Meet the team : Thomas

Meet Thomas, Co-founder and Director at Now. You might recognise him from videos in your program or in the library. We sat down with him to learn a little more about how he thinks…

So, Thomas, Let’s get into it…

Describe yourself in three words?

Gezellig (it’s Dutch and doesn’t really translate:-), cerebral and imaginative.

How do you describe entrepreneurship?

I’m way too technical to give an interesting answer to this question, entrepreneurship means the act of starting a business while taking on risk. This is the definition I got taught while researching entrepreneurial orientation, which is the behavioural components that lead to engaging in the act of entrepreneurship.

One interesting tidbit about the word entrepreneur is that the first time it got used, by French-Irish economist Richard Cantillon, he used it to illustrate how entrepreneurship is inherently risky. But of course, without risk, no reward.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

One of the pieces of advice that I think about often was given by one of my early bosses and mentors. Typing it out now almost makes it feel like more of a directive than advice, but it has definitely been helpful for me!

He told me ‘bring me solutions, not problems’.

This taught me to re-frame challenges that come up and be proactive in solving problems. It’s so much more useful, productive and good for your own development to focus on the positive side and create a path forward.

This mindset has bled into my personal life to, when challenges arise, I try to take a deep breath, re-frame and find ways forward.

What's your biggest fuck up?

There have been many over the years…

From minor ones to major ones, luckily nothing too catastrophic. Probably my biggest fuck up looking back was not necessarily something I did wrong but rather things I didn’t do.

Which reminds me of something I read somewhere, it basically said ‘When you ask people at the end of their life what they regret most, it is often something they didn’t do rather than something they did.’

I wish I started pursuing things I love to do earlier. Not actively trying to connect with ambitious and smart people with whom I could do amazing things. I think that’s my biggest fuck up.

What's the last book you read/piece of content you've engaged with?

I love what Visualize Value is doing at the moment. They take fascinating concepts and translate them into easy to understand visuals. It opens up new perspectives on things in really interesting ways.

And not a book or anything, but I have had a quote float around my head for the last two weeks now:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King

If you could only have one medium, which one would you choose: Art, Film, Literature, Music?

I thought I hacked this question since they’re all art, but Hannah told me that doesn’t count.

I love all of them, but if I reflect on what helped me shape my world view most, what has helped me develop myself most and what has opened the most perspectives, I’ll have to go with literature.