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Starting from Scratch: An Entrepreneur's Journey - With Guest, Jeroen Corthout [Podcast]

Episode 119: Michael and Kathryn interview Jeroen Corthout, co-founder and CEO of the intelligent CRM, Salesflare. Jeroen shares how Salesflare was founded when he and his co-founder Lieven wanted to manage their leads in an easier way. Starting a business isn't always easy as you adapt and grow in your market, so if you need encouragement from someone who's been there, give this episode a listen.

Podcast size Jeroen Corthout HV Podcast


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover how Jeroen went from a CRM user to a CRM creator.
  • Find out how he overcame the challenge of rapid growth in the early stages of his business.
  • Learn how he's adapted to COVID and made the switch to a managing a remote team.
“It was so exciting we didn't even think about giving up. We were in the middle of a big thing and it felt good even though it was tiring."
- Jeroen Corthout

Resiliency Quiz

References:

Salesflare

 

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Michael:
              Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Katherine Redman.


Michael:
              And today we have special guest. I think you're going to have a good time listening to this conversation. Kathryn, introduce our special guest.


Kathryn:
               So I want to introduce you to Jeroen. I'm going to say that right, Jeroen. He's in Belgium, right? Okay. I'm not even going to try your last name. Is it Corthout?


Jeroen:
                That's good. Good enough.


Kathryn:
               Good enough. Okay. Jeroen is a co-founder and Salesflare, which is an intelligence CRM built for small businesses selling B2B, used by thousands of agencies and fast growing companies. Salesflare was founded when Jeroen and his co-founder ... now these additional names, Lieven?


Jeroen:
                Lieven, yeah.


Kathryn:
               Lieven, he's easy. When Jeroen and Lieven wanted to manage the leads for their software company in an easier way, like so many of us, they didn't like keeping track of them manually. So they built Salesflare, I love that, which pulls customer data together automatically. It's now the most popular CRM on Producthunt, and top-rated on review platforms like G2 for its ease of use and automation features. So Jeroen, welcome to the show. We're super happy to have you.


Jeroen:
                Thank you.


Michael:
              So we met Jeroen as we were promoting the book. We're having the opportunity to meet a lot more people as we're going around and talking on podcasts all over the world. And we met Jeroen, and Jeroen even does a podcast for software companies, SAS systems. And since we are not a SAS system, we did not on his podcast. But we had such a great time talking to him and everything. And for entrepreneurs and everything else, and looking under the hood, for those of us who are curious about how other people are running their companies, and what does it look like, and how do we get insight from leaders, because as leaders, we sometimes get isolated. We don't get a chance to talk to other leaders or hear from them so often.


Michael:
              So first, let's talk about your company. When did you start it? Tell us a little bit of the backstory on that.


Jeroen:
                Yeah, we started in 2014. I had been working previous to that for about four, five years for marketing consultancy, for life sciences companies, mostly pharma. We would do a lot of projects with Salesforce, salesforce.com. That was because we would organize a lot of the marketing campaigns and the sales stuff around salesforce.com. We also had that internally, and for customers that like to do marketing campaigns and build stuff and all that, that was fine. We have people for that. But personally, practically, using Salesforce, I never really understood it.


Kathryn:
               You might not be the first person who said that. [crosstalk 00:02:45]


Jeroen:
                Yeah, it was personally my first CRM. And some people tried to explain it to me, when leads became opportunities and things like that, which I still do not exactly know. And I also tried to use it for practical reasons, to follow up customers. Because I was an account manager and project manager, sort of a double role at the company. And I tried to use things like tasks, and logging things that happened and all that. But it didn't seem like it was going to help me. And it didn't seem like it was a modern system from these days. I was, for instance, to compare I was using Wunderlist, a very nice clean, well, they're killing it off now, because Microsoft bought it, and they-


Michael:
              Oh, I didn't know that.


Jeroen:
                Made it impossible to do or whatever. But that was a modern thing. It felt like I was actually scratching off to-do list. I had it on all my devices. I could check it on my phone, on my computer. It worked nice, and I could make lists and I'd get notifications.


Jeroen:
                And then I got into Salesforce, and I had this little form that said, "What's the task name?" And then this little bigger thing. And then the whole form, click save. And then it would say, "Oh, you completed the task. Do you want to have another one?" Stuff like that. And the notifications were only in Salesforce. So I had to log into Salesforce to see my notifications, which I also didn't get.


Jeroen:
                But then everything about it seemed tedious. But that was for me. And our CEO of the company actually liked it. He could build all the reports. He liked the opportunities we had and all those kinds of things. It was just for us, as the team, that it wasn't really amazing. And that led to lots of issues, and lots of rules around Salesforce and stuff, and statements like what's not in Salesforce doesn't exist, and you need to log 10 calls per month to customers, and things like every month we would get an email, like things where the closed data is expired if you don't update them in the next three days, then we will flush them all out.


Kathryn:
               So needless to say, you were disappointed in the practical use of this particular platform.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. I was disappointed. I never did anything with that. Just dealt with it until together with Lieven, we were working on a business intelligence software company. It was actually Lieven's company. I joined in to help with sales and marketing. And we had a lot of leads from a conference. We went to Vegas to an IBM Conference, which was a lot of fun. And we had a booth there. And people would pass by, and I would say, "Are you using IBM Cognos?" And they would say, "Yes." I was like, "Hmm, do you have a problem with this?" "Yes, we do." And, "Oh, we have a thing for that. Let me introduce you to the guys here," and like that we built up a big list of potential leads. And when we came back in Belgium, we started following up this list of leads. And I knew that Salesforce was not really a tool to do that. There was not a thing in which you could practically do that.


Michael:
              This is 2013, 2014?


Jeroen:
                Yeah, 2013 was the conference, and '14 is when we're actually really working on that. And in the end, after trying a lot of things, we didn't find anything that was really nice. We started using a Google Sheet. And yeah, even a Google Sheet was hard to keep up-to-date. Every time we did something, we had to put it in there, when was the last contact with the dates, what did we last do, what was discussed, all this kind of stuff. And as we were not disciplined very much, that easily turned into a mess, especially we were doing multiple people.


Jeroen:
                So at some point that was also breaking. And we started a newsletter, and I showed Lieven, with MailChimp that you could see, these people have received it, these people have opened, these people have clicked. And he'd never see that, the power of all the things you can do in marketing, how you could track really everything there. And then we started thinking like, why is it that in sales, we have these archaic tools, and these tools are actually not making our life easier by tracking things for us. While if you're, for instance, logging in your Google Sheets or your Salesforce or whatever, that you just send somebody an email that's actually already in your mailbox. So if we could make something that connects to your mailbox, but know that you sent somebody an email, it would know what that person's name was, because that's in the header of the email. It would know the email address. That's also in email. It would know the email signature, so you could pull that in as well.


Jeroen:
                Same with the calendar, same with the phone, same with social databases. So we started seeing a system that would build on top of existing data, to help salespeople to keep track of everything. And that was what I just explained was a big part of it, connecting all these different sources, plus the thing we saw in MailChimp, with the tracking, was also a big part of it.


Jeroen:
                We were like, okay, but then as a sales person, you could see when people are opening your emails, clicking on them, going to your site, what they're looking at on your site, things like that. Because that was another issue we were having. We were following business intelligence software with people, and they're in a very slow business process, where things don't change very quickly. And we were always a little, "Eh, it's going to be later," and this and that. But we didn't know what happened when we actually sent that email. So that was invaluable insight that we also wanted to add. And it's with this idea that we actually started Salesflare, now six years ago.


Michael:
              So do you guys have any, I mean, what would you say that, in your space, the competitors are for you?


Jeroen:
                Currently, it used to be Pipedrive for a long time, because it's also a similar practical sales tool, easy to use, easy to set up, just still a bit of the old thinking of you need to fill it out manually, all of it. But then in 2015-'16 HubSpot also launched a free CRM, which is really being pushed all over the market now, like any website you go to, HubSpot will be ranked top. They have an enormous amount of money to throw against that. So that's probably our main competitor right now.


