Vannessa walked away from a career as a Criminal Psychologist to embrace another adventure – owning her own business. She opened an online jewellery boutique called Luxuria. Throughout her journey as an entrepreneur, Vannessa has utilized positive mindset practices that have helped her rise above the challenges. Read how she did it here…
Vannessa Vinos // Luxuria // E-commerce/Retail // London // 40s
WHAT MOTIVATED & INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
Two things were my main motivation: 1) I finished University just when the recession of the 90’s kicked in. I was OK since I was still completing my professional training as a Criminal Psychologist, but I saw so many talented friends and family just being thrown on the corporate scrap-heap that I made a promise to myself that by the time I was 40 I wanted to work for myself (I actually fulfilled that promise at 32 ;-) 2) I went to an Anthony Robbins event in the late 90’s that changed my perspective on everything. I also later trained with him (as an NLP Coach).
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS…
This business started as “my baby” whilst living in Spain (I was already working with my Husband in our joint business). It started because I had bought some contemporary jewellery pieces (for myself) from Spanish and Italian designers, and every time I came back to the UK, my friends would go crazy for them (often taking them straight off my fingers ;-). So that’s how the idea came about.
WHAT WERE THE FIRST FEW STEPS YOU TOOK TO GET YOUR BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING?
I started my biz as a hobby first whilst I learnt all about running an online business. I boot-strapped everything even down to building my first website (if you know what a techno-phobe I am, you will understand how huge this was for me). The main thing I did was I didn’t wait until everything was perfect before I started trading. I started trading the minute I had the minimum in place and worked out everything else from there.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF RAISING AWARENESS OF YOUR BUSINESS AND GETTING NEW CUSTOMERS?
In Spain, people are still not big on online shopping, so the most effective way for me to get my biz known was literally via word of mouth and networking. Here in the UK, it’s been using social media platforms to get new customers.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES SO FAR WITH RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
My biggest challenges have been really my own mindset. I was always so used to working to a deadline and hitting my objectives every time. With a business, I find it never works like that. So persistence and patience are paramount. Also, using methods DAILY to eliminate self-limiting beliefs and self-doubt (which are my biggest challenges) has helped.
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?
I overcome challenges by doing less work on my business (i.e taking my foot off the gas) and more work on myself i.e I learnt to meditate, learnt the Silva Mind Techniques that have helped me more than anything else (being an ex-Psychologist, anything that is related to how our brains are wired really interests me). I tried to do/learn things that I knew would help me not only with my business but with all aspects of my life (as I can be my own worst enemy). I think when we have challenges we can focus/obsess about the obstacle and it often just expands. So sometimes, it can be something as simple as walking away and promising yourself not to think/look at the problem for 2 days. Usually the answers come to you when you are in your most relaxed state and least expecting them.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
For me, I always wanted a biz that would enable me to be “location-independent.” So having a shop or restaurant, for example, was never an option. So for me, what I love most is the freedom to plan my day and not work to someone else’s timetable. Also to be able to jump on a plane whenever I want and take my work with me. I don’t care if I have to work until 2 in the morning if I am working from a lovely place.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER ENTREPRENEURS?
Don’t wait for all your ducks to be lined up before you start. Get the minimum in place and then jump. You can adjust your course as you go along.
HOW DO YOU KEEP MOTIVATED THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES?
I have a few ways to keep motivated: 1) I take time out with loved ones. I surround myself with people who are genuinely rooting for me. 2) I try and read an inspiring book or watch an inspiring video every day. The search for knowledge and knowing there have been millions of entrepreneurs who are going through what I am going through always helps me. 3) I also NEVER watch the news on the TV or even have it on in the background. If you are going through a challenging time, the daily news can just add to your woes to the point where you become too overwhelmed to even take a baby step forward. I have been on a “news-diet” for about 6 years now. If I had not been on my “news diet” I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to start 2 businesses during some of the worst economic times (especially in Spain).
DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY?
The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately!
When I face a big challenge I…
walk away and often sleep on it.
My greatest fear is…
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…
leave a very high paying profession, sell my house and move to a new country without any idea what I was going to do once I got there.
If I could go back in time to when I was 20 I would tell myself…
start now! Forget the corporate world. Just start your own business. NOW.
you don’t have to be “born” an entrepreneur. You can learn to become one.
The biggest lesson I have ever learned is…
don’t share your dreams with others until you have started your journey. Sometimes their negativity and fears can throw you off course.
My favourite business tool or resource is…
Hootsuite and PicMonkey (sorry, couldn’t pick one ;-).
My favourite quote is…
“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”