NAME: Anthoula Kelesakou
BACKGROUND: Secondar School/Continuing Professionla Education
POSITION: Owner / Manager
ORGANIZATION: Gallery Kelesakou
My Background and Career
I have completed secondary education and attended seminars on decoration, fine arts and sales techniques. I have worked for an art gallery for thirty years. My enterprise, the Art Gallery Kelesakou, has been working for 30 years with art and decoration. Our collection includes the richest collection of range – named artists – paintings – etchings – watercolors – special constructions – decorative. My goal is the full satisfaction of all the customers giving them what they really want including 100% after sales support. Moreover we give them the opportunity to buy products through our user-friendly web page.
I have to overcome problems:
Financial Adverse economic conditions in Greece had a negative impact both on my personal career and the company I set up later
Family: I could not spend so much time with my children as I did at my work.
Personal: In the early years of my career I used to work many hours a day, which unavoidably resulted in having very limited private time.
My keys for success are: Strong family ties, full family encouragement and support in every step I took. Education and continuing vocational training provided me with the necessary qualifications and a solid base for my competence and efficiency at work. Some of my personality traits can be seen in an earlier question. Undoubtedly, my personal relationships played a key role in my overall career development. The professional relationships are central to my business activity and they keep blossoming.
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work. I easily adapt myself to changes. I know and I use the required techniques to do a good job. I am a good communicator. I listen and I pay attention to other people’s problems. I like partnership building. My personal development through my job is important. The personal development of people working with me is important. In case of arguments I’m looking for peace. I like to negotiate and that everybody end up with satisfaction. I coordinate and motivate the staff. I like to work as a team I schedule activities and organize myself easily. I solve problems and I find solutions. I like to have objectives and to reach my goals. I am able to quickly make up my mind. I know how to manage all my activities (at work and in my private life). I don’t hesitate to ask for advices. I am able to use other people’s experience and advice.
Among my qualities I’m ambitious, active, progressive, talkative, critical, cooperative, optimistic, persistent, innovative trusting, practical, flexible, tense, fast, confident, patient, far-sighted, organized and democratic.
Hints & Tips
Luck as often as not is important in life. The deciding factors, though, are patience and persistence in reaching one’s targets as well as careful planning
My advice to other women: There might be a case that women entrepreneurs hesitate to take the big step and further develop their company and have a wrong perspective on how it can be achieved. It is common practice among women to focus on skills they lack rather than those they already have. And unless they have them all, they do not take the next step. When faced with the long list of what it takes to grow their company, most women base their decision on whether they can do it all themselves or not. Needless to say, as this seems an endeavour of high risk, the answer is ‘probably not’. Three central points – meant as suggestions or a word of advice – should be stressed here:
1. It is most important that women entrepreneurs realize they cannot meet their ultimate target by doing it all themselves. What is essential for success is having supporters, investors and, above all, customers who will stand by them and help them attain their goals.
2. A lot of women never ask for help. Instead, they try to manage everything themselves.
3. However, all women entrepreneurs interviewed said that, besides their own hard work and high risk taking, they always had someone to turn to.
More specifically, they all mentioned one of the following: A supportive husband who helped them with the housework; a partner who encouraged them and had the skills they lacked; a team of accountants, lawyers and other business counselors; networks of entrepreneurs to take advice from about their problems; creative employees who contributed to business development.
Assets to be developed: Taking more risks, building partnerships, adaptability to change, innovation.
Weaknesses to overcome: Insecurity, caution, pessimism, modesty.