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Expat Articles » Dual Career Issue of Expat Couples SOLVED!

Dual Career Issue of Expat Couples SOLVED!

SpouseDual-career couples are on the rise. But while the expat is about to take the next step in his* career, his partner’s career is often put on temporary hold with their move abroad. Nowadays the partner is less and less willing to jeopardise her own career by following her expat partner abroad. So to avoid any trouble down the road it is important to look at possible career options for the accompanying partner in the host country. One such option would be to start your own business. But where do you start?

Well, I think I’ve come across just the right training, one that is absolutely in a league of its own. My Brand Unlimited (MBU) offers such training to partners of expats who have a strong desire to start their own portable business. Their training triggered me so much that I just had to have an interview with the founder and trainer of MBU: Mr. Ewald Theunisse. And I wasn’t disappointed. The interview was just as inspiring as the training and is an absolute must-read for would-be entrepreneurs or those who have just started out. If you want to know more about the theme appeal, telling-not-selling and how your business name should trigger your clients then read on!

First of all I am curious to know why a couple of Dutch guys have taken the initiative to offer this training to partners of expats.

“My business partner – Aron Waas – and I have coached many entrepreneurs who would like to make their businesses successful. And this is how we met with a partner of an expat. It became very clear to us that our program could solve many expat partner issues. Every time a couple moves abroad, the dual career issue pops up. The expat’s partner may have difficulties getting a work permit or finding suitable employment. And expat coffee mornings are great but do not give enough professional satisfaction in the long run.

Starting your own portable business could be the solution because expat partners are given the opportunity of having a meaningful life and career. I can also see a role for companies employing expats: if they pay more attention to the dual career issue, they can save themselves a lot of trouble down the road”.

What differentiates MBU’s program from others?

“The training focuses on two areas: you will create your own brand around you! And you will do this in such way that you can take your business with you wherever you choose to live next. 

MBU is going a large step further than anyone else by getting right to the core and passion that people have.  Many people have the feeling that their eyes have finally opened because we start at the beginning: you! If you put your heart and soul into your business because it is your personal story then it will be so much more fun. And your clients will notice this. An inspired entrepreneur counts for 10!”

The Theme Appeal
Not needing encouragement, Ewald continues enthusiastically.

“Let’s take a look at how large brands differentiate. Remember that we like to be inspired by stories, we enjoy listening to it. There is a universal emotional need with regards to themes such as love, friendship, self-confidence, consolation, adventure, recognition, inspiration etc. Such themes are relevant for everyone.  When such a theme is the core of your business, you can tell inspiring stories. Take Harley Davidson, their story is a lot more appealing than other motorbike brands because it is built around freedom. Clients can easily identify themselves with a theme like this and will be inspired in their personal lives.

During our training people make amazing discoveries, everything comes together. Once you’ve found your theme, passion and qualities then you automatically find your mission, the way you work, your product or services. It is all a logical conclusion of the work we did together during the training. And interestingly, sometimes it has absolutely nothing to do with the work you did before! Like the former school director who will open a business as a party planner, under the brand name ‘feesten van geluk’ (happiness parties).”Expat

The Name and Your Brand
So, it’s all in the name?

The name is very important so we pay a lot of attention to developing a name that triggers expectations. It should stick in someone’s mind after hearing it once and it should inspire clients and prospects. Like Gutsworks, owned by Aron Waas. With such a name only companies with real guts (or the desire to become more courageous) approach him for business coaching”.

But why is it so important to be your own brand?

 “The difference in the level of business success before and after the training can be attributed to the fact that you have reached a level of self-consciousness that enables you to communicate more easily about you and your business. The two-day training takes away any doubts and insecurities so participants can look to the future with confidence and pride. We literally see complete transformations within people. Knowing your strengths and being driven by your inner-most passion makes you more successful as an entrepreneur and a happier expat partner”. 

There is one thing that many entrepreneurs dread: selling! What about selling your products or services?

“80% of entrepreneurs do not like selling because they have a fear of being rejected. Our approach is different because we train people to tell their personal story rather than sell their product or services. Their story is their deepest conviction based on their self-awareness. Entrepreneurs are building a bridge towards people. If people can identify themselves with your story, you are communicating from one human being to another. This basis of “being on equal terms” is the beginning of clients favouring you above others. People find it more interesting to talk about what concerns them than to talk about your product. At My Brand Unlimited we coach people to the point where their largest quality and passion come together in their life story and personal brand: that’s what makes a successful business!

Ewald, thank you very much for sharing your insights!

*although the majority of expats are male, female expat numbers are on the rise. ‘His/her’ can be read interchangeably.

For your Information:
For training outside of the Netherlands, please get in touch with Mr. Ewald Theunisse at

About the author:

Ellen Scholten (MCM, Lincoln University, NZ) – International Life & Career Coach based in the Netherlands– Regular Contributor at ‘I am expat’ – Industry Expatriate Expert at - Member NOBCO – Official Partner of the ExpatCenter Amsterdam – Official Partner of EISC - You can reach Ellen at or by phone at 0031 (0)6 4601 8139.

©Ellen Scholten 2010.