Hey folks! In my second Inspiring Interview Series, I’m delighted to introduce to you the wonderful Jessica Dornieden – and she certainly knows her stuff about all things tech!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Jess and I am an Online Course Consultant and Tech VA. I am based in London, UK, but I grew up near Frankfurt in Germany. I live with my South African fiancée and our 4 guinea pigs. We are quite an international household, and that’s how we like it.
I came to the UK when I’d finished school in Germany because I fancied an adventure, and 8 years later I’m still here and settled. When I first started work I was struggling – I had more jobs in a year than other people have in their life. I worked in a restaurant, a pub, a call centre and sold phones before finally doing an internship in childcare. I had found a passion. I became a Nursery Nurse and after a few years a Nursery Manager. I thought I couldn’t be happier. But. I still had a feeling that I was missing something and that’s how I started my first business. I had a thirst for independence. It was nice running someone else’s business, but I wanted my own.
What’s your morning routine?
My morning routine varies every day. I am balancing my day job with running a business and I work different shifts, so some mornings are very rushed and others more relaxed. When I have to cover the early shifts in my job I get up as soon as the alarm rings, get dressed and then head to work. The sooner I start work, the sooner I can get home to work on my business.
On the mornings where I have more time, I like to listen to podcasts while in bed. Twice a week I try and exercise early. I love aerobics, so I turn up the music as loud as I can – I don’t think my neighbours enjoy it as much as I do. In general I still follow my routine of showering and getting dressed, but I try and hit my desk as soon as I can.
I try and get in a couple of hours of client work before spending 1 hour working on my business. I then spend some time relaxing. I love to be outside, so I go for a walk or sit in the garden while I eat lunch. This time helps me to clear my mind before the day job.
Why did you start your business?
I started my first business in 2015 but realised (thanks to some awesome business pals) that it wasn’t going anywhere. I then went back to focussing on myself and my skills – and what I really like to do. That’s how my VA business was born. I love tech and I’m a natural problem-solver so I absolutely love what I do. I feel like it gives me something to work on that I can be proud of, something that gives me a sense of independence and freedom.
What can’t you live without?
This is going to sound so sad – BUT I can’t live without my laptop and an internet connection. I rely on it for my work, as well as keeping in touch with friends and family back home.
What makes you feel beautiful?
I think your attitude is what makes you beautiful. I feel at my best when I’ve had a good sleep and I feel happy inside. Listening to my favourite songs gives me a positive energy others can feel too. I believe that if you are miserable no good looks, make up or clothes are going to save you.
What’s your number one top tip for other female entrepreneurs?
Mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. I think we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others, telling ourselves we aren’t good enough and we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing that good things will never come to us. This is to me the number one thing that’s holding us back. When I stopped comparing myself to what others are doing and doing things in the way I wanted to do them, good things started happening and I wish this shift in mindset to everyone.