Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Oranje Umbrella

I decided this post was going to be more candid then what I originally intended to post. Whether or not I post this online for everyone to read or just keep this to myself, I have no idea until I finish writing but, I hope that somehow, in these thoughts that I write down, and all that I learn can one day inspire or reach out to someone whos facing their own life challenge.

I came to the Netherlands two months ago in May, to pursue a dream I've always wanted to live. I believe with an open heart that pursuing dreams are the best experiences we can have in life, whether or not we acheive it. However, I being and undying hopeful will always follow my dreams and my heart, and my heart led me to Amsterdam.

The last weeks, have been everything. Happy, sad, angry, fearful, and every other emotion I haven't mentioned. I've made a decision in the last few weeks, that if I make this dream come true I would document it. The way things are panning out, are still up in the air, but I'm resolved in myself to attempt my destiny, and somehow inspire or help others. I'm going to document it anyway, no matter what happens. The only way I can do that is to be as candid as possible.

After a rough night a few weeks ago, I laid in bed with my boyfriend and felt no strength. I felt like every door I tried to knock on has closed, or been delayed. I created at least 5 plans in order to keep myself in Europe, and each one that seemed promising has either been a false hope or a stop sign.
Initially when I came, in March I was sure I was going to land an interview, atleast an interview with Amsterdam Capital Trading. I had my eyes set on a prize with a different goal in mind. I was ready to enter the work force in Europe, and even tho I saw others difficulties with finding employment there during a financial crisis, I counted myself to be special. I thought, and still do think My degree and my corporate experience is good enough to land me a job here;however that hasn't been happening. At first I wasn't getting any phone calls or emails. After a thorough critique, and re-doing of my resume, with the help of my great roommate Anneroos, I made my resume, aka C.V here in the netherlands look as european and sleek as possible. My former resume( i'll post it on here later) was just too long. What its changed too is a dream

The good news is, I started getting phone calls. The weather over the last few weeks finally started improving. It had been a very cold May and June (like being back in winter) and it was a surprise and shock to me. Especially coming from Florida, I had guessed the weather would be like any other country in Europe during the summer( thinking back to Germany 2001 in may, 78 and perfect). I was wrong. The weather has been tragic lol, but somehow in the midst I found fun, and fell more in love with Jorn and Amsterdam.

After a weekend in Limburg , exploring the Dutch countryside, i recieved phone calls from, and even from another company that was interested, the name escapes my memory, but it was good enough to make me excited at the chance. I felt the universe was finally respondign to me, and that it would only be a matter of time until a job hired me.

AFter calling these prospective people back, I was told no work permit, no job. Of course, I say I need a work permit in all of my C.V's but, recruiters get so excited at the resume, they over look that tiny detail.

I could have taken that experience and really been disappointed, but I have been doing my best to just think how great it was to finally get phone calls, responding to my C.V;acceptance.

Somewhere in that bi-polarizing experience, I realized I was still searching for acceptance after my not so wonderful work history in the United States. As much as I enjoyed my time working at certain companies, none of them were a right fit for my qualifications and skills, and quite frankly, I was undervalued.

Here I felt value, and realized I needed to attempt a different way to stay in the Netherlands.
I listened to the audio book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and gained a completely new insight on my life. I started listening to audio books on wealth and money, and realized I had completely been going to wrong direction. I had the opportunity when i arrived in the Netherlands to establish myself and create a company, and a residence permit with my own means. Instead I was lazy, and hesitant, and simply wanted to depend on my academic achievements to secure a means of life for me here.

That was a grandiose mistake.

As a result, this is my current, and honest situation.
I am in the Netherlands with a couple hundred Euro's in my bank account. I've decided to open a company," The Oranje Umbrella Company" in my  Custards last stand attempt to remain in the Netherlands. I have created the services, and even have a possible first employee :).

Someone who I consider to be a great sound box when I need a ear to speak to. The Oranje Umbrella company, is comprised of my love of the Netherlands and The United States. Yes I know, The Umbrella corporation is not a real company, but it is from Resident Evil, and my inspiration for what services my company generates. I want it to be a language tutoring company at first. I will give lessons in English ( I just completed my TEFL certificate training) , and Beginner Spanish and French. Afterwards, I plan to expand it into a Marketing and CopyWriting Services company. It will be able to corect grammar and spelling for any Dutch agencies that want to advertise in English. I will also use my experiences working at a certain marketing company that shall remain nameless, which gave me less than adequate treatment, to create brilliant marketing campaigns that will focus on promoting American products in The Netherlands, and vice versa.

Last but not least. I intend to open a webshop, selling orange umbrella's which will serve as advertising( Large orange umbrellas in the rain ) and other Dutch good's in the United States, thru and Ebay.

I tested this out, by marketing some extra inventory I had on ebay, and it sold, instantly. I knew Erik inc. aka The Oranje Umbrella Company, had a chance.

In order to stay in the Netherlands, with a residence permit from the Dutch American Friendship Treaty, or DAFTA you must do the following.

1) Establish your residency at the Gementee Statdhuis. - I recently did this and here is a warning. During the summer months, you have to make an appointment( literally take a number, and wait in a queue room) to make an appointment to come back and register as a legal resident of amsterdam. You can not ( like we did) go to a satellite branch, you have to go to the main one( by tram if possible, they are only open until 3pm Its located on Amstel 1 in the center). I was told recently that they were booked solid until August 19th, which is well after my " Erik stay in the Netherlands 90 Day " clock. After some tears, and some honest explaining, I was granted a meeting. ( details to follow)

2. After establishing residency, take proof to the KvK or the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. They need to see that I'm a resident. If you have rented your own place in the Netherlands, you just need to bring your rental contract, or you can do as I did, and bring your wonderful boyfriend to the Gementee Stadthuis in the center of the city with a drivers license. The Kvk is located near Westerpark. Here its necessary to establish the name of your business. Once you do that, you will be receive a tax number. This tax number will then enable you to open a bank account. There is no fee to open a business in the Netherlands, which makes me admire the capital system here. The business I am opening is called an eenmanzak. ( i will complete this next week, will let you know how it goes)

3. After receiving the tax number, you will then be able to take that to a bank. I have chosen the ING bank (at plein 40-45) in order to open my bank account. The business name and bank account will be in the right name. There needs to be atleast $4500 in this bank account before the IND will allow you to stay.

4500 Euros.  Great.

4. After all is said and done, it should generally( to my understanding) take one week in order to open the bank account. I made an appointment at the IND for July 25th 2013 with the IND. Great. You have to present, the bank statement of 4500 Euros, with proof from the KVK, to the IND, along with passport, 1200 Euros for the fee and last but not least a business plan in Dutch which shows how your business will benefit both the Netherlands and the United States.

Whoever said that I wasn't ambitious, you obviously haven't met me. These are the circumstances I am currently viewing on my radar and my hope in writing this blog, is to assist anyone else who was curious or stumped on the process.

I will acheive my dream, and this process is nothing more than that, a process. But learning all of this information, transformed me into a copmletely different person, and i'm grateful that it has. I hope one day, it can be an inspiration to someone else, regardless of making your goals or not. Always give it your best shot, always give it a go.

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Preparing the biggest and most exciting move of my life. To the netherlands!

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