Marion Freijsen is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of EFactor Corp., a global social network for entrepreneurs providing them with online and offline support regarding funding, business development, cost savings and knowledge. Freijsen is also the owner of Elegio BV, a company providing business consulting and management expertise in the areas of strategy, vision, finance, international expansion and business development.
“I call myself a typical “intra-preneur”. Building companies from scratch, real greenfield work to get sales revenues going but on behalf of other owners. Having done that five times over the course of twenty years or so, I decided enough was enough – I wanted to see what it would be like to be in the driving seat…”
“Well, I haven’t left that seat since the day I took that decision – it was the best thing I have ever done. What amazed me most of all is that having taken the first step, everything else seemed to just flow, effortlessly. Within weeks I had my own company registered, my website set up and was working with not just one but three clients! And I was having fun – after years of feeling I was in a rut,” says Freijsen.
In addition to her business and advisory roles, Freijsen is a published author. ‘The N-Factor: How Networking Can Change the Dynamics of Your Business’ was published in 2007 with EFactor Co-founder Adrie Reinders. Their second book, ‘The EFactor: Entrepreneurship in the Social Media Age‘, was released in November 2012 and achieved Amazon Best Seller status, Small Business books.
“I love challenges and of course being an entrepreneur is one never-ending challenge, so that works out just fine. I love being able to do what I feel is right, for me, for the company, for the team and for our customers and I love constantly being kept on my toes by changing market circumstances.”
“Having grown EFactor.com from a simply Front-Page site to a complex social network with 2 million members and three different divisions fueling each other to success – I can only look back and think that this is one out of two major achievements in my life.”
“There never is a single most important decision in being successful. It’s often a combination of smaller things, often insignificant by themselves that lead to success (or failure) I think. Personally I think the fact that throughout my career I had created a reputation for being hardworking and genuine that helped me be successful as it meant I had a lot of people I could ask for support, be it financial (many of my earlier colleagues became investors) or in many other ways.”
Like every other entrepreneur, Freijsen has expired different challenges at different stages. “In the early days, the business was small and therefore the challenges also seemed small. As the business grew, it became harder to be able to manage everything the exact way I would like. It meant in due course that I had to learn to rely on the fact that others may do things differently but that that did not mean they necessarily achieved a worse result. Now I am comfortable letting others manage essential parts of the business in their own way – but that was definitely a learning curve.”
Although he wasn’t there yetwhen she started out on her own, Freijsen has had a mentor for years; “He told me once to “never count on uncertainty”. In other words, you can only make a decision on the things you know that moment. You can’t count on things you don’t know yet so never regret taking a certain decision.”
Freijsen started EFactor together with Adrie Reinders and Roeland Reinders. “Choosing the right co-founder is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an entrepreneur. It’s also one of the most difficult and daunting ones. You need to find people that match your personality and skills best, or complement them. EFactor offers a great platform to find a co-founder for your startup business in any industry.”
In addition to her co-founder, Freijsen works with people from different countries and backgrounds. “There is no challenge there, it is wonderful having such a diversity around you. It’s great to learn from different cultures and take great bits from every angle. You have to be open to doing things differently – never think you know best and you’ll learn the most. My own motto has always been to strive to be beyond your comfort zone – whilst it isn’t comfortable (obviously), it is there that you learn and grow the most.”
“My advice for people who want to start their own business is short but important: Just go for it!”
About The Author
Marion Freijsen is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EFactor Corp., the world’s largest global social network for entrepreneurs providing members with online and offline support regarding funding, business development, cost savings and knowledge. Web: http://www.efactor.com