How Suyin Went From Dancer to Award-Winning Entrepreneur And Business Owner
I met Suyin a couple of years back at a networking lunch in Leuven. At the time, I remember how Suyin’s...
I met Suyin a couple of years back at a networking lunch in Leuven. At the time, I remember how Suyin’s energy and vitality spoke to me. She was this positive, inspiring woman who had something to say and knew how to say it. Since then, our paths have crossed a few times and we’ve stayed in touch.
Over time I learned about the unconventional path Suyin took to become a successful, award-winning business owner and a mentor and inspiration to so many other women. So obviously I couldn’t help myself. I needed to learn more about Suyin’s multi-passionate creative journey, and her big dreams. Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
My dream was to be a ballerina. Just before entering University in Leuven to become an engineer, I concluded that in order to be an athlete you have to do it when you’re young, so I went for a professional career as a dancer and put the study goal on hold for later. I’m very grateful that my parents let me go for that big dream. Seeing their little girl fly out the nest and travel abroad as a 18 year old to follow her dreams was a big thing for them too. But I can never say I wish I was a dancer, for I have been one.
Once a dancer, always a dancer. The skills I’ve learned as a dancer – hard work, perseverance, open mindedness, eagerness to learn, flexibility, never giving up… – are very helpful now as an entrepreneur building a company, being an inspiring leader for my teams. Not to mention the stage presence. Knowing how to use my body and voice on stage is something I have for life.
Did you always have this dream?
Yes, I always had dreams and I think it’s very important to chase those dreams. I have many more things I want to achieve, so I keep on dreaming and do my best to convince others you always need to have another dream. I believe this is what gives you the power to continue growing in life.
What was one of the first thing you did to get you started?
Believe in myself, have good people around me, trust my family and friends. And although I’ve being hurt by people before, continue to believe in the good in every person until they prove me wrong.
When you feel that certain people do not give you the energy you need anymore it’s time to get over them, get over it and move on.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
Good is never good enough as a dancer, there are always better dancers and not enough jobs in professional companies. You’re on your own, everyone else is competition. That is hard to feel and accept. When working as an actress later on, I lost a job by being too nice and sharing the audition with my best friend. She was also competition, even if I didn’t realise it. She was smarter than me and got the part that I could have gotten. Now I know better and I’m careful about what I share in a professional setting.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
I should not have paused my media career for a boyfriend (who was jealous and didn’t appreciate a famous girlfriend once we were together). Later, when another boyfriend cheated on my I thought: “either they give you freedom and they cheat on you, or they’re jealous and you have to forget about your career”. Luckily I now know this isn’t true.
The bottom line is: never make decisions to please someone else!
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
Oh no….the dreams get bigger every day, and trust me I will get there! I only have one life so I will take the best out of it 🙂
What do you think helped you achieve it?
Believe in myself and believing my intentions are good. Having a WHY, a reason for doing what I do and for waking up every morning. But asking for help when you need it is also important. Becoming a mom also helped me to prioritise. It forced me to make choices, something that is very important in life. And of course building a network. I believe this is crucial.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Talk about your dreams, create a network, get good people around you. Be careful with “parasites”, the people that are around you for their own benefit but not to share anything with you. Accept help from others and help others to grow. In the end what matters most is how much love you felt, and how much love you made others feel.
More about Suyin – suyin.be
After a career as a professional ballet dancer and a job as an actress & presenter for Belgian Television and some years in the Fashion Industry, Suyin Aerts decided to continue her a-typical walk of life with her partner by joining him in his company X-Treme.
In 2012 Suyin was awarded with the Talent Award of Women in Marketing and Communication. In 2016 she won the award of networker of the year in Belgium.
Suyin combines her professional life as a female entrepreneur with a freelance career as multilingual presenter and journalist for television (Kanaal Z/Canal Z) and moderator on events.
With a Masters degree in Industrial Business Policy, different Marketing classes and a recent degree in International Trade at the International Chamber of Commerce, Suyin stays eager to keep on broadening her vision and knowledge, grow and staying creative and innovative.
Her typical management style stands for intrapreneurship within her teams.
She loves helping others to dare to go for their own talents, both personal and professional.
She’s convinced that networking is part of the game. Being in different business clubs herself Suyin is also the President of Artemis Brussels, a network for active women in Brussels.
Suyin’s favourite quote is:
To get the right answers it’s essential to ask the right questions – to others and to yourself.
Suyin’s big dream for the world is:
Empower everyone! Accept who you are and accept that others are different, because that is the beauty in life. Learning is something you have to do all your life, enjoy it!
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.