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Our guest today: Perry Knoppert
Perry Knoppert is a mad multipotentialite misfit, you might say crazy, well perhaps in that Steve Jobs think different way.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently…”
He was born in The Netherlands, famous for its liberal life, bikes and bulbs, and began working with his father on the market selling lampshades. He was industrious, getting up at first light every weekend to help his father in the business. Advising customers from all over and enjoying the work, the diversity of people, the fast-thinking, and connecting with clients – but he knew there must be more to life than this. You might say he had a light bulb moment.💡
Watch our interview
This is Fei. Perry is here with me today, and I’m very excited. And also, this is, like, literally one of the earliest live stream I’ve had. It is 10:30 a.m.. My time, 35. And I usually do these from morning time. We usually do this around, like, noon or after. But, Perry, you nailed it, because Tuesday is the only day that I have, like, an early morning meeting because I have a client in Singapore, and we are here. Welcome to Face World Livestream. I’m so glad Chris connected us. I’m very grateful.
Thank you. Chris in the red chair, right?
Michelle. So are you okay? Stay in the morning, early morning. Is this okay for you, or do I need to talk slowly?
I work just fine. I think I got used to it since I’ve had this client in Singapore since April, and it’s been fantastic working with them, with them speaking, which, like this multicultural interaction, whether it’s with clients or trying out different foods, having different friends. And here I am with you. I love saying your last name. Actually, it’s Perry. Konopurd.
With a K with a K with Konopper. Yes.
Konopper. And who is Dr. Octopus known in the octopus movement? And so today, if you’re watching, wherever you are, please say hi. I think I want to really take this opportunity, Perry, with you, to talk about what it’s like to be a creator and how to actually start a movement. Not just how to start, how to sustain and finish or sustaining it. It’s even better than finishing it. I think it’s starting with you. But there are so many people who believe in what you’re doing, which is about, I think, what you refer to as multipotential light. First of all, what does that mean?
Well, a multipotential light is someone who has multiple interests or doing multiple things. It’s the opposite of a linear specialist. A linear specialist is doing the same job for 30 years, and they’re very good at it. Obviously, they’re looking at the same excel sheet for 30 years. So they’re a single specialist, very good at one thing. And a multi potential, it is someone who is very good in multiple things, multiple passions, multiple ideas, multiple focus. That’s a multi potentialite.
I definitely claim to be one, for sure. So are you? And tell us about your different potentials and different interests perhaps you’ve had recently or maybe growing up or earlier in life.
Well, I always thought I was a bit crazy because I always had so many more ideas than others, and I was always pursuing so many more goals in life than my friends and family. They would always stick to one thing and go for it. And I was always doing multiple things, having multiple ideas. And I always thought I was a bit crazy because so many people were not doing that, and I couldn’t help myself. Little notebooks and writing down all these ideas, and I can’t stop thinking about new solutions, create solutions for problems, create new companies. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop. It never stops. And it didn’t start somewhere. It has always been there. I’ve always been creative. I’ve always been thinking about many things at the same time, and I can’t help it, basically.
And that’s interesting. Can we break that down? Because a lot of people say that, oh, could it be ADDHD? People used to say that about me. And to say, oh, you know, for your age, that was probably not even that’s, like, prediagnosis. So, you know, like, how do you think about it with a positive lens? As opposed to maybe, you know, my parents or my grandparents especially, and friends would be like, you need to have focus. You don’t know who you are, what you want. You really should know that by now. What do you say to those people on those kind of feedback or suggestions?
Oh my God, did I hear that a lot? Perry, you need to focus. And they have the best intentions in the world to say that to you. Perry, stick to one idea. You need to focus. You’re referring to neurodiversity. I started interviewing people with milk potentiality all over the world because I was so curious how others were doing the same thing as I was doing. And so how does the military potential it operates in South Africa, Bangladesh or Egypt or whatever. So I started interviewing these people and I discovered quickly well, wasn’t that quickly. I think after 70 interviews, I was started thinking, god, they all have neurodiversity. That’s interesting. So if you ask me, multiple potentiality is an outcome of neurodiversity. And if I can make that even more clearly, I always use the word linear and non linear thinking. So when you go to school, there is a linear system in how to learn something. If you stick to your homework and you do your best and you get good grades, you get your diploma, you get your job, and you’re fine, right? But when you’re wired differently, when your brain isn’t stopping, you cannot stick in that linear direction wherever you’re going.
It’s impossible. It’s impossible for you to stick to one thing. My God, I’ve seen your YouTube channel. That’s a great example. Focus. You’re not sticking to one thing. You’re doing everything, but you can’t help yourself. You need to do that. And looking at neurodiversity is also a very linear way, in my opinion, because as soon as something becomes complicated, we want to simplify things. So what do we do when there is a complicated brain? We simplify it by giving it the label ADHD dysflexia dyslexia ADHD, whatever. But it’s the neurodiversity. It’s diversity. You cannot simplify diversity, in my opinion. So you have all these beautiful people that have brains that are wired slightly different than normal. And these people do many, many things. They’re very creative. They can do awesome things. But the problem in this linear world is that we don’t always recognize these people. Because when a huge company wants to hire a marketing director, they want a linear expert. They want a linear specialist who studied marketing, who had the marketing job for 25 years, and then they hire that person. But that’s a single linear specialist. Very cool. But I think in the world we need to combine linear, specialism and nonlinear thinking to really build up beautiful solutions.
When you look at the world and you look at the people who really made a difference, nine out of ten times those are nonlinear thinkers. They are really, really able to create innovation. They really think outside of the box. They’re not an expert. An expert cannot innovate. You build your expertise based on knowledge of the past. So how can you create an Ovation if what you think is based on your knowledge of the past? And you need to be able to think outside of these boxes and go to new areas in order to create something really cool. And those are the people who can make a difference in the world, save humanity, find solutions for climate change and what not. And that’s what the octopus movement is doing. It’s combining all these amazing people together and make a difference. That’s a long answer for a simple question. Sorry.
No, not at all. I think there’s a lot to break down. I think we’re constantly dancing with the idea of specializing, often for the sake of advancement, whether it’s in a career, whether in something that’s monetary. People often will say that they special in order to do these things so that they and their families can live a good lifestyle life. And I agree. When I look at through my own entrepreneurial journey, if I started I started in 2016 right then and there, I said, you know what, I’m starting today. I need an accountant. I need somebody to build a website. I need somebody to tell me a call to action to build my email list. I need all the experts to be in my life. Number one, I didn’t have the money. Most people wouldn’t have that type of money when they’re starting out. Also, nobody really knows. Like, here’s my message, here is who I’m going to be in 510 years time. So they end up learning everything all at once. I mean, frankly, if anybody, any of you watching this is a YouTuber or content creator, you probably know this, that you are absolutely multi potential.
