Charlotte De Brabandt: Overcoming Adversity, Defying All Odds & Impacting Millions
Charlotte De Brabandt is a world renowned speaker from Switzerland who has worked in numerous industries alongside household names, now Charlotte speaks all around the world and works with highly motivated individuals and helps them thrive in this new digital world as well as master their mind. She’s a published author, TEDX speaker, Megawatts 30 under 30 winner and is now exploding into the motivation and personalized coaching space. This past Labor Day weekend we had the chance to sit down with Charlotte and ask her all about her successes, struggles, her future and most importantly, her mindset.
Hey Charlotte, before we dive into everything, can you explain who you are, where you’re from and a brief background of yourself?
I am half Swedish and half Belgian. I went to a british boarding school in the swiss alp on top of a mountain: Aiglon College in the French part of Switzerland and spend the last years in the German part of Switzerland.
I studied my Masters at University College London and London Business School in London/ UK in the field of Technology Entrepreneurship.
I grew up in Europe and lived in China and the US.
I am an internationally educated, multilingual graduate with ample work experience in the procurement, business strategy and technology world. As a result of my degree in Management and Marketing, additionally Engineering, my high motivation and eagerness for steep learning curves, which is reflected by high academic achievements, make me a suitable candidate for the management industry. I am also constantly growing my entrepreneurialism and commercial focus and I am able to demonstrate this by the experiences I have gathered from numerous business competitions, keynotes and publications, which equipped me with strong team player abilities and resilience in high-pressure situations. My focus has been public speaking to inspire our generations.
What’s new? What have you been working on recently?
With my corporate experience and career development, I have now been specializing in my continuous learning how to THRIVE in this new technologically advanced world. The future is not. I have been speaking globally and producing videos in the field of innovative technologies and learning how to use them, educate talents on the upcoming technologies instead of letting them use us.
The future of human possibilities: let the force of your mind take control.
Creating a new powerful world helping people increase their conscious so they’ll be able to use technology to its greatest advantage instead of letting technology use them.
It is all based on continuous learning: As Bill Gates said: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” This statement has truly urged and inspired me to question, have I set myself the right goals over the next few years. Have I found my purpose in life and am I surrounded by the right people?
We all receive formal education during our studies, whereas life education only happens afterwards. We always feel that we can create change more quickly by impetuously acting rather than patiently climbing the ladder step by step. When these add up, we gain momentum and that will affect change in the future for us. Tony Robbins said that setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Write down your short and long-term goals in order to stay focused.
Continuous learning needs direction. Look at yourself in 5 years’ time and where you want to be. Setting goals may not always happen easily, you need to dig down deep to find out what makes you happy. This will strengthen you and grow your self-awareness.
Purpose in life
To find your purpose, you need to know your goals, otherwise, you will just get lost. Finding your purpose at the beginning of your career may not always be easy. Everyone has its own pace in life to achieve their goals, therefore don’t let anyone rush you into your decision and the next steps in life.
We are usually being told and given the recommendations which steps and path to take. However, I think that in our modern times, we need to be more flexible. Not everyone has the same success story, received the same education, knew what they loved, and it may take them longer to find passion and purpose. You may look at some of your friends and may think that they are ahead or behind you, therefore, be patient and let the next steps unfold according to your timeline. It is more important to create your own purposeful and fulfilling lives.
Are you surrounded by the right people and are you influenced by the right people? You are the average of the people you surround yourself with. You need to spend time with people who have the same goal and also people who have achieved that goal and turned it into a routine.
You’re a TEDx speaker, you’ve spoken alongside some inspirational thought leaders, what was that like speaking to thousands of people alongside some heavy hitters?
I speak out of passion and through my heart. It all started back in Germany I was hosting the World Culture Festival and speaking in front of thousands of people. We had 55 nationalities attending.
In 2017 I was part of the organizing committee and the host of the biggest TEDx to date in Switzerland on Professions of the future, since then I peak to all groups on a very frequent basis.
That’s amazing, I recently saw you also were just awarded the Megawatt 30 under 30 award. Congratulations! What was the experience like?
I was very humbled being selected as the first European ISM 30 under 30 Megawatt winner in history because it enables me to excel in my career means a lot to me.
I would like to be a Role model for a servant leader. By learning and taking responsibility and adding value to people’s lives. Being inspired to inspire that makes me more complete.
You’re also a published author, yes? What books have you published and what are they about?
Yes, I am publishing a whole book series on negotiation with one of the most renowned publishers from Germany at the moment!
