Tale of Transition: Natasha Voromprovia

I’ve impressed upon it before: Everyone’s story is different. They have to be for we are all different people experiencing different things. Tale of Transitions are stories from other people, their point of view, their struggles, their hopes and dreams as they moved from one path to another.

Natasha Voromprovia is a systems expert better known as System Chick. She used to work in corporate offices, but one day she decided to put on the CEO shoes and take a walk. And walk she did. This is  her tale of transition from that world to the successful one of SystemsRock.

Guest post by Natasha Voromprovia

I’ve been an organized person for as long as I can remember…  and even before that.

My mom loves to tell a story about me when I was just five year old.  One of her friends jokingly asked me if I was going to marry a movie star I had a huge crush on at the time.

According to my mother, my reply was:  “Of course not!  First, I need to

  • Go to kindergarten,
  • then finish school,
  • buy my own refrigerator and tv
  • and only after that, get married.”

Apparently, I’ve always loved lists!

My obsession with systems kept revealing itself in my professional life too.

My first job out of grad school was in sales.  I worked for a media intelligence company.

I didn’t know my strengths very well back then.  But, luckily for me, my boss understood them very quickly.

I became my boss’s secret weapon. Instead of doing cold calls he would assign me to work my system on clients from big PR firms that came to us because of dissatisfaction with another company. My system allowed us to keep track of what the clients needed when they needed it…I grew accounts from a simple $200 sale into $200,000/year in sales.  My system was my secret weapon.

A few years later, I moved to Cyprus and was hired by an offshore companies division of KPMG, Cyprus.  I was working as a legal administrator, and as such was responsible for the paperwork of over 50 companies.

What struck me, when I first entered the office was that the files where totally out of control. Files were stacked to the ceiling and often gave me nightmares that they would fall on me. I started bugging my boss, and it took me 7months, but in the end I convinced him.  He made me the project manager in charge of transitioning the company to a new database-oriented management system.

We scanned over 5000 files and found that not only was our office a bright and spacious place without them, but there was no more running around looking for files or worrying that, once you’d found the file, a family of cockroaches would crawl out of it.

KPMG was my last corporate gig.

Fast forward a couple of years.  Having moved to Belgium, where my husband is from, and having had a baby I was on the lookout for a business opportunity.

Given my background an online marketing consultant seemed to be the right niche for me, but things weren’t easy.

I was raising a baby and running a household.  I was working remotely for a Cyprus law firm and going to the university to learn Flemish (the language of the area where we live)

And after working 40+ hours, I worked to lay the foundation for my business.

It was incredibly difficult.  I had so much to learn and so much to do, at times I didn’t know where to start.  I worked every free minute on my business to do list. My husband simply didn’t understand; after an argument about me taking a break that I felt I couldn’t afford I confessed to him that I simply didn’t know how to work through my to-do list.  No matter how long I worked on it, it never got any shorter.  You know what my husband’s advice was?  “Cut it in half!”  I remember laughing in response: “And what do I do with the other half??”  For me there was no other solution but to work longer hours.

Until one day I just collapsed. I lost consciousness just for a few (seemed like) seconds when I got up at night warm some milk for my baby son.  I fell with his little bottle in my hand.  When I opened my eyes, I was lying in a puddle of milk.  Luckily I didn’t hurt myself :).  That was the day I knew I had to shift my perception of a successful business to one that was sustainable in every possible way.

I started experimenting with routines I HAD created for myself.  And things started to work.  Bit by bit my sanity returned and I started sharing my advice with other online business owners I knew.

That’s when SystemsRock was born.