Like even if you create just one kind of video, because in order to do everything you need titling, research, description, design, website, it’s all going to eventually happen. So I think pushing that idea way to say you have to like, specialize in one thing is a detriment to who you are as a human being. But is there a way I’m going to challenge you? Is there such a thing as doing too much, as having not enough focus. What is like that?
It depends on where you are. If you’re doing so many multiple things and you’re not finishing anything, that’s the big thing. Of course. Starting up new adventures and never complete them. Never finish them. Is that an issue? I don’t think so. Because eventually everything comes together. And that’s your journey in life as a nonlinear specialist. And then when you start your podcast series, when you go to YouTube, when you create your new company or whatever, all of a sudden everything comes together. And it’s the education everybody is dreaming of, right? And learn that at school. So by not completing your new ideas, it’s not, per definition, something bad. The only problem is, is when some people get very nervous, they don’t know what to do, and they have people around them that have expectations. We expect them to be whoever successful or have enough money or be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever, that’s fine. But you need to explore for yourself where are you going? And you feel and you know, when you’re a nonlinear thinker, that when you hit the sweet spot, when you’re doing exactly that thing that you need to do, then everything comes together and focus will change.
That’s the funny part. Then you’re all of a sudden super focused. You can’t tell me otherwise, Faye, that you’re not super focused. You are super focused. But before that, you were all over the place, maybe. And now it’s just straight on target. You know exactly what you’re doing, and it’s multiple focus. Like even Musk was saying, you know, how do you do multiple focus? And he says it’s single focus, but the single focus every time in a different area. Then it’s SpaceX, then it’s Tesla, then it’s Twitter, whatever. Not at the same time. And everybody can do that, but you need practice.
Yeah. It’s a really interesting topic I’ve been thinking about. I feel like the conversation is very timely, which is the idea of platform agnostic creators. There are a lot of creators on my platform connecting with me. And the number one challenge still for people not doing much or anything, feel like they should do more, but they don’t have that activation energy. If they spend all that energy deciding on which platform, whether it’s am I a YouTuber, a blogger, or a podcaster? Should I be on Instagram or Facebook or somewhere else? Start with you. Start creating. I agree with you. Like, so many people need to be reminded that you’re right. Things change very rapidly. That the idea of having a point of reference to yourself in your magical my producer, her mom brought it up. I look at my own documentary in 2018 now on Amazon Prime. It makes me giggle. It makes me very uncomfortable. It’s like, why was I so nervous that I’m no longer feeling that way at all? Well, that’s progression. So I think that is a really, really interesting thing to start doing something. And now you are creating a platform and a community for people to feel more at home, to feel more connected, which is frankly something I didn’t really have at the very, very beginning.
And that was so hard, you know, be a multicultural multilingual podcaster and 2014 Female, that was like, exciting and nervewracking at the same time. But you created this community where people come together and be like, huh, I’m weird, and it’s good to be not so weird anymore, and it’s good to be weird. So tell us about what are some of the realizations that you’ve learned as a community leader, as an innovator within the octopus movement? What have you learned from other people?
Well, I wanted to first say I should be sponsored by Nike because my mantra is just do it. And to go back deciding what platform, what do I do? Just do it and follow your nonlinear gut feeling to get wherever you want to go. But we learn at school that you start here and you go there, and it’s a straight line. That’s not the case anymore. Just do it, and it will come together. So now back to your question, the community. What was your question again? Sorry, I wanted to say yeah, absolutely.
What are some of the learnings and reflections or even observations you’ve seen from people in your group? For other people are watching. You have something like 1800. You build this community to a very sizable community in very small amount of time, right? Like, what have you observed among other people in your community? What are the expected versus surprises? I don’t know.
It started because I wasn’t thinking about it. I wasn’t designing at my desk. I’m going to start a global movement. I was talking to a group of multi potentialites, and I said to them, the word multi potentialite doesn’t work for me. It’s too boxed, it’s too linear. You know, it’s the label multipotentialite. But that’s an outcome I want to talk about. Indeed, the weird people, for me, the cool kids are not the cool kids. For me, the cool kids are the weirdos. If you look back at your high school and you look at the picture, then the kids that were the cool kids are now having the boring life, and then the weirdos are now doing the most exciting things. So I was asking a group of multi potential. I said, what’s the symbol of a curious weirdo, a curious mind? What is that? And then Christine in London said, I always use the octopus emoji just for the fun of it. And Haley in South Africa said, have you seen my octopus teacher? This is a documentary about a filmmaker who has a friendship with an octopus. I watched that documentary the same evening.
And then I thought, you know, I’m going to set up the octopus movement, because after talking to so many multipotentialites and people with neurodiversity, we need to create some awareness of the awesomeness of people that are atypical thinkers, because that would be awesome because the world is so linear. You need to behave like that. You need to do exactly like you’re being told, and we’re missing out on a great opportunity. So I started with the octopus, and I’m very grateful for the octopus because it resonated so much with a lot of people. So they signed up.
What’s the name of the documentary again?
My octopus teacher.
Okay, got you. Please continue.
Cool. So cool. And for people, it resonated immediately that they saw an octopus, and they thought, I feel a little bit like an octopus. Three hearts, very sensitive, nine brains, very fast thinking, and eight arms, doing lots of things at the same time. And also I can adjust my shape, adjust my color. You cannot put me in a box because I will escape immediately. So that really helped me, that symbol of what I was talking about. So a lot of people signed up. We created the manifesto. Thank God I had helped, because I wrote a manifesto. I think it was eight pages of my thoughts, what should in the near future, how we should change. And someone in Australia copywriter helped me. Aaron Thompson, such a cool dude, and he rewrote the manifesto for me, put it on the website. People could read the manifesto, and we’re reading it and coming back like, I feel like an octopus. I’m an octopus as well. And since then, it moved very quickly. And I always say, I’m not creating a community. I hate the word community. I’m creating a movement. We want to change something. We want to change something for the better in the world.
And within that change, people will find each other. There are no rules. You don’t have to be a nonlinear thinker to be at the octopus movement. You can be linear, you can be nonlinear, whatever. As long as it resonates to you, you can be there. And by connecting all these beautiful minds together I always call it the mycelium network of beautiful people, because these amazing connections are helping each other, just like the mycelium underground where trees and mushrooms are communicating with each other and sharing nutrition with each other. That’s what we do in the octopus movement as well. So someone sends me a message in India saying, yeah, I’m working on this. I need some help. And then someone in Paris response. It’s just amazing. And it’s all based on we’re not following the linear structures. It’s nonlinear. We’re trusting our gut feeling, and we just do what we need to do.
