WELCOME TO MY PERSONAL WEBSITE
But if you're easily offended, now would be a really good time to fuck off.
But if you're easily offended, now would be a really good time to fuck off.
3 years ago, after a huge personal crisis I left my super-comfortable life in the Netherlands to live the life of an adventurer. For the past 3 years I've been travelling the world as an entrepreneur, an animal rights activist, marine conservationist, and competitive freediver.
Since then, I’ve visited over 30 countries, and travelled over 75.000km. Had close encounters with humpback and minky whales, dolphins and many, many sharks. Seen several Wonders of the World. Ohh, and have I been questioned by 3 National Security Agencies.
I've learned to dive comfortably to 50 meters on a single breath, and am I a certified freediving instructor with SSI and AIDA. I cared for and rehabilitated heavily abused foster puppies, and worked with some amazing animal rescue charities around the world. I've sailed the South Pacific on a world record breaking boat (Sea Shepherd's motor vessel The Brigitte Bardot), slept in airports, on the street, in 5 star hotels, tents, luxury homes, in a rainforest, out at sea, and under the desert stars. ...and I'm still ticking dreams off my bucket list.
Nowadays my work as a web developer and marketer with Promedia Dot Org is a great compliment to my freediving and teaching work and it also leaves plenty of time for the animal rights work. It is the perfect balance for travelling and an adventurous and exciting life.
By my mid twenties I was already living the 'fast life' with a big paycheck and promising career. But I found that I can't work for a boss and the traditional way of doing business isn't my cup of tea. And from what was first a hobby, I built a side career as one of Europe’s first ever professional bloggers. My blogs became massively successful and in 2006 I quit the 9-5 grind to be my own boss as an problogger, internet entrepreneur and online marketing consultant.
Not before long, we owned over 1200 web stores. I created many video courses and wrote numerous ebooks about technology, internet entrepreneurship and internet marketing. And I started to teach the marketing strategies that we used on our own web stores via online media to other entrepreneurs. Our flagship course, the €1997 ‘Ontdek het Web’ (Discover the Web) program became a massive success and where sold out within two days in each market we launched it in.
I also brokered joint venture deals between companies that sold deals online - mainly software, reaching a staggering 200 million users by 2010. I was responsible for an (unnamed for legal reasons) global toy manufacturer launching a 1.7 million dollar Facebook Christmas campaign that made almost $0.5 per subscriber –a gigantic target for a Facebook campaign and now (almost) impossible.
In both 2009 and 2010 I was voted most influential Dutch Person on Twitter. Two days after launching Promedia Dot Org on Facebook I'd reached over 10 thousand followers –and even though I haven't been active on social media for almost 2 years today I am still the most followed marketing consultant, and one of the top 3 entrepreneurs and business owners in Holland, with almost 65 thousand followers.
Working up to 80 hours a week, selling tons of different products, all with global customer service, hiring people, managing people – the bigger it got, the less fun it became.
I needed another new start a new passion. That's when I packed my rucksack and set out to follow my heart. I'd been supporting animal rights for many years, now I set off to join the Sea Shepherd crew on the high seas as they saved endangered marine life such as whales, sharks, dolphins as well as saving many four legged friends whilst working in Animal Rescue Centers across the globe.
I still loved working in IT but it had lost its personal touch. In line with my new, non corporate, dream seeking lifestyle, I downsized Promedia Dot Org to cater for a smaller client base with a one on one, hands on approach. Now I get the personal satisfaction of seeing my expertise loving grow their businesses. Now I love my life more than ever before, every day is a new adventure. And that's when I discovered Freediving.
7 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU START CHANGING YOUR LIFE TODAY:
1. When am I most happy?
2. Am I just letting life happen to me?
3. How can I help myself and in doing so help my family?
4. What area of my life can I control, and what area of my life is out of control?
5. Why can’t I follow my passion?
6. What is stopping me?
7. What am I waiting for? Why can’t I start today?
A Life In, On and Under Water
I've always loved the seas and oceans. I was born and raised in Rotterdam, the biggest harbour city in Europe and I worked in the docks since I was a kid and I spent as much time as possible at the river banks of the Maas or at the beach.
As a certified rescue scuba diver, and someone who'd been competing in sport all my life, it wasn't a surprise when I fell in love with freediving on visiting the Great Barrier Reef in 2013.
There we dropped anchor in a random place, lowered the dingy and went straight to the reef, to be welcomed by a pot of dolphins and swim with black tip reef sharks, with a bull shark only 10 meters away (scary shit!). We sea-danced with turtles and other beautiful ocean creatures - and all without tanks on our backs. It was one of the most epic moments of my life.
