Subscribe to newsletter

Aspirations in life
“Do you want to be rich, king or free?"

authenticity mindset personal branding personal stories storytelling-truthtelling Feb 06, 2023
Karolien Vanhelden - Personal Branding - Aspirations in life

Last week we had the privilege to go to the Ostend Film Festival. We were invited by the Belgian-Kurdish and multi-award-winning filmmaker Sahim Omar Kalifa, writer and director of Baghdad Messi.

We attended the premiere of the movie Baghdad Messi, based on the short film with the same name, about ten-year-old boy Hamoudi. He is totally obsessed with football, but lost a leg in war-torn Iraq. This injury causes that his father fights for his family and he fights to keep his own football dream alive.

After the viewing, Sahim explained that this story came from his heart. Although it is at first sight a ‘simple’ (his words!) story (football-crazy boy loses leg but wants to keep on playing), the political background, the family interactions and the emotional baggage from past, present and future, made it a story with so many layers. A beautiful story of resilience, love & war, grief,…

It confirmed to me, yet again, that a story how simple it might seem to you, needs to be told. The impact on and recognition of others can be huge. Because every story is part of a bigger one, not something isolated.

But what touched me as well was the appearance of Sahim Omar Kalifa himself. Years ago he came to Belgium carrying his baggage from the past as well. He claimed his spot in the film scene by always staying true to himself and his passion. With his films he already touched so many hearts all over the world. And that is what struck me. Being yourself and following your heart allowing you to have an impact on so many people who respect you.

That is something I am aiming for as well. During a workshop I recently followed I got a question from Nele van Hoeymissen of Compagnonne: What do you want to be: RICH, KING or FREE? Respectively meaning: having a lot of money, having a lot of impact or having a lot of freedom. And the exercise was to put this in the right order for me. Everyone has a certain order. And there is no right or wrong. My order is: KING – FREE – RICH. So my main focus is on having impact on others and be respected for that. Every decision I make needs to fit with this order. If a decision matches becoming RICH, but has a negative effect on my KING, I shouldn’t take this decision. And what my interpretation of KING is, you might ask? Well, my vision is to educate, inspire and grow people to have the courage to be their true self, so that together we can unlock the world’s authenticity and knowledge. With this in mind, I will put every decision I consider to the test if it matches my order of KING – FREE – RICH.

So I have the outmost respect for Sahim Omar Kalifa, for the person he is and the impact he has already had. It was an honor to be part of the premiere of his movie. I would like to invite you to have a look at the short movie Baghdad Messi, just to convince you to go and see the long version end of March in the cinema. You can find the short movie HERE.

And now I am curious of course. What is your order when it comes to RICH, KING and FREE? Think about it and put some of your upcoming decisions to the test. And as always, don’t hesitate to share your preferred personal order with me! Send me a message at [email protected] . I would love to hear from you!


Can I be your KING (or Queen)? Since I want to have an impact on others and make a difference in someone's life, let me show you how you are different so that you can make a difference as well. Grow your visibility in an authentic, fascinating and confident way with my unique program Your Personal Brand kickstart with Fascinate® HERE

Subscribe to my newsletter to read my next blog posts and
to become part of my solopreneurship’s journey.

From inspiration over tips and stories to all things personal branding and content marketing.
Join the cool truthtellers club, rocking their personal brand!

When you submit your first name, last name and email you are opting in for the email newsletter and relevant updates from Karolien Vanhelden. You can unsubscribe at any time. We respect your privacy as you can read in our privacy policy.