Michael:
              Okay. That makes sense. That gives an idea too, in the midst of the context. So as you started the company, what were some of the challenges you guys faced? What were some of those early challenges you had?


Jeroen:
                One of the very early challenges was you have an idea and you want to work on it, but what's going to pay the bills? Because the rest of it is pretty exciting, just two guys working on something. I made a deck presentation, the whole marketing story, the reason why we were starting it and all that, what our plans are. Lieven started making a very rough prototype, just something that we could show to people, not something that actually did the job, but so we could start conversations.


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely.


Jeroen:
                But then our issue is how can we have the necessary time for that? Because yeah, how do you pay your bills while working on it. And the first thing we saw there was a thing called Kima 15. It was Kima Ventures had a program back then. Kima Ventures still exists, but the program doesn't anymore. But you could get 150,000 euros for 15% of your company within 15 days.


Michael:
              Wow.


Jeroen:
                And that really appealed to us. I mean, we're very early stage. So we worked towards that for a few weeks. This deck was certainly part of it, and the prototype, we sent these two things. And they responded to us, I think, within a few days even, that we were too early stage, which is something we can definitely understand now. Then it was a blow for us.


Michael:
              Yeah, I bet.


Jeroen:
                But what we started doing then is applying to more things. We applied to an Incubator, and Accelerator, and a few other things. And we got accepted into an Accelerator, where we got 25,000 euros to start with, which was not for equity or something. And that got us started. It was almost no money, but it was enough for us to get started on Salesflare.


Michael:
              Yeah. And so was there a moment where it tipped over, and you guys like, "Okay, we're off to the races, and we know this is going to stick, and we know we're going to be able to pay the bills and do this."


Jeroen:
                There is a lot of little moments like that, but there's not this one moment.


Michael:
              There wasn't a one place where it just turned for you? What I think I hear you saying is, there wasn't a magic moment. We had to build and we got to this point, and then we had to get to this point, and then we had to get to the next point.


Jeroen:
                Yeah, exactly.


Michael:
              And you just had to be scrappy and keep pushing forward.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. There's been so many times that we were almost out of money, and that we had to find new money again, find a way to grow faster and keep that going. Maybe there was one sort of point where we accelerated our growth quite a lot versus before. And that was when it was sort of two launches we did, one on Producthunt, something you mentioned in intro also.


Jeroen:
                We did a very big Producthunt launch. And back then Producthunt was also still much more active than it is today. I have a feeling that today it's still cool and it's there and stuff, but I don't have a feeling that people are as enthusiastic about it anymore. And that was in 2017, April or March, I don't remember exactly. And then in June 2017, we also launched AppSumo, which is this ... you're an AppSumo subscriber?


Michael:
              No, I'm not. But I know exactly what AppSumo is. So that's kind of cool. And that was helpful?


Jeroen:
                That was the moment when, for us, everything blew up, because we went from, let's say, a few hundred users to in three weeks to 7000, 6000.


Michael:
              Wow.


Jeroen:
Yeah. It put a lot of stress on our small company at that moment.


Kathryn:
               I can imagine.


Jeroen:
                Okay. So let's talk about-


Kathryn:
               So talk about that.


Jeroen:
                Yeah, talk about that a little bit more.


Kathryn:
               How did you guys manage that level of growth? Because that's some pretty steep growth that you may not have had the staff to support, especially the customer support side of it.


Jeroen:
                Yes. The customer support was the worst part.


Kathryn:
               So how did you guys do it?


Jeroen:
                Imagine this, we were going to launch on AppSumo. And they told us, "This is the soft launch." So it's three weeks. First they just put you on the site. Nothing happened. They don't tell anyone. You're just on the site. Then after a week, they send out the first email blast. Then there's a week. And then the beginning of the third week, they send the third email blast. And I think, right at the end, there was another one that says, "Oh, it's going to expire now," something like that. But they said, "At the moment we put you on the site, not much is going to happen. There might be some people coming on your product, or ... So we believed that, and-


Kathryn:
               They were wrong.


