We all have a story about why we’re doing what we’re doing. That story keeps us going when things go wrong; gets us to write another email, pick up the phone, write a blog post(!). Our stories are our touchstones. Most of us keep the stories private because they’re precious to us. Here’s my precious story.
I moved to France when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. She was born prematurely and had to go to intensive care where it was touch and go for a few days. My schoolgirl french was no use when trying to communicate with the doctors and nurses; this made a horrifying experience even worse. My daughter is now a beautiful, healthy 8 year old but to this day, I am afraid of having to go to see a doctor that I can’t understand even though my french is now fluent.
And it works the other way too, doctors/dentists find it stressful trying to treat patients who don’t speak their language. I know, I worked in a dental surgery in France.
Living in France, I saw that there were fewer post-grad courses available for dentists to choose from than in the UK/USA. Why? Because they’re not available in French. Even going abroad to learn from a well-known specialist can be difficult. Larger conferences may have simultaneous translation, but how do you ask a question when you’re not confident of your english for example? Never mind that you might not understand the reply properly.
Now for the funny part!
I went to see a radiologist for a mammogram, he was chatting to me, asking about my work and he asked if I would be interested in bringing English-speaking radiology lecturers to France. I said I would if he’d help me because I don’t know anything about radiology. He went on to tell me that these days if he wants to take a course in radiology he has to go to the USA and he always worries that he might have misunderstood something. His English is good and he still worries.
Anyway, I stood up to go, put on my clothing and left his office, swearing that I would never have another topless business meeting again!
This story tells why I decided to start my business. I wanted to overcome that language barrier to learning, to understanding. I want to bring the best the world has to offer to Europe and I’ll get it delivered in your language, in your country.