Financial Newspaper – Who is great and so has humility

Financial Newspaper – Who is great and so has humility

Beata Drzazga, entrepreneur, is interviewed by Katarzyna Mazur.

Where did you get the need to share your knowledge, emotions, experiences of running a business with young people just choosing their professional path?

I would like to give young people access to knowledge that I didn’t have myself. Yes, there were books, you could read about successful people, but already meet them in person, ask specific questions, express your doubts not necessarily. And I like to share knowledge. It makes me happy to meet people, to tell them about my experiences. Sometimes they are students, sometimes they are budding businessmen, sometimes they are people who have been running companies for several or more years. They come with different questions, they are at different professional, life stages. I feel that because of me, because of our meetings, they will be able to achieve success faster. What for them is new, surprising, fear-inducing, I have already experienced, processed and can tell about it with detachment. I don’t give lectures, because it’s boring and ineffective – I talk to people. It gives me joy and satisfaction.

Do you meet your interlocutors after some time and hear from them that the knowledge taken from you has helped them in something?

Yes, this is fantastic! Imagine that some time ago I met a man who told me that he had a crisis in running his business. And then he remembered that I, during the meeting, talked about the fact that I recruit all employees to the company personally. He began to wonder if it was this lack of knowledge of his own employees that was his problem. He tried my method and the company began to function better and better. It was for me a confirmation of the belief that it is worth meeting, worth sharing, worth being close to people.

Why do you recruit yourself?

I can’t imagine otherwise. My companies, reflect my personality, my values, my approach to work, people. I need to know those who work for me, who represent me. And they have to know me to do it right. Besides, how can you build a relationship with your employees without talking to them, without actually knowing they exist? I want the people who work for me to participate in the life and creation of the enterprise.

You speak of professional relationships in a not-so-corporate way.

Because I am very uncorporate. At my place, people are supposed to talk to each other, not send emails to each other. No waiting in front of the computer for an answer. With me it’s all about cooperation, communication and responsibility for myself and the team. I am also not a fan of working remotely. I believe that relationships are built in real, physical contact. I also don’t like competing with each other in teams. Yes, I want people to feel that they are developing, but I do not introduce some strictly defined promotion paths. Everyone is expected to make an effort and everyone has the opportunity to develop. I want to meet with my employees, talk to them, sometimes argue. I want my directors or managers to tell me what they think about it, because maybe I am not right in some aspect. They have every right to culturally challenge my opinion.

This is very rare, but how valuable in a manager.

He who is great can accept criticism. (laughter)

Coming back to your meetings with young people who are at such a stage of deciding whether they want to start their own business or whether they want to work for someone, what are the most common questions from their side about running a business, what are they curious about?

Most often they ask what were my biggest stumbles and failures. This shows that there is a concern in the minds of young future entrepreneurs. On the one hand, this is good, because this is not about taking risks in business, on the other hand, there is no such thing as a sure business. Something can always happen. Someone who has mostly fears and black scenarios in his head will not spread his wings in business.

What do you warn young entrepreneurs about?

Above all, one must be very careful in deciding how to finance the venture. If it’s going to be a loan, it’s going to be heavily considered and recalculated. It is better to start with small steps, with small amounts, with a small scale, than to stay with debts. Sometimes an idea that is born in our head will not necessarily be well received by the market. Business doesn’t always go beautifully, and when it doesn’t, you have to quickly adjust to the change.

Easy to say, worse to do. We don’t like change.

Of course, but in business nothing is certain, it is good to be prepared from the beginning that something will go wrong and you will have to implement a new concept. And one should not be ashamed of the fact that the plan has changed. And while I am always prepared for the possibility of an audit from, for example, the Internal Revenue Service, and as for the order in the documents I am not able to have the slightest concession, when it comes to the business plan, basically every day I am ready for a revolution. (laughter)

When you set up your companies, did you set them up with an eye to what is close to you, what will give you pleasure, or was it more of a business calculation?

Business calculation must always be. Well, because we don’t open a business just to lose. In my case, without a doubt, each company was created for a different reason, at a different point in life. BetaMed was out of love and great tenderness. I wanted to share them with people. My clothing store was created because I didn’t have time to go to the stores. So I thought I would open a store for myself and be my own best customer. (laughter). It gave me a springboard from my first business and made me realize how much I enjoy traveling. After all, I had to travel all over the world to get these clothes. (laughter). In turn, this opened my eyes that I want to live outside Poland. So I flew to the United States for school to have some purpose, some justification for this change. What happened later over the next few years, this overwhelming desire of mine to do something new all the time, led me to where I am today. My newest business baby is Global Impact by Beata Drzazga. This name emphasizes my global influence – wherever I go, I do something cool.

Source: Financial Gazette