Negotiation for everyone: A guide for successful negotiations
In my second book, I am a contributing author talking about the negotiation of the future: https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783658265595
My third book will arrive in 2020, specialising in negotiation for leadership.
Communication and negotiation will be essential in the future:
In my opinion, good communication is the most vital asset you need to have to be successful in business. My father always told me that languages are the most powerful tool to complete a successful negotiation to aid good communication. I can say for a fact that he abides by this rule. He doesn’t even travel without knowing a few words at least of the language of the country where he is travelling to.
With 8 billion people in the world, there are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1.2 Billion people in the world that speak that language.
Did you know that only 5 % of the world will speak English as a first language by 2050 and only 13% of the people around the world speak English? 87% Don’t.
I believe, companies lose so many customers a year by not being able to communicate properly with each other and there are often misunderstandings. What can we do? I wrote the negotiation books to bring the ease of good communication to our talents and different generations.
Important is that we never lose the capability to communicate with one another – at an intelligent quotient (IQ), love quotient (LQ) and also on an emotional quotient (EQ) level. Check out this video where Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba talks about this new quotient at the world economic forum.
What businesses have you worked under and what did you learn during your experiences with those companies?
I worked on three continents in five different industries
- 10 years
- Innovation Technology > IT/Software -> Mobile communication
- Medical devices, Pharmaceutical, and Consumer goods
* What Skills I learned:
- Building High Performance Teams
- Disruptive innovation process implementation
- Third party manufacturing – Technology, Automotive, Watch, Medical devices, Pharmaceutical and Consumer goods industry
- IT Hardware/Software, Telecom, Travel, Meetings & Events, Admin Services legal, contract management
- Supplier Development, Sourcing and Collaboration; Supplier Relationship Management
- Project Management
- Microsoft Dynamics
* International Procurement experience in:
- Asia (China)
- EMEA (Euro Zone, UAE, United Kingdom & Switzerland)
For someone as young as yourself to see so much success at such a young age what is next for you?
I reference that by 2050, 60% of the global jobs won’t exist anymore and will be replaced by new jobs. Looking to the future, I see myself grow in the industry. I would like to stay in the corporate field and climb the career ladder. I realised the higher I am the more impact I can have on people’s lives. I will also expand in the field of keynote and public speaking. I get highly inspired by people, we are social animals and need communities around us. The more I get inspired, the more I would like to inspire.
What is your mission? What is the why that things that drives you high energy personality?
At the beginning of our career, we are usually being told and given the recommendations for which steps and path to take. We must study this in order to become that or work for this top institution. At this age we should get married or buy a house. In 10 years time, our life will be set.
I think though, in our modern time, we need to be more flexible.
Not everyone has the same success story. Not everyone went to university or graduated at a certain age. Not everyone knew what they loved and it may take them longer to find passion and purpose. Everything in life happens according to our time, our clock. You may look at some of your friends and may think that they are ahead or behind you. But everything happens at their own pace.
Jack Ma started Alibaba with the age of 35, Morgan Freeman only got his breakthrough at 52 or Virgin started by Richard Branson started at 34. So take your time and you will receive maximum success. Don “t let anyone rush you with their timelines. Because as Einstein said, not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that`s counted truly counts. I want all of us to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling lives and learn how to use that to create impact and make meaningful lives for others. That will be true success.
What are two lessons you want to leave our readers with today that helped you achieve the success that you have had?
My advice will be passion and proactiveness:
Two main factors that are helpful is being passionate about my work in what I do and being proactive and ambitious in solving problems. This helps me to learn how to solve difficult challenges. It is important to reach out to the stakeholders and getting the information, rather than just waiting for it.
Continuous learning and adapting to new technologies is very important. We live in a world where we cannot only study this topic and assume that it will be enough for the next 20 years. Important to constantly want to learn and automatically you engage with the people, topics and maybe get the opportunity to also have an impact in people’s lives, company and create global impact. Being an early adopter, recognizing trends and being open towards new technologies which may play an important role in the future.
Surround yourself with people that push you to do and be better. Set higher goals and higher vibrations. Good times and positive energy, bring out the absolute best in each other.
How can people get in touch with you?
LinkedIn: Charlotte de Brabandt
What are the daily habits that are consistent and allow you to be successful?
– I wake up early,
– Make a to do list of accomplishments, write things down;
– Read a quote every morning to focus my mind – sort of meditation;
– Listen to your body – taking rest when needed.
How do you manage your success?
- Patience – trust in yourself – climb up the mountain takes time
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Never give up – okay to fail
- Stay authentic
- Open communication
- Work hard – when you’re out partying, others are working – You cannot climb the ladder of success with hands in your pockets.
- Giving back
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