Fatherhood & Entrepreneurship | Diederik Kemmerling of The Lab
Fatherhood and entrepreneurship, it can be very challenging to excel at both but it’s important to highlight that this is possible. In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to collaborate with a successful entrepreneur whose company is very much present online on the island of Aruba. Diederik shares his perspective on what it’s like to balance running your own business and being a father.
Meet the Dad•preneur
Diederik Kemmerling is the founder of The Lab, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Aruba. He was born in Leverkusen, Germany and studied at Hogeschool Utrecht and Universidad Huelva in Spain. It was about 10 years ago, in 2012, that he decided to move to Aruba. Diederik tells us he’s always loved Aruba and decided to take a leap of faith and start a business on the island, and later on a family of his own. People describe Diederik as someone who is passionate about his work, someone who is loyal and driven. Diederik is a goal-getter, and one on his goals that he would love to achieve is continue expanding his business on the other islands in the Caribbean.
Fun fact about Diederik: In his spare time he enjoys kitesurfing, sailing and reading. “The most recent book I read was: 7 habits of highly effective people”, which is definitely a book to look into for current and future entrepreneurs.
The rise of the digital era.
The Lab was founded in 2012. That is 10 years ago and back then, social media was just starting to become known on the island but as more users started to explore with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube just to name a few, it was still new to many as a form a marketing. Diederik saw a massive opportunity with social media from early on. A large amount of the island was online but most businesses were still doing marketing the traditional way. “I tapped into this opportunity and started helping small businesses with their digital marketing” and so these companies started to see a return on investment and how much of an impact digital marketing can actually have on their business.
In a fast-paced digital world of today, how does the team of the Lab stay up to date and relevant?
There is much more competition compared to ten years ago when it comes to digital marketing. Diederik says that “if we want to stay relevant in the digital age, we must make a shift to continuously learn in the workplace. At The Lab, we have weekly meetings on Tuesdays where we brainstorm collectively and share new trends and topics in digital marketing. We also get different trainings related to digital marketing, we never stop learning”.
So what motivates Diederik, especially on those days were the inspiration is just not there?
My son and my wife make me even more driven to succeed and they are my biggest motivators. I know it’s easy to get carried away on those days that you get stuck but pausing to take a breather is very important. If you feel stuck, step away, look at the bigger picture, and take time to analyze why you feel stuck. Surround yourself with a creative group of people where you are able to brainstorm together and lastly, travel if you can. Traveling for Diederik has helped him many in many ways to find inspiration and to also reset his mind.
You’re a father and run your own successful business, how do you find balance between both: being present for your child and running a business?
Diederik says that his plate can get quite full being a father, a business owner and also trying to be active by working out. He says that in order to try to balance it all you have to be super super productive by working smarter and in a very organized manner. As an entrepreneur it is difficult to switch your mind off from work because you are thinking about your business 24/7 but it is important to turn that switch off and spend quality time with the family. It’s all about finding the right balance for you!