Niels Desot (dear digital): “Ondernemen is mijn manier om positieve impact te creëren op mensen”

“Entrepreneurship is my way of creating a positive impact on people”

Niels Desot (28) is co-founder and Business Lead of dear digital, a Ghent e-commerce agency with 40 employees on the payroll, barely 2.5 years after its establishment. In addition, Desot is co-founder of the Ghent company Puzzle in a Bag, awarded ‘Starter of the Year’ in 2020. “One of the things I love to do most is connecting with other people who are also working on their personal development journey.”

What do you consider to be your most important (entrepreneurial) characteristic?

“I am not a marketer or developer myself, but I think I have specific qualities that will help the company move forward. Then I think about coaching and reducing problems that seem very difficult at first sight to something that seems simpler.”

“Because I’m not often involved in projects myself, I’m far enough away from problems and issues within the company. By looking at this from a distance, I can often make these issues a lot easier and offer different, new insights to the team that is sometimes too close to it.”

“We have succeeded in creating exactly that role for myself within the company, which means that I can take on a more coaching role towards the team, so that they have everything they need to perform their tasks properly and feel good. ”

What is your idea of ​​(work) happiness?

“I strongly believe in impact through entrepreneurship. By which I mean that my mission to create positive impact on people and the way I want to do that is through entrepreneurship. This goes for me mainly about helping people to achieve what they themselves may not initially think possible.”

“Here, too, I want to do that by taking on a coaching role that ensures that the people in my environment understand their untapped potential discover and achieve their goals. Whether it’s a customer, co-founder, employee or friends of mine: i want them to be able to achieve what they want, get what they want and be pushed and challenged to push their limits.”

“Seeing people do things that they initially thought were not possible gives me tremendous satisfaction. It makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the world. That is honestly the only thing that really counts for me, because if I can’t make an impact on people at all: what is it all about?

Watching people do things they never thought possible before gives me great satisfaction and makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the world

What are your favorite (brand) names?

“Innovative e-commerce brands naturally have a special place in my heart, I also try to use as many as possible myself. It is of course a nice coincidence that these are also customers.”

“For example, I am an avid user of the products of 4Gold, Brauzz, Ray and Loop. If I have to name one personal favorite, I would choose 4Gold. I use those products most often, I also feel a personal connection with what Brent (Luyckx, co-founder and CEO of 4Gold; editor) is developing. Anyone who knows me a little knows that I am rarely seen without a 4Gold drinking bottle in my hand (laughs).”

What is your favorite motto?

“People at dear digital now know that I big fan of the book Extreme Ownership‘. In it is the statementThere are no bad teams, there are only bad leaders‘ a very important one. If a team, a project or a customer is not running smoothly, the responsible person should take it up, try to solve the problem himself and not hide or point the finger at other people or external factors.”

“I firmly believe that if we succeed in achieving this with our entire organization, we will create a culture that can form the basis for rapid and quality growth.”

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?

I grew up in a very small village in West Flanders, and at that time I had absolutely no feeling for the entrepreneurial world. From there I took the step towards entrepreneurship at a relatively young age – 24 years old – and started my first company. In that first venture I hit the wall very hard: I worked way too hard, had mistakes beliefs and I wasn’t in the role/function that gives me the most energy. From there I am one personal development journey which now enables me to write this entrepreneurial story a lot better.”

In my first venture I hit the wall very hard: I worked way too hard, had mistakes beliefs and I wasn’t in the role/function that gives me the most energy

“From Merkem to developing an international organization and a team of almost 40 people spread over four countries – Belgium, the Netherlands, India and Bulgaria – is quite a big step.”

When I now look back on where I came from, a sense of pride and a lot of gratitude overwhelms me more and more. I think it’s great to be able to expand this team, together with my co-founders. The fact that our employees, all of them top performers, entrust us with a part of their careers keeps me very humble. Together with our team, we want to have fun as much as possible and we do everything we can to ensure that everyone feels at home here.”

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