Jeroen:
                The first day we started off, I think with 450, 500 people coming on the software.


Michael:
              Wow.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. I remembered the 12th of June, because my wife is from Brazil, and the 12th of June is Valentine's Day in Brazil. So we had booked a nice restaurant in the evening, and I remember in the morning, I was like, "Oh, we're going to get on AppSumo today. So I'll just prepare some stuff." So I started making, we didn't have saved replies yet, because we didn't have a large volume of support. And we never felt like we really needed that or something. And I thought maybe if the volume comes up, I'll make some saved replies. So I think that morning, I typed out 70 saved replies or something.


Jeroen:
                We also figured that there might be some more volume. So instead of logging everything straight into our issue system, we had a Google Sheet in between, as a buffer, because otherwise it would take too long. That was for issues, for feature requests, and for import requests. Because a massive mistake we made as well, is that we didn't have an import module yet. But we told people, just send us your data, we'll import it. It was-


Kathryn:
               Okay. You lived to regret that, didn't you?


Jeroen:
                Yes, we did. Yeah. Especially our port two developers who spent two months doing nothing but imports.


Kathryn:
               Oh my goodness.


Jeroen:
                Until they said, "This needs to stop. Now we stop this. Or we tell them to wait two weeks, and we'll have an input module." You know what I mean?


Jeroen:
                But so when we launched that morning, all of a sudden it starts surging, and we're two, three guys on the chats, answering all the questions. And at some point I'd say, "Guys, I need to go to a restaurant now, but I'll be back tomorrow morning," because we had by then decided that we would do shifts. Now you have to know, it's people all over the world. And it's literally from Australia all the way to San Francisco, and places in between even still.


Michael:
              But the primary market for you was the big five English-speaking countries, right?


Jeroen:
                That's the most important countries are for us is US, UK. Then the Benelux, because we're in the Benelux, so that's Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg. But not so much Luxembourg, I'm going to say. And then there's, what's next? Might be Germany or something. But Australia is also a big one. And Poland is also big for some reason. There's a lot of SAS companies and software development agencies and stuff like that, which is a big part of our customers. But so people are all over the world, and-


Michael:
              Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Different time zones, all these things going on.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. And we didn't want to have a huge backlog building up during the nights. And we wanted to serve people quickly, because during this sort of launch, if bad things start piling up, then it's hard to fix it. We want to do it perfectly. So we did shifts for three weeks, excluding weekends. And I would do the shift where I would get up at 4:00 in the morning, and then work until about 6:00 or something, go home. I have a little walk, go to bed early, and then get up early again. My co-founder did the-


Kathryn:
               So you were doing a 14 hour shift, essentially.


Jeroen:
                Yes.


Kathryn:
               Yes. Welcome to entrepreneurship. Work any 14 hours a day you choose.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. My co-founder did the late night one. I basically took over from him at 4:00. So that was pretty painful as well. And then our marketing guy that's most of the day and part of the evening until midnight or something. And one of the developers was also helping. We were basically four people sometimes working in parallel with two people, and then going around.


Jeroen:
                We were pretty sick after three weeks, three of us four. The fourth person did not get sick, but the three others did get sick. While it impacted so many levels, the amount of feedback we got exploded. You have to know about people that come from AppSumo is that they're ... So you have paid customers. They pay you, they're happy, and they never tell you anything. And then there's AppSumo customers, who will buy a lifetime deal. Our lifetime deal still includes that if you add users, you pay for them, but-


Kathryn:
               Good for you.


Jeroen:
                But let's say they give you way more feedback than paid customers. So we had an overload of feedback. We had this overload of customer support, getting all these people on board, especially in the beginning, that we have more work to answer questions and all, all these imports.


Jeroen:
                And then additionally, at that moment, our email integration was running over a system called Context IO. It does not exist anymore since GDPR, because well, they had their reasons for building that system and it didn't match with whatever. And we had all these people before. We were expecting some extra usage, and make sure your servers can take it, and they said, "Oh, our servers can take it. That's no issue. What are you talking about?"


