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Koen Knaepen
DIY Growth Strategies
Achieving Success By Managing Emotions
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We help ambitious people achieve their goals by working on the 6 domains that are proven to activate the success mechanism everybody has.

Studied math and actuarial sciences.

Mostly worked in the insurance industry and financial services.

Consultant and coach since 2017.

Founder of Biology of Success

In this episode

When you start a venture or company, you expect success. Koen Knaepen of DIY Growth Strategies points out that most people think success comes from how good your idea is, if you’ve nailed your business plan, or if you have great skills. But the real key to success is the management of your emotions. The experience of building a business is like riding an emotional roller coaster.

Koen advises that you have to create habits so your emotions are in alignment with your goals in every moment of the journey. The lack of control in your business amplifies this rollercoaster of emotions. You need a process and framework to manage your emotions.

Koen shares six simple actions you can take based on insights on how our brain functions that can help you get your emotions under control and allow you to get better business results: time, productivity, influence, confidence, clarity, and reflection. Koen provides three essential steps to follow that will allow you to control your emotional state rather than the other way around.

Achieving Success By Managing EmotionsKoen Knaepen
00:00 / 24:53

A glimpse of what you'll hear

04:16 Success in a venture comes from how well you ride the emotional roller coaster.

06:55 Aligning your emotions with your cognitive processes.

08:20 Six insights to help you create the right emotional environment for success.

12:22 How you benefit when you align your emotions with your business goals.

15:45 Three steps to implement getting control over your emotions.

18:43 Learn about Koen. Email Koen at

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

Centricity Introduction 0:04

Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.

Jay Kingley 0:42

I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show, where our guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I'm happy to welcome to the show, Koen Knaepen of DIY Growth Strategies. DIY Growth Strategies, is a coaching and consulting company focused on helping ambitious people achieve their goals by working on the six domains that are proven to activate the Success Mechanism everybody has. Koen is based in Antwerp in Belgium. Welcome to the show Koen.

Koen Knaepen 1:21

Thank you. Welcome to everybody. And thank you, Jay, for having me.

Jay Kingley 1:25

Koen, I've been blessed to have started a at least a half a dozen businesses in my career. And obviously, for what I do with Centricity. I work with business owners, primarily in small to mid sized markets. One of the things that's really interesting is the journey that people go through when they start a business. Now, when we're in the planning stage, I remember every single time, I'm excited, I have a high level of anticipation can't wait to get going, I'm super positive, I know I'm going to be massively successful. And then that day, when we launch the business, what surprises me every time and I hear the same thing from others, is that the journey the emotional journey is not what they expected. So of course, we're focusing on delivering to clients. But now we have anxiety. Now we have worry, oh, where were the clients? What is it that I need to do to get customers? Do I have my business setup, right? How am I going to deal with all these things? So you're you have this feeling of anxiousness, you have this feeling of worry. Sometimes you go through periods of self doubt, I've often described it as you're riding the most insane roller coaster that you have ever been on. Even within the same day, you can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, two or three times. I mean, it is crazy. But it is even more than that. So you are worried about how others are going to perceive you. You're always putting on that brave face when someone says, How's it going, you're like, it's going great. Meanwhile, on the inside, you're like, oh my gosh, I think I'm going to crash and burn. And the other thing that I think surprises people is it can be lonely, you are really it's you against the world, there really isn't anyone for the most part that you can really share your journey with. So it's a very lonely experience. And you really miss the camaraderie, particularly if you came out of the corporate world. The emotional part of the journey is the hard part of the journey, running the business and delivering your service. That's easy. By comparison. Now, Koen, you are somebody who has extensively researched and studied has had tremendous experience yourself and now working with others on how do we deal with the emotional side of starting a business of being an executive of being a leader? What can you share with our audience as to why this is such a challenge for most of us.