So that’s fascinating that you’re able to attract a lot of people who may or may not have heard of you before. Do you know if at the beginning you’re able to attract people to the movement because they’re connected to you. I mean, you are an established photographer. You travel around the world, so your name is known. Where did you discover that most people had no idea who you were but are interested in the movement and the manifesto and itself? I’m curious.
So still nobody knows who I am. It’s just a little group, right? I’m just talking about something we’re looking for. If you are a weirdo and misfit, if you don’t fit in the box and you have that feeling of the world should know what I’m capable of, but you don’t want to see it. And then all of a sudden, there is this weird dude in the Netherlands with this Dutch accent calling himself the octopus movement, doctor Octopus. And then we connect. And then all of a sudden, all these people there understand what you’re thinking. They get you, and that’s for the first time in your life. So that’s why it grew so fast, because they were saying to other people, misfits, weirdos, whatever. Check this out. I found my tribe. I found my people that, you know, it feels so good. It feels so good to be with others who totally get you. Right? Nice octopus.
I know. And my mom’s like, oh, what are you going live about? What is octopus about? Like, immediately caught her attention. I like, where you’re going with this. I mean, not that I want to turn this into, like, a research project, but do we know approximately of the general population? How many? What is the percentage? People who are multipotentialites or kind of you know, I guess everybody is nonlinear.
Yeah. So this is a very difficult question. And by the way, Top Churches is sending messages. Top churches in New York. He is fucking amazing. Sorry for using the word.
We are connected. Small world.
He is very nonlinear. I interviewed him. He is amazing. He has supported me since the beginning of the octopus movement. This is the thing. If you start something when you succeed and when you have a lot of followers on YouTube or you get published in Forbes or whatever, or you Ted Talk and millions of people watching you, then everybody celebrates with you. Everybody is happy for you. But when you start something small and you take the first steps, that’s exactly the time you need support. Then you need people like Todd who are supporting you and believe in you, who understand what you’re saying and are always there. So for me, Top Churches and many others is so important.
This is important. Paris, I think you brought up a really good point and literally one of the most a very popular, very famous songwriter. His name. I am not. It’s so funny. Most people don’t know who he is, but he wrote a bunch of songs for Adele. He even sings some of them with his beautiful tone. But he said, of all people, when he started as a songwriter, like five or six friends believed in him. That’s it. But that tiny, that small group of people is why he’s here today. That literally whatever he wrote, they’re not going to songwriters themselves. And they just appreciated his music and always kind of gave them feedback. And I think this part is so important because there are so many projects over the years, especially since I became an entrepreneur, just by being there for them, for my friends, for my clients, for people I believed in. Years later, they’re thriving. They’re doing something that just unimaginable for me that is at a very micro level, because I won’t be able to be everywhere all at once. But I just love how you describe your relationship with Todd. And now you become that person, that connector, that glue to 1800 people in the building, in the making, and there’s going to be, who knows, thousands, tens of thousands of people be influenced by that.
It’s really cool.
We want to go to 1 billion, by the way. I want to link 1 billion nonlinear thinkers together. Yeah, that’s it just happens because then we can really make a difference. Then we can really change something. Fayrocks? Yeah, fayrocks definitely taught. So what’s the percentage? What’s the percentage? Everybody is a nonlinear thinker, right? And then when you go to school, you’re being pushed and pressed and motivated to become a linear thinker. I teach at schools. I teach kids about nonlinear thinking. And then there’s imagine this a group of kids, their own nine year old. And then I say to them, okay, what do you want to be when you grow up? And then these little arms go up. I want to be a dentist or a dancer or an artist. And they always say, or a dancer or an artist or a veterinarian or whatever. And then I say to them, you’re nine flipping nine. I said it’s not true. You can be anti vet and dancer and an artist. You can do all three at the same time. And then these nine year olds are saying to me, no, Perry, that’s not possible. They’re flipping 9ft.
I thought if you’re nine, you’re still, you know, innocent and yourself. But apparently as soon as you go to school, you’re being pushed in a very linear way. I’m not saying linear is bad. I’m just saying let’s create a little bit of a balance. And people with brains that are wired differently, they cannot stay in that linear structure.
So I think everybody is a nonlinear thinker. Only of the people are in that linear structure, and they are fine with it. And you have the population that is trying to be as linear as possible. They simply can’t stay there. And that’s what I’m aiming for. That’s the group of people that I find very interesting. The problem is that the very linear thinkers who took the motivation to stay there because it helps them also to be successful and have enough money. They don’t understand why there are nonlinear thinkers who cannot do that. Those are the kind of people who mean very well and say to you, you need to focus. You need to stick to one thing and help me. Look at me, I’m very successful. They don’t understand that. It’s not possible. I also give speeches about neurodiversity. Recently I was talking I gave a speech at the Dutch Bank about neurodiversity, and they told me that they hire people with autism. Awesome, right? People with autism can be so beautiful in their way of looking at things, and they can be so specialized and they’re awesome. So the company is saying, we adjust ourselves also for people with autism, because it’s horrible.
I think it’s around 80% of people with autism don’t have a job or working way below their level. It’s an issue. So now this company is hiring people with autism. But the problem is not the company, it’s the other people working there, the very linear people who are very comfortable in that bath, in that water of unwritten rules. They understand all the unwritten rules. And then there’s someone with autism who’s different, who’s outside of these boxes and who doesn’t know all these unwritten rules, and they judge them for that. They say, I can’t work with people like that. They’re not doing this and this and unwritten rules, that’s difficult. So we need to talk about that.
Yeah. So I’m curious, like, of the thinking about your movement and people were in the movement. How many of them are entrepreneurs versus working full time, holding a corporate job somewhere? And I think here’s my, I guess, limited experience with that is when I was working in corporate, which I did for ten years, to me, it’s a pretty substantial amount of time of my career. And I was definitely seen, not always understood as a nonlinear thinker. So I was someone lucky for me, it was really interesting. When I was 22, 23, graduating from college, I knew that finding a job in banking were just developing just one segment of technology, like middle tier, whatever. That wasn’t for me. So what was available back in 2006? Not so sure, frankly. It just felt like it was very limiting at the time. So I chose consulting because I get to work on different projects. Even then, it was difficult to go from being a software developer to a project manager. People are like, what are you doing? You did such a setback. So title wise, there was a very clear setback and made people very uncomfortable because very, very but since I started doing it, there are more people switching.
I don’t want to be a developer. I want to be a business analyst. I want people to start switching around. In retrospect, it was a sacrifice. Very worth, very worth making. Now as an entrepreneur, right? I feel like it’s a buffet now. I really can do whatever I want to do. So my question for you, Perry, is like, what? Do you have any advice perhaps for people working corporate culture right now? My boss told me this is what you do. Don’t ever look outside focus. Do you think versus entrepreneur, do you think those people should leave their jobs, consider having a conversation with their boss? How could they navigate those being in a very confined environment?
