For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about balance and how you can find it as an entrepreneur (for example, as the owner of Iris Optic). The truth is that this is a goal you need to have every day. Once you find it, you’re not done, because when you’re juggling a business, customers, inventory, services, suppliers, global and national situations of all kinds, etc., the biggest challenge is keeping your balance.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a down-to-earth woman, an entrepreneur who knows exactly what she wants and needs – to be happy. Roxana has her own medical optician practice – Iris Optic and is a smiling, open and optimistic person. She left me with the impression that she always sees the half-full part of the glass and that it’s true…life is how you make it.
What should you know about Iris Optic?
About the practice, I can tell you it’s the kind of place you should visit. You know when you’re walking down the street and suddenly you see a door that simply invites you in? I felt something like that myself. The atmosphere is nice, welcoming, but I can say Roxana’s attitude does it all.
Let’s get to the interview!
And now, the interesting part: what does Roxana think of entrepreneurship?
Manu: How did you decide to start this business?
Roxana: I’m from Brasov, but I’ve been living in Sibiu because of work for 6 years. I finished the Optometry Faculty to be able to work in this field. That is, to be the person who prescribes dioptres for those who need glasses. I started working at the university for smaller practices, and then I had a job that involved fieldwork, which meant that I was doing consultations at companies’ offices and I was always traveling around the country.
Having my own business wasn’t necessarily what I wanted, because I never thought I had leadership skills. But, I joined the horde and, it turns out, it was a winning decision for me.
M: Did you ever think about giving up?
R: Oh, yes. It was hard at first. Plus, the first time I opened my practice in Brasov, I didn’t make inspired choices, which turned it into a total failure for me. Then I told myself I had to try somewhere else. This time, I looked into all aspects of the business, just as I should have done from the beginning.
The first time, when I had the practice in Brasov, I was interested in the space being nice and the shop window looking good. That’s about it. But that space was not in a favorable area. But now it’s not the case anymore. For some time now I have had a specific outlook on life. I want to be happy, not rich, but financially independent.
M: What is the biggest challenge you face, as an entrepreneur, in your field?
R: People. Trying to please everyone. That’s one of the challenges. Another is bureaucracy. You run into piles of paperwork and walls everywhere. Anything you try to do, you get a slammed door in your face as an entrepreneur.
M: What do you do on days when you can’t find the motivation for the work you have to do (to keep your business afloat and help it grow)?
R: I don’t do anything. I just wait for it to pass, while relaxing and putting my thoughts in order. The next day, I start over.
M: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since you started your own business?
A: Putting myself above all work, money. I, the person behind Iris Optic, behind the desk, am more important than what happens there. I’ve reached a balance, the level I wanted and I’m happy. I leave problems at work, I don’t take them home. I’ll deal with them tomorrow at 10:00.
M: What do you consider to be the most notable difference between being an employee or an entrepreneur?
R: Freedom of choice. As an entrepreneur, you can do what you want, without having to explain yourself. You don’t have daily tasks you have to do, no matter how you feel.
M: How would you characterize your business – Iris Optic, in a word (except “quality”)?
M: What would you advise an entrepreneur who is just starting out?
R: To have courage, but I think that comes with age. When you’re young, you just go with the flow You are impulsive. If I were to set up my practice now, for the first time, I would do things totally differently. I advise entrepreneurs to be confident, to do what they love and to do it with love because you can see it and feel it. To be as optimistic as they can be.
MY CONCLUSION – Support Small Businesses
It was an interview with many laughs, which gave me a good feeling and showed me another side of entrepreneurship. The fact that you can have a small business that helps you get to the level you want, and gives you fulfilment on all sides. But, there’s a big BUT here too…it’s up to the individual person, their goals and aspirations. You don’t have to get everything right from the start. And if you do experience failures, you don’t have to let yourself get demoralized. It’s up to you to pick yourself up and start again. Maybe next time’s a charm!
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