‘People are my biggest passion. They fulfill me as a person’

Start Up Campus Haarlem in conversation with Derrick Muluya

Derrick Muluya

Derrick Muluya (33) is an Aeronoutical Engineering student in Delft and moved to the Netherlands from Uganda. He is a swimming coach and started his own business as a personal coach.

I can’t stop till I find the solution
I see myself as someone who is good at solving problems. I can’t stop till I find the solution. As a student I work with analytical problems and technical solutions and use my brain. That’s what I call my ‘brain side’. My head understands it and just does it. But that is not my biggest passion.

People are my biggest passion. They fulfill me as a person. I just love helping people. Listening to them and thinking of how I can help them to become a better person.  

The part of finding a solution is also about having people around you, where you can all sit together and find the solution together. I like to facilitate that process. My role has always been to get people on board and motivate them to continue. Learning is a process, and it takes perseverance. At the beginning of the process everybody is excited but halfway some of them are down. I attend to help them to finish the other half.

The hard way
I was born and raised in Uganda. I met my Dutch wife there and moved to the Netherlands six years ago. I come from a challenging country where business development is not that easy. If you want to reach somewhere, you really need to put yourself out there and keep on trying. There is nobody knowledgeable enough and willing to help or guide you. I started more than 5 startups back home. All of them failed. The process was hard and painful. I learned it the hard way. The learning part is unavoidable and necessary, but the pain isn’t. If you could have somebody who holds your hand and gives some direction, it would be so much easier and perhaps less painful. Then I realized: that’s my role!

Foto Derrick1

Swimming club in Uganda
When I was 22, a friend invited me to swim. I didn’t know what it was. So, I got there and jumped into the water. Then I realized that, even though I was scared, I was actually enjoying it. My friends and I were all over 20 years old. Nobody could swim. And continuing this hobby was also very expensive. So, we faced a new challenge, we decided to start a swimming club by ourselves. Can you imagine? Three boys without any swimming experience or money started a club. We split the roles and we decided that I would be the coach. And so, I learned swimming by doing and by teaching others how to. I fell in love with this sport. That was the start of my passion for coaching and swimming.

In the Netherlands I started swimming right away and nowadays I am a swimming coach at GoSwim in Houten. They asked me to become the head coach of the club in the near future. Big shoes to fill and I am proud of that.

I need to give it out
Every year people set goals which comes with a to-do-list. The problem is, they don’t reach it. I asked myself ‘why? And then I found out that it is all mental. Its all about being the better version of your mental self so that you can do what must be done to have the goals you set.

I started a business where I can coach people to really reach their goals. I take it from a holistic point of view. Most importantly it’s not about ‘how to’ but mainly about the ‘being’ part. I want to help you to ‘be’ who you can be, so you can reach your goals. If you don’t work on the things outside of reaching your goal, you are never going to achieve the actual goal. I work with a sport mentality in my coaching sessions. So, do you rest enough, eat good food, sleep enough, do you show up on time? Maybe we first need to solve other problems before we can work on your actual goal. It truly makes a difference. Your being is mostly mindset, and I am there to guide you into this process. I have this gift of helping people and of solving problems. I feel that I need to give it out. I can’t stop myself.

Found my missing pieces
I was still looking for some missing pieces in my process of starting up my own business.

A fellow student recommended me to join the Start program of Start Up Campus Haarlem in September 2023. I can tell: I found my missing pieces. Now I can clearly see it. I know what I need to do, who I need to call and what I need to put in my business plan in order to make it work.

If you are walking around with a potential business idea, I would say: just start! And if you are an Inholland student? The next step would be: start with SUCH, it will fast forward your ideas. And after that, my third advice would be to design your idea in such a way that it can move without you being part of it. If you can reach that third level in your mind, then you see every piece of the puzzle. And then? Launch it!

About SUCH

Start Up Campus Haarlem is the place for entrepreneurial students at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Through an inspiring five-month program of events and workshops, you work on entrepreneurial skills, and your network grows at lightning speed. Entrepreneurship begins at Start Up Campus Haarlem! Want to know when the next Start or Growth program starts? Check our Instagram or website.

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