Koen Knaepen 4:29

People want success and they want to start a venture or a company or they go on to go to the next level in corporate life, in their career. And they focus on what we call the conscious part, the conscious side. And the conscious side is is capable of really going into the future. But the real key to success is what you call the emotional rollercoaster and the emotions you cannot feel in the future or in the past. We think we can be That's not true. And so that's the key thing. If you don't, if you are not aware that the emotions are crucial, well, then you try to fix them, but you try to fix them in a mechanical way. And that's a sort of the second mistake that people make, they don't understand that our brain is a biological dynamic or has a biological dynamic. And so, they try to manage emotions, like if you will try to let grass grow in that way, you will try to pull it out, and you will try to pull on the grass, which doesn't help. But what you have to do is you have to create the conditions, in most cases are habits, but there are other forms of conditions, so that the emotions change. And then you align your emotions, you keep them in line, and you align them with your goals. And at that moment, your success will be growing because you will activate the success machine. We already have difficulty to align emotionally with goals in a controlled environment, like fitness, or weight loss. But if you do this in business, it's even worse, it's an amplifier to that rollercoaster of emotion. So really, the key is here, do you have a framework where you can manage your emotions during the process that you describe so well, in the introductions

Jay Kingley 6:32

I think back to when I was in school, both primary school and, you know, undergraduate and graduate school, I think, to all the companies that I worked with, in all the on the job training, I think about all the materials that is published, throughout, whether it be in publications or social media. And so much of the focus is on the mechanics of how you do your job, how you get better at doing your job, and very little is spent on the emotional component of doing your job. I'm just curious, if you have any perspective as to why there has been such an imbalance and why the emotional component has been that poor stepchild.

Koen Knaepen 7:21

Well, the real thing here is that we are differentiating ourselves from other species because of our cognitive capabilities. And that's what also lives in our conscious mind. That's what we experienced consciously. And so that's where our focus goes. And what we forget there, and I repeat myself, what we forget there is that we are a biological system. And so the cognitive mind can only work if already the foundation, which are the emotions are really also well kept, or well nurtured. If you could say it in that way.

Jay Kingley 7:58

I think that this is a truly emergent focus, and represents new ground on an issue that historically people didn't like to talk about. It was just, you know, suck it up, put on your big boy pants and get out there and make it happen. But it is because it's a biologic process. It's sort of a very unfair way of thinking about it, and certainly has led to struggles, which I think so many people if they had more help and assistance wouldn't have to work through on their own, which leads me too, I think the real question here is, given the problem Koen what is it that you do about it? How do you tackle this and address the emotional side of business?

Koen Knaepen 8:49

Well, again, let me let me reuse the comparison with the garden. Gardener, he doesn't have to know how the grass grows. That's exactly what you can do here. Also, you don't have to know how you build success because there is a success machine inside you. What you have to do is just what the gardener does, you have to create the circumstances, the right environment. And yes, I can say that's easy. Well, that sounds a little bit exaggerated, but you can meditate for hours every day or pay a coach tons of money, or take all kinds of self development courses. But for most people, six simple insights, and it's a part of the framework they develop for yourself, but it's six simple insights in how their brain functions already brings them very far. And let me tell this also, you are not sick, there is nothing wrong with you. You are certainly good enough to make your own success. And I can prove that very simple because the success machine that is inside you is this same success machine that you use to learn to walk and learn to talk. And where did you undergo the operation to strip it out of your brain, but nobody teach you how to be your own parent, because your parents created the circumstances when you were a child. Nobody teaches you a framework. So you could do that yourself and change and manage your emotions. So six things are important. First of all, if people think they have a lack of time, the mechanical way to think about it is, oh, I have to work more hours. But for the unconscious mind, lack of time is a lack of energy, because the unconscious mind doesn't know time and energy management, is there the key? Do you have a framework for that? The second one is people think they have to be productive. And then they think it's about efficiency. But it's not about efficiency, it's about activating a mechanism in our brain, which is called the flow state. And once you are in flow state, you can do 10x More than you can do if you are not in a flow state. But to get there, you have to eliminate short term stress. And let me go to the third one. The third one is you need to have a social support system. But to have that you need to know how you can influence other people. But for most people, it's a little bit rare to do that, because they think more about manipulation than about influence. But influence, it's nothing more than an exchange of general interest to find a win win with each other. And that's something you can learn. And then the fourth thing that is necessary to do is confidence. But most people think that confidence, it's a sort of character or personality trait, which it isn't, it is a skill, and it is a contextual skill. And you just build it up by small actions. And then maybe a question that most of the listeners have service, that's okay, that's all fine. But where do I find clarity about what I want what I want to do? Well, clarity, for your mind, for your powerful brain, the unconscious brain is not about the end goal, but it is about what you want to feel. If you have clarity about you what you want to feel, then the success machine as I call it will activate also. But we talk about management of emotions. So let me give you the six component, there is no management system without a dashboard. And so here, the dashboard is really your capability to be aware of your own emotions. And so we ask people to use 5% of your daily energy to reflect on the above five and implement them and see what the emotions are that they used.

