Jeļena Šļihta is the project manager of “Good Deeds”, a Latvian charity that supports community projects. She has been very successful, and her work is very inspirational.
– What was the biggest project that you hosted?
In these four years of working at the charity initiative – project contest LabieDarbi.lv (“Good Deeds”), together with the participants we have achieved, in my opinion, quite impressive results.
We have managed to implement more than 220 various projects – supported dancers, singers and athletes, set up sports fields and playgrounds, supported bird ringing and done so many other good deeds. All of these projects have in one way or the other helped Latvian communities in making their surroundings and environment better and safer; motivated purposeful people in excelling at the things where they are strong at; given an opportunity to make people’s dreams come true; as well as simply inspired others into believing that together we can achieve great things and make our country and society better.
Working with these projects and the people that are behind them from day to day so closely makes it really hard to differentiate between big and small projects because we put our heart and soul into all of them the same way, no matter the scope and size of the project. And because of the fact that all projects have their purpose and positive implications on our people and society, I am absolutely proud of each and every one of them.
– What personal qualities do you have, that made you so successful?
Speaking about personal characteristics, to me being open and honest are the two most important traits. Open to people, as well as new ideas and opportunities.
But I also truly believe that no matter what you do, you have to love your work and have a true passion and heart put into it in order to be successful. We ourselves hold the responsibility and power to choose and control our path. I am lucky enough to have understood which path I am supposed to be taking, and that’s exactly where I am right now.
I think that no one should be unhappy if they cannot say “I am a successful person” at this very moment. Even if you have been in your field for many years now and your career or income are still not where you want them to be, it’s not a reason to call yourself “unlucky” or a “loser”. I truly believe that anyone can be a successful implementer of his plans starting from this very moment, if you really want to become successful and you understand your true calling in life.
– You are very inspirational. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Our world is pretty loud and crowded. Make sure that your product stands out and gets to people at the right moment when they are ready for it. It’s not enough just to be doing something; you have to be perfect at what you are doing. You can launch your product for the first time only once, so it has to something for people to remember.
What is the LabieDarbi.lv success factor? We are unique – the only charity organization in Latvia that is willing to support active and talented Latvian people. It is important for us to hear out our society and channel the financial means to the projects that our society thinks are important. During four years more than one million euro has been dedicated to the project implementation, and I am sure that it is only the beginning.
– How did you get this idea to create this NGO?
LabieDarbi.lv is an initiative of international but locally (in Latvia) based company AS 4finance – the non-bank lenders’ market leader in Latvia. This organization is all about people – it puts society and developing people’s talents in its focus for things to support, and LabieDarbi.lv initiative is something that truly and precisely defines their approach.
Together we believe that for all companies, no matter the field they are working in, their business success is tightly connected with the local society’s wellbeing and sustainable development. Because of that SMScredit.lv (4finance brand) is the benefactor of the initiative, providing financial help to Latvian people in implementing their ideas and developing their talents.
– Do you think you have inspired others to create more community projects?
LabieDarbi.lv is not just a charity project. It is a lifestyle and way of thinking – not only for me but also for all the good-natured, positive and giving people that are behind the projects and involved in their implementation. I feel like we inspire each other to go on with what we are doing because we know the amazing emotions that doing good deeds can give you. I know that many of the projects’ contest participants don’t stop with what they have achieved with the help from LabieDarbi.lv but continue onto new projects and new challenges.
– Do you want to start any new business projects?
We live in dynamic times when everything continuously keeps growing and developing. Right now I feel like this is a right place for me, so I am not thinking about working in some other field. Instead I want to explore how far I can get this project going.
Although I feel like we have done a lot of good things, we still have so much more to achieve. Because of the fact that 4finance has its subsidiary companies internationally, similar charity initiatives with the same idea were recently started in other countries as well, for example, in Lithuania, Georgia and Finland, with more to come in a near future.
– In your opinion, what makes a good project leader?
A good project leader must have the ability to always find motivation not only for himself but his whole team as well. He or she must be able to create positive working relations and give guidance to others. Your team must want to reach the business goals as badly as you do, and it is completely up to the project leader to set everyone’s sights in the same direction.
I believe that it is possible to become the person that is strong at motivating, encouraging and inspiring others if you are doing YOUR thing. And if you manage to share the passion you have with your team, then you can make anything happen. So I would like to encourage everyone to be brave and not to give up when facing the first hardship – believe in yourselves and good things will happen to you!