To grow with your dream – the story of Iskra Evtimova
Iskra Evtimova from Varna is an online marketing specialist, blogger, business consultant, author, lecturer, mother, traveler, and before everything else – an optimist. She likes to inspire people with positivity and faith that they can achieve anything they want. Of course, if they put in the necessary effort to do so.
In the last few years, you have changed positions from a department head in a large company, to a person who has developed their own business, and last fall you started a new venture. How did you transition during this period and how did your goals change?
At university, being a manager seemed like the WOW thing to me. And I had made it my goal. Well, at the age of 25, I already had a team of over 20 people and 2 years later the new WOW for me was working for myself. I’ve always been rebellious and wanted to do things my way, and choose who to work with, where, and how.
One day I just went to the office and quit my job. Without a plan of what to do next. Since then, a lot of interesting things have happened to me. I don’t have fixed working hours, I don’t have an office where I am anchored from 9 to 5 and I feel great that way. During this period, I went through a lot of personal development – various courses, seminars, and books.
I think my worldview is very different from what it was when I was 25. Now I face every new challenge with a smile and I know I can handle it. It’s not that the fear of the unknown isn’t always with me, but if he used to be the driver slamming on the brakes, now he’s just a passenger in the back seat, and I decide what do to next.
What are the next goals and dreams you will pursue?
In the fall (of 2022), I launched my business academy, where I help small business owners or startups enter the digital space with the right strategy for their type of business. Until now, I’ve mainly worked as someone you can hire to do your site optimization or paid ads. I decided to change my business model so that I could be useful to more people. I love teaching, and I’m pretty good at it, and I decided it was time for this new adventure.
What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned along the way?
The mindset you have is everything! You can be the most talented person, but if you don’t believe you can achieve your dreams, you will give up on the first hurdle. You may not be that talented, but if you are much more hardworking and have the right mindset, then you have a much better chance of success.
Personal development turned out to be the most important, but also the most difficult thing. Discovering what is holding you back, when this limiting belief originated, and how to rework it so it works to your advantage is extremely important on the road to success. Overcoming the fears that you are not good enough, that people will make fun of you, and that you will be rejected is not an easy task, but it is definitely worth it. If you manage to work through these fears, new horizons open up in front of you.
Another valuable thing I learned is that when one makes a decision and commits to acting on it, the entire Universe rearranges itself to provide you with the right situations, people, information, and whatever else you need. You are only required to notice them and act. A very favorite expression of mine is “There are no coincidences”. Look around for non-random coincidences.
What motivates you in difficult times?
My most sincere answer to the question WHY. Why do I even do what I do? In my case, it’s my vision of what kind of life I want for my family and myself. I want when I get old to be able to look back and say to myself “I’ve lived my life to the fullest.” Perhaps my biggest fear is that when I get older I will think “I wasted my life”. I’m getting sick just imagining it.
Do you have any practical advice from your experience for anyone taking their first steps towards following their dream?
Yeah! Discover what your strongest and deepest WHY is. Why did you take the path to this dream? But not the superficial “Because I want more money”. Really think about why. Remember it in difficult times.
Get to know yourself and find out what your biggest fears are and how they could trip you up. Work on them. Our brain is for the sole purpose of keeping us safe, and if it thinks that a situation (for example, speaking in front of people) may be dangerous for us (to worry and expose), it does everything possible to stop us (not to speak in front of people).
So, know yourself, and your fears and work on them daily. You just work on one problem and whoops, another one pops up underneath it. Or you get to the first goal and whoops, new things come up for the second that needs to be worked out. Well, it’s interesting for me (smiles).
And one more thing – carefully choose your surroundings and with whom you share what you will do. Try to talk mostly with people who would support you, not those who impute in you a feeling of fear of failure. Even the perfect seed, if left without water, without sun, and in poor soil, will not grow. If you don’t have people around you who give you the courage to pursue your dreams, look for such an environment.
What would you say to people who are hesitant to start making their dreams come true?
But why are they so hesitant?! No, no, no! You have a dream because it is for you! It has come to you and is waiting for you to act. Yes, it’s hard to believe in yourself. It seems very scary to take the first steps, but if you start on the path, it begins to reveal itself to you step by step. The most important thing is to remember that you are not alone.
If you don’t know how to do something, there is always someone to ask. If not a friend, then a consultation with a specialist will do the trick. You don’t need to do everything yourself. Did you know that when investors choose startups, they bet on ones that are at least two people? Because statistics show that a single person tends to give up much more often.
There is nothing more satisfying than listening to what your inner self wants and waking up with trepidation for the day ahead, going to bed with a smile and it doesn’t matter if it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday. I sincerely wish that anyone who has a dream finds the courage to follow the path to its realization and if somewhere along the way a challenge appears that they cannot handle, just look for a person who has already overcome it.
Believe that you can achieve anything you want!