Pop Quiz, Monday with Anthea Stevanovic

I am lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients who in some way inspire me every time I see them. Their dedication, courage, and outlook are pretty impressive.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Anthea Stevanovic

Anthea Stevanovic
Photo credit: Anthea Stevanovic

What is your job role?
Director/ business consultant

Tell us about your company?
Intelligent Directions is a boutique business consultancy founded by Anthea Stevanovic. With 15 years of management experience and five years of business consultancy experience, Anthea has helped over 150 businesses to improve their business operations, despite market conditions.

Intelligent Directions provides the following services which are tailored to suit each client:

• Goal Setting & Execution Programs
• Process and Systems Improvement
• Procedure & Role Documentation
• Strategic Planning & Management Consulting
• Statistic & KPI Creation & Implementation
• Outsourced Tasks & Projects

The business was launched in 2017.

What do you love most about your job?
I am passionate about helping people and helping small businesses to achieve their goals. I love my business because it allows me to live my purpose. More often than not small companies struggle with many areas of their business which stops them from achieving the goals of the owner, from expanding or from the company being an enjoyable experience.

The biggest reason I do what I do is that I want to help people and society as a whole. The reason I work with business owners and their teams is that I believe that business owners can change the world. They have the ability to impact society by providing jobs positively, security and a happy and fulfilling workplace which not only positively impacts their staff but ripples through to their family and friends. The more successful thriving businesses in our society the more people can be positively affected ultimately improving the world we live in.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My clients and the fact that I’m doing what I truly love.

I am lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients who in some way inspire me every time I see them. Their dedication, courage, and outlook are pretty impressive.

Also, it helps that I genuinely feel like I am doing something that aligns with what I think my purpose is. I tried doing something else for a short while when I took redundancy from my last job as a consultant and I honestly just couldn’t do it. That’s when I knew I had to start Intelligent Directions.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any co-workers, it does get a little lonely at times. Lucky for me I work with business owners and their teams, so I get to feel like part of the team which is cool. I draw a lot of inspiration from the business owners that I work with. It’s fantastic to see how they think and what they are doing in their businesses to make them successful.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Again I don’t have a team, but I try to keep things light-hearted and not so serious when I can. With what I do sometimes we are dealing with cumbersome things and often have heated conversations, so it’s important that I balance that out for my own wellbeing as well as my clients.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Hmm, how long do you have? Only joking..

The biggest challenge I find is getting people to change. A lot of what I do involves people and organisations changing habits to a new way of operating, that is definitely one of the most challenging things that I do.

Another big challenge is helping my clients to face their own problems, sometimes they are huge things, and I support them to walk through those tough times which does impact me as well.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
There have been many lessons. At the end of each day, I analyse it to see what could have been improved and what I did well, I believe this is so important for the survival of any business. We must constantly be improving.

  1. Always look don’t listen. People are very good at telling you what they think you want to hear or what they believe is right. This doesn’t tell you what is really going on. You need to look for yourself and work out what is going on.
  2. Always ask for feedback and ensure that the service or product that you are providing is in fact what your client wants and needs. If it isn’t, they won’t come back. It is much easier and cheaper to keep and sell to an existing client than it is to acquire a new one.
  3. Ensure that you are quoting what you are worth, often when we are just starting out, we don’t quote what our services are worth and end up undercutting ourselves. It is essential that you quickly set the right prices and ensure that you are quoting according to them.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The best advice and something I think is crucial if you are starting in the consulting field is to build your network!

This is for two reasons, 1. I have found that all my clients come through referrals from either my network or from clients. At the end of the day, people do business with those that they know and trust.

  1. As a business consultant, I often see my clients need help with other professional services for example marketing or bookkeeping. By having a fantastic network of like-minded business owners, I can refer my clients to people that I know I know will do a good job. By doing this, I am adding a lot of value to my clients and helping to get their business to the next level.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

IG: @intelligent_directions
FB: https://www.facebook.com/IntelligentDirections/?view_public_for=306669049759101

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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