In the world in which I move around, there are not many rolling entrepreneurs. There are no football cards of entrepreneurs in wheelchairs that you can collect, nor is a poster of Annemarie de Vries-Postma for sale at the local toy shop or supermarket. Even though she is a great role model for me. I got to know her in 2006, because I participated in a television programme. She publicly supported my stubborn entrepreneurial path, for which I am grateful to her to this day.
When I was growing up, the challenge was not so much being limited, but the limited possibilities of education. In those days, it was simply assumed that if you had a congenital disability, you were going to pack gum at the sheltered workshop. Well, I can tell you: that was not on the cards for me, because I really have the motor skills of a dead horse (apologies to all the dead horses amongst us).
I have been running my company Ictoria for two years now. With it, I provide professional graphic design and IT mediation services together with people with physical and mental challenges.
With my colleague Yirka, I was at an event for entrepreneurs in a building with a huge staircase leading to the room where a lecture was being held. Through someone in our network, we were referred to the lift and still got to where we needed to be.
“If that lady’s face could have been monetised, I would’ve had more annual sales than a large multinational company.”
As the afternoon draws to a close, I find myself in an animated conversation with a fellow entrepreneur. The conversation offers opportunities to make connections to help even more people with disabilities find work. Then we are rudely interrupted by one of the organisers who has made the venue available. I am summoned to accompany her to the lift. When I indicate that we are still in conversation, the lady in question says: “Yes, this really has to be done now because the lift can only be used when accompanied.” I give my business card to the person I was talking to, and apologise for the rude interruption to our conversation.
As my colleague and I stand in the lift together with the lady who literally chased us into the lift, she starts a little conversation. About how she is very open-minded and that she puts her fellow human beings first. Such a typical ‘I’m-good-and-will-go-to-heaven’ talk. Then the lady asks, “Did your boss allow you to go for a day out just like that?!” My colleague doesn’t trust her ears and asks, “What are you saying?” To which the said woman repeats her question.
Now I don’t believe in the concept of a boss, so I would never say this otherwise, but for this lady I gladly make an exception: “I am the boss”, I say dryly.
If that lady’s face could have been monetised, I would’ve had more annual sales than a large multinational company. In that lift, my colleague and I corrected her worldview a bit, and we had a nice drink to that afterwards.
Read the original article here: https://wijrollen.nl/blog/mag-je-zomaar-een-dagje-weg-van-de-baas/