Imagine an individual applying for a job, not for the required position but the CEO of the company, and gets the job. It is highly strange to witness such an instance, but never implausible. This incredible excerpt of life belongs to Marika Gederte, Founder of the International College of Cosmetology. It requires strong determination and belief in oneself, to take a risk and pursue one’s desire. These are the traits of a true entrepreneur, and Marika remarkably portrayed the spirit of entrepreneurship. Her risk-taking ability and perseverance often assisted her in grasping various opportunities in her professional journey. Even while applying for the job, she made an alliance with her courage and proved the fact that no dream is unrealistic. “Looking back, I would say that I am not afraid of safe and completely opposite solutions,” she proudly mentions.
Marika belongs to a small but extremely beautiful country with less than two million inhabitants—Latvia. From a very young age, she desired to attain financial independence and was determined to put efforts to engender it. She firmly believes that being open to learning new things is the key factor that helps an individual to grow. She has completed 25 years as an entrepreneur still she studies hard to educate herself with new things. “At the moment I call myself an eternal student,” she adds. “The more I study, the more I realize that I know so little and that this eternal engine makes me achieve higher and higher goals in my business as well.”
She founded International College of Cosmetology almost 20 years ago; currently, she co-owns it and prepares specialists in cosmetology and therapeutic massage within two and three years. Her clients at the college are students or people who purposefully want to take up the profession and work in beauty or health care. She has spent many years building her impeccable reputation and developing credibility in her work. It is significantly important to her as she wants to be a good example and inspire others through her work. Moreover, receiving the first international prestigious award from UK, from the Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, as the best new school, she began to believe that her work is making a difference. Her company also received an award for diversity management.
“Such recognitions are incredibly motivating to continue the great work with even more passion,” she says with relief. She believes that she and her team are setting benchmarks for education in beauty and wellness. In 2019, as the only educational institution and company in Latvia her company also received an international award – EFQM Committed to Excellence Certificate and Sustainability Silver Award. Meanwhile, she has received the Human Development Award given by the Civic Alliance in Latvia together with the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy in Latvia in the category of Social Responsibility for organizing various charity events. She earned these recognitions by overcoming all the obstacles. The main challenge she generally faces is to build a loyal team that believes in her ideology and has the same “drive” to be better. She claims herself an incorrigible optimist individual who constantly expands the comfort zone of her and her team. “But not everyone is into force. I am also inspired by the staff and individuals and it creates mutual synergy,” she adds.
Changing the whole world is very difficult, so Marika’s recommendation for the industry is to focus on one thing and to do it well, at least within the organization. She exemplifies that they must start with respecting equal employment opportunities, the right to education and training. “Unequal career and educational opportunities, constrained by pregnancy, maternity and childcare responsibilities, and the increased risk of poverty associated with unemployment, especially for women of pre-retirement and retirement age, are having a negative impact on the situation of women in the labor market. Age, disability, and ethnicity are additional aspects that can affect women’s and men’s opportunities in the labor market and thus their quality of life in general,” she adds.
She suggests everyone must discover a new life balance as pandemic has not only disrupted business but also created new business models. Thus, one must dwell towards adaptation and provide new solutions to sustain in the market. On contrary, she also believes that pandemic in-a-way helped individuals to re-focus on their approach and set new ambitions and goals. Being a passionate creator of companies and projects, she feels very inspired by new things. For prospect, she wants to focus more on mentoring, traveling and blogging, real estate, and investing. “I don’t want to take on such a huge emotional responsibility anymore, but think more about myself, about my health, sports discipline, and new goals,” she quotes.
You must least ‘Try’
She recommends both men and women aspiring entrepreneurs to ‘try’. One is not aware of his or her destiny, but one must try tirelessly for his/her ambition. Further, she states, “once as a mentor, I tried to tell young entrepreneurs about my mistakes, but then I realized that the path is different for each of us and the best teacher has his own mistakes.” She believes, though good education is necessary it is not the sole deciding factor of attaining success in entrepreneurship. Moreover, she feels important to believe in what you are doing, to find a way of doing business that helps consumers solve their problems, be in the right place at the right time and take risks. “As we say, those who do not take risks do not drink champagne,” she concludes.