Episode #166

NLP and Mind Mapping With Remkus de Vries

Posted By Troy Dean on

Welcome to the WP Elevation podcast “Best Of” series where we dig into the archives to bring you the best golden nuggets and business principals from over the last few years. Yes, we even looked at the metrics to find the most popular podcasts so if you have missed a show or are a fairly new subscriber, you will love this!

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Our guest for today’s show is Remkus de Vries, all the way from the Netherlands. Remkus is well known in the WordPress space as one of the organisers of WordCamp Europe and he is also the CEO of his own web development agency and has been a WordPress specialist since 2006.

In this podcast, Troy chats to Remkus about WordPress and WordCamps but also about how to use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and mind mapping.

If you find work and life overwhelming and stressful sometimes, then this podcast is for you!

Watch the Video

Show Notes

Remkus has made a substantial name for himself in the world of website creation and is a force to be reckoned with!

Tune in at the 6.20 minute to listen to Remkus’ story and how he turned a side project of building websites into a very successful business and how he discovered WordPress.

Investing Knowledge

One of Remkus’ favourite quotes is by Benjamin Franklin:

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

From day one he has always wanted to invest. He always looks at the bigger picture and when he starts something new, he asks how this relates to stuff he already knows. So he is continually learning. He learns how to extend one idea to the next idea and keep going.


Remkus is well known in the WordCamp space being a co-founder of WordCamp Europe. He says it hasn’t necessarily attracted clients, however, other people in the business who couldn’t take on projects within a particular scope would refer the work on to him.

It is hard to measure the success of being visible at WordCamps. It has had some benefits but it hasn’t been a conscious decision for him.

Remkus doesn’t get nervous speaking to crowds. He has had a lot of experience in public speaking: even before he got into WordPress he had been a trainer and taught 20-50 people at a time.  He also knows what he is talking about, which is the main thing! He says that if you are less secure about yourself, that will be magnified on the stage. The more you do it though, the easier it gets.

Stress Less

By nature, Remkus says that he overanalyses. He doesn’t talk shop after 8 pm and he does this to protect himself. If he does have to do something work related after 8 pm then he will sleep in a little later. When he catches himself worrying, he either meditates or uses self-hypnosis to get to sleep.

Worrying about something that might not happen is a waste of energy.

Remkus owes his success to many things but credits his ability to “turn off” worrying as a substantial advantage. He also sustains an interest in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). It breaks down communication into your neuro senses and your linguistic patterns. It’s a great discovery to learn about yourself.

Remkus has a family with three children and enjoys anything automobile related, particularly Mercedes and Porches. He is also an avid strength trainer and he enjoys getting out of his mind and focusing on something physical. He pushes his boundaries every time he does that.

Tune in around the 34-minute mark where Remkus talks to us about API and his predictions for WordPress.

Mind Mapping

Your conscious mind can only do a few things at the one time. The other stuff you do is on automatic pilot. You can bring stuff from your conscious mind to your unconscious mind so that it becomes an automatic thing.

If you keep a lot of stuff in your head and you’re mulling it over, without getting it out of your head then you’re going to rely on your mental capabilities all the time. You need to clear your head to focus. So if you are mulling over an idea, then jot it down as a mind map.

The way it’s structured makes it more pleasant to see the larger picture. You can draw them on paper or there is a software tool XMind that you can use.

Remkus' Secrets to Success

  • Know how to sell yourself and produce quality work.
  • Don’t compete on price. Compete on quality. Compete on skill set. Compete on knowledge.
  • Don’t overdo it when it comes to writing proposals. That’s assuming that you know how to write an elaborate proposal. Don’t be the person who writes those 25-30 page proposals. Be certain that what you put in there is necessary. It’s basically you selling you instead of you listing what needs to be done.
  • ActiveCollab is his favourite project management tool.
  • Understand what scope creep is. Have an agreement on when it is creeping. Be active with the client. You already have the client. He’s not going to run away.

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