Well, first thing, first things 1st. First, you need to really understand linear, nonlinear thinking. So you need to understand your own brain. Why are you a nonlinear thinker? What happens in your thinking? And you’re learning and you’re working very important. And if that means you need to understand your neurodiversity or you need to dive into ADHD because you have that labeling on everything about that very important. But then also think about your boss who is very linear. And if you understand the concept of linear nonlinear, you understand what your boss is expecting from you. And then you can go to your boss and say, listen, I’m a nonlinear thinker. You want this linear structure. I can follow you for 60%, but I have 40% who is outside of that linear structure? How are we going to deal with that? How are we going to solve that? Personally, I think the leader of tomorrow is the nonlinear leader. You know, because leadership where you’re able to move in all directions and see all different angles, that would be so cool to have a boss like that rather than very linear and very uptight. This is how it works.
So don’t leave your job. Have a conversation about that. Or if you want to keep working for a company, go to a startup. Startups love nonlinear thinkers. In a startup, everything is happening at the same time. You need to be very flexible. So if you are corporate clients, account manager at Utah International Bank, that’s a complete other story. Then you’re ahead of new sales at a startup with the startups, they want people that are very flexible, go in all directions, and that’s a very cool place, be it’s a nonlinear thing. And of course, in the movement, oh dear, there are a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of entrepreneurs because at some point it doesn’t fit anymore and they just want to do it themselves. And let me do it myself, please. And I’ve worked for corporate as well. And I was all over the place. I drove people nuts. It was in Beijing in China and was creating a TV show and I was working for corporate and I was doing this and that. People were like, who is this dude? This is weird. He’s not behaving as he should behave according to the unwritten rules.
So what is my advice? First advice, figure out how your brain works. Have a conversation with your boss about linear and non linear thinking. It solves a lot of issues. Definitely. It’s. Not personal. It’s also a thing if you’re a bit weird, you always think it’s personal. So people don’t understand you and they can be very judgemental to you. And what do you do? You always think it’s personal. It’s not personal. They just don’t understand your way of thinking. It’s not about you, it’s how you behave, how you make decisions, how do you act. That’s the issue.
Absolutely. And for those of you who are watching and it’s really interesting, I saw up to like 910 people hopping on with us here and we’re not even seeing most of the numbers from LinkedIn. So if you’re here, please say hi, let us know where you are, let us know what you’re struggling with. And I really appreciate you being here, like morning time, Eastern Standard Time. Anyway, so I love where we’re going, because when Perry, you and I first connected, we didn’t really get to this level of details. But now, in retrospect, there is a lot that we can do. So I love when you say, let’s observe our energy, observe the way we think. And so these days, if you’re watching this, I actually take notes. So there’s an app called Inside Timer and it’s completely free. I’ve been using it since 20 16, 20 15 maybe. And it was really interesting. Every time I turn on the app on a daily basis, it says, how are you feeling today? Check in with yourself. Now, I think that’s a great way of tracking your mood, but also I think we need to do that even more often.
So, for instance, I noticed recently that I was doing something not related to client projects, but it’s just something that I was planning for. As I’m relaunching my website and I was looking into different plugins and trying to learn something new, I just sensed somehow there’s a sense of adrenaline. I just felt happy in a second. It wasn’t something dramatic, watching a Disney animation go on a roller coaster. No, it’s just like a very subtle thing in my heart that went up and I was like, oh, that’s interesting to note. I will actually write down what I was doing in that moment. And I also noticed, for instance, sometimes I get a little moody when there’s too much free time on my hand because I’m so used to running around being busy, like Perius. And sometimes that actually will that energy be like, oh, there’s kind of trending down. But then I always tell myself, don’t freak out when there is free time, which is something I’ve always been craving for. When I do some yoga stretches, why don’t I just meditate for a couple of minutes and things will go back to normal? So, Pair, I’m curious, how do you check in with yourself to actually learn that process?
Do you write things down? Do you I mean, we’re open. I absolutely believe in therapy. Like, what are some of the methods that you find helpful.
Meditation. Meditation. My brain is very busy, really busy. And when you’re setting up a global movement yourself, I do everything myself. Because I believe when you set up something like that, I want to do everything myself. So in the near future, when people will join me in the team, I’ve done it myself. I know what’s happening. I know what it takes. I want to do everything myself also, because in this very important stage where I am right now, I don’t want to be depending on others. If I have an idea to change the website, I just want to do it right. How do I organize and how do I organize myself? It’s meditation. Sometimes my thinking can go nuts. It goes into overdrive, especially in the morning when I’m under the shower. Ideas are it’s like someone is with a K 47 shooting at me with ideas. Right? My kids are laughing. Sometimes I’m running around through the house completely wet, naked to write down an idea, because that happened under the shower. They’re cracking up. Oh, that had an idea under the shower. But it needs to be still as well. You need to be in control about yourself, what is happening.
I’ve learned myself when thoughts are coming way too fast, that I can say, okay, flip the switch and silence, please. Even in this conversation, I can flip the switch and no thoughts whatsoever. Yeah, that helps, because when you’re creating content and you’re doing your website and you have your movement and you have your ambassadors all over the world, and you have your time zones, and I have your 04:00 with different time zones, and you’re doing zoom sessions and you’re doing live and you’re doing interviews and you’re doing editing yourself, too much is happening in your brain. So meditation, that’s everything. For me, having a dog is a great solution as well. So every afternoon, I need to go for a walk for at least 45 minutes. So I’m in nature every day for 45 minutes during the afternoon to walk my dog, because it really helps me to stay here, to stay focused, to be present. Meditation, nature. And I write down and I also write down my thoughts. That helps. So I have these cards that I use. I have a crazy thought, a very nonlinear thought. I write it down on the card, or I draw on it or whatever.
Is it laminated too, on top of that?
Yes. These are like if you want to print your photos yourself, you buy this kind of paper. And I love this because it’s nice and smooth and it looks good when you write on it. So one day I thought, I want to write a book about manufacturing, and I thought, Where do I start? Well, I start here. Look at this pile of ideas.
Is that aqua notes waterproof?
So Todd just said he uses AquaNotes waterproof. Notepads is that what it is.
No, I don’t know. Aqua note. Well, he uses that under the shower, probably.
This is fun.
You can also use a pencil, a soft pencil, and just write on your wall under the shower to take notes. And then it’s very easy with cleaning stuff to get it away after a little while. So I always have a pencil under the shower to write down my thoughts, and then after a little while, I clean the wall and then I continue. So write down, like Todd is doing, is what I know Todd is also writing down always thoughts in little books I do that I write on in the shower books, and I have my cards that I write. Every time I have an idea or a strange sentence, there is a straight sentence coming up in my brain, and I’m thinking, what the hell is this? Write it down. Put it away.