Kathryn:
               Oh, dear. See this coming.


Jeroen:
                And then we took down their servers with the AppSumo launch, and they had to up all kinds of stuff. And it was, yeah. And then our servers also, at that moment, I don't know why, but we didn't have a scalable infrastructure yet, so one where it automatically scaled up with the amount of servers and stuff. So that was something we also did on the fly while we were doing all the support and importing and all these kind of things.


Michael:
              So fast forward to today. How many staff do you have in the company?


Jeroen:
                We are just seven people.


Michael:
              Just seven people. And you and Lieven, are the original two programmers still around, developers still around?


Jeroen:
                At that moment we had four programmers. Now we're back to three. They're still around, still the same guys.


Michael:
              Okay.


Jeroen:
                And then it's someone on support was not around back then, and someone in partnerships also not.


Michael:
              So do you feel like the company is fairly stable now, and a lot of that kind of early start rollercoasters is over? Or how do you feel like where you are with the company right now?


Jeroen:
                Stable, yeah. Rollercoasters aren't out there right now. I mean, sometimes there's some shifts and stuff. But overall, our traffic is pretty stable. Our software is pretty stable. Everything's pretty stable right now.


Michael:
              That's nice.


Kathryn:
               Congratulations on surviving that craziness.


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely. That's quite a task.


Kathryn:
               During that period of time, did any of you guys just go, "I can't do this. I give up. We quit." I mean, did you ever have a moment where you were like, "I seriously really wish I hadn't done this."


Jeroen:
                During that AppSumo launch? I would say no, it was so exciting. We didn't think about giving up or anything. It was just, we were in the middle of a big thing, and it felt good, very tiring. But along the way, yeah, sometimes you have bad days and good days. It has a lot to do with just your emotional state.


Michael:
              It does, doesn't it?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. For sure.


Jeroen:
                Not exactly what's reality or anything, just-


Kathryn:
               Yeah. One, you can have the same circumstances, and one day at all feels great. And the next day you're like, "It all sucks." And you're like, "Okay, those are just the emotions being squirrely."


Jeroen:
                Probably.


Kathryn:
               For sure.


Michael:
              So where do you go? What's your future dream with this or with the company itself? Where do you think you're headed?


Jeroen:
                We're actually discussing different paths. The path we started taking is one where we make sure that people will have a tool they understand, easy to use, simple products. You look at it, you get it, combined with something that does a lot of the data work for you, more complex stuff, but it doesn't look too complex.


Jeroen:
                And we're automating a lot of data, and we've also built an automation on top of that, and ways to sift through that data, so we have very advanced segmenting, and views on it, and all those kind of things. Our vision with that, is that we want to automate everything away in sales that is robotic, it doesn't feel like a human needs to do it. Those are the things we want to take away. Then in terms of focus, that's something we're currently thinking about. We are in a CRM market, which there's a lot of CRM companies.


Michael:
              There are a lot. Growing on a regular basis, it seems like.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. And if you want to make a big mark, it's very hard to go directly in the same space as the bigger ones. So we're looking which direction we want to take it there. It might be that we start developing some more features for a specific niche. It might be that we build out our offering within B2B sales, and then add some product next to it, which is not exactly CRM, but that works nicely together with it. These are things we're currently working out.


Michael:
              Nice.


Jeroen:
                The CRM part is all stable and all, but it's never going to grow massively. And this is not because we didn't build what we set out to build. This is just a matter of our customers really love our product. We have like NPS scores of 50%, which means that ... yeah. That's calculated.


Michael:
              That's very good.


Kathryn:
               It's very good.


Jeroen:
                Yeah, but that's not the issue. It's just that's these big players pull all the traffic, and it's very hard for us to find pieces of traffic to add to what we already have.


Michael:
              So size-wise now, in '17, you had this AppSumo launch. You said you went up to about 7000 people. Is that what I remember?


Jeroen:
Yeah.


