Interview with Jana Svihlova

Jana Svihlova is the CEO of the JSV International Assistant Service, a service that provides Administrative & Secretary, and Executive Personal Assistants to range of businesses.  You can find her business at  www.internationalassistant.eu

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– Where did you get the idea, to create your own Personal Assistant service?

I got an idea to create PAservices (based in Czech Republic, but providing services globaly) in the end of year 2009. It was just around season, it the right time for me to balance my life´s achievement and my current situation. I had been employed in the Czech post office for the previous 2 years. Every day was the same, like every other day.

I consider myself a very dynamic and energetic person with a lot of vitality – someone who always needs challenges and pressure to be creative and get success. At the start of 2010, I formally launched my business JSV international Assistant service and my web site http://www.internationalassistant.eu. It was hard work, long hours but now, 5 years after the start; I am running a highly successful business.

I specialize in providing PA services and assistance to a wide variety of CEO´s, entrepreneurs, companies, ministers and deputies. My core business concentrates on high Executive assistant services, and travel assistance. In the present time I am running the team of Executive PA’s, based in Prague, Czech Republic. The business provides Executive Personal Assistant services internationally.

My services run from general secretarial and PA work, to translation services, to interpreting, Facility Management, Family Office, Financial consultancy, Time & Task Management, Accounting and Bookkeeping, relocation services, and many more. I have links to other independent PA’s right across Europe. My business has no geographical borders. I have wide experiences in the professional business of PA. I also have a dedicated team of professional assistants who can provide all of the services necessary in a “one stop shop”.

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When recruiting personal assistants and concierges, what characteristics do you want the most?

My staff: I have met people by chance, start to communicate and share ideas and thoughts. You´ll soon find out what kind of personality you face on, and their reall attitude to work (the factors you actually won´t find out from CV). I do not do any HR / Recruitment, we widely use networking contact, personal interview and using „common sense“. The personality must / should be very dynamic, have a inner/ internal bullet, ambition, long persistence, well- disciplined and determined.

How do you motivate your staff?

Despite on money factor, there is a lot of motivate my staff – partners, external cooperating staff ( like translators, real estate agents, lawyers, etc.) Good & positive to motivate people is always „Thank You“ for their work they have done, and approach to each person like an equal member of well-working team.

As the boss of company it´s me who is (always) finishing working day, and (always) switch off computer like the last one. I try to be forthcoming to everybody and be helpful in each occasions. Kind of professional and friendly team, non-conflict environment, active and positive access towards entrust tasks flow to assign to you leading position, and mostly probably be popular in your staff. „Never forget to smile and thank You to everybody in your surrounding“ – the easiest way which doesnot cost you anything, but brings you everything.

What do you believe has made you so successful?

Like each starting new business project , you are focusing on your targets, you should concentrate on local market and your competitors. I´m defender of as it is called: „ Guerilla marketing“ which is screening in your work and creating the high credit of good brand of your company. Everybody can achieve the success in business, but the most important are attributes such as your belief and conviction into your skills, self-assurance of success, persistence, originality of your personality.

Huge part of portion plays also humbleness and moderation. My success comprises a lot of chance and random circumstances, meeting the right people in the right places, right moments, and a great dose of luck. If you are meaning your profession seriously, it lasts for many years, listen preciously to everybody who you are meeting, listen and come in their expectations, and do not be influenced only by people who have a power in current position but who appear in the „stage“ of certain business in several last years.

In your business, what type of leadership style do you have?

To tell the truth I donot have accurately determine and fix business leadership styles, and in one hand I am not that kind of good sample type of keeping time management. Leading of team of people is the easiest tool to be and impress in everybody positive feelings & emotions, ability listen and fill in their expectation.

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Is it difficult to work with many international clients?

It is vibrantly tremendous to work and be in contact with international people. It is great contribution to get an internationl outlook, meet multi-cultural people, various cultures and nationalities, diversity habits and tradition. I have learnt a lot, that opens you a door of cognizance & knowledge, and many of those international clients remain like a friends till today. One of the small disadvantage is time differences in handling e-mail and skype communication.

We are providing services primarily for international clientele based in Prague, either availability in the global world. We must keep all-around business etiquette, cultural perception of women in the business world, tolerance and abide by their respect. Honestly, I really like be surrounded by multi-national human being in my professional and personal life as well.

Do you have a life/business motto? Yes; „Your future is in Your own hands….“

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