08 Jan PASSION, MOTIVATION AND OBSTACLES – INTERVIEW WITH ATENA BOCA
At the end of 2012 Atena Boca launched “The Estate” along with her friend Laura Baciu. Together, the two entrepreneurs set up a young team of real estate consultants who registered more than 600 apartments sold in top residential projects in Bucharest. Later, in 2016, Atena Boca was awarded the Woman of the Year Award for the initiative to create the “LaPrimulBebe” community, an NGO that supports fresh mothers through information and free access to parenting events. So we find out how the road to the employee is, the successful entrepreneurship in the following:
- How were you as a student?
Looking for a great passion. Test everything, go to all possible interviews, not to get a job, but to understand what suits me, what I’m good at.
- If you were to come back during your studies, knowing what you know today, what would you do differently?
I’d read more. A lot more. Unlimited. I would invest more in myself in my mind. I would try to understand the applications of what I learn in everyday life.
- Why an entrepreneur and not an employee?
That’s what life led me to. I have not dreamed this from the beginning. Now, however, i can no longer live without the courage, the risk, the challenges and the satisfactions of the least boring “trades” in the world of entrepreneur.
- How do you see yourself in five years?
With over 100 books read. And with more understanding of my role on this earth.
- Why this area of activity?
I went into the field of parenting after real estate, where I had been working for over 10 years, leaving the company day to day operations, company that I created with my partner. I gave birth and I understand that the postpartum period is incredibly difficult for a parent. And the lack of support in this period can have a negative impact on children and families. We are a country where there is no open talk about many things, and that makes us much worse.
- What were the fears / angst of the beginning of the road?
I had no fears. I only had the belief that I found the way I had been looking for since the university.
- What do you like most about being an entrepreneur? But the least?
The freedom to be the creator of my own success, but also the failures that always come in the package. The parts that I like less i try to delegate to people who love doing those certain things.
- Why would you have needed when you goy started?
48 hour days.
- What’s the biggest change you’ve ever made?
I have redefined what “success” means. Traditionally success means having money and power. Today for me it also means to do what I love, to contribute and to leave something behind, to wake up every morning gladly and anxious to live that day in the office, to have people better than me with the same values.
- What was the first step in fulfilling your dream?
I went on the Kilimanjaro ????, ???? In the toughest expedition of my life so far. It was more than an expedition. That’s where I actually understand what I want to do in the next few years of my life. Somehow, things get clear there.
- How would you describe yourself in a word?
Pro-active Solution finder (sounds better in English). My greatest ability is to find solutions to everything. I’m not leaving until I find a solution.
- What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?
That I do what I like, that no day resembles the other, that I teach every day.
- What motivated you to start?
The birth of my child and the identification of a huge need, the support for the fresh mothers.
- What were the first steps towards starting the business?
I’ve been running a community on Facebook for a few years, funding everything from your pocket and being volunteer every day. I have started from small to big and learned from every beginning.
- What were the risks assumed at the beginning?
I did not see any risk. The money, the time, the energy I invested, I thought of it exactly, an investment from which I certainly would learn enormously and develop myself.
- What was different after the first year?
After the first year I had already connected a few thousand people, I made the first charitable auction and the first parents support events, almost everything in the barter system.
- What were the mistakes and how did they help you get to the point where you are today?
If something entrepreneurship taught me that a mistake is always a learning opportunity. I’m not afraid of mistakes. Every mistake makes me better. After each action I write not about what did not work well but what would I do differently next time. When we are successful we do not head ourselves with “why” we were successful? When wrong, we have the chance to sit and think things, to evaluate and especially to learn.
- What did you get when you decided to start your business? Financial Opportunity or Passion in the Field?
The first business was in real-estate. It exists and still works. He got the opportunity.
- When did you get your first business idea? How did the close ones react?
I already had a multinational experience in real estate. Clients I sold properties over the years together with my teams were looking for help on the management side. I refer to those who rent their property or properties. From them came the proposal of this property management business for renting. It seemed to me a very fine proposal and I said yes from the first day. After a week we started.
- How important is entrepreneurial education?
Essential. I do not just believe in entrepreneurship. Yes, it must exist and it helps. But I believe enormously in education, in reading, in excellent mentors alongside. It’s like medicine. You never stop learning, evolution.
- What is the most difficult obstacle when you want to start a business?
For me the most difficult task was to get out of my expert clothes in my field and become an entrepreneur. In vain, I was good at selling, having a business means an overall view of connecting all the points. The seller was just one point.
- What was the initial investment?
Being both business / service providers we started with a minimum investment of 1000 Euros. But with a lot of investment in me, a lot. And with the right people next door. People with the same values as me.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of having your own business during your studies?
I did not have entrepreneurship in the university but I remain in my opinion that this period is one of maximum investment in you. If I were to go back in time, I would not consume it other than reading, learning, reading, reading. There is plenty of time. And it’s good to be ready when you meet your opportunities. I have understood in the last few years that what is in me can not be taken in my mind and can be used anywhere in the world.
- Who are you?
A man who wants to leave something behind him who understands that he is very small here on earth but has a role that wants to constantly evolve and become a better man than yesterday every day.
- What does business failure mean?
I see business as a road, not as a point I have to reach. It’s like a relationship that went well for 3 years and then it’s over. Not a failure,it is a three-year success. Then we go to the next road :).
- Did you have a mentor with a defining role in what you do today?
Yes, I had the chance of two mentors in what I am today and not in what I do. The role of mentors is more important than I ever thought. To be able to talk to people from whom you have something to learn and which you deeply admire is a blessing.
- What have I not asked you, and you would have asked me to ask you?
If what they do makes me happy. I would have answered yes! Daily!