On Monday I decided to join a morning Yoga session and start the week in a relaxed way. Yoga helps me a lot to slow down and stop worrying about the future. It helps me focus on where I am now, and appreciate everything I’ve achieved so far.
I am 28 years old. Four years ago I made a huge step in my life and decided to relocate to a new country, the Netherlands. I decided to explore a new ecosystem, a new way of living and a new culture. At that time I was running my own design studio
with a friend of mine, Yannis
. We were based in Athens, Greece and after 3 years of running our own company we decided that we want to face new challenges. We came up with the idea to relocate our company to a new country and become part of one of the most vibrant technology hubs in Europe, the beautiful city of Amsterdam. It was a fascinating goal. Just thinking about it would give me goosebumps.
I was excited but also scared. You see, I was born and raised in Athens and my whole social circle was consisted of Greek people. I had no network outside of Greece and no multi-cultural experience. At that time I wasn’t even comfortable with speaking English. No matter how hard it was I decided to not hold back. Practically I had nothing to lose. I would meet new people, gain new experiences and in the same time I could visit my family whenever I wanted. If at any point I would feel that the challenge was too much for me, I could return back to Athens and continue working there. Our team was small with only 3 people so we were pretty flexible. The only obstacle we had was our own fear of believing in ourselves.
We took a small first step and visited Amsterdam two times for a short period of time to get a sense of how it feels to live there. After that we came up with a practical step by step strategy to get there. There was no easy way to do it. The only option we had was to send one of us there. I decided to go for it and I booked a one-way ticket. I rented the smallest AirBnb room I could find for 3 months, and I got a membership at WeWork
co-working space. My goal was to expand our network as fast as I could and land new projects. This way we would earn the additional revenue we needed for the whole team to move there.
Everything went fine and 3 months later Yannis also came to Amsterdam. We rented an appartment together and continued working from there. Once we leveled-up our revenue some more we rented a small office too. Our goal had been achieved. In one year we did what we considered impossible back then. We had our own small design studio in the city of Amsterdam. We made one of our dreams come true. The only thing we needed was courage, patience and a step-by-step strategy to get there.