In today’s Her Business Story we meet Alessia Pandolfi – Tech Expert and OBM
Alessia tell us more about your business
I’m an online business manager and I lift the weight of techie/back end work off my clients’ shoulders. I take care of those time-consuming tasks that don’t directly bring money in so my clients can focus on the core aspects of their businesses, on what they love or simply spending time with their own families. I love techie stuff, and for many people, they aren’t really a piece of cake, but I really enjoy to spend time figuring out techie stuff and make it work.
I exclusively work with online women entrepreneur because I want to support the sisterhood of women ready to make an impact in the world.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
In February 2017 I moved to Finland from Italy to live with my fiancee. I started looking for jobs, but the language was a huge obstacle and the competition for English speaking jobs was really high. I was tired of taking any job because I had been surviving of that when I was in Italy (that’s why I worked in Ukraine, Russia, Malta, etc..I’m not crazy, but I have a degree in Russian language, that’s why I went to work to Russia and Ukraine 😉 )and I didn’t want to wait to be more fluent in Finnish.
I was already working as a virtual assistant as a side-hustle, so I decided to go all-in and register as self-employed. I was absolutely scared, horrified: you know, I used to consider myself the “anti-business person”, I thought I could never run a business! And then I found myself there, filling the form and jumping into something completely new and scary. But after one year and a half, I can say it was absolutely worth it.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
I would say it took about three months: the first couple I tried hard to look for a job, but then once I realized I wanted to set up my business as a virtual assistant, I was really fast. I think in one month I had everything in place.
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
When I got the papers saying I was officially self-employed. I asked myself: how am I going to survive? It was really scary. I had already a couple of clients, but it wasn’t really enough to live, especially in Finland.
What has been your proudest moment?
When I realized that actually, I was able to make an income and live of my own business. And not only that but the fact that that money come from a place of integrity and authenticity: what I do for my clients, allow them to have more free time, to spend with their families, to focus on what they truly love, to live the life they designed. It makes me so proud because I feel part of a sisterhood of women making a huge impact in the world.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
I learned that you need to be consistent and stubborn: at the beginning, my family wasn’t really supporting, except my father and fiancee. They always believed in me, but the rest of my family was sceptical.
There is always a way to reach a goal, all it takes is just willingness to try harder.
What does success mean to you?
I think success for me is the ability to make an impact on someone else’s life. With my work, I make a positive impact on my clients’ lives, and thanks to them I’m able to contribute to causes I believe in.
They say that happiness is real only when is shared, and succeeding makes you happy. Why shouldn’t I share that, then? 🙂
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
In a sense, yes. At the very beginning, one of my clients was paying a lower rate and after a while, when I had got more clients, I started to resent working with her. I unconsciously gave the priority to other clients and neglected some of her work. That was a very tough lesson and I understood that for the quality of my work and a great relationship with clients, I needed to work a lot on mindset, especially on money-related mindset. I understood that it’s absolutely essential to feel confident about your rates and it’s never a good idea to accept less than you ask for, or sooner or later you’ll start to resent that collaboration. I think it’s a pity to spoil a collaboration for this reason.
Which women inspire you?
Many women inspire me, and not really related to business: Jane Goodall, Primatologist; Rosa Parks, Anna Politkovskaja, Miriam Makeba, are just a few of them.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
As of question 8, I wish I would have known about money mindset. I didn’t know what was hidden below this topic, I thought I didn’t need this kind of work. Well, I was totally wrong. I found out that most women do have something to work on when it comes to money. It was kind of hard to accept it, honestly. And yes, I wish I would have known it before even starting.
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
They are actually two:
- Challenge yourself: don’t get too relaxed, but try new things and see what you can achieve.
- Understand the purpose of what you are doing: if you don’t find the reason, the why, for doing something, it’s a good idea to step back and find the purpose, before moving forward.