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​Being All In: How to Hustle in America

By Tatiana Glad

​"I was born ready." says Michael, Koenka of MDK ​Amsterdam, kicking off How to Hustle in Americatraining workshop at Impact Hub Amsterdam.

​10 members of the the first Dutch Social Enterprise Innovation Mission​ gathered to learn how to be ready to pitch anyone, anytime, anywhere. Blending theory and practice, the focus was on improving messaging and learning how to really push to make things ​happe​n... ​​having an ALL IN attitude. Chantal Mas of RVO (the Dutch Enterprise Agency) ​shares, "The significance of this first mission is to help the Dutch social enterprise ecosystem in networking and matchmaking between Dutch and foreign entrepreneurs."

What does it mean to always be on your game? Michael shared insights both on how to be more effective in your business pitching and how to navigate cultural differences, from understanding that the American dream is real "everything can be, everyone can prosper" to respecting protocol around personal space (give a little more).

Five things Dutchies need to know before going to SOCAP:

  • People in the US typically work like there is someone working 24hrs a day to take it all away from them > show your commitment to hard work and willingness to 'hustle'
  • Being opportunistic is good. The American Dream is alive and kicking, this leads to an ‘I deserved this’ mentality. > show the potential of your product/service and put some numbers to it
  • Try to find the sweet spot between being direct and being rude > quickly getting to business indicates professionalism.
  • Always be ready to give a pitch that sends one simple message everyone understands > you only have 7 second to make sure people find you interested, there is never a second first-impression.
  • Keep it moving forward > be natural and casual, to continually educate yourself on the people you (want to) work with, and ask good questions. And follow-up... soon.

"This is good to know when you are stepping onto the ice, " reflect​s​

Mark Kulsdom of The Dutch Weedburger, "but it is also important in the impact entrepreneurship space to inject your values."

So... what does hustle mean to you?

Thank you all, Rock on!

Are you and entrepreneur going to America? Want to learn how to be effective in your pitch and presence? Find Michael at

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