Name  Rachel Smets

Age 41 summers

Where are you from

Born and raised in Belgium. Lived in many countries and currently in the Netherlands.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I’m a teacher, speaker, and author.
Single, no kids. (Any single men reading ? Hi…)

Speaking 6 languages, I enjoy teaching several languages to people all over the world. The experience to live and work abroad for the past 15 years, increased my people-and cultural knowledge, which I share during international business classes at the University.

This year, I self-published my bestseller ‘Awaken Your Confidence: 15 People Share Their Journey to Success.’

The corporate world…, I’ve been there, I climbed the ladder higher and higher until I burned out. This was only a confirmation that I don’t belong there,  because my energy only rises when I’m interacting with people!


I graduated from the University of Maryland (US) with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and achieved my master’s degree in management from the University of St Andrews (UK).


Travelling abroad, as a single, has given me a great amount of confidence, experience and most of all inspiration. This confidence is my main topic I speak about in presentations to motivate and inspire others.


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’ve been invited to speak at a World Economic Conference (in January 2017), where I’ll talk about my Journey abroad and the Journey to Confidence.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Nearing the age of 40, I started to choose more for myself instead of pleasing others. That’s when I realized what a journey my life has been and all the things I have learned. It became clear that I wanted to inspire and motivate others to take charge of their lives too, and what better way than through a book.
That’s when I took the path of a writer.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 Only after I decided to write a book, but before it was published. Somewhere in the middle, I was determined that I would finish and publish. Then, I knew I was a writer. Then, I knew I was a writer. Only when I held the book in my hands, I wanted to shout out: I’m an AUTHOR!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

As a shy little girl, my self-confidence was very low. Afraid to speak up and extremely silent. By traveling the world on my own, I lived and worked in  many countries. This experience gave me the confidence that I have now, and that’s what I want my readers to feel too after reading ‘ Awaken Your Confidence’
Self-confidence is useful in many areas in life, both private and professionally. With confidence, you can be the person you want to be. Many people feel stuck and frustrated, but there’s no need to, because the great thing is that you can learn and build confidence.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not too serious, but using some humor, while keeping it real. No scientific research, but enough research to prove my point.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

By writing about 120 different titles and similar key words around Confidence. Then, narrowing down during the months I wrote. Then, the final 10, I sent out polls for people to vote on. That helped a lot, but the final decision was for me to make.

Fiona: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

 Absolutely! Learn how to awaken your confidence and transform your life to get what you want. Life changes, and so can you.

You can Start Now!

Take charge of your own success. Use the power of confidence and you will transform your life.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?


My favorite books have been non-fiction, psychology related and self-help. Inspirational and life-changing books include: A Course in Miracles, Ask and it is Given, The Secret, The Power of Now, etc…

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, but not for me. I will write more books and am busy doing so, but to make it a full-time career is not my goal at this moment. I prefer to get out there and SPEAK!

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 Nope, it’s exactly as I want it. I put a lot of time and effort into all the interviews, research and writing. Invested a lot of sweat and tears, but I would do it all over again just the same!

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Many many years ago as I was reading other books, I thought very often ‘’One day I will write my book too.’’ Funny enough, I hear many people say that, but I’m determined and I stick to what I say J

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

3 different book projects at the same time:

Book Project #1 is with a group of authors and nearly done, it’s an inspirational entrepreneurial book, called ‘’The Better Business Book’’, which will be launched soon.

Book Project # 2 will be a book about the challenges of an expat. A book for those who want to move abroad. Filled with important steps to take and things to think about. I have interviewed many expats over the years, so I incorporate real examples.

Book Project # 3: a book about cultural differences.  I’m co-writing with a professor, so it will be more theoretical.

Besides this, I am creating speaking material to inspire audiences and awaken the CONFIDENCE of many people out there, ready to take Action!

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The research and brainstorming BEFORE the writing is for me the most challenging. Once it’s clear in my head, I LOVE the process of writing itself.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 No, but I use my travels as inspiration for the content. And, I WANT to travel more for speaking gigs about my book, and about confidence.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

An amazing lady I found on Upwork but she sadly stopped to be with her family. I’m looking for someone now.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The research beforehand as mentioned above.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers? 

For non-fiction writers, I would advise to research a lot in order to give as  much value as possible to your readers.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 Besides the message above, Take Action and live YOUR life.

And pay attention to the free Bonus, because every reader receives all 15 interviews on video & audio files added as a Bonus.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Books about writing and speaking, because I love learning from books

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read? No idea, but it’ll be my next question to my parents.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Great times and deep conversations with true friends can both make me laugh and cry!

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

 Just one symbol will do:

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?


When not writing or teaching, I am running, biking, and at the gym to relax my mind.


Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

 I’m not a big TV fan, but a good thriller/mafia movie can please me (old time favorite Pulp Fiction), or a comic show to relax my mind.

Fiona: Favorite foods?

Chocolate! Belgian chocolate of course J In 2nd place comes Stracciatella Italian icecream, and 3d Tiramisu.
Are you talking about a decent meal? Ok, then pasta with seafood!

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Personal Fitness Trainer

Additional information: A little about your book:

Title: “Awaken Your Confidence: 15 People Share Their Journey to Success”.

Category: Non-fiction, Self-help, Business&Money.

Not Fiction, not a story, but FULL of inspiration!

Short Description:

The goal of Awaken Your Confidence is to give you the inspiration and tools to help you grow your confidence step by step.

In Part One, 15 successful people share their journey to personal happiness and career satisfaction.

Part Two has 11 confidence hacks that you can apply immediately to start building your self-confidence.

Some of the names I interviewed are SJ Scott, Stephen Shedletzky, Dr.Aziz, Jesse Krieger, Scott Ballard, Gina Hussar, and many more. Each of their stories in Part One reveal how they went from shy or introvert to very successful.

~~ “Never assume that you’re stuck forever and it’s impossible to get what you want. Life changes, and so can you.”   ~~


Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?


Facebook Page:


Confidence inspiration on You Tube Channel:


Awaken Your Confidence: 15 People Share Their Journey to Success”,


Author’s Central page: