Who is Tom?

I’m probably like a lot of you. I’m just a guy that from a very young age had the dream to run my own company. The problems that I could solve by starting a company and the meaning of success have changed a bit throughout my life, but the urge to run my own company that competes with other companies… That never went away.

The wantrepreneur phase…

I’ve tried a lot of ideas and turned them into either a side hustle or a project, but I’ve never fully committed and took the leap that is quitting my day job or formal education. I wanted to quit school and my job often, but didn’t. Even when I had the financial possibility to do so. This is what I call the ‘wantrepreneur’ phase of my life. 

I haven’t left this phase yet. Over a decade already has been spent in this wantrepreneur phase. While in this phase I have learned and will keep on learning a lot about myself. The most important thing I learned is to review myself as objectively and completely as I can. For example, the thing that keeps me up at night is that my ambition and the things that I expect from myself don’t always match my actions. Often the reason for my actions not aligning with my ambition and goals is that I struggle with perfectionism, laziness, procrastination and what some people call the shiny object syndrome where someone would change its focus quickly on something new and exciting. When I really look deep into these issues, it often comes down to insecurities for example: Can I become what I want to become?, Will something work?, Am I becoming what I want to become?, etc.

On a macro level I believe that we, as humans, are really a lot alike. Almost everyone has the same type of emotions. Yes, the levels of each individual emotion can vary a bit from person to person… But as they say it’s how you cope with these emotions. I’m for sure not perfect in controlling my emotions. I still am lazy and procrastinate from time to time, but I do believe that I made progression.

So I’m aware of my personal flaws and weaknesses that are in my way to be able to achieve my goals. In this wantrepreneur phase of my life I also discovered some strengths for example that I don’t give up easily, am honest with myself, that when I’m in focus that I can really do a lot and that I learn and adapt quickly. The past year I also had tangible success in running my software agency where me and a team of engineers, who later became my friends, developed web applications and websites for companies.

While I made a decent living running my software development agency. How I structured the company wasn’t something which could give me the satisfaction that I’m looking for. That’s also the reason why I never quit my day job as a Product Owner after graduating — even while it was financially possible — and therefore remained in my wantrepreneur phase of life.

New company same name

After realising that what I created wasn’t something that I wanted to keep on doing I adapted and changed the course of my company Core9. I changed it from being a software development agency to a nearshore staffing company for software developers. Some might see it as not much of a change, but the actual business model is completely different. I’ll still be running my ‘new’ company next to my day job, because I have to prove I can make this a success. It won’t be easy or quick, but I have a strong feeling that this is the right move for me. With the right dedication Core9 should be a chess piece that is part of a set and plays in a larger game.

What can you expect from me?

So I want to share my story. The truth. The ups and downs that are on my path towards achieving my goals. But not just that. I also want to share how and why I do the things that I do. Through experimentation I’ll try to grow my company. These experiments I will share so that others can analyze how I try to grow a bootstrapped side-hustle to a successful company. I don’t want you, or anyone for that matter, to take how I do things as the only way or the right way. I’m not trying to teach you something, because I’m very much a student of this myself.