LEEUWARDEN – Gerd Dijkstra (53) is a real Frisian with the energy of eighteen-year-old. He is Leeuwarden based entrepreneur and together with his family runs Cafeteria Goudenregen, kite store Vliegerzone, teaches Filipino and Indonesian martial arts at his own gym, sells and helps people to install solar panels, practices sustainable lifestyle and also delivers mail.
By: Eimantas Zemaitis
Gerd’s family consists of his wife Aleida, and two grown up sons, Daniel and Kenneth. Gerd admits, that family is his motivation to do things, but over time his view has expanded. “In the past, my opinion was that husband works for his family, his children and his wife to give them a good life. But now it is also about helping people, even with the little things. I like to give, not to take. And it is not about the money because money is secondary. Of course, it is also important, but it is not the primary motivator.”
Energy comes from sports
Running several family businesses and keeping track of the hobbies must be really exhausting, so Gerd revealed me a secret of his never-ending energy. “Martial arts give me the energy to do things and think straight. It allows me to recognise the opportunities and go for it. When I see the chances, I grab them, and sometimes, my wife has to slow me down. Otherwise, I get too fast (laughs).”
Sports, like windsurfing and martial arts, help Gerd to relax. “I go windsurfing because when I do that, my mind is of the things. Friesland is ideal for windsurfing and for me it is an ultimate meditation. You can only think about the wind, water and surfing. Two-three hours per day is enough, and you have a good time. That also happens with martial arts. When you are in the flow, you only live in that moment.”
Planning is essential
Being that busy also requires exceptional planning skills. “Planning is vital when you do a lot of things, and if you are not scheduling them, then everything turns into chaos. Sometimes things can get a little bit chaotic, but you must not create chaos in your head. I plan everything, take time for it, and then execute. That’s probably the most important thing for everyone”.
Also, one must be careful not push yourself too hard. “When I do something, is not about getting many things done. For me, it just happens. Some things just need to be done, and it doesn’t matter who does it. If not today, then tomorrow. I don’t think that I must finish that or that because if you push yourself like this, you can get a heart attack. If you just want to get done as many things as possible, 24 hours are not enough, so you shouldn’t do that. I have to take my time to reflect on things, maintain the balance and find harmony.”
Besides the snack bar, kite store, martial arts training, recycling, collecting solar power, and helping people, Gerd also distributes local mail, which is rather surprising. “I have less spare time because of it, but it fits into my work system. We had trouble with delivering mail in our neighbourhood. So one day I met the boss from the post office, he offered me the job, and I accepted. Now, I deliver post for two years already, and I enjoy it because when I do it, I am outside, always walking, and also connect with people, so I know everyone in the neighbourhood.”
Gerd also told me a lot of interesting things about recycling and green energy, which is reviewed in part 2.