Our CEO tells her story: from hating her job to becoming a grateful business owner

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Yes, the headline is catchy and this is part of our team's job. However, before you read any further, please take a moment for yourselves and reply to the questions below, allowing sincerity to take the front stage of your mind:

"Do you love or even like your job?"

"Does it bring you the joy of doing something you truly care about?"

"Do you wake up every morning happy to get out of the house just to reach your office quicker?"

"Once in the office, do you have the energy to greet people with a smile, wishing them an incredibly abundant and blessed day ahead?"

Andrada Anitei, CEO of Flavored Ventures - closeup portrait
"Remember to smile at life, no matter the hardships. And when you least expect it, life will smile right back at you!"

Now think about your passion and for how long have you been putting it off, due to lack of support.

Passions are, more often than not, seen as games. They are perceived as non-income yielding activities. But we disagree and we have a strong reason to do so.

Although we used to give in to this belief for most of our lives (since people saying the above are so convinced about it!), after learning the story of our CEO, we reconsidered everything. And we now know that everything can be un-learned. 😉

Our CEO, Andrada Anitei, chose to share her answers with you, from two different perspectives: as a former employee and as founder of the company she is now taking care of.

As a backstory, we would like you to get to know the human part of our beloved leader first. In fact, we can't take the credit for this idea, as it was hers. She believes that behind any business position there is a soul that needs to be revealed, thus what better manner of inspiring others to see this than by revealing her own soul to the world?

In the corporate world for 12 years

“Sharing your own story with the world might inspire someone in taking a step towards their own dream, so why not use it without fear?” says our leader. And we couldn’t agree more, so enjoy reading the story of a courageous woman. We know for a fact that you will be engrossed with her story as much as we were when we first learned it.

“I started my career at the age of 21, in the corporate world, as I never saw myself working anywhere else but behind a desk. And, most probably, my perception about work was influenced by my father’s lifelong career, since he worked as an IT manager for as long as I can remember. This job I landed (as a contract administrator) came as a result of having had a short internship period there, during university years.

I believe it’s important to mention the fact that while I got my first job I was also attending my last university year and I moved out of my parents’ house. That year was a huge turning point in my life, as I thought I would see my dream of being independent as coming true. Of course, I was far from that, but I enjoyed freedom as much as I possibly could.

Going back to my work life story, I learned a lot in the contract administrator position and I had a decent salary (or so I thought), but I soon realized that I had another vision about my life. I wanted a position that should have offered me even the tiniest decision-making opportunity. For some sort of reason, I always knew that I would do a great job as a leader. But of course, my next job was not even close to a management position, rather it gave me the chance to learn about and practice sales. That was one of the jobs I enjoyed the least. Although I had a lot of fun with my workmates, I felt trapped inside a place I did not belong to. Obviously, I had to move on from that job and look for something completely different. Luckily, thanks to my previous job I have made some important connections - and that was my chance to leverage on them. I was bold enough to do that, so I visited the CEO of a company I used to collaborate with at my previous employer. Despite my boldness, I had my hidden insecurities, which I would hide at all times. Nonetheless, I gave my best at the interview and, to my great surprise, the CEO was impressed with the interaction we had, so he offered me the job. And that was it! The time for me to be on a management position came - quicker than many people would have ever imagined (including myself, irrespective of my strong belief that I belonged to such a position).”

The turning point

We heard a loud sigh coming out of our leader’s being as she recalled this experience. Later on we understood the reason for this reaction, but it was interesting seeing her like that. Although she openly shares life experiences and she encourages us all to do just the same, that moment was of a different (higher) intensity.

“I was let go, a few years later, without even being given a warning (neither then nor in the past) or a chance to improve whatever it was they wanted me to change. Later did I learn that their approach has been illegal, but I was too young back then.”

Another loud sigh escaped her chest. But then she immediately adopted that positive posture and said in a vibrant voice:

“Looking back at this experience I understand that everything happens for a reason. Should it have never happened, today I was still an inexperienced person. I still believe in magic and unicorns, don’t get me wrong (she laughs like a child), yet now I know when to take a stand for myself. The entire business landscape changed for me starting the day I closed that office door behind me.”

Our leader looks at the scenery behind the window for a few seconds and she goes on:

“You see, my dear, this life is made of choices - I wrote about this topic a few years back since it is very dear to my soul. And every choice has a consequence - be it a lesson or an achievement. It’s very important how we perceive that consequence. Of course, in the moment it looks like a terrible curse we will never get rid of, but that is solely because we amplify everything. And when I was younger I had the tendency to overreact. You can imagine the drama happening behind closed doors!”

She giggles for a moment, warmly looks at me, and says:

“Today I can laugh at it, but back then I was terrified. Thanks God I was still by myself (no family or whatsoever - I was only 24), otherwise depression would have swallowed me in even more.”

She skips “the minor experiences” and jumps to her former job:

“One of these minor experiences helped me land my former job, in the BPO (Business process outsourcing) industry. I felt blessed as I had a desk again. No management position (such a strike for my ego!), but the people were nice and I was (and still am) lucky to be a quick learner. I spent 7 years of my life there, with various turns after my comeback once maternity leave was over. As I am curious about everything, by nature, and having had the willingness to do whatever others hated, I learned more than others did. From invoice processing (in the beginning), to payments processing, to reporting and complex analysis, to user testing and system implementation, completed by technical support for a team of 60+ people, everything happened in such a way that I now have a great amount of knowledge in different areas, which helps me connect important dots. And I can use all this to my advantage, as I can’t be fooled easily, although I am aware of the fact that I have so much left to learn. Even about this business, but I am incredibly happy to have people like yourself by my side. It means a lot, you know?”

