Keen Company: Yiota from Ola Digital

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Keeping keen company with Yiota

from Ola Digital

Welcome to Chapter 1 of Keen Company! 

Your go-to blog series for getting to know the people, inspirations and stories behind some amazing brands. I have hand selected each interviewee and I have so excited to introduce to you Panayiota Athousis (AKA, Yiota!) to you as our first guest.

This Giorgio Armani wearing, Harry Potter loving, night owl speaks my language on so many different levels, plus I think you will all love her real talk on being a small business. Without further ado, lets get into it! 

THE HUSTLE QUESTIONS:

Q: When people ask who are you and what you do… what do you tell them? Essentially… what is your elevator pitch?

A: The usual answer is… Why hello there, my name is Yiota (pronounced yacht-ah) and I am the digital saviour you’ve been looking for! From social media management, website design, marketing campaigns and online advertising – Ola Digital are the two little words you want to have on your side. And the face behind the name (that’s me!) is super passionate about empowering business owners to take control of their digital platforms, and use them to their very best potential. 

Q: Often a massive struggle for new businesses… how the heck did you come up with your business name?

A: This was a fun one! I’ve wanted to start my business for almost a year now, but I was way too busy planning my wedding #priorities. When we finally embarked on our honeymoon, my new husband and I spitballed names back and forth most days. With my Greek heritage being a huge part of my life, I wanted a name that gave it a little nod. That’s how we came up with Ola Digital. Ola in Greek means everything, it all. All things Digital - that’s me! Plus, my name can be a bit tricky to remember but Ola Digital had such positive feedback when I tested it, it just stuck!

Q: Though I am sure there will be many, what would you class as your biggest career/business highlight to date?

A: Starting Ola Digital after months of feeling ‘meh’ in a job I used to love was the absolute highlight. When I went out full time Ola-ing, I became a whole new person. Inspired, excited, keen to learn and a joy to be around. I think going out full time, and finally having faith in myself will be my life highlight for a long, long time. Oh and everyone I talked to loved my website, and as a web designer myself, this was the scariest part of starting the business so such a huge relief.

Q: What is your absolute favourite part about what you do for living?

A: I’ve been in the small biz game full time for 2 months now, and every single day I get out of bed EXCITED for the day ahead. Finally finding my true passion for everything digital and being able to do things on my terms - it’s a constant favourite! Plus, the people I’ve met on my journey so far have been absolutely awe-inspiring. 

Q: Everyone has to learn things the hard way sometimes, what has been your biggest lesson learnt in your career/business?

A: Quoting is a b***h! But you need to stick to your guns, and not devalue your own services for anyone. Know your worth! I’ve absolutely been caught up in horrible self-doubt, lowering my costs just to get my foot in the door. I’ve learnt that some doors, you just have to walk away from.

...do not devalue your own services for anyone. Know your worth!
— Yiota - Ola Digital

Q: What is your best piece of advice you like to give other entrepreneurs?

A: I touched on it just then, but seriously knowing your worth is so so important. If you have started your business, you obviously believe in yourself, your knowledge and your products/services. Don’t let anyone devalue these, don’t compare yourself to your competitors constantly. Stick to your guns and PROVE why you are worth choosing.

Q: Cash flow is normally extremely tight when you start a new business, but what would be your non negotiable to skimp out on dollar wise when you first start out?

A: All those annoying subscription costs, but for services that seriously save you time and keep you more organised. My golden rule: organisation is key. So I set up my emails through the G Suite, pay for a fantastic social media scheduling app and subscribed to a paid email app that allows me to keep my inbox organised and never miss an opportunity to follow up with a client. At first, I think new businesses think that they should just do it all themself when it comes to business organisation, but I truly believe it is so much more beneficial to set your business up for growth and expansion from the beginning. This goes for accounting and invoicing software too, and of course a great website that showcases everything about your business.

Q: Who are your mentors and/or biggest sources of inspiration?

A: I come from a family of business owners, but my biggest inspiration is my grandfather. He came to Australia with nothing when he was just a teenager from his homeland, Cyprus to create a better life for his family. And didn’t he just! Starting off in takeaway shops, working for not much at all and at all hours of the day. He built his business, sold his business, and played the takeaway shop game for a while. After this hard slog, he entered the property market in Brisbane and has gone from strength-to-strength ever since. He barely had any education at all, not finishing high-school or attempting any tertiary education but is such an incredible business man. His dedication, love for his family and business knowledge are a constant inspiration to me.

Q: Your biggest goal for the next five years?

A: Oh girl, I have many! I will be establishing my business in Brisbane as a force to be reckoned with. Connecting with more incredible girl bosses, joining forces and creating a network of business babes that are ready to kick ass. Ola Digital will always be my baby, but I really would love to collaborate with more amazing women. We are better together!


SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER: 

Coffee or tea? Coffee, iced please!

Favourite singer/band? So I love a lot of Greek singers, but someone that is a bit more well-known… Ellie Goulding. Absolute angel.

Night owl or early bird? Night owl, don’t talk to me before 7am - seriously

Favourite city to visit? Athens! It’s such an incredible metropolis, and the food is to die for.

Most loved food? Give me pizza, give me pasta and I am one happy gal.

Most hated food? Mushrooms! How can people eat those slimy buggers?!

Collect anything? I think I’m classified as more of a candle hoarder than collector at this point...

Perfume of choice? Giorgio Armani, Si! It’s my signature.

Favourite movie? The Devil Wears Prada. Always and forever.

Favourite book? Does the whole Harry Potter series count? I can’t choose!


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Ola Digital

If you would like to find out anything about Yiota or her business, you can find her on Instagram @oladigital.co or head to her (beautiful) website at www.oladigital.co

Claire McKeen