Baring it all…

Posted: August 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

Contrary to what some people might think I am not a very public person. I am very vocal with my opinion, talk and communicate with a lot of people but when it comes to my private affairs and my inner thoughts I generally keep these to myself. However recent events have made me decide to open up for once and tell a bit more.

See, I am not a rich man from a materialistic point of view. I do not own the house that I live in, the car I drive is 11 years old, I do not go on several fancy foreign holidays a year I rarely go out for meals or drinks and from every perspective lead a very modest life. Saying all that I have to admit that I have everything else that can make a man rich; I have a fantastic & gorgeous wife (@mrs_Bopp), 5 very smart children and I live in a beautiful & peaceful environment. I also love what I do, my work is my passion. I love it because I know that a lot of what I do is about stimulating people and making them fulfil their dreams. Now this might sounds all very airy-fairy but a lot of what I do is about helping people to start their own business. Quite a few of these people have recently lost their job (and income) and while they might have an idea for a viable business they quite often do not know how to take the first step or in what direction. Giving people like that free advice and helping them make that first step is immensely fulfilling work.

Does it pay the bills? No it doesn’t. At least not at the moment. I have been working on projects like the Greenhouse Incubator & Bizcamp Limerick since January this year. Because of all the time spent on this my main business has been partially neglected. I also do not get paid for any of the work I have been putting into these projects and so far the “money-stream” has been very much one way: into these projects. Eventually I hope to generate revenue/value through the Greenhouse but Bizcamp Limerick for one is not about generating revenue. Both projects are about helping people though. That’s what makes it worthwhile for me. I get a buzz from giving other people some of the help they need and by seeing them use their positive energy to build something. Doing what I do makes me sleep soundly at night knowing that I have contributed to something that is good and that will lead to better things.

Now I could have taken all the energy, long days, hard work and stress and worry by my wife and put it into something that would only benefit myself and my family. I could have put it into a job that gave me a nice fat paycheck every month, paid my expenses and gave me lots of benefits. But I haven’t because that’s not who I am. While I am an entrepreneur at heart I also feel that I have a responsibility to not just take but to also give. I guess I get this from my father, grandmother and grandfather, all people who I greatly admire and who have always selflessly given much more than they’ve taken.  Anyway, I think that it is always  (and especially under the current economic circumstances) important to have a long term view and to look past and beyond your own personal comfort zone. I really hope that by doing what I do I will create something that everyone will benefit from. It is perfectly possible to find a balance between commerce & social responsibility.

It is because of all the above that it really, really sickens me right down to the core when I get, falsely, accused of doing what I do only to line my pockets. Accussations like that not only attack my personal integrity, what I do and everything I stand for, they are also a blatant insult to my wife and family who sometime have to “suffer” because of my charitable nature. Lastly they belittle those initiatives that I am involved with as well as the other people associated with it.

I have only one thing to say to my detractors and critics: “F*ck you”. I will not change what I do and how I do it. You know why? Because I do it out of principle, integrity and because of everything I believe in. I do what I do because who I am. I can not change that. I don’t sell out, period.

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Comments
  1. Khuram Malik says:

    Hi Evert,

    Speaking to you on Twitter, never made me realise that you have this side to you. This was a very inspiring post, even for someone like myself.

    I know where you are coming from in terms of helping people take the first step. I do alot of that through basic mentoring for people around just be giving them my time over the phone. Sometimes people just want to talk, and discuss or just get a differential.

    As long as you are able to create value through contribution, i think thats what matters.

    Thank you for your inspiring post. I know only too well to know that it can be a major decision to reveal more about yourself. Im also someone thats gaining more exposure of late, but just like you im very private about my personal life.

    All the best.

    Khuram

    • Evert Bopp says:

      Khuram,

      Thanks for your comment. The thing that really annoys me is that I am being forced to make a public statement about what drives me. I was perfectly happy to just “do my thing” without going public.
      However now that someone falsely accusing me has strongarmed me into making this post it’s great to see the support that I am getting.

      Evert.

      • Khuram Malik says:

        Hi Evert,

        Well you know, someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality, and your own conscience is more important than someone else’s opinion.

