”Working For Somebody Else Is Just Not My Thing” – Ellen Mannaert, Serial Entrepreneur

  • Published on:
    February 6, 2020
  • Reading time by:
    8 minutes

My name is Ellen Mannaert I’m  41 years old. I live in Punta Cana the Dominican Republic and Bergen North-Holland. I’m a mother of 3 beautiful boys age 19, 16 and 11 and Married to Theodoor Mannaert who I know for more than 23 years. I own businesses in the tourism in Punta Cana and a fashion brand called Lémert in the Netherlands. I am dynamic, adventures person that loves to travel and spend time with my family and close friends, with that said I love to work as well ( sometimes too much 🙂 

With our tourism brand BOP ( short for Best of Paces ) we sell customized experiences to different types of travelers our unique selling point with BOP is that our experiences are hand-picked by our BOP team to give our costumers the best experience possible in each destination we offer. We also have our own boat tours experience Boat Trips Punta Cana and a restaurant Breakers Cafe in Punta Cana.

My fashion brand Lémert is a resort wear brand that is produced in Italy and mostly sold through our online platform. And worn by celebrities in the US.

Working for somebody else is just not my thing, I think I am too stubborn and like to make my own decision and plan my own time from a very young age.

We started in the tourism business because of our passion to travel and discover the world. A few years ago we moved to Punta Cana (the Dominican Republic ) with our 3 sons because we wanted to have a different experience in our life. It was an adventurous decision that supposes to be for one year. We made this decision after selling our company Mannaert Fabrics which was a wholesale company and one of the biggest ones in the Netherlands at that time. We wanted to spend more time with our 3 boys and discover new things. 6 years later we have started serval businesses in the tourism in Punta Cana, which was not the plan at all. But I guess the entrepreneur spirit is something that is just in us 🙂 

Working for somebody else is just not my thing, I think I am too stubborn and like to make my own decision and plan my own time from a very young age. So being an entrepreneur was my only way. It is definitely not the easiest way sometimes. It also runs in our Family both my parents were entrepreneurs and traveled at a very young age from Ghana to Europe to start a business. My sister runs her own business as well and from my husband’s side there are a lot of entrepreneurs as well. My oldest son Maurits Mannaert is one of the Co-Founders for BOP ( Best of Places.

To own different kinds of businesses is not easy and demands a good team, planning and balancing your time and attention what is not always easy. Sometimes you just have to let other people make decisions and trust your team. Because you can not be on top of everything all the time.

Staying motivated can be easy if you love what you are doing. The easiest part of staying motivated is at the beginning because everything is new and exciting and you are working to an opening or a launch of something. The hardest part comes afterward when you Strat dealing with problems a plan that didn’t work out well etc. In that case, I try to keep the focus on my goal and why I started it in the first place. What helps me is traveling if possible just to clear my head and get my visions and goals back on track, but I also take long walks with our dog and meditate and exercise helps as well. Also try to find a person, a mentor or a friend somebody that you can talk too without judgment so that you can talk about your insecurities and the things that are not going well in your business usually when you talk about it is easy yo find your motivation back.

A good leader has a clear vision and focus. 

For me, a leader is a person that helps his or her team ( your employees, business partners ) grow and reach there highest potential. They are not afraid of hiring people better than them and take pride in the goals reach by there team and those they help in reaching their goals. A good leader has a clear vision and focus. 

How I balance work and live is to make sure that I spend more time with my children then that I do at the office.  I always try to pick up my boys a few days a week from school, if I don’t have important meetings I try to work from home or close to home. We always eat breakfast and dinner together unless I am traveling, and plan as much quality time together. That is also a benefit of having your own business that you can plan your time as you want. Work is important but my family is everything. And don’t forget to plan some me time, which is very important you can only take care of others if you take to take care of your self first. 

For any woman that is in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting for themself, I would say do it. Make sure you have a business plan and gain as much as possible knowledge in the branch you want to operate in. Talk with people who get advice and don’t be afraid to make a mistake , because unless you are a robot you are going to make them. But guess what its all a learning process and the more hours you put in your business the better you get. Try to do something that you love and not for the money, that will come at the end. 

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”

– Oprah Winfrey, media proprietor

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