought up the usual fears here as well; that's the price of change—navigating those demons that appear so big and so real and yet, when faced and replaced with something even bigger they fall away.

We all know if a job is right for us—our level of excitement, satisfaction, pride, overall well being doesn't lie. What gets in the way are our excuses, fears, what others might say and what we feel we should do vs. what we want to do. Regardless of what job you are thinking of doing next, getting good at change will be a real competitive advantage. Companies who have people who can handle change well will succeed. It's the skill that will make the difference between companies that survive and others who do not. Make sure you have that as part of your skill set.

Today, I saw signs of that resistance to change I mentioned earlier coming to an end. People are realizing that perhaps they could take a risk and that it isn't too late. They are inspired by Obama's example, by America's example that maybe anything can still happen.

In the end, we are all human, with the same desires for growth, learning and wanting to be happier—no matter what country we live in. And yes, deep down, we all want to be in a job that we love. Not something that we dread every day. Lots of people who come to our site are working toward finding their dream won't be alone here, I promise!

In other news, I've requested help getting the book translated into French and published over here, in France and in French speaking Canada. Fingers crossed. For those of you who want to practice your French, here is a link to the interview I did yesterday.


you did a great job inspiring the audiences over here in Brussels and Europe. Keeping hundreds of people in the auditorium for an hour of Q&A is a testimony to your ability to touch all of us: change has no border! Come to see us again soon

  • By Alexis
  • on 11/24/08 2:30 PM EST