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Name: Alessia Pandolfi

Business: Alessia Pandolfi 

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Industry: Professional Services 

Reason for starting? I had just moved to Finland from Italy with no network. After looking for a job for two months I simply HAD to change something and I decided to become self-employed. I already had some side jobs related to my current business, but I never thought I could turn them into a full-time business, in fact, I never considered myself a business person. Stating out loud that I want to start my own company was a huge step already, but it was only the beginning, as I then faced the obstacles of a pretty negative mindset. During these two years, there have been a lot of ups and downs, a rollercoaster of emotions, including the fact of being an expat and missing my family, of course. But the beauty of my job is that I can do it from anywhere, I just need my laptop and wifi, so I can travel and keep visiting my family.

Related: Read about another Professional Services entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? For me success means having an impact on the world: knowing that with my work I’m giving back and making others’ lives better. I’ve always volunteered for causes I believe in and wished I could do more and contribute financially, too. Now I can finally do it, and I can say that I take a lot of pride in it. I want my success to be the opportunity for someone else to take action and be successful. I would say this is success for me.

Biggest success: In terms success like I explained above, is the fact that every month a part of my revenue goes to two different charities and that I spend part of my free time within an up-cycling project to include unemployed immigrant women. If we talk about strictly work-related success, my pride is with two virtual summits I set up in July 2017 and in January 2018: two five-days virtual conferences with more than 40 speakers and 800+ attendees: I set up the whole hosting platform, email automation series, payment systems, etc. It was a huge work, but honestly the most rewarding.

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Not having a business background (I have a bachelor in Russian studies) has been quite difficult at the beginning, and working from home makes it quite lonely at times. What helped me a lot is being part of a membership: a group of likely minded women entrepreneurs helping each other. We have training, accountability buddies and constant support. So, I’d say having a network and other fellow entrepreneurs to rely on has been a strong game-changer in my online business.

Related: Overcoming Uncertainty – With a Little Help 

Who is your most important role model? My role women are women who followed their dreams and showed the world they could do it, regardless of all the obstacles, odds, critics: Jane Goodall, Oprah, Malala Yousafzai, Marie Curie.


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Edited by The Story Exchange