Jay Kingley 12:58

If we followed, what you're saying, if we addressed the six components that you've just taken us through, how does that flow through to benefiting our business?

Koen Knaepen 13:13

I know if you talk about the emotions, and then you asked me what benefits are, maybe people are thinking, well, what are the financial benefits of this? Well, the benefits are financially but they come in second order. And it only depends on what you want to achieve. But the real benefit is that you control now, the factors to get to success, because now success becomes predictable. Maybe in now, just in terms of timing when it just comes but you know, it will come. And I've a specific case here a specific case, it's Jamie, who brought his business from 40k yearly income to 1 million yearly income, because he is he changed his beliefs about his own value, because that was the thing that held him back. And another case is Matias, who did want to transform his side business in his core business so he could leave corporate life. But he was afraid to leave the security of corporate life. So we helped him to develop the framework and after one year, he had a flourishing business of 20 people working for him.

Jay Kingley 14:30

I would also think that when we talk about the emotional side in that roller coaster and internal emotions, the highs and the lows, the unpredictability, the self doubt, when you begin to understand your inputs and when you understand the components and how you can be proactive in managing your emotions. I would guess that a lot of that volatility, a lot of that self doubt it make it too It goes away to a great degree is that what you have found? When you have worked with your clients on this issue?

Koen Knaepen 15:07

Yes, I'm not only with my clients, but within myself also, one of the big side effects, if you can even call it a side effect, maybe it's a principal effect is that you get so much happier, because you have the control of the process to find your way to success and that sense of freedom, because it's a sense of freedom that makes people really happy. And there are no big roadmaps to follow. Or let me put another way, there is no roadmap for everybody, it's specific for you, you have to develop it, there are no secrets to share. There are no emotional insights to discuss there, you just have to develop the framework, so you can manage your emotions. So if somebody just understand the six simple insights about their emotions, and the brain, they will start to integrate them. And that's the most surprising part of this is that you develop your framework to manage your emotions in a natural way, at some point, you will say I have changed, I have this framework without consciously working on it. And this will really unlock the potential in you that you know, you have in a natural way,

Jay Kingley 16:23

I would imagine that so many people listening to this are saying, How do I get that? I'd like to be in that situation. So Koen when you think about how we take these six components, and the objectives that you've laid out, now, I want to talk about how do I actually do it? What are the key implementation steps that I've got to undertake to make this a reality for me?

Koen Knaepen 16:49

Well, there are three simple steps. But before I give them, let me give the comparison that everybody knows, just watch a little baby that is trying to learn to walk, it goes by little steps. And this is in the three steps also take one hour a week to investigate one of the six insights and see how you can change accordingly, your habits. That's the first thing. The second thing, take just five minutes each day of explicit awareness to reflect on what insight is helping you or did help you the last day. And so you can explain what you experienced emotionally. And then the third step is define at least one action each day to correct your behavior according to the awareness. So you lower the highs and the lows of the emotional roller coaster. And you will see just like a baby, when they do the first steps, you think this is going to take years, but it just takes a few months,

Jay Kingley 17:54

There's a different way of looking at it. Our goal is to rediscover the baby that we once were. But I think you bring up a very good point. And you'd like to think if a if a young baby can do this, well, why can't we and you have really, I think given us a way forward to address a set of issues that haven't gotten the attention that they should. And for those of us that have started businesses or running business are in some kind of an executive leadership position. I think we all resonate with what it is that you've had to say to us on this very important topic. We're gonna take a quick break. And when we come back, we're gonna learn a bit about Koen.

Centricity Introduction 18:45

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. Well Centricity's The Tipping Point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold, calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working. So you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So em

Jay Kingley 19:43

Welcome back. We're talking to Koen Knaepen up DIY growth strategies. Let's find out a bit more about Koen. Koen, Let's start with when you work with your clients, what are the pain points that you address and what are your clients need you to get rid of that pain?

