Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erno Hannink, Founder of Decide for Impact, located in Doetinchem, Netherlands.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Decide for Impact helps entrepreneurs in Europe and the US to accomplish their long-term sustainable goals sooner. To do this, we focus on inner development habits. The only way to accomplish your long terms goals is to work on the habits that support these goals.

This means I am an accountability coach and work on inner development with entrepreneurs and their management teams that want to create a sustainable positive impact. They have up to 30 employees in a B2B service environment.

Tell us about yourself

In 2006 I started my business because I experienced the superpower of online marketing and hyperspecialization for companies. Since it was important for me to experience my children growing up, I started working from home using online possibilities. I worked with lots of entrepreneurs on their online marketing and social media to connect with and attract new clients.

In 2018 I chose to shift my business to coaching offline and in person. Having real conversations and learning about their business by asking tough questions. When the beginning of 2020 COVID hit the Netherlands, I had to shift again. I lost about 70% of my clients and revenue and was pushed back to online coaching. Now I coach online using chat-based coaching via and virtual meetings with entrepreneurs.

My mission is to reduce social and ecological inequality. I will probably spend the rest of my life working on this goal. The Inner Development Goals are a great framework that helps companies and organizations to work on Sustainable Development Goals (UN). As part of my mission, I promote and support the IDGs.

I am a habit person, focusing on daily processes with a clear inner compass that helps me to work on my mission. Stoicism is my operating system, and I am a runner and soccer referee.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Some of the things I am grateful for are combining happy clients with a happy family and that I am able to divide my days between long-term work and working with clients.

I published 15 books, wrote over 1000 articles, and published over 400 episodes in my podcast, organized events, and started communities.

Opportunities I get to help entrepreneurs work on their long-term goals and see them getting accomplished sooner than they expected.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Picking yourself back up from the floor after difficult moments, again and again. There are only a few people that understand me. Most people are looking for stable work and income. As an entrepreneur, I often feel alone even though great entrepreneurs surround me. The tough calls always come down to me.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Build a business that focuses on making a social or ecological impact. Doing something that matters, that makes you feel you are making a difference, will make you happier than accomplishing the next revenue goal.
  2. Support other young business owners. They have the same questions that you had years ago or even last year and are looking for your support.
  3. Create an emergency fund that can support you for 6-12 months without clients. Pay off your mortgage. This will give you lots of mental space and calmness when things don’t go as you expected for a while.
  4. Write down three goals every day that are important to you and your work. Don’t start doing anything new until you finish these three goals, not even social media or your inbox. You can accomplish more than you think in the long term and less than you expect in the short term. Finishing three goals every workday means you will accomplish 195 important goals each quarter.

Where can people find you and your business?

English Website:
Dutch Website:

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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