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“My father has always been a living example of how hard work pays off.” This week MASTERS will be talking to Lotte Brunninkhuis. Lotte owns it together with Mariëlle Smit MME Hospitality. The company consists of a selective base of highly trained, representative and assertive employees who work on a flexible basis hospitality activities are deployed. But who was Lotte's host throughout her career? She talks about her wheelbarrow…Text: Mical Joseph
Image: Hanna Hachula

What was your very first job?

“At the age of 13 I picked strawberries as a side job. I was very fanatical and really made it a sport to fill the containers as quickly as possible. Then I worked in a clothing store in Den Bosch, but the big city beckoned. A few years later, I moved to Amsterdam at the age of 17 and started various freelance jobs hospitality odd jobs and did modeling work. I did all this in addition to my law studies. I already loved the independent aspect of working: setting my own hours, doing what I liked and experiencing the feeling of freedom. These factors really gave me a kick!”

How did you end up in your current job?

“During my work as a self-employed person in the hospitality There were customers in the industry who asked if I knew more girls and boys who were looking for jobs. I discovered that the business suited me well and saw a gap in the market: there was a need for a different work mentality and quality. During an assignment I met my partner, Mariëlle Smit. We clicked immediately and MME Hospitality was born quite quickly.”

Lotte Brunninkhuis and Mariëlle Smit

What makes you strong as partners?

“We are very complementary to each other. I think that's what you really need as entrepreneurs, that you complement each other. We have been working together for almost ten years now and are both honest and open with each other, this is how we make progress the fastest. During these years, and still today, we learn from each other. Mariëlle has a huge one hands on mentality, is commercially very strong, has a large network and makes me stronger both as a person and as an entrepreneur. For example, we once had a pitch at ING Private Banking and at one point we were asked: 'where do you think you will be in five years?' to which Mariëlle responds: 'being your customer'. So she is also very alert. I, on the other hand, am very strong business-wise, more number-driven and always remain factual.”

Who was your wheelbarrow?

“When I look at my career so far, in addition to Mariëlle's contribution to my entrepreneurship, I am an important wheelbarrow myself. At an early age I visualized the life I wanted to work towards and I also took initiative in that. My ambitions, goals and passions brought me to where I am today.”

What is your greatest passion in your profession?

“My passion has developed over the years, but what currently energizes me most is creating a financially stable business. I like to advise based on the bigger picture. I also enjoy making something from nothing, because I am convinced that if I want something, I can really make it happen. Whatever I do, I make sure it is of high quality. Delivering quality is therefore also a great passion.”

What has been the biggest learning moment in your career?

“As an entrepreneur, no day is the same, I always find myself in new situations and learn something new every day. But overall I have learned to really only do the things in life that give me energy. By nature I like to keep control, but delegating as much as possible of things that are less important to me to team members who are good at this works. in the end the most effective.'

And what do you learn from the current corona period that we are still in the middle of?

“Like many other companies, we are unfortunately also struggling with the current situation and the consequences of corona. I have learned that it is very important to always keep an overview, make financial calculations in advance and have a good insight into your cash position. By comparing different scenarios, we were able to make important choices a few months ago. Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to part of our team. That was very tough.”

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

“With the wisdom of today I say: 'There is nothing wrong with working hard, but not at all costs. And you can achieve anything you want. Have faith in yourself!"

Have you been a wheelbarrow for someone?

“Mariëlle holds a mirror up to me and I hold up a mirror to her, so I am sure that I am also a wheelbarrow for my partner. Other than that, I'm not really consciously concerned with whether I'm a wheelbarrow for anyone. I sometimes hear that I am inspiring as a young entrepreneur. I hope to be an inspiration to those around me.”