I know it’s not perfect. When I travel like everybody else, I just use the notes app on my face, too.
And it’s so funny because you’re right and there’s so many things after you say it once, you don’t remember, you can’t replicate it. That’s another thing. That’s why when I did yesterday, I thought of, like, platform agnostic creators. I had to write it down. I said to my friend who’s an editor at Forbes, I’m like, oh, you should really talk about that, because it will escape. This is why my mom sometimes thinks I’m crazy. Again, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave your phone by on your nightstand. I get it. I have mine on the floor so I can’t reach it. I’m five, four I can’t I don’t have an arm the size of somebody who’s 65. I can’t easily reach something on the floor. I just keep it out of sight, at least. But I love the idea of keeping a notepad, because sometimes when you wake up in the morning for me, is when I go to sleep at night, I have all these ideas, and I’m like, I want to do this. When you meditate, the first thing you hear is like, let go, everything. You don’t have to do any of that right now, letting go.
How do you balance what type of a meditation do you typically do? Perry, do you have an app you use?
You have a very basic one, very simple one. I go to my gut. I feel my gut. So as soon as I want to switch off my thinking, I go to my gut. I feel it here and I feel it. And by feeling my gut, it switches off my thinking. Really convenient. And I’m a very good sleeper as well, so I can be in bed on my phone, checking out social media, doing things, also saving things on social media and thinking, oh, that’s interesting. You know, I can use that, or whatever. And then I put my phone away and I fall asleep within 10 seconds. Really work well. And I wake up and I open my phone. Yeah, people are saying, you shouldn’t be doing that. Tip it. I’m doing that. And I’m on my phone checking social media, what happened during the night, and notes as well. Walking the dog. Really funny. And then, oh, that’s a funny word. And I write it down in notes. Or I have an idea, or I have to call someone. You can write it down. Meditate. Switch off the thinking and write down your thoughts.
Speak of multi everything we think. I have to kind of probe a bit because this is an opportunity where we can talk about more about you and people like yourself. So a lot of people don’t know this, but people living in Europe in general. But what I find, like, I have friends who are Dutch, German, French, and I’m trying to think they all speak multiple languages. So for me, people are like, oh, Faye, you’re English so good. English is the second language. I’m like a lot of my friends, speak English as a fifth language. So I want to just assess, period, how many languages do you speak on a regular basis versus what they call like, fluency in business or conversational?
Only two. I’m not that great. It’s English and Dutch, of course. And I prefer English. So every day I’m on Zoom and I’m doing all kinds of things, mostly outside of the Netherlands. So when I have to give my speech in Dutch, I really have to think, oh, man, how does it work? So for me, on one, it’s English and Dutch. I’ve lived in China, so I speak Idian. Chinese. Amajuku. But I really enjoyed learning Chinese. I can understand French. I’m not very good in French because when I moved from China to Belgium, I came to Brussels and I thought, oh, I just learned Chinese. I’m going to learn friends now. How cool is this? It didn’t work in my brain because when I was in China learning Chinese, and it’s so difficult. I was doing a TV show with a taxi. So the word taxi in Chinese was so difficult for me to pronounce that it took me a week to just pronounce the word tutua. And probably I’m not saying it correctly.
Anymore because why do they have to teach you that version of it instead of something different? I don’t know. Be sure, right?
Yeah, be sure also. But I like the word chuchuchucha, the CG. I thought it was so cool to pronounce that, right? But it took me so long, I even woke up during the night. And then I found myself practicing on the word. And then I went to Belgium, and I thought, okay, let’s learn French now. That didn’t work in my brain. That didn’t work in my brain at all because then I was thinking about a word taxi in French, but I was so focused in China to learn Chinese that the first thing that popped up in my mind was the word in Chinese. It’s not in French. So I went from Dutch to Chinese and then learned French, and I thought, forget it, flip it. I’m not doing it. So I can’t pronounce French. I’m not very good in French, I understand, but speaking French, not very good. And as a Dutch person, we have German at school. So German I can navigate in that. And that’s it. I just prefer English and still Chinese. And one day when I grow up, I want to learn Italian because I think Italian is so beautiful and so beautiful.
And you know what’s always confusing is when you watch TV versus how people talk in real life is that whenever I hear Italian, or sometimes I live in the US. I hear some small percentage of my Italian fronts can actually speak Italian here because they grew up with grandparents or their parents. Like a reinforcement, not a lot. And also on movies. In movies. And everybody sounds so I agree, shouting at something. But in real life, when I hear it telling, people speaking, it’s so gentle, beautiful, like I have a singing tone to it. So definitely it’s on my list as well. I think a lot of people don’t realize what it’s like to be a multilingual, like a multicultural person and have that mind to it. Like how you are able to switch so quickly. Like, you know, before my mom, before I became my mom’s caregiver and having her live with me in the same house, I would just pick up the phone, call her once a day, a few times a week. But I’m already ready to go. Nowadays, I’m in the middle of life streaming with you. My mom has a request.
I’m boom. It’s like half a second, I switch over there. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think our brains, as a result, are wired differently, possibly even exacerbate this whole multipotential, light, nonlinear effect. What do you think?
It’s a superpower. That’s what we’re saying. And then some people can think, oh, God, listen to them. But it’s really true. If you can switch so easily from one project to another, if it’s so easy for us to find solutions for problems, I recently made a post on LinkedIn. The problem isn’t a problem. Lack of having solutions, that’s a problem. The problem itself is not a problem. And we have a superpower to always find new solutions for whatever we encounter in life. And I think that’s a superpower. But also to adjust yourself. And then you’re talking to a CEO of a big company, and then you’re talking to someone who is an artist or it’s a superpower. Interesting. Wonderful to use that. Tonight I have my founding members meeting so people in the octopus movement can become a founding member. And from all over the world and you switch between cultures, language, how things work. We’re all on zoom. We’re all on Zoom at the same time. But there are people from India there from South Africa, from the US. From Europe, and the conversations always are adjusted to the people we’re talking to. And that’s adjusting yourself and being very flexible and nonlinear, that’s a flipping superpower.
Yeah, I love it. And for those of you who want to practice and embrace your superpower, I would say podcasting is a fantastic way to do it. If you’re nervous, just prerecorded on Zoom where you don’t even have to. But I think live streaming will take that excitement to a whole other level because you observe yourself reacting to such different people. So, for instance, Paris, you’re being here, we met a week ago, really, I think our connection through Chris, Michelle, and now, very quickly, Top Church is someone I also interviewed not so long ago. I mean, within the past year or so, I’ve known a lot of respect for for many years, had a lot of fun, and here we are. Our first language was not English, and we lived continents apart, and it just all these different things coming together, yet there’s so many similarities, and there’s something really comforting about that. Almost make me just thinking about your movement made me realize that over the years, I think about the neighborhood I grew up in, downtown Beijing, not so far away from Tiananmen Square, for instance. A lot of people that I connected with, a lot of people did not who didn’t get me at all.
