Monique Maarssen is CEO and Managing Director of the Maarssen Group, a real estate investment and commercial property development company, established by her grandfather 70 years ago. After making her mark as Sales Director in 2001, Monique has steadily worked her way up to Managing Director and CEO.
As she makes her way onto the stage, Monique appears slightly nervous and then starts her speech with a powerful sentence: “Sometimes I feel like a professional fixer. Fixing buildings is fixing myself. I share a story I’ve never shared before.” In 1982 Monique was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. At the time she didn’t really know what this meant until she spoke with her roommate during her chemotherapy treatment. After inquiring what kind of illness she had and sharing her story, her roommate simply replied: “So you have cancer too.” She kept going and focused on her school because she needed to separate herself from her environment of confrontation and it was the beginning of building her own foundation. She had a great job which included lots of travel and she adored it.
“What is on the outside is not always the truth”
At the age of 26 the cancer returned for the third time and Monique needed to make herself strong. On top of this she got the devastating news that she could not have children anymore. Luckily this was temporarily and she gave birth to 3 children. It gave her a new perspective, her three foundations.
The three Foundations :
Ask yourself the question: What is the source of your trouble and go on a deep discovery within yourself. This foundation and questioning of herself started to set her free.
The broken pieces are pieces of you. Embrace them!
Listen to your true self!
Your instinct is who you are and what you feel. Listen to it because it whispers more often than it shouts. You have to listen to the one thing that you believe in the most and that is yourself.
Monique was 35 when she surprisingly got pregnant with her first child and today she is a mother of three wonderful children. Holding on to the strength within her, the belief that miracles do happen, she was able to build a true foundation.
Text by: Diana Gacs