Interview with Natasha Bank
Natasha Bank is a talented Persian entrepreneur in Sweden. She successfully founded Serotonin AB, and is currently doing a Ph.d. It was very interesting to read her thoughts on entrepreneurship and read her story of great success..
I am not a Superwoman, but I know what I want so I find a way to get whatever I want and I never give up! Even when I’m a mess I still put on a big smile not because of what others might think about me but just because deep inside I truly believe somehow I will fix it!
As the director of Serotonin, what are your main duties?
I am collaborating with four universities in Sweden as an international recruiter and work as International Student Counsellor for Iranian students who want to study abroad. We are two main people, me and my brother. He takes care of all the parts in Iran, communication with our agents, recruiting directly, contracts etc. I am responsible with all parts in Sweden. I help students in application procedures, registering the clients for language examinations (such as IELTS, TOEFLS, GRE, etc) organizing classes, following the clients’ applications after being submitted and trying to resolve problems (if persistant – such as completion of applications in case of any lacking documents), communications and contracts with universities, all payments and accounting etc.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
When I was 22 I started my own business in Iran together with my classmate from university. It was pretty natural to me to have my own company and to be my own boss coming from an entrepreneurial family and being a leader my whole life. It was not an easy path to follow being a girl, considering special laws for women in my country. After moving to Sweden I built up my firm and learned how to run a business here in Sweden.
What are your characteristics, which have made you successful?
I am goal-oriented, self-confident, creative, open to new adventures, positive and I have a desire to work hard. I have made mistakes but even in the worst situations I believed in myself! I knew deep in my heart that I will survive through it. My positive energy spreads around me & makes people happy.
If you advised an aspiring entrepreneur, what key advice would you give them?
Never give up! And remember nothing is everlasting! Put your and your family’s health priority as number one!
When employing somebody, what characteristics do you look for in them?
Beside the proficiency and skills required for the position the most important thing for me is loyalty and trustworthiness
In your opinion, what is the best way to motivate an employee?
Mutual interest and feeling of belonging to a bigger family.
You also have a great career in media, how do you balance your time?
It is actually very difficult to do your PhD, running your business, taking care of a 3-year-old child & have hobbies like singing, dancing etc. I have had problems in slowing down and relaxing! In my world I have to use every second of my life. Fortunately, I have the possibility of doing things in parallel. Even watching a movie should have a meaningful aspect to it. So I try to watch movies in other languages to improve my language skills or train on cross trainer at the same time! Listen to audio books while travelling, practice singing while doing house work. I should tell you honestly that it is not easy to live with me ( ask my husband )! I do my best to be a good mother but it took me a while to accept the perfect mother does not exist!
What is your motto in life?
My goal in life is best illustrated in 4 Ls , to live your life fully, to love ( not just your partner but people, nature, animals and even things), to learn and to leave a legacy.