Michael:
              And what does that look like now, as far as users and stuff like that, since you gave us that number?


Jeroen:
                So these 7000 are people who bought a deal. That doesn't mean they're necessarily using it. We are now at about 2000 plus active users, of which more and more are customers, and less and less are these AppSumo users. Many of them have it on the shelf or something for when they want to use it.


Michael:
              If they remember.


Jeroen:
                And many of those are maybe not having the business they're intending to have and all these kind of things.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well, and those deals too. I mean, you get excited about, "Hey, maybe someday I'll have it," and last minute. And there's a lot of people who never get it. They never do anything because it's just like, "Well, here's an extra whatever." And they move on with their life, which is one of the reasons why they seem to give more feedback. It's a very strange thing when they have less involved, they want to give more feedback and be loud about it.


Kathryn:
               Be more cranky.


Jeroen:
                It's also the feeling that you have bought into it somehow. It's like, "I chose this, and now I would like to make it work." And even if the product does not work exactly for them at that moment, they just like the product to fix that for them.


Michael:
              Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.


Kathryn:
               Sure.


Michael:
              Okay. So that went in a direction that I didn't expect completely. That was super interesting. And I really appreciate you sharing.


Michael:
              As we're heading into the last part of this podcast, what are the challenges you have? 'Cause you have a distributed workforce, that nobody works in the same place. You work at your kitchen table, or the dining room table, or whatever, the living room.


Jeroen:
                Living room, yeah.


Michael:
              Yeah. And you've got those lovely white curtains behind you that we've seen in both times we've talked to you. And you're just home, and the rest of the team is not. Now programmers, developers, software people, I mean, we have a lot of friends that are software people. They can find that anywhere that their computer is is home. But just talking about it briefly, what are the pluses and what are the minuses to having that kind of distributed workforce? And obviously it works for you guys. You've been doing it. And it sounds like you probably have been doing it since the beginning. But no, you haven't.


Jeroen:
                No, no, no. Actually our philosophy was, until Corona came, we've always been, to be clear, remote with our customers, because we're all over the world. But our theme was always in the same room. We have an office.


Michael:
              Oh, I made a wrong assumption.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. It's like a bunch of tables after each other, sort of making it one island, and we're all sitting there. We all see each other. We can talk to each other. And our assumption was that this makes communication so much easier. It makes sure that information can flow very quickly. So we've always been doing that. So it was not like people couldn't work from home if they didn't want to, at some moment. But preferably for a good reason. That was our thinking, at least. Then when Corona came in March for us, here in Belgium, we started working from home. We haven't been to the office since March. It's the 30th of July today when we're recording this. Actually we just started off for a second wave.


Kathryn:
               As did we.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. It's not a huge wave for us yet. But there's a lot of panic around it. So if I go outside the house now, just leave the door, I need to wear a mask and all.


Jeroen:
                But what we then started working on over the past few months is our internal communication, because most of the things for us, I mean, we're a software company. Our customers are elsewhere. We have everything in software. There wasn't much that we had to do there. It was really the way we communicated that we had to switch. Really everything runs through things like Slack and Google Docs and all that now, and Zoom. And we have to make a lot of different rules to make that more effective, to make it more systematic, to get a lot of the non-useful parts of it, to make sure it stayed organized. I don't know. I could tell you a lot of things about that, but-


Michael:
              Will you go back when COVID's over? Do you think you'll all go back to the office? Or do you think you'll stay the way you are now?


Jeroen:
                The plan up 'til now? I mean, I never make absolute statements, but is to go back. We were actually just considering to start going back to the office, maybe in two teams, like that, not everybody at once is there. But then we saw the figures increase, and I'm like, "Uh, let's-


Kathryn:
               Let's just wait. Yeah.


Jeroen:
                Let's just wait, and we were right. Because now you can't even work in the office anymore. The government said everybody stays home. So I don't know right now. I'm thinking probably yes. We didn't cancel the office. We still have it.


Michael:
              You enjoy that face-to-face communication, and the ability for that.


Jeroen:
                Yeah, actually most of our team members really enjoy that. After these months, they start feeling that sometimes focus slacks and motivation, and it's nice to be together with a group of people working in a room instead of always being away from each other. I mean, it's nice to be some days at home, but sometimes it's just good to work in the same space with people.


Jeroen:
                I'm personally blessed with my wife, just working there. And I mean, there's a work atmosphere going on here during the day. But many of our team members are alone at home the whole day and that's less pleasant. So they would like to go back to the office, I think, in a certain way at least.


Jeroen:
                I don't think apart from that that it's really necessary. Everything is by now working really well. And it's really efficient as well. We don't have to do all these things you need to do when you go to the office, come back from the office, get food there, and all that sort of stuff.


Kathryn:
               I think the challenge, and I think you've articulated it well, 'cause we're experiencing the same thing. It's keeping the energy up when you're working home alone. And I think that what we've discovered is a couple of our people just get depressed. It's just, "Uh," 'cause there's no variation. And when you've lost not just the work, but also your social life, it's everything, all at once. And I think that's the hard part. So being together at work makes it a little bit easier just to have more energy and motivation. And so we're playing with that stuff too.


Michael:
              Well, and as you said, it's a blessing to have your wife at home. It's probably even more of a blessing that you guys get along and enjoy each other.


Kathryn:
               And it's all because you did not go off that [crosstalk 00:32:30], hey now, all because you didn't blow off that evening dinner way back when, when it was Valentine's Day in Brazil. 'Cause you could, you could have shut that down, and then you may not get along so well today. So, well done.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. You don't know how it is to have a Brazilian wife, I suppose.


Michael:
              We have a Brazilian friend. And we watch her marriage, because they're real good friends of ours. So at least I have an up close seating to watch a half Brazilian marriage, that we know that it's unlike a lot of other-


Kathryn:
               She has a lot of passion.


Michael:
              A lot of passion.


Kathryn:
               She has a lot of-


Jeroen:
                Yeah, which is nice. I mean, we keep each other in balance. I've learned so many things from her and she learned so many things from me.


Michael:
              Nice.


Kathryn:
               That's fun.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. She's very communicative, and I'm more thoughtful and disciplined. So the two things together is nice, yeah.


Michael:
              That's nice to hear that.


Kathryn:
               That's good.


Michael:
              Well hey, thank you so much for sharing today and just being willing to share the journey and the story. This was really interesting. And I know that the people listening are going to find it interesting, because we don't always get a chance as leaders to hear the story of how did we start something, and how did you get here, and how did you get through the times where you're like, "Hmm, do I keep pushing forward or not?" So thanks for making the time today. I just wanted to just say that.


Jeroen:
                You're welcome.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And congratulations on having a successful company and all the things you've achieved. That's super cool.


Jeroen:
                Thank you.


Michael:
              Yeah. And I hope that-


Jeroen:
                Thank you for having me.


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely. So take care. I hope things go well with you guys in Belgium, and you can get back into the office, or at least go out to eat soon and get out of the house.


Jeroen:
                Going out to eat this weekend.


Michael:
              Oh, you can?


Jeroen:
                Yeah. It's a bit of a funny situation, but so they decided to keep the bars and the restaurants open, but the tables need to be far enough from each other. You can only go, there's a concept called bubbles. Now we have a bubble of five people. So we can only see five people for the month, fixed five people outside of your family.


Michael:
              Oh. I don't know this concept.


Kathryn:
               How do they regulate that? Self-regulation, right?


Jeroen:
                Yeah, that's very hard to regulate. Self-regulation, yeah. And then when you're in the bar and you get up, you need to wear your mask, and you go to the toilet or whatever. When you sit back down, you can take it off, so you can eat and drink and all that. That's yeah-


Michael:
              We're doing similar stuff. But the bubble thing is interesting.


Kathryn:
               The bubble's new.


Michael:
              I'm going to tell a few people about that today. All right. Well hey, thank you very much, and take care, and hopefully we'll talk to you again in the future.


Jeroen:
                Yeah. Talk soon.