        But then again, transparency can also be a good thing, and i firmly believe that we have yet to see the great results of this one post that for you might just one become life changing. Perhaps this is the start of the tipping point(?)

  2. Adrian says:

    I have to say that I love rage against the machine love that song is powerful just like your post.

    I love when people can express themselves purely and simple just like Zack de la Rocha does. ;)))

  3. Evert,
    brilliant post
    wish every success in the greenhouse I may need this service one day myself

    knowing that someone is getting up and doing something, instead of waiting for our government is amazing, if more people had the passion and drive that you have for business and helping people, we could get out of this recession alot quicker, and the world would be a better place

  4. Dear Evert,

    I can honestly say, that after reading this post, I am grateful to have met, in another human being, a beautiful soul. I believe that “Baring it all .. ” not only allows others to see another side of you but also allows others to see another side of themselves.

    I am not religious, although my strong Catholic upbringing has greatly influenced me. One thing I have taken from that upbringing is this: ‘It is in giving that we shall receive.’ I have also learned that the ‘receive’ part is not necessarily monetary, but things that money certainly cannot buy. Things like peace of mind, integrity, selfless love and you certainly mentioned it – being able to sleep at night knowing you’ve done your best to help others. 🙂

    I applaud you for sharing this. For “Baring it all .. “, I know it is something you had to think about doing, but I also know that it was promted by some “things” that you just had ENOUGH OF.

    The world needs more humans with souls such as yours. And this is the thing, kindness and compassion goes a long way. Kindness and compassion is a greater long term investment in people and humanity in general, more than any amount of money or value of stock. This is what people need to realize. But some won’t. Some will never speak the language of universal love. Some will remain sleeping sheep.

    I don’t believe in selling out. I believe that without Integrity, how can one live with him/her self. I believe firmly that “it isn’t about the money” and I believe that helping one another is a fundamental human role. Continue doing what you’re doing. For those that seem to think different, they too can all f*ck *ff as well.

    Evert, thank you for empowering me with this post. Really, you don’t know how much, reading this post has done for me right now. It comes at a time when I need to know that someone like you, exists out there. *hug*

    • Evert Bopp says:

      Carmen,

      What can I say: *blush*.
      You know that I am not that great. I am just one person trying to do the right thing and to help someone without expecting direct benefit from it. It just really gets to me when people with ulterior motives accuse (falsely) of profiteering..

      Evert.

  5. justindignation says:

    Evert,

    Integrity is the most important quality a person can have. I will never have much of the material trappings but I will have my integrity. You wrote, “It is perfectly possible to find a balance between commerce & social responsibility.”. Hell yes! We have to show the multinationals that this can be done … and will be done!

    Thank you for your words, but more importantly, your actions as they make the world a better place.

    • Evert Bopp says:

      Thank *you* for your support!
      It seems that principles and honor are in short supply and that those without any feel that they can openly critisize those who do have them.

      Evert.

  6. Evert,

    Thanks for sharing… it’s hard to actually share what is ‘really’ going on in our lives. We like to have a professional ‘front’ that we share with folks around us – it keeps us safe from whatever might be out there that might try to hurt us or our families.

    Yet – despite the prickly exterior, our private thoughts and plans and ideas are turned into projects and things that can actually change people’s lives.

    Only when short-sighted self-focused individuals force your hand do we all see what is going on inside. I’m sure it was a challenge to take off the mask for a moment.

    Yet – inside… the real you, the you that is trying to raise good kids, love his wife, and help folks around you… you know you’ve been sacrificing your own aspirations and goals to generously help those around you.

    So my advice… don’t change a thing. Just keep doing the right things!

    From across the pond – kudos to a good man.

    Keith

  7. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

    -Texrat

  8. fred says:

    Hey man,
    Great post. Thanks for sharing.
    I had the pleasure to meet you and also give you a hand to help the Greenhouse incubator. I also follow your tweets along with the links you share and have also read many of the recommendations that many business people took the time to write about you…
    I find hard to believe that there’re people out there accusing you of trying to get rich by fooling others in business.
    Best think you can do man is ignore them, don’t let them take your time that you already well invest. Those people have never in their life, obviously shared a good piece of content or advice for free just for the sake of helping others.
    Talk to you man.
    All the best
    Fred

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