My next interview is with my long-term client and successful entrepreneur Martina Levey. Martina is the founder of a boutique translation agency in Prague. We have already done 4 photoshoots and this time was more of a lifestyle one. We started in Martina’s beautiful house Prague Old Town and then headed to Prague’s historical city center that provides a beautiful background.
I simply love working with Martina as she always shows up full of energy, ready to enjoy her photoshoot.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I have followed my heart in my job – I work with languages every day. I run my boutique translation agency Academia Levey in the centre of Prague.
I have a team of experienced and skilful colleagues with many language combinations around me. Our clients include law firms and companies from man other fields as well as people who need translations of diplomas, birth certificates, and all sorts of documents.
My favourite is translations of legal or business documents, which is why I became a certified translator and interpreter of Czech and English. I work mostly in commercial and family law, finance and real estate but I love to venture into other areas such as gastronomy and travelling. I often interpret meetings or appointments in public offices.
I love change and certainly my life as a translator and interpreter is not boring. I translate contracts at the computer, I interpret meetings, or weddings as well as police interrogations and court appearances which are often challenging and exciting. I run my agency, communicate with our customers and regularly contribute to social networks.
What was your main source of motivation when you started your own business?
In 1990 and 1991 I lived and worked in Worcester, England where I had arrived 6 months after the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. I came for one month and stayed one year. I basically could not leave. Could you imagine what it was like for a twenty-year-old girl who lived all her life in a communist country to see first time ever western Europe? Plus, I found myself in my beloved England which I knew only from textbooks.
Although I was a university student of English, I could not express myself when facing a real life. I knew Shakespeare´s biography by heart, read all F. S. Fitzgerald´s books, understood all grammar rules and system of tenses of English language but I did not know how to order a cup of tea. That inspired me to start a language school in Olomouc (my hometown in Moravia, Czech Republic) right after I graduated from university in 1995, where we would teach a real English and other foreign languages. The rest is the history, as they say.
If you could go back and do it all again, would you do anything differently?
Many things, of course. Business life is fast, things are changing and we have to keep up. Sometimes, I think I have been slow with changes. However, I like to look forward. At the moment after many years I am dropping a teaching part of my business and I will fully focus on translation and interpreting and I am excited about it.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Do not lie in business. If you make everything rosy and something goes wrong, then you are in trouble. On the other hand, sometimes I think it is not clever to be too honest in business😊
Let me give an example. My client has a crucial meeting and needs to have a complicated contract translated. We will have a discussion about delivery terms and I will tell him how to approach it the best way. I will rather turn the job down than promise impossible and not deliver on time or not meeting expected quality.
What made you decide to have a personal branding photoshoot?
It used to be that no one was interested in small translation companies. The bigger, the better. Now a lot of companies are looking for personal approach even in our business. There are different types of translations and different types of demand. We provide high-quality translations and interpreting focusing on legal matters. And a lot of people and companies prefer to know who they are talking to, and they want to make sure that their documents are in safe hands. Consequently, they turn to what I like to call to a boutique translation agency.
I believe it is very important to know the face of a person you are talking to. I do not want to hide, I love my job and I am proud of what I achieved in my business. On the other hand, I do not want to be seen as a very serious person because simply I am not. Personal brand photo shooting allows you to show your real face and consequently to attract the right kind of customers.
How have your customers/ potential customers responded to your personal branding shoot?
They love it. It is always nice to know a face behind emails. Any time I start publishing photos from my new photoshoot with Petra (we have had 3), I get a lot of positive and encouraging responses. Who does not like to hear how attractive you are looking? Petra can do miracles.
A lot of our translation work is only online, and my customers do not meet me sometimes for many years. They know me only from photos. So I prefer to have realistic photos on my web and social media and it does not mean me behind my desk holding a phone. I enjoy socializing, travelling, I am a food lover and I appreciate good cold beer or wine. Why to have serious photos?
Also, I am active on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook) and I love to scribble my own articles. Guess which one are the most popular? The ones with my photos.
I have photos made by Petra once a year and I use them all year round. I cannot wait to have my photo shooting with Petra in London this year. It will be a huge reward for me.
What is your favourite quote?
Let me tell you what is not my favourite quote. What does not kill you makes you stronger.
I would say enjoy every success in business and in life, treasure every single moment of happiness, whatever it means for you, indulge yourself and pamper yourself. And have as few tough and difficult moments as possible.
READY TO STEP INTO YOUR WHOLE POWER AND UP-LEVEL YOUR BUSINESS WITH PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOSHOOT?
Then I can help! I can help reveal your essence that capture the heart of your audience. Wherever your path has brought you today, I want to celebrate you and support you on your journey to tell your story and shine! Get in touch for a chat with zero obligations to book, you can pick a day and time here that suits you, and I will call you at the scheduled time.