Paul Donkers, Partner, Ten Company

Paul Donkers, Partner, Ten Company

Paul is the Partner of Ten Company He is the Creator of the Ikigai Coaching Institute. He is also a business coach, consultant, speaker and teacher, investor and facilitator. 



Did you know that coaching, mentoring and consulting are three very distinct professions? People often mistake these professions to be similar/same. Every successful or budding businessman needs a good coach to help them enhance their leadership skills. 

Coaching nudges entrepreneurs in the right direction. Executive Coaching is a highly demanded profession in the modern and competitive world.

The Brand Called You is pleased to welcome successful entrepreneur and Coach Paul Donkers on the podcast today. Paul is the Partner of Ten Company He is the Creator of the Ikigai Coaching Institute. He is also a business coach, consultant, speaker and teacher, investor and facilitator. 

In this very intriguing episode with host Ashutosh, Paul shares his professional knowledge as a Coaching. He speaks about some very vital aspects of coaching and the business sector. 

Why did Paul choose coaching?

When asked this question, the coach simply replied,

“The short version is that I learnt it through life. Meaning that I spent my time in corporate and I still am grateful for the years there. It still helps me when I deliver my own coaching. It helps me everyday. But I found out the hard way I guess. In a way that this isn’t my place on Earth and I learnt through life that being around a leadership team and being around leaders and telling them what they need to hear is my thing.”

Paul throws light on how one can keep the coaching relationship relevant. He strongly believes that in order to see progress, people should be willing to get coached. It is about being open to coaching. If one is reluctant, coaching might not have the effect it should.

He further asserts how coaching has changed over the past years. Paul explains that coaching in the C-suite and business sectors requires a blend of mentoring, coaching and consulting. He holds the opinion that experience plays a major role in taking up such big clients. 

Coaching vs Mentoring

Defining the fine line between coaching and mentoring, Paul shares:

“Coaching is about asking the right questions. You don’t have to be an expert per se, but it’s more that you are making yourself small and helping your clients go through the journey.

Mentoring implies that you have done it before, You have been there. And that some of the challenges that your client or the leadership team you’re working with are going through, you have lived it. So you can come up with advice. You can give more tangible ideas and tools etc.”

His experiences are abundant. And his advice is worthwhile! Paul works on the values of optimism, change and innovation!


I’m dedicating my professional life to the development of companies, management teams and their business leaders. My goal is to enable them to create real and more value. I truly believe that the most successful companies of our time are led by leaders that know themselves, open to rethink their current business models, unlock their business purpose, execute strategy, embrace digitization, develop their teams and work sustainably. My track record covers 25 years of developing global businesses and leadership teams. I started three companies that are still in business. I led my businesses through multiple downturns over the years. Navigating them through good and through challenging times.I feel really privileged to have worked with many leadership teams and over 2000 leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs one-on-one. I learn from them; and they learn from me.I help unlock purpose: for companies, teams and individuals. Translate purpose into strategy and bring lasersharp focus, embedding a routine of strategy execution. I develop leadership teams. I contribute to the business when possible. New ideas flow for me naturally.
Every week I work with our clients around the globe to develop their organisation, their teams and their leaders. I deliver my contribution as an independent entrepreneur, but wìth deep corporate experience. As business coach, consultant, speaker, entrepreneur, teacher, investor and facilitator.
In 2000, under the umbrella of a Fortune 500 parent company, I introduced a HR consulting firm from New York in The Netherlands. I worked as an ‘intrapreneur’. We grew the business organically into the profitable market leader in a decade. I always had full financial, commercial and operational responsibility.
In 2009, I took a leap of faith and did my start-up. Despite the financial crisis, it was time to move forward. Today, tèn company developed into a global firm; assisting leadership teams, senior executives and organizations to take the next step.
In 2018 I launched the Ikigai® Coaching Institute with 2 goals. 1. assist our Licensed Ikigai coaches to build a healthy coaching business. 2. Enable at least 100.000 people worldwide to unlock their Ikigai before dec. 2025.
I grew up in corporate life and became a senior executive for a Fortune 500 company. Having successes and making my share of mistakes. Was Great. But in the last 12 years, I learned what it really means to build independent companies.

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