Yet fast forward, 1020 years later, I’m here. People who look nothing like me didn’t have really a lot of shared experiences, yet they’re so close to me. They get who I am as a person. We can see eye to eye, and it’s just like, how did this happen? And Seth Godin, L Ten BA is a great community that brought me so close to people, perhaps just like the octopus movement. But for I think it’s so important for someone to step up, to say, let’s come together. Let’s find new friends.
You’re describing now the mycelium that I’m talking about, that mycelium that I call our network. In the octopus movement, when you’re on Zoom with someone, sometimes there is a connection that you cannot understand. It feels good. Your gut feeling is saying, wow, and something else is happening than just a conversation. And I think there is a biological connection between two brains. Even though we’re now looking at a screen, and I wear a headset, and you have a microphone in front of you, and we’re traveling in ones and zeroes on dark fiber optic cable through the ocean, still I feel connected with you, and that connection is just mind blowing. And when that is in the same level, however you want to call it, I don’t want to go to a hocopoker or whatever, but that connection is there, and that’s awesome. And it doesn’t matter what language you speak or where you’re from or what kind of gender, skin color, religion, upbringing, doesn’t matter. There’s a connection. And I think that’s real diversity. That’s also one of the reasons why I started the octopus movement. There’s so much going on in the world, and then I have this experience with people all over the world, and I’m thinking, Why is there racism?
That’s weird. If I talk to all these people all over the world, it’s so beautiful. That’s why. Can I show you something quickly? It’s a global art project. It’s a book like this, a huge art book. And let me show you an example. Oh, where are you? Here you go. Yoko Ono. Huge fan of Yoko Ono. So here’s a picture and a story of Yoko Ono. And I’m creating a book like this with 398 nonlinear thinkers in it. And I’m asking all these nonlinear thinkers to write a non linear story, 450 words maximum. Just write whatever you want to write about, give me a photo, and it will all come in this art book, and it’s people from all over the world. The youngest is six, the oldest is 82. Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh. Everywhere. That’s, for me, the real diversity. And I think that’s what we need to focus on, and it’s just beautiful. And if there’s no more racism, if we can really go into humanity and take care of each other and take care of the planet we live on right. Something beautiful, and it’s exactly what you’re describing right now, faith.
That is, you’re connecting with someone on zoom on a live stream. You feel something, embrace that, connect with that person, and enjoy this. It’s beautiful, and it’s a new way of looking at the global world, I think.
Yeah. The final message is critical diversity and sustainability. I absolutely couldn’t agree more. I think there is so much violence still in the world, is because we believe we’re still playing this zero sum game. If I have this so you can’t have it, you have that. Oh, it won’t be available to me. But what if we both we all share something and to be inside a different culture, and you might have some negative experiences, but don’t just stop there. You might interact with someone, have a bad experience, but doesn’t represent the entire culture. So you got to keep pushing forward. I think it’s the same thing as learning a new language, trying something new. It doesn’t always work out the first time around. So I absolutely encourage people to have fun. We are a lot we’re going to be a lot less alone in that way. We are not alone. I think it just sometimes we purposely isolate ourselves. You see that happening of corporations. So we are analysts. You’re a designer, so you are project managers. We can’t possibly be friends. And I think that is just absolutely the wrong way of thinking.
It’s so linear. You need to have an education from university, otherwise I cannot be friends with you. You’re under educated. Right. Or you need to be from this kind of religion, otherwise I have an issue with that. Or you need to be whatever. I find that very linear, and that’s not always helping.
Yeah, absolutely. So I want to respect your time, Perry, but before I let you go, because you and I can probably go on and have a talk show, like this week, or we can just keep talking for 24 hours. Is that you lived in China for how many years? Remind me again.
Three and a half years in Beijing? Yes.
Wow. Where else? For how many more years?
Only in China and then in Belgium in Brussels for more than nine years, and now I’m back in the Netherlands.
Awesome. And being in Beijing at that time was I still know the street that I lived in. It’s like Wang Yang dong Liu. So every time I was in the taxi, liu. And then the taxi driver was like, what it out? And I will say Yobai Zobai or yoto or whatever. It was absolutely amazing to be in China with your amazing culture, with the food, the people. I had so much fun. It was so pleasant, and I made beautiful friendships in China. It’s amazing people. I have really good memories of living in Beijing. So if you don’t know what you want to do in life, move to Beijing and I will ensure you. It’s so awesome.
I kid you not. I met this woman for the first time via zoom. She’s from Finland. Blonde, blueeyed daughters even like, came over while we’re on the zoom and gave her a glass of water. I was so touched by it. And she left. And she’s like, Faye, I was flying to China, beijing for the first time when I was 33. And when the plane descended, I thought to myself, wow, I’m finally home. I was on zoom. I’m like, what long blue eyes.
What’s happening with you?
I’m finally home. She was so sincere, and I was so touched by that. I was like, am I supposed to feel like, what does she feel that way? And I feel the same way when I come to Boston. And Boston doesn’t remind people of the warmest, as in culturally the warmest place, yet it just feels like Beijing feels like home. Boston feels like home to me, and I love the cultures in both places. But I have to ask you too, Terry, a couple of follow up questions. You okay? You have to run.
I know. I love this. So let’s continue.
You’re like, forget about the movement. Just kidding. The movement is still going on. What is the level of discomfort? As you were sitting in a taxi traveling to different places, do you remember yourself going from, oh, my god, what am I doing? Am I in danger or two? I’m actually comfortable not knowing the language, not knowing where I’m going. I probably don’t have a ton of friends.
Ever since that transition, you’re like, oh, from the first day, you’re like, yeah, I’m here.
Let me I love new challenges. So I remember so well. We moved to Beijing. We had two kids back then, and the youngest was still a little baby. And we had this temporary apartment in Beijing. So you come in China, then you also discover that in the Netherlands at school, they never teach you anything about China. I had no idea, really? About the culture? About anything. No idea. So we touched ground in Beijing, went to the apartment, and I had to buy a little bed for the baby.
