Women Who Do What They Love - Birgit Eberlein

Monday, 1 June 2009

Who is this woman? Birgit Eberlein

What is her passion called? Scout Expat Expert

Where can you take a squiz at her stuff? www.scoutconsultinggroup.com

How long has she been doing it now? One year ago, the idea started in my head to found Expat Expert. Step by step, things came together and I met the Scout team.

What does she actually do? Scout Expat Expert helps families and spouses get on track in Beijing. My service saves resources allowing for a relaxed life and stress-free relationships.

Because the Scout Expat Expert is young, there is still some work left to do. We’re participating in many networking events and workshops, taking advantage of every opportunity to introduce our services. Instead of hiring many people, we’re all very busy handling everything in-house. Once everything is finally settled, I plan to delegate some work to a hand-picked staff.

In the end, I’m responsible for a good orientation service. My service is unique because each orientation package is tailor-made according to the needs of the client.

the Scout Expat Expert team

Why does she do all this? It’s a passion. After two years living in Beijing and doing a lot of interesting things, I was struggling a little bit. One day, I met a personal coach who asked me “What have you enjoyed doing most during the last couple of years?” I candidly responded that I enjoyed most organising morning coffees because it brings many nationalities and cultures together. I like communicating with people and helping them getting on track. So, this is precisely what the business I’m running now offers.

I still enjoy the monthly morning coffees I organise for companies and other groups.

What is this talented woman’s story? I have been living in Beijing since October 2006 with my husband Joe, my daughter Elisa (17), my son Fabian (15), my daughter Franziska (12) and our black Labrador Buddy (4). Living here for more than two years means that Beijing feels more and more like home to the whole family. I love Chinese food and culture, drinking vanilla latt├Ęs in Starbucks, and, honestly – the entire paradox of life here.

China inspires me to develop ideas and to find my passion. In Germany, I used to work for a relocation company. Since moving to Beijing, I realised working with expats and their families is my passion.

What is something interesting about this woman? I’m a runner. I’m currently training for the Great Wall Marathon. Also, I support a project called "Good Gifted Garden". GGG is a charity that offers creative art therapy for learning and mentally disabled people focusing on people with autism.

How has her business journey been so far? Easy or tough? Half and half. On one hand, I was pleasantly surprised how many friends I have to support me. On the other hand, it’s a lot of hard work.

What pesky obstacles have tried to block her progress? Pessimistic people who try to de-motivate me. They say things like "don't start a business during this financial crisis". Sarah Cooper, a personal coach I met through networking, encouraged me to follow my dreams. She has been very helpful for me.

What are her greatest joys in doing what she loves? Meeting the Scout team has been my greatest joy. It’s an honest group of people who encourage creativity, and provide a great support system.

What is she loving most about her business right now? It’s unique and special!

What is her inspiration? Again, the Scout team inspires me a lot.

If she could do anything in the whole wide, entire world – what would she do? I’m doing it!

Where would she escape to if she could? Right now I would stay in Beijing because everything is perfect for my family. After getting on track and settling in, I worked hard to get to this point. Why move again? That would mean taking a step back with the career I’ve created for myself. On the other hand, I know everything is possible. If you believe in yourself, you can do business anywhere.

If I was to escape on holiday, I would like to visit Malaysia. It seems to be a nice place to relax and enjoy time with the family.

What would she buy there? In Malaysia? On the beach? A cocktail.

What are her secret aspirations? My goal is the same as the Scout team: To offer the best service to expats moving and living in Beijing.

What is her greatest achievement? To reach that goal and to do what I want to do!

What would be her absolutely perfect day? The perfect day starts with a good breakfast and a good cup of coffee. I take the dog for a walk and think about the things I need to do for the day. The perfect day ends with the entire family sitting around the big dining room table (Joe, my husband, the three kids and the dog under the table) eating an Italian dinner (with a glass of red wine in my hand!).

What five words sum her up? Social, sensitive, empathic, reliable and authentic.

What really fabulous advice does she have for others wanting to Do What They Love? Start now. Believe in yourself and set your goals.

What’s next for Birgit? I am looking forward to celebrating the first birthday of Viva, the Beijing Professional Women’s Network. I like to network and networking events are, for me, the most important way to make contact with people, to be inspired by them, and to communicate with other entrepreneurs.

For more about Birgit, visit her personal website, read her blog or follow her at betterplace.org - a very worthwhile place to visit.

Are you doing what you love? Please contact me here if you would like to tell your Do What You Love story. I’d love to hear from you – no matter where you are in the world.

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