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Olga Pankova | Canada & Russia | Risks!!!

I had always wanted to be an artist, I loved to draw as a child. I always had the passion. During my early years as an adult I did as most others have done, I had to get a job to pay the bills. In 2008 I had the opportunity and time to paint, to revisit my passion, it was such an incredible feeling. I really wasn’t too sure if I could make a living from my art. I knew that I had to go forward and put everything into making art my life. In 2007 & 2008 I was selling real estate in the Middle East, business was fantastic until the economic downturn at the end of 2008. With the real estate business not being a viable and sustainable source of income, I turned to my passion and love of art to help me move into my current phase of my life. I had the support of my husband and family. It took a couple of years, but eventually my art became a sustainable and successful business.

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

The greatest hurdle I faced and was able to overcome was getting my name out there. Getting the world to see my work. I worked hard at understanding the art business, especially the live art entertainment industry. I was fortunate to have a couple of great mentors that guided me and allowed me to learn quickly.

What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?

It was suggested to me to read “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” – I highly recommend this great book.

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

I have been very fortunate. I have had the complete support from my family and friends. I am surrounded by other entrepreneurs and they had nothing but positive suggestions on how to be successful. Surround yourself with those that have the same entrepreneurial spirit.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

Taking risk. No risk, no growth. I have taken many risks, a few did not work out, but many did. I attribute my growth and success to having taken risks.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

I should have started earlier.

What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Go with your dreams, put a reasonable plan together. Think about where you want to be and figure out how to get there. Read about and follow other successful entrepreneurs. Take calculated risks. Do not listen to those individuals that have nothing positive to say.

Following Up!!

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