So I thought, I’m going to Ikea to buy that. This was the first day in Beijing. We touch ground. 2 hours later, I was at the Ikea in Beijing. The reception gave me a little card for directions for the taxi drivers. He wants to go to Egypt. And Perry went to Ikea. So I came into Ikea. I was over the moon. Everything was the same, but prices were in R and D. Yeah, in RnB and Chinese characters, and there are Chinese people everywhere. Wow. So I went to get the bed. I came outside. It was already nine in the evening, and I had this huge box with the bed in it. And I went to the taxi, and the taxi driver was like, no, we’re not doing this. A word of Chinese faith. It was within 12 hours that I landed in China. So I was standing there with my box. Taxi driver was saying, no, I didn’t have a cell phone yet. Just came in China. So like, oh, damn, that’s interesting. And then a few people came to me, and they were saying, oh, I can bring you. I didn’t understand what they were saying, but I could understand it.
Then we had to negotiate about the price. I remember paying 100 RMB to bring me back to my apartment, which is way too expensive, but okay, never mind. And then this car came in front of me, and he had these black lights underneath, you know, and the steering installation. And the whole car went like, no.
I was like, oh, God, what am I getting into? So I put the box in. The car was in the front seat, and I gave him the card of the apartment building. I said, well, here you go. And he was playing loudly Chinese rap music, and he was laughing, and he was driving completely in the wrong direction. Oh, no. But I know the apartment is close to the airport, and we going more. Oh, no. So I was sitting next to him imitating an airplane. We need to go to the airport. I was like, I don’t understand that well, airplane. So he turned the car around one direction airport. And I remembered which exit we took from the airport, thank God. And we came to the apartment building almost at midnight, and the guy came up in the apartment building, helped me to mount the bed for the baby.
I thought he was going to overcharge you and do something.
He came up and he was helping me with the bed because he felt very sorry for me that he drove the wrong direction. And that was my first experience in China.
Do I get scared when everything is new? I get very excited. I love that visit.
See, like years later, I don’t know whether it’s like ten years ago or something, you still remember that story. You’re always going to remember that story. And same thing. A female friend of mine and I traveled to London and oh, my God, if you ever travel in the tube, we had these full sized luggage and there was no elevator. So I remember just like thinking, oh, my God, we packed like three weeks worth of stuff. And this woman who was like petitesized English woman turned around, she was clearly going to work with purse and everything. She turned around, she was like, I’m going to help you. And it was just crazy. Those are the stories I always remember being lost. Same again. It’s just interesting. I tell my mom we’re driving on London, though the streets were really narrow. We were just packing. You can see their cars backed up, five, six cars behind us, and not a single person hunked, not once. And they know that we’re like, busy trying to get going, and it’s fascinating. Okay, I’m going to ask you about the favorite food or foods that you’ve tried in China. I’m not as adventurous with all kinds of food.
I’ve tried everything. Oh, yeah. And I was working for an animal nutrition company. So I was traveling through China and went to rural areas in China to visit farmers and what not. It was hilarious because then, you know, the European dude is visiting whatever little town in China. So everybody would come out and look at me like, what is this guy? He has long hair and blue eyes. It was hilarious. I’ve tried everything by todd. I’ve tried everything. And I have to admit, most of the things were just delicious. Even jellyfish. If I tell that people right here now that I would eat a salad with jellyfish, they look at me like, yeah, it’s horrible. But you have no idea how tasty jellyfish is in China. It’s really nice. Yeah, that’s true.
It’s like how things are made, right? What are your go to, like, homey food in China? Do you like the kompo chicken? Beijing is also very different than living in Canton. I’m half Cantonese, for instance. I’ve had my separate favorite dishes in Canton versus Beijing. But what are some of. Your favorite goto dishes in Beijing?
Well, the southern part, the very spicy dishes are way my favorite. You know, they’re just awesome. And we were living the expert life, so we were having a very good life in Beijing. So we had an Ie cooking for us and it was just amazing one time. And I think she was more a chef than someone to help in the household.
And in the beginning I was working at home and she would make lunch for me, and then the whole table was full of food and I was going nuts. And I wanted to learn everything. I wanted to taste everything. Like, what is it? The 1000 year old egg.
Egg? Yeah. It’s not 1000 years old for people.
No, but I think that’s the name or 100 years old or whatever. And I came in the kitchen, I was like, what the hell is happening here? That smell is just horrible. But then you taste it in a dish yeah. And it’s so delicious, like stinky tofu. It smells horrible when you taste it. It’s wonderful. So kompany chicken, that’s for tourists. I wasn’t eating that. I was eating all kinds of things and still I cooked Chinese myself. I bought some really nice cooking books in China and I have my Chinese cooking gear in my kitchen. And eggplant is one of my favorite Chinese way is. And then Verila is the best.
Very la, very spicy. I’m curious, you mentioned you have two kids, and now they spend some formative. Three kids?
And then I know that two of them traveled with you to Beijing, am I correct? One, I suppose. Born after your Beijing trip.
Yeah. So we went to Beijing and we had two boys. And then just before we left, we had a girl, and her name in Dutch is Pizzanelle, but her official name is Pizza Mei Knobbert. We gave her Chinese name and she’s so proud to be made in China. We always tease her with that. The two boys always say, oh, you’re made in China. We don’t take you seriously. And she’s so proud to be Maymay. Yeah. And then the two boys, they don’t have an official Chinese name, but they were Genyan and Yoyo. So Gen, Yen, Yoyo and me were kids in China.
Just awesome kids in China. Oh, wow. Do they still eat Chinese food because of that experience?
Yes. So fried rice, Chinese style. Then can we have fried rice with fried noodles? Definitely. Or the egg with the tomato. It’s very simple, very tasty. They love that. My oldest son, who’s now 16, he still knows a lot of Chinese words because they went to an international Montessori school in Beijing. So half of the day was in English and half of the day was in Chinese. So they had an English classroom and a Chinese classroom. And how beautiful is this? My son went to school for the first day. He came into the classroom, he wasn’t able to speak any English, any Chinese. He only spoke Dutch, of course. He met this little Chinese girl. She didn’t speak any word of English, only Chinese. They bonded. They started talking in their own language. So she and Chinese, he and Dutch, they became best friends during this whole period in China, still in contact with her on Instagram. And he learned Chinese so fast. I was so jealous of him. So half of the day in the classroom where everything is English, and then they went to another classroom where they had a Chinese teacher. Everything was in Chinese.
They were drinking Chinese tea. They do everything in Chinese. And he had to learn all these poems by head and all these songs and just wonderful. And we still count in Chinese in our households. We still do that.
People are learning so much through this livestream because it was so interesting. We’re talking about nonlinear and multicultural. Obviously, we should speak for your kids, but I wonder, the years since they’ve gotten back, do you see them? They now primarily live in the Netherlands, I suppose. And so do you see some diversity among their friends, group? Obviously, that requires people to live in a certain place. I’m not saying that. Oh, it’s a given. Depending on where you are, you may or may not have the exposure. Do they seek out kids who are Asian or from different cultures, regardless whether they’re Asian or not? What was their comfort level?
