We meet Jan at a boutique hotel to speak about coaching, life & business
Jan has just come back from a speaking gig in Vienna, The entrepreneur, speaker, & coach splits his time between Europe and California spreading the art of living a successful yet relaxed and fulfilled life.
What is the Story behind JB Coaching & Consulting?
I was on the fast-track to becoming the general manager of a luxury hotel by the age of 30 when one morning I physically collapsed in the lobby of the 5-star hotel I was working at.
My body literally forced me to leave my prestigious job in revenue management at one of the world’s biggest hospitality companies to fully immerse myself in the question of:
How can I live a successful, ambitious & prosperous life without compromising my health & happiness?
I read any book I could get my hands on. I travelled across Europe to attend seminars and retreats. I visited therapists, coaches, shamans, massage therapists, people who play singing bowls, and at one point I even found myself rolling naked in the snow while rebirthing from a sweat hut! I tried anything that got me closer to answering that question.
And once I figured it out for myself, people started approaching me. They wanted to learn how I managed to completely transform my life, build a successful business around it and experience complete freedom while travelling the world with my family for 3 years.
One morning, I physically collapsed in the lobby of the 5-star hotel I was working at.
That sounds painful and beautiful at the same time. What is the essence of your coaching today?
Truly, it was the most painful and most insightful and transformative time of my life. Today I support people through speaking and deep & extremely powerful coaching. With me there is no superficial motivational talk or quick fix. When we meet – in person or online – we go deep and we look at the root of what is holding you back from living up to your fullest potential.
You are allowed to be who you truly are. No mask or role to play. Through our conversations you start seeing new possibilities. Your horizon expands. You connect with a version of yourself that may seem impossible today but that soon will be your new normal. There is a beautiful saying: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Through our work together, you begin living in a completely different world. You begin living your life – not someone else’s life. There are no limits when you begin living your life. Neither professionally nor in your private life.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
That sounds pretty simple. But it’s not. Otherwise people wouldn’t be so stressed and worried, right?
True! The essence of my work is simple but living a happy and fulfilled life is far from easy to accomplish. Especially in today’s world. The outside demands and expectations are incredibly high these days. The people I work with are great at what they do. According to society’s definition they are successful. So they don’t need me for that. But being successful is not the same as being happy. You can have the greatest LinkedIn profile but still be dying inside.
Some prefer to stay in their comfort zone of conventional success. It may be painful and they feel unhappy but they see feeling unhappy as the price for conventional success.
If that’s what you want to settle for, we won’t get along well. You will hate working with me, because I dare you to have both. Success & happiness.
You can have the greatest LinkedIn profile but still be dying on the inside!
How is your history of managing a 5 Star Hotel influencing your work today?
After graduating from the International Management Center in Austria, I was accepted into the industry’s most prestigious high potential program. I was chosen as one of 6 candidates in all of Europe. It was a very intense and difficult selection process. I then worked in the biggest hotels in Europe with 1,000 + rooms and was given a lot of responsibility early on. After all it was my goal to run my own 5 star hotel and manage hundreds of people. So I know what it’s like to work in a very competitive environment. I know what it’s like to work 12, 14, even 20-hour days. Coming home exhausted to a partner who is unhappy but all you want to do is have a drink, watch some Netflix and sleep because you need to be back in the office in a few hours.
Being a high performer looks great from the outside but it can be painful and frustrating on the inside.
Luxury hotels are known for their perfectionism, it’s like a boot camp. It’s a great place to learn important life lessons – but unfortunately also a great place to experience stress & burnout. Back then I didn’t know that you could have both: delivering very high standards & not being super stressed.
Today these experiences help me to put myself in my client’s shoes. I know that feeling of restlessness, never having enough, never being satisfied with what you have achieved, the weird feeling of being an imposter despite all the obvious success. By definition, it’s lonely at the top. Being a high performer looks great from the outside but it can be painful and frustrating on the inside.