I felt blush invading my cheeks and I couldn’t help it: I had to give the interview a short break while giving my boss a shy hug.

After this short emotional moment, I felt the urge to ask our leader to share her experience of transitioning from her former role to becoming a writer. I saw her face lighting up and I could never properly describe the passion revealed by her eyes and voice. For that you will have to meet her in person.

From hating her job to becoming a grateful business owner

Ah, writing, my love! It is a love affair that started due to love and continues out of a love for people that I never thought possible. But the story… Oh, my, now I’m becoming more emotional than before” she says with a shy giggle and almost whispering.

“A few years ago, my heart was empty although I was married. Day by day, things were taking unfortunate turns in this regard. Emotional abuse was forever there and my two beautiful daughters would witness everything. And that broke my heart more than the abuse broke my self esteem. After endless talks with no visible improvements, but on the contrary, I made a radical decision: I sent him away to work in another country, while I was on maternity leave, still hoping that we could fix anything. But I will never forget how much of a relief I felt when he left. I finally felt at peace, literally. Of course, things never got better despite all efforts. A few months later, I enrolled my girls in a daycare and returned to work. I needed to rebuild my self esteem and start working on regaining my sanity.”

Before speaking further, she takes a deep breath as if gathering all her inner strength:

“Almost 1 year later, I fell in love with a man that used to be a very good friend of mine. However, till this day nothing came out of it, except my newborn passion for writing. I was madly in love with him for 2 years in a row (he’s still in my heart although I let go of chasing) and during all that time I started writing down every single thought of mine. Like many other passions, this too started as a “game”, but this game became my healing. It was (and still is, as we speak) the greatest form of personal therapy that I ever experienced. I used to write in the subway, during coffee breaks at work, literally while walking, at home while wiping my tears and so on. This craft “caught” me and I have no chance of going back. The track is now set and I can only move ahead. With every piece of writing I put out I share a bit of my soul (my two published books, although written as fiction, convey a very strong message related to personal growth). And this is one aspect that I brought as value into this company - transparency, which builds trust with the audience and the clients, which leads to sending out to their own clients the so much needed emotional message.”

Flavored Ventures diamond shaped logo in turquoise, purple, black and grey.
When you can taste your passion, that's how you know it's real!

Since our conversation reached this point, it was time to reveal how did the transition actually happen - from hating her job to becoming a grateful business owner. You will love this part more than the rest!

“As I mentioned before, at my former job I learned more than I could have ever imagined, in many directions. Still, I got to a point where I felt my place was no longer there and I could make a huge list of reasons. The main one was my growing passion for writing, accompanied by the feeling of being underappreciated for my real value - which was no longer just a feeling but the truth; and not just for me, but for a huge number of employees of that company.

At some point in time, my life became a chaos on too many levels, making it too hard to spin the same amount of plates in my hands. Being a single mom was a choice but it’s never easy; one of my parents fell ill and I had to help there too, in ways I never thought possible; and I could carry on, but the fact is that I hit the burnout point. So I had to let go of something. That being said, things happened for me to make a new choice - another tough one, which I was terrified of. But then I took the leap of faith, trusting the process and nothing else."

Rising in the name of passion

"If anyone asked me now how did I survive during these 2 years (from the time of leaving my job to being able to build my own company), my first answer will most probably be “I have no idea”. At a second glance, however, I would admit that I had incredible souls next to me on this path. And I need to start with my mentor, a wonderful woman in her 60s, who has been very patient with me and who gave me a lot of self-development tools to use. Of course, as my mentor says, “having the tools is nothing unless you apply what you learn”. She has been my most trusted adviser during these years and she is still guiding my steps today. Without her I would still dance at that pity party I used to enjoy at some point. We all go through it, every now and then, and this is why it is so important to surround ourselves with people who can wake us up. When no one believed in what I could become she said “hang in there, you’ll make it.” And so I did, thanks to her incredible care for my soul and to her high interest in teaching me about the importance of gratitude. But she is also a prolific business woman, which makes it even more beautiful and interesting.

Of course, there are more incredible people who joined me at some point, each one for a reason I am still to discover, but the thing is that I would be nothing without them. I will mention one more woman who was there for me in my most critical of moments - when I literally had no food to put on the table for my children. She is the mother of 3 girls who used to be kindergarten colleagues with my daughters. This lady and her mother came to me one day and brought 2 full bags of food. I will never be able to tell in words what I felt in those moments - a mix of shame and the utmost intense gratitude. You will hear more about her, I am sure, as I will never forget the people who were there for me. Just like my parents who, despite their age, would bring me cooked food whenever possible, although our relationship was never the best. But you see, this entire time taught me what gratitude means; it forced me to clean my lenses and look at people from a different angle. Paradoxically, all this time made me regain my trust in the beauty of human souls.

Another person that I highly need to acknowledge is the first client who entrusted me with a press release and then with their entire communication with the world, in regards to their revolutionary project. Signing that contract was the first step towards looking financial independence in the eye. That person helped me more than I will ever be able to thank them for!

This is what gratitude does: it takes you out of a black whole and positions you in a completely different place, with abundant light, where the right people show up and the most important ones are there to stay. In one way or another, the people I mentioned are still here, next to me, pushing me to become better with each day. How could I not feel grateful and blessed?”

While saying the last phrase, there was a visible state of happiness unveiling from within our leader’s being:

“My dear, remember to smile at life, no matter the hardships. And when you least expect it, life will smile right back at you!”

#FlavoredWriting #UnmaskedCEO #PassionPrevails #QualityOverQuantity #LoveForPeople

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