Raimonda Jankunaite, 33, is the founder of Women in Business, a global online community that supports, inspires and empowers all women in business, whatever stage they’re at.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I chose to take the entrepreneurial path as my career choice at the age of 21 – to pursue my vision in creating a business that would align with my values and ultimately give me the freedom to live life on my own terms that I live now.
It wasn’t always that way, as my first business failed miserably and left my confidence and finances broken, but it did not stop me from pursuing my dreams.
I didn’t always have the backing of my friends or family, so I know exactly what other women are going through when it comes to going against the grain, or everyone else expectations. So, over the last three years, I have built a platform for women, to support their goals and dreams of building a successful business. I have created an international community for women where they can feel supported and access all the tools they need to build a successful business, whilst being surrounded by like-minded people who will cheer them on.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I remember being back at the final year of business school, and all my peers were looking for work a placement. That is when I knew I did not want to be like everyone else, pursuing a career. My definition of success was building my own business, having the freedom to make my own choices and having limitless earning potential as a result of your own efforts. So, at the age of 21 my plan was to do just that – become my own boss.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Of course, the biggest challenge is not knowing what you don’t know and having to find out the hard way, by making mistakes. Over the years I learned that failure is just another stepping stone to success. That reaching out for help is necessary, asking questions and being dedicated to continuous learning. Surrounding yourself with people who have already walked the path that you want to walk, and never stop growing.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement has been creating the Women in Business platform from something that began as a passion project and not an actual business idea. From the minute I committed myself to make it a business, I have exponentially grown my audience from 0 to over 100,000 followers in one year.
I’ve established solid relations with women from across the globe, many of whom opened more doors for my business. They’ve flown thousands of miles to attend our events and help us build a truly global community and platform for women.
This makes me really proud, knowing that all of this started with a seed of an idea, to do something I love and am passionate about, and now we are impacting thousands of women all around the world.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Belief and dedication are the two major factors that led to my success. Most people give up when the going gets tough, but I managed to persevere in the moments of doubt and hold a solid belief in what I was building. It is all too easy to give up on something, but in order to get to the other side of success you need to have 100% dedication and I believe that is what helped me get there.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Absolutely, without my mentors I would not be where I am today. I believe we always need to surround ourselves with people who have already achieved the things we want to achieve in business and learn. Now, and over the last five years, I have mentored many people and continue to do so.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I would sabotage the old beliefs that we are not equal, that men and women have different rights or privileges. That our worth is different. Women for the longest time have struggled with self-worth and only if we felt as worthy inside as we actually are on the outside women would be so much further forward. But we have taken on centuries-long perceptions and beliefs of others and have made them our own. We are good enough and