In today’s world, your mind and mental resilience are your greatest assets.
You look very happy and fulfilled although you are a high performer in the field of coaching & speaking. How do you manage to have both today?
Today’s economy is so competitive that pure skill and whatever is written on your CV is no longer enough to succeed. In today’s world, your mind and mental resilience are your greatest assets. What does that mean? In order to succeed, you need to get to know yourself very, very well! Who are you as a person? What makes you, you? What patterns have you lived by so far? What do you desire for yourself? Leaving aside anything that society may expect from you, what do you want? And what is holding you back from having it? There is another quote I love that goes: “You don’t get what you want, but what you accept.” You are accepting to feel stressed right now. You are accepting to be unhappy and you are accepting to play by someone else’s rules.
So how do I manage to have both? I make it a priority. I spend as much time working on my state of mind as I do on improving my technical skills in coaching, speaking, and entrepreneurship. If you want to learn how to speak Mandarin, you know that you need to dedicate time, energy & money towards it. When you want to relearn to experience happiness, you need to do the same.
I know that you are an incredibly passionate dad to your son. How do you build a bridge between being a high achiever and being present with your family?
Well again, it comes down to asking myself who do I want to be as a man, as a father? When looking at myself from the outside, am I happy with what I see? Am I the dad I would want to have for myself? Imagine you are a little boy or girl again, what kind of parent would you wish for? Someone with their phone glued to their hand, half listening and being stressed? How would that make you feel, you the child? You’d feel lonely and sad. And that’s what your own children feel like right now. We can do better than that as a society. We can be better parents. And this is not to blame anyone. But please start taking on responsibility for your life, your actions and your state of being. Say to yourself, I see I can do better and this is the vision I have for myself and for my family. I don’t blame myself or anyone else for what is going on, and starting right this minute I begin working on myself.
Please start taking on responsibility for your life, your actions and your state of being!
Is this also why you are so passionate about speaking from a stage? I know that you speak at universities a lot and work with young high potentials.
Yes, absolutely. I love speaking at universities and doing workshops with high potentials. My message is: starting to live a happy life now is better and easier than having to clean up the mess 20 years from now. It’s never too late and I have great respect for some of my clients who are 50 or 60 years old, but imagine you get to learn all these principles of life when you are 20? I wish I had had someone like that in my life back before burning out!
Let me also ask, you and your wife travelled the world for 3 years while building your coaching business. What were some lessons you learnt during that adventure?
True, we travelled to 14 places in 10 countries or so. It was an insightful and adventurous trip. First we travelled as a couple, later as a family when our son Lilas was born. We visited beautiful places such as Bali, Singapore, LA, Ibiza, Mallorca, NYC, Copenhagen, Hong Kong … The biggest lesson to me was: “you take yourself everywhere you go”. Whatever stresses you in Berlin will stress you in Bali as well. You may think, “oh if I just change jobs or move or do this or that … everything will be fine”. No it won’t. Sorry to say, but that’s the truth. The only way to tackle a challenge you may have right now is to start working on yourself. Get a coach, visit seminars, do a meditation retreat … whatever feels right for you. You can’t run from who you are and no 5-star resort in Fiji will change that.
You take yourself everywhere you go!
Act as if your life depends on it.
Because guess what: it does!
Before we wrap up, is there one thing you want people to know? A key message everyone should hear in your opinion?
Burnout, stress, feeling unhappy, … all that is the price you pay for living someone else’s life. If you live in full integrity with who you are, you must feel fulfilled. So this is my invitation to you and anyone reading this: start doing some self-reflection, find out who you are and what you want and then go for it as if it was a million dollar year-end bonus. Act as if your life depends on it. Because guess what: it does!
Act as if your life depends on it.
Because guess what: it does!
Thank you so much for taking the time, Jan! How can people get in touch with you?
My pleasure, this is what I am most passionate about. Anyone wanting to get in touch with me, please send a message to my team at Mail@JanBroders.com. We treat all communication as confidential!