By Fati Gorezi
Matthieu Kaczmarek was born in Lille in the north of France where he lived until he was 20 years old. He then moved from Lille to Limoges, in central France, in order to follow a master’s degree in ‘Computer Science and Engineering’. He started his professional career in IT consultancy in Brussels in 2008 and worked for major companies such as ‘BNP Paribas’, ‘Orange’ and ‘Total’. In 2013 he decided to create his own company to continue working in IT consultancy and to generate some new ideas. He also launched ‘Consult & Event’, a wedding planning agency, at the end of 2013. Since then he has organised and coordinated several weddings in Belgium. At the end of 2016, he decided to launch ‘Le Grand Amour’, which is the brand that he is currently using for all the marriage events that he organises. In 2017, with Stella Bida, he decided to create ‘Innovation Strategy Results’, a company that helps business owners and their staff to be in control of their innovation cycle in order to get more clients.
How do you remember the beginning of your career?
During my studies I had the opportunity to travel for my different internships in the UK, Turkey and other countries. As I felt like a world citizen I wanted to continue travelling and working away from France in order to develop my mind within different cultures.
I had the choice between two opportunities: one in Columbia and one in Brussels. It was a hard choice to make but I decided to go to Brussels, the “European capital city”. It was a great symbol for me to live in a place with more than 170 nationalities in order to continue developing my mind. I have never regretted this choice as I met my wife there and built my own ecosystem there.
What motivated you to follow your dreams and to create your own company in IT consultancy?
After five years as an employee, I wanted to have the ability to choose my clients following my own expectations and to complete my own training plan from a technical point of view.
I started with a first client, then a second one and since then it has never stopped. When you have the feeling that you are doing the best for your clients then you are aligned with your mission. Now I have accomplished one of my goals in life: having my own company.
At the end of 2016 you launched ‘Le Grand Amour’. Can you tell us more about this brand?
The objective of ‘Le Grand Amour’ is to create unforgettable moments for couples with amazing romantic surprises and marriage proposals. Frequently, men and women want to surprise their loved ones but cannot split themselves between the organisation of the event and the surprise itself – or they have an idea but don’t know how to make it happen.
My personal objective is to provide happiness to couples and special moments where they feel fully connected to one another in order to experience true love. When your partner takes time to think about your relationship and finds the idea that will make you feel in love again, that’s a beautiful situation to be in.
Since the end of 2016, ‘Le Grand Amour’ organised multiple surprises across Europe and so far, we have never heard a “No” to a marriage proposal! 2018 has now been launched with a lot of new romantic events planned and we are very excited about it!
What are some tips that you can share with us in order for people to improve their business?
The first one is to ‘WOW’ your clients in order to make them press the ‘buy again’ button. That’s why I have launched, with Stella Bida, ‘Happy Clients = Higher profits’ a Company that guides small and medium B2C business owners to improve the client experience they provide to their clients.
The second one, learned and adapted from one of my Coaches, JT Foxx, is the speed of implementation of your ideas. If you implement ten ideas a month while your competition implements a maximum of one or two how far ahead of them will you be after a year? Even if an idea is not a good one, you will grow because you know quickly if it works or not.
A lot of people see only the success that you have achieved – How many times you had to fail before this?
When I started my wedding planning company, I was struggling with the marketing and the business strategy bits and I lost a lot of time and money in trying to do things without consistency.
The most important thing is to learn from your failures in order to grow. So, when I started to learn and was coached by another business man, my sales started to grow. I also met wonderful people that are helping me to develop my skills and providing me with opportunities like Mirela Sula, the founder of Global Woman Network. From that time, I haven’t faced any major failures. As mentioned before, I implemented a lot of ideas every month to develop my businesses. Sometimes it doesn’t succeed as expected but I have limited the risk.
What is your vision for the future?
From a business point of view, I am sure that the ability of a Company to offer tailor made experiences and products to their clients will be a key factor. But most importantly the human factor will be the key element. In the hyperconnected world, it will be so easy to have everything we want in a short time that the human relationships provided by a Company will be the key differentiator. People buy from people even if there is a lot of technology involved.
From a personal point of view, the future appears exciting. The development of knowledge in all scientific domains will provide opportunities that we cannot even imagine yet. I am sure that those developments will lead to big changes in the way we think about the life we have on earth.
Q7-What are three steps that you encourage women and men to take to empower themselves?
The first step is to assume that you have to change something in your life if you want to achieve new challenges. Either you need training because you are not good in a domain or you need to change the people you are surrounded by.
For instance, regarding training, I noticed that it was important to always be in learning mode. Why is it that we concentrate so many years learning in school, but when reaching adulthood and during career years, so many people abandon training and treat it as the last level of priority? It is fundamental for me to encourage people to sharpen their actions continually, by learning critical business skills such as marketing, accounting, strategic thinking, branding or negotiation.
Regarding the people that surround you that I mentioned above, it is sometimes difficult to admit it, but there will always be some people around you that are not happy and excited by your new way of thinking or your wish to evolve. It can be due to jealousy, fear of losing contact with you, or because you might expose their own failures. So, you need to take care of your mind by filtering out the people that are don’t need advice from.
The second step is to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself or your idea it will automatically be reflected in the way that you present yourself and your Company. The first reason why customers don’t buy is because they don’t trust the credibility of the offer you have offered them. Lack of personal confidence sometimes means you will listen to anyone that might have an opinion about your business even if they have never launched a business themselves.
The third step is to find a good Coach that is a more successful than you – and that will help you to think about new ideas and prevent you from making mistakes. I started without any training or a good Coach and I have therefore lost time and money – but once you have a good Coach you will shine like the star that you are.