Born To Be Amphibian
Freediving is going as deep or as long as you can on a single breath. Although considered by many to be an extreme sport, to me, freediving is the summit (or nadir!) of being at one with the ocean in the most relaxed way imaginable. When you dive down your body activates the Mammalian Dive Reflex and goes into 'survival mode'. Your heart rate lowers, the spleen produces more red blood cells, blood shifts in the body to cope with the pressures at depth, and the peripheral vasoconstriction kicks in to supply the heart, brain and lungs with much needed extra blood.
We are made for the oceans and nothing gives me a bigger rush than diving to 20 meters to hang out with a sea turtle to check out the reefs and fishes together - then you are a natural part of the ocean and it's the best feeling in the world.
A Day in the Life of a Freediver
Dahab in Egypt is with the 130 meter deep spiritual Blue Hole the freedive capital of the world, and this is what a random training looks like.
* Want to do something rad?! Check out Adventure Freediving to find out where in the world I'm teaching, and offer retreats.
Seize it and make it amazing. Find your voice. Discover your passion & pursue it. Be honest, generious & kind. Surround yourself with love, laughter & truth. Let your heart be your guide. Make a difference. Be brave & wild at heart. Take chances, ask questions. Be fearless, make a difference.
One of the most moving experiences of my life was rescuing and rehabilitating an abused puppy in Spain where I lived for about 5 months. At first, Little Marcos was so traumatised that he wouldn't leave the safety of his basket, even to relieve himself. The months it took to win his trust and see him regain his happy, playful nature, were some of the most rewarding of my life - never give up on animals!
But it was a Humpback Whale that was the spur to make animal rights my ultimate goal.
If you're Dutch you'll already know the story of our famous Humpback Whale Johannes, because Sea Shepherd (of which I was a part) along with other activist groups, hit the main stream media in a big way (in fact it became the biggest news story of the year) and roused the whole nation to fury at the government's lack of care, and ultimate murder of, a 25 tonne female humpback whale stranded on a sandbank in the island of Texel.
The story has more drama, twists, turns and acts of sabotage than any action movie. When the government first denied help to the whale, I was part of Sea Shepherd in rallying the whole nation in protest, and then, with the help of Dutch sea industries we mobilised all the equipment needed to rescue Johannes, with crowds of volunteers working through the night and locals offering food and lodging to the activists. But local Government schemed to thwart our hard work, and, just one hour before high tide would have let our operation succeed, this beautiful mammal was killed by lethal injection on the order of a Museum who'd offered a sum of money for the whale's carcass.
After that I left Holland for good. But the strength and passion of the people, all united against corrupt officialdom to save a helpless creature is something I will never forget. It's what made me vow I'd make activism something that I will pursue before anything else, with all my core, for the rest of my life.
I cannot detail the various missions Sea Shepherd missions I have joined since this story, though there have been many, including long stints on board the Brigitte Bardot vessel. But I will say that the time I devoted to Sea Shepherd were the most exciting, cogent and memorable times I have ever had.
Old Turkish Proverb: There lies a lion in every heart.
** Everybody has bravery somewhere in themselves. **
Vincent is a tall guy nonetheless, but he's not afraid to stick his neck out for what he believes in. Don't be fooled by this ex ballroom dancing uber geek, because this kick boxer is not afraid to start, or end a fight when it comes to animals. He is very passionate about animal rights and welfare, and marine conservation. But the same goes for freedom, and as he calls it 'old school' values, manners and relationships.
He was questioned by 3 National Security Agencies, and created Guerrilla campaigns that roused the country in fury via Dutch national media for renegade activist Sea Shepherd while for the past years he dominated the internet with his global marketing campaigns for his company Promedia Dot Org.
He has a instinctive and deeper connection with dogs, but his favorite way to interact with animals is under water while freediving at great depth.
With hard work he was able to shape his life into what he wants to do and what he's passionate about and doesn't let anyone or the opinion of anyone interfere with that - he just doesn't care. He lives his life by his motto; life is about kicking ass, not kissing it.
My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big. And your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you're out there getting where you're getting to. I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too. Yeah, this is my wish.
Please use the contact form to send me an email.
I travel! And it can happen that I won't be able to answer any messages for days.
The best way - and the most reliable way for you to contact me is via the form. I don't read my LinkedIn or Twitter direct messages - thank the spammers. And No you won't get my Skype id without first telling me why you want it - I don't do chit chat...
Usually you'll hear from me within a couple of hours, but now you know, please don't stress if I don't get back to you within a day or two - I will get back to you.
Looking forward hearing from you.
Vincent Sparreboom - Professional Bum