What advice would you give someone seeking a career in your field?
If you have the passion and an idea you want to bring to life, the most important thing is to jump right into the market research and validate your idea. I truly believe in the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis for every business idea. Also, to be an entrepreneur, you have to be very adaptable, especially when it comes to shifts and changes in market trends and demands, client needs, etc. While it’s not imperative to have full-time experience working in a small business, reaching out to and speaking with a lot of entrepreneurs will provide you with invaluable perspective and know-how.
What personal qualities have helped you become successful?
When I was younger I had entrepreneurial ambitions. I always had the bug and while I was grateful to have government experience as an FSO, I yearned to be on my own and outside of the bureaucracy. I made the decision that I wanted to take the risk.
What are the toughest challenges you face?
In my position, I face two types of challenges: those that are related to my actual work, and challenges related to running my own business. As for work, it can be challenging to assess and advise our clients on the different types of risk they face. One challenge we face all the time is identifying the right connection.
The challenges I face as an entrepreneur are more related to personnel. When you are in the position of running a small business, and other people are under your management, your employees’ careers are dependent on your ability to run the business successfully. That can be stressful. We’re a small team and the burden of making everything move forward in a successful way is what drives me to do my best.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing something that I, with the help of others, have helped create; something that would not have existed without our efforts.
How do you see the future of the profession? What are the positions in this field with the most potential for growth?
There are ideas that have not yet been explored by any companies, even the big ones. People who bring a unique perspective or approach and a passion to something that’s already been done will succeed. Our economy welcomes and values those who work hard and innovate or improve on existing ideas. Especially in international trade, everything is so dependent on relationships and personal experiences, that everyone brings something new to table.