Koen Knaepen 20:02

Well, the big pain point is in fact, the tension that people have every entrepreneur, every executive or professional, knows he can achieve more, and sometimes even see others peers achieve more with lesser effort lesser solution. And he or she is trying to break through for some time. How can you solve that tension? You know, you can do more, but it doesn't work. How do I break through? That's the tension. That's the pain point,

Jay Kingley 20:32

One of the things that you talk about emotionally, that I think we all resonate with his that old saying, You are the company you keep, when we work with someone, it is really a reflection of us. So we like to work with people that we perceive as the best as the top in their area of expertise, because we're worthy of that. And we deserve that. So to that point, Koen, let me ask you, what makes you great at what you do.

Koen Knaepen 21:00

People always tell me why, where do you get all these perspectives, because that's the thing. If there is another perspective on your situation, or on a situation that is more useful, I'm sure I will find it. And I will find a way to embed it in your mind. And the thing is that I studied all we know about the mind functions, but people mostly don't want to get all the scientific details. And so I translate this, translated this in simple concepts, so you can easily learn them, and even use them daily, effortlessly.

Jay Kingley 21:39

I would encourage all of our listeners to go to LinkedIn connect with Koen, you will see he's had a very storied career in the corporate world, there probably isn't anything that he works with his clients on, that he hasn't experienced himself. So check them out there. But Koen, I have a different question for you. I would like to understand what happened in your life that would most explain why you do what you do today.

Koen Knaepen 22:10

I'm a mathematician from education. And so I did a lot of things. I'm really irrational guy. But I was going towards a burnout in 2016, because I had a failed company. And I didn't understand what that meant. I really couldn't cope with that. So it hit my confidence. And I wanted to understand why I wasn't born for success anymore, because I really thought I was born for success. And so I find a new way to be successful. I wanted to teach that to others. But what I discovered very quickly is that there is not one size fits all approach. I couldn't say Just do what I did. So I wanted to understand how the mind really build success. And the building blocks, they are really universal. So how you build them that's an individual journey.

Jay Kingley 23:03

I think that what you've talked about today is going to be of great interest to so many of our listeners, and I know that many of them will want to reach out to you, what is the best way for people to get in contact with you.

Koen Knaepen 23:16

First of all, they can find me on LinkedIn. And then they can reach out on my website, Or they can just send me an email Koen@DIYgrowth

Jay Kingley 23:31

And I'll put all of that in the show notes and in the video, make it easy cool for people to reach out to you. This is such a critical and important topic. And I think you have given us insight that I know I haven't heard a lot of them. I think it's a very constructive and powerful framework. And as you said, the whole key is customizing that. Because each of us are while we're all humans, we're also individuals and so a robust framework, but applying it at an individual level. I think this has been absolutely fabulous. Fabulous. I know that our listeners are going to agree with me. So why not just say thanks for coming, let's call it a day and be done with it. And I know that's what just about any other host of a show like this would do. But one of the things that I sort of pride myself on is I'm not like the rest. I am tougher Koen. I don't let my guests off with simply providing amazing insights and giving us a way forward through our toughest problems. I mean, that's really important. But now I think you can do even a little bit better. So I'm going to put you on the spot. I am going to challenge you. I want you to give a gift to our listeners, which will help them take what you've talked about and get them started. Get them on the path that they need to be on. So what can you do for our wonderful listeners?

Koen Knaepen 25:16

First of all, I want to give them a life changing free consultation. And the key here is life changing, because you can't have an hour of talk with me or anybody else. But I will guarantee you that you will have an insight that changes your life. But that's not all. Just while I'm thinking, I can give you a reduction on the individual coaching program, if used to subscribe within the two months after this show, just mention, the best kept secret clients and one of the two gifts for you.

Jay Kingley 25:55

That is fabulous. Koen, you have really raised the bar, and who wouldn't want a consultation that has the real potential to change your life. So please reach out to him and tell him you've heard him on this show and start the process of transformation. Koen I want to thank you. You are absolutely fabulous to our audience. Let's continue to crush it. Until next time.

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