Despite the fact that there are more women than men in Europe, female entrepreneurs are only a third of the self-employed in the European Union (EU). If we have to speak in numbers, women are 52% of the entire EU population, but they represent only around 34% of those who are self-employed and about 30% of the start-up entrepreneurs. For that reason, today, just a day after Thanksgiving, I am going to start my new “Motivation & Success” rubric – Young Entrepreneurs Talk – and my first guest is Desislava Dobreva, a successful female entrepreneur.
Desislava, Desi or Des as her friends call her, is from Pleven, Bulgaria, and she gladly accepted to be the first entrepreneur whom I am interviewing. And it was on purpose that I chose a female to open the floor.
Even though female entrepreneurs encounter many more challenges than men when establishing their businesses (training, access to finance, access to networks for business purposes, family concerns, etc.), their huge entrepreneurial potential and unique creativity represent an under-exploited (and under-rated) source of economic development, growth, and jobs that needs further expansion.
Desislava Dobreva is one of the few, very bright, young female entrepreneurs, that I have the honour to know and who is juggling countless activities on a daily basis. I am going to let her answer my questions first and then I will share something more about her. So, without further ado, here she is.
- Since I have chosen you for my “Young Entrepreneurs Talk” rubric, you must be quite successful. Introduce yourself in a couple of sentences. Why do you deem yourself successful in what you do?
It really depends on how you perceive success. To me, success is 2 things. Firstly, being yourself no matter what. Compromising is important, but not if you’re compromising yourself! Secondly – helping people change their lives for the better with the value you provide. Nowadays, most of us can have a successful business, and yet – very few of us actually care about using that business to do good.
- In the ever growing world of ferocious competition for jobs and finding your place on the work market, it is more and more daunting a task to stand out. How do you stick your head out from the crowd? What makes you unique?
My confidence. I can pull everything off – from a photo taken from a bad angle to an outfit that doesn’t match. I don’t feel insecure or afraid – which is why I’m able to jump into the unknown and literally live out of my comfort zone. Once you let go of the fear and of people’s opinions: that’s when you’re finally able to stand out. I’ve never, ever been afraid of failing – because I know that if I do, I’ll only learn something and become better.
- How do you find your clients (or they find you)? Share with us your secret (or at least, some hints).
When I started my career, my clients found me on UpWork – it’s a great website for beginners, but I don’t like the idea of losing so much from my profits due to their fees. Which is why I started a business and took it out of UpWork. Now, people find me through word of mouth or any of my social media accounts.
- How do you cope with juggling all your daily errands?
I have daily to-do lists that are both realistic and ambitious, as long as long-term goals that hang on my wall. Goal-setting is a huge part of my life and I dedicated a lot of time to learning how to do it properly. (And when I did, I created a live stream to help people do the same!)
- I am sure you have a role model. Who would be the entrepreneur with whom you would love to work with?
Hands down, Richard Branson. This man’s whole ideology and the way he perceives what being alive is all about are a perfect match with mine. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work with someone I’d be in complete sync with. Then again, I also admire Elon Musk and his work – we’re very different, which is why it would be interesting to collaborate. Both of these men are changing the world for the better – I wouldn’t want to work with someone who doesn’t do that.
- What kind of errors have you made over the course of your career and how they have helped you grow?
Being impatient. This is my worst character trait, and to this day I’m still battling with it: I probably always will. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, though. I think it’s good for me because every single day is a challenge and I need to do my absolute best to keep my expectations in check.
- Is there a universal formula for success?
Not unless you’re a clown. Your work is pretty straight-forward then! (*waiting for a clown to come troll me now). For the rest of us, there can never be a universal formula for success. We’re all different people, and what works for one person doesn’t have to work for someone else. Sadly, too many people do believe in the universal formula, which is why so many scammers exist.
- Apart from your busy work life, what do you do in your leisure time?
I do pole dancing, listen to rock n roll, travel and argue with my sloth.
- Do you have any regrets?
No. Everything bad that happened to me and every mistake I’ve made has led me to this moment, so I’m nothing but grateful for every experience I’ve had in my life.
- Why did you like this interview?
Cause Svet is awesome!
And so are you, Des, thanks for this interview! It was an utmost pleasure to have you in my first “Young Entrepreneurs Talks” show. I will introduce you to a new one every month so make sure to subscribe.
Desislava Dobreva defines herself as a Brand Strategist, a Stereotype Fighter, and a Social Media Badass who is on a mission to decrease the world suck.
It seems that combining social media with pole dancing and generously sprinkling them with positive hues has worked out great for Desi. I am sure the best is yet to come.
Desi is active on many social media, but make sure to check out her personal website, her awesome YouTube channel, as well as her revolutionising Periscope. Des is also the founder of the Facebook Group – Social Media Badass Academy. If you also want your buttocks to be noticed among all social media channels, sign up for it!
Are you a successful entrepreneur? How do you stand out from the crowd?