Their comfort level is international. So they go to an international school and their comfort level is international contact. So they’re less comfortable just with Dutch kids. They don’t get them and they find them very strange as well. So they prefer to hang up with international kids. Another thing is that all my kids are very nonlinear as well. They all have neurodiversity. And yesterday my son said to me, you know, the four of us are just crazy. We don’t fit in. We’re different. We’re totally different. And we have these nonlinear conversations in our household, of course, where there is a linear world. Like recently my son came home, my middle son, Yoyo, of 14, he’s now 14, and he wanted to go to the school picture wearing his tiny little sunglasses. He had weird sunglasses. He’s a very dramatic, funny, stand up comedian kind of boy. And he wanted to wear his little sunglasses on the school picture. And of course, the photographer said, no, we’re not doing this. So he came home and he said, dad, that photographer is not really an artist. He’s so linear, I couldn’t wear my sunglasses. But okay, I get it for him.
That’s the way to go. So we talk about linear, nonlinear a lot in my household. I’m divorced. It’s all about international. My oldest son cannot wait to go abroad again. And my daughter, who was born in China, we left after she was born, after a few months. She can’t wait to go back. I think she has the closest connection to China, even though she doesn’t have any recognition of being in China, but knowing to be born in China, to have been born in China, that makes her very close to China. So I can’t wait someday to go back to Beijing, especially with Mayne to show her around. I can’t wait for that.
Oh, that is so beautiful. It’s so encouraging, I think, for other parents. I know, as you can imagine, though, a lot of parents, sometimes one of the parents just they have to travel a lot for their work. And sometimes it’s predictable, sometimes it’s not. And that puts a lot of stress on kids growing up. And I find myself even in these conversations with parents who move within the United States or having to travel abroad. But I got to tell you, some time, I find out much later. I don’t go to like a corporate environment. People will come up to me and be like, hey, I spend one day in Beijing, a month in Hong Kong. Sometimes people are hesitant to force that connection onto you. But I love it. I wish they would have told me a lot sooner, because I gotta tell you, just my friends spending even teenage years in China and Hong Kong and going to international schools are just, they just had the most beautiful memories and they couldn’t wait to share with me. And that made them really stand out and feel like they have this there’s something not a weapon, there’s something that they could share with their peers, something that they would absolutely carry for the rest of their lives.
Now you’re reminding me just how beautiful that is, how memorable. Like these women I know in their thirty s, this happened in their 1516. They’re still talking about it, of course.
Because their perception of the world is completely different. Look at the Netherlands. It’s a tiny little place on the globe. What is the Netherlands? We’re everywhere, and we make a lot of noise, but the country by itself doesn’t mean anything. And if you live there in a little village and you go there to school, and you were born there, and you go there to school, and that’s the only thing you see, then that’s your world. And then you’re a kid and you’re traveling the world, you’re going to Beijing, you live in Belgium, you have an international group of friends, which means everything. And at international schools, they celebrate all kinds of different cultural celebrations, right, from all different cultures. So it opens up this huge perspective on how the world looks like. So my kids have friends from India, from the United States, from Australia, and thanks to social media and internet, they can still stay in touch. They follow each other on TikTok, on Instagram, and they’re making already amazing connections, and they haven’t even really get out there they’re just doing high school, and it’s already an amazing network that they’re creating international schools.
Oh, I love it so much. I should definitely let you go. But I want people who are listening now or watching this later to think about either how do I create that environment, that community for me, versus how can I do that for my kids? A lot of people watching the channel have young kids too. So I think for you there is the octopus movement started by Perry links in the description below. Definitely check it out. Communities such as Seth Godin, Dorie Clarke and, you know, and even communities, I would say a lot of the writers community where you kind of come together, create, learn to create together, create something together. And that’s just beautiful. You always inevitably run into the international population. And don’t ever judge someone whose first language or second language may not be English, because I really start to embrace accents. I love the way they write. Who is it to say that grammatically? This is the only way to write about it. That’s a very linear way of how I really hated my writing right at the beginning. I was so hasn’t. I can’t I can’t blog. I’m a foreigner.
I can’t write, I can’t communicate. I shouldn’t have an authoritative atone. But I was so wrong about that because other people who speak English as a second, third or whatever language really find my language, my way of writing, very comforting. Moreover, it’s a reason for them to create, which is the ultimate goal. So sorry, that’s one thing for yourself, the other for your kids. If you don’t have any international schools near you or don’t have those resources available to you, what should we do? I mean, look around your neighborhood. Mobile.
Well, it’s difficult with the international schools like here in Europe. Many times you can only go to an international school if you’ve really been abroad or when you’re a foreigner. So sometimes that’s very difficult. Try to find the people whose eyes light up when you enter the room. I think that’s it. Find the kind of people that resonate with you and whatever group of people that is, it doesn’t matter. But when they see you coming into a zoom session and they started laughing and being happy that they see you again, connect with a group of people like them and share your experiences and your knowledge also with your kids. I give advice to parents as well, how to deal with nonlinear kids. People wake up. Don’t do everything in a linear way. It’s not the solution. Sometimes it fits very well. But also listen to your kids, right? And they don’t have to make up what you have messed up. They don’t have to become what you always would like to have become. They’re individuals and have conversations about this with them. And as a 16 year old or as a teenager, I can imagine it’s so difficult to find your tribe, and I hope in the near future, the octopus movement can make a change in that as well.
We’re organizing now a summer camp for next summer for teenagers.
And we’re kids.
Yeah, we’re flying in professors from all over the world and go crazy with all kinds of topics. We’re doing so many things. It’s so important to find a group of people or a group of teenagers or whatever that are likeminded, don’t do it in a linear way. Don’t go too narrow. Right. Don’t go from, I’m an artist, so I will go to a group with only artists. Don’t do that. Open up your eyes. Explore. And don’t be so judgmental in your linear pattern of thinking. This is nothing for me. You don’t know. Give it a try. I don’t know what happens. When I landed first time in Beijing and go to it late in the evening, I had no idea. And now, 14 years later, I’m still talking about it. So give it a try. Don’t be so judgmental.
I love it. I’m so grateful for you to join me today, Perry, for us to have connected. I can see there are a lot of opportunities for us to collaborate on, to continue the conversation, to say the least. And I am so grateful for so many people who hopped on today who may or may not leave us a comment, but you are allowed to do so after as well. Monitor the channel. I think, like, dozens and dozens of people have hopped on. I’m so, so grateful for that. So with that said, Perry, I will take us offline, and we’ll have to chat again in the near future.
Well, I will haunt you, Faye, because I really enjoyed this. Let’s do something very nonlinear, very crazy, very unexpected, expected. Or something else, something weird, whatever. Let’s figure out something, what we could do together. That would be awesome.
Bye. Live audio.
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