Freelancer Arturo has his say
My name is Arturo Massaro. I'm 57 years old, and my wife and I have a son who's 30. For the past 16 years, I've provided training courses in Leadership, Communications, and Team Building all over the world. I also have a coaching practice on the side, and I started my second company in 2015: Dreamschool (www.dreamschool.life), where I help people make their own dreams come true and I provide lectures, seminars, workshops, webinars, etc. In November 2017, I published my first book: Realising your Entrepreneurial Goals.
What do you think are the main benefits of travelling with the NS-Business Card?
When I tell people that I travel more by train for business, their first reaction is often: 'So you spend a lot of time waiting now!' But when I ask when was the last time they travelled by train, they say it was years ago. They all have preconceived notions that are fed by the media and parroting what other people say.
So far, I've never arrived late to a business appointment when I've travelled by train. Of course, I've experienced a five-minute delay now and then, but how often do you get stuck in traffic or have to take a detour?
One of the biggest advantages of the train is the fact that I can use the time to prepare or to go through the training programme one more time - especially when I travel 1st class. On the return trip, I often write up my reports, so that I'm done with work by the time I get home. Or I read a book to relax. Before, when I would go by car and had a delay along the way, I still had an hour and a half of work on reports and estimates when I came home.
Another nice thing is the clear invoice that I get at the end of the month. I can see exactly when and where I've travelled, and I don't have the hassle of having to top up the balance on my card. Plus, I don't have to save and record the receipts, so I have a lot less paperwork to deal with.
Travelling by train means you use far less fossil fuels. I've already had three clients who were pleased to hear that I'd travelled by train, because the sustainability was a real plus for them.
When did you choose for an NS-Business Card?
When I was named Freelancer of the Year in April 2017, the prize was an NS-Business Card with all the bells and whistles. I've made good use of it. Before, I rarely travelled by public transport, and I did almost everything by car or bicycle. But when the card expired, I applied for my own NS-Business Card, because I really enjoyed the experience.
The train gives me peace of mind, and it gives me the opportunity to work during longer journeys. In Amsterdam I use it for the metro, bus and tram, or when I need to go to Schiphol. And in the Randstad, the train is always a good option.
Which NS-Business Card services do you use?
In addition to travelling by car, I mainly travel by train, metro, tram and bus. I've used the OV-taxi twice now, because the location I had to visit was a bit farther from the station. Sometimes I also use the NS-Business Card to park at Q-park garages. Simply hold the card against the card reader when you drive in and out, and the costs are billed on the invoice.
Why would you recommend the NS-Business Card to other entrepreneurs?
For every freelancer, travelling to certain appointments by train definitely offers added value. Sometimes it's just unpleasant to have to sit in a car in heavy traffic. So just park your car at the station, take the train, relax and enjoy the trip. Give yourself the 1st-class treatment you deserve. I guarantee that you'll want to do it more often. Naturally, there are some locations that are a bit more difficult to reach by public transport, so then you'll want to take the car. But you can reach more places than you'd think by train, especially with the additonal services available.
What was your most enjoyable experience when travelling with the NS-Business Card?
Sometimes I have fun conversations with the most unique people. That gives you new insights and energy. During a trip from Eindhoven to Amsterdam, I had a long conversation with the conductor. At each station along the way, he had to get up to let more people in, but then he'd come back to continue our conversation. He told all about the fun and less-fun aspects of his work. The time flew by, and I really enjoyed myself.