Mentor Spotlight: Anna Molnár

Mentor Spotlight: Anna Molnár

Anna Molnár is a business coach for female entrepreneurs, with an immense passion for languages and literature, a special analytic eye for complex situations and a huge drive to get the best out of people and their companies. I help ambitious businesswomen to make themselves and their companies blossom by creating a solid and healthy business strategy, so they work smarter instead of harder. I also help them create real impact, high income and time with loved ones.

 

What is your story and what led you to join the entrepreneurial world?

When I turned 40, I felt a turning point in my life. I had it all: a nice job, a nice partner, a nice house, etc., but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I felt the need to create something valuable with all my talents, experience, expertise and passion. I realized that I wanted to create my own company, so that I could help other women to live their best life. This is how Blossom Empowering Events was born.

 

What have you learned in your entrepreneurial career?

My entrepreneurial career has taught me so much about myself, my hopes and my fears. It has also taught me that we all need support, no matter on what level we are. It’s essential to surround yourself with a support system, where it’s safe to ask questions and be vulnerable. This way you can really overcome the hurdles on your way, instead of just ignoring them and making them worse.

 

What is one thing you still really want to do in your entrepreneurial career?

I would love to help Japanese female entrepreneurs to thrive. I love Japan and the Japanese culture. It would make me enormously proud if I could help Japanese women to be more independent, while respecting their traditions.

 

Looking back, what is one thing you would do different?

Asking for help a lot sooner. Every week that goes by unresolved is a week too much.

 

What would you advise women starting their journeys in the entrepreneurial space?

Surround yourself with people who believe in your capacities. Make a serious plan for your business and be flexible while executing it. Get into action, ask questions, fail, learn and get going again. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride! Be professional, but don’t be too serious. Enjoy the creativity and the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur and inspire others to do the same!

 

What is the reason you joined FEMpreneurhulp?

I needed some support myself, and as a thank you I wanted to give back. There is always something you can do for someone else.

 

What are common challenges women face in the startup world and how can we tackle them according to you?

Common challenges are perfectionism, procrastination, wanting to please everyone, impostor syndrome, difficulty to talk about money and asking for the sale, being too humble, wanting to do and be everything for everyone, being overworked… to just name a few. Awareness is the first step to tackle them all. Understand what your most common pitfall is and work on overcoming it.

 

Anything else you would like to share?

If you have difficulty to keep focus, if your plans don’t tend to work, if you are out of ideas of what to do next, if you have too many ideas and don’t know where to start, if you always start but hardly ever finish, if you are always busy and don’t see the difference between weekdays and weekends anymore, if you could use some support to take some tough decisions … reach out to me. Together we can map out your situation, find your personal & professional goals and create a resilient plan. I’ll guide you through your commitment, so that you can enjoy both your private and professional life with impact and without feeling guilty.

Mentor spotlight: Gervaise Coebergh

Mentor spotlight: Gervaise Coebergh

Gervaise Coebergh is owner of several businesses in media, communications and leisure.

When I was young I had no clue what to do for a living. Just like my female ancestors, I wasn’t really supposed to go working – other than as a housewife. You can hardly understand that nowadays, but that was how it was. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurial spirit is in my DNA. And just like my male ancestors, I started my own business along the way. And I did it well.

I trust my skills and dedication;

I use my intuition and common sense;

I like to be surrounded by warm, smart and talented professionals;

I like to make my own choices;

I am eager to win;

I do not mind to work hard and – very important too – I like to make other people (read here: clients) happy.

My advice to women that start their entrepreneurial journey would be that they need to be able to think BIG. Don’t lose energy on details and dare to invest (also money) to grow. You need to be prepared to make choices that you didn’t expect to make. What choice will you make when your biggest client needs you, just on the day that your firstborn turns 1? Exactly! Be prepared. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

FEMpreneurhulp is a good initiative because it advises women in a very realistic way. No pink glasses, but honest stories and advise, based on personal experience. Also, the listening ear of a peer can be very helpful and comforting. Next to this, the network of FEMpreneurhulp is of great value. For me, it feels good to share my knowledge and experience so that others can benefit from it. Because, yes, female entrepreneurs do lack advantages that men have. So let’s give each other some little extra support!

 

Mentor spotlight: Lisa Ross-Marcus

Mentor spotlight: Lisa Ross-Marcus

Lisa Ross-Marcus is an executive coach and intercultural consultant with a focus on women and leadership.

What is your story, and what led you to join the entrepreneurial world?

I moved to Paris from the United States as a student and eventually settled in Amsterdam. My first career was as a professional dancer and choreographer, creating my performances that toured throughout Europe. Later I realized that this was my first entrepreneurial experience. I was an artistic director of my foundation and raised significant money annually to fund my productions through grants, sponsoring, and income from performances. After leaving the theatre world, I established one of the first wedding planning companies in The Netherlands, ‘Dream Weddings.’ I sold the company 5 years later, after doubling the earnings every consecutive year.  In the interim, I had started to work as a corporate communication trainer for multi-national companies. The professional development field was a good fit for me, so I expanded my skills as a coach and an intercultural expert. Through my company In-Coaching, I coach and train professionals in leadership, career development, and intercultural communication.

What have you learned in your entrepreneurial career?

I have learned that taking risks is important. If you want to do something that hasn’t been done before, don’t worry about negative scenarios or what other people will think get in your way. On the contrary, there is strength in presenting new ideas and concepts because it creates curiosity.

What is one thing you still really want to do in your entrepreneurial career?

I want to explore structured ways to help develop female leaders, such as creating a self-assessment model or designing a workshop. I love experiential and creative learning; I would like to find more ways to leverage my artistic/performance background in coaching and training.

Looking back, what is one thing you would do different?

I would give more compliments and do less complaining. I have always set very high standards for myself and expected others to do the same. I have learned that acknowledging what people do well creates the trust and respect you need to address problems and get people to perform better honestly.

What is the reason you joined FEMpreneurhulp?

I jumped at the chance to be part of FEMpreneurhulp because of the mission of helping female entrepreneurs, which is in line with my focus on female leadership. I came on-board as a coach but rapidly realized that I had a lot to offer as a mentor to women relying on grants to get their enterprise off the ground. Likewise, I have a lot of experience writing successful grant proposals and having a knack for articulating compelling arguments in general, such as pitching business proposals and even winning a court case against a multi-national company. This means that when working with women through FEMpreneurhulp, I frequently switch between my ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ hats. 

What are common challenges women face in the startup world, and how can we tackle them, according to you?

Speaking your mind and holding others accountable can be challenging because of a fear of not being liked or respected. Learning the skill of constructive conversations and framing that with clear intentions – why something is important for you and the company – are empowering habits to cultivate.

What would you advise women to start their journeys in the entrepreneurial space?

Keep your antenna out to connect your ambitions with opportunities. Read the local newspaper, pick up clues about valuable information in your conversations, share your ambitions with everyone. You never know when a door will open, and you need to be ready when it does.