StartUp - Michail Fragkiadakis of Fos Breakthrough Coaching
In May of 2017, the Greek Michail Fragkiadakis moved to the Netherlands for love. Not only did this move bring him closer to his wife, it also brought him something else: his wonderful company Fos Breakthrough Coaching. He provides life coaching to anyone who wants to grow from within. It might not be the most obvious choice of profession for a former auditor, but it was the choice Michail was most passionate about.
Before 2016, Michail couldn’t have told you much about life coaching. He had no idea what it was or what it entailed until he started taking life coaching sessions himself. In his own words, it changed his life. So much so, that during one of these sessions, he came to the conclusion that this was where his passion lies. A week later, he started a certified coaching training, and after a year, he registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Fos Breakthrough Coaching was born.
The entrepreneur explains that there are many misunderstandings about life coaching. “Starting a business in life coaching definitely had its challenges. Most people feel as if they don’t need life coaching, but everyone can benefit from it.” Life coaching isn’t so much about solving problems, says Michail, but about strengthening and developing yourself. “Life coaching allows you to create the life of your dreams. My role is to help you in that development. I don’t solve your problems, but I’m a guide and help you solve them on your own.”
An upward spiral
It is not just Michail’s client that benefits from their sessions: Michail too grows from life coaching. “When I see my client developing themselves, I become even more motivated to help them. I have a lot of passion for self-development. It really is my hobby. I too, develop through these sessions and also reap the benefits from life coaching. The better my clients feel, the better I feel. And the more I grow as a person, the more I grow as a coach. The money I make is a nice benefit, but it is not my main goal.”
And there is an additional advantage: his ever-growing network. “You build deep, meaningful connections with people, that lead to friendship and new collaborations. My professional and social circle is expanding, in part because of my contacts at StartUp Nijmegen. It’s kind of an upward spiral: it keeps getting better. That is the magic of my profession, although I would rather say that life coaching is a way of living instead of a job.” As an entrepreneur, Michail is continuously learning, something he really enjoys doing. Running his own business comes with ups-and-downs, “but that is how you learn important lessons.”
It has now been a year since Michail and his family moved back to sunny Greece. Having a company in Greece or the Netherlands are two worlds apart, tells Michail. According to him, that is due to the entrepreneurial spirit, for example, “People in the Netherlands are much more professional than here in Greece. That is something I’ve really come to appreciate, but I had to learn how to do it that way. StartUp Nijmegen was a great help in that department. They helped me adapt to new surroundings. I learned from the locals how to position myself, how to act and how to be more productive.”
Michail has learned a lot about the Dutch mentality at StartUp Nijmegen. “And about how Dutch entrepreneurs behave, so I could easily adapt to them. The more you know about an entrepreneurial culture, the better you can fit in. And of course, I have met many great people at StartUp to share my experiences and troubles with. It’s easier to find solutions together. And even now, now I’m no longer living in the Netherlands, I still keep in touch with Dick and Jan. That’s a beautiful thing.”
Although his stay in the Netherlands was shortlived, it doesn’t mean all the knowledge he gained is now useless. In fact, Michail still uses the skills he has learned in the Netherlands. “I can introduce a new mentality here. There are many Greeks who have gone to other European countries and are now returning. This is how we bring new ideas into the country, to bring about change. We can learn a lot from each other.”
And his plans for the future? Michail hopes to be able to help many more people. For example, with tailor-made programs, and with online training courses to serve an even larger audience. All to contribute to a better world. Because in the end, that is what it is all about for Michail.
In this blog series, The Life Net and StartUp Nijmegen like to show what an attractive region Nijmegen is to start and establish as an entrepreneur. It spotlights various internationals or companies that attract internationals. They like to share their inspiring story about how they started and grew with their business. Check StartUp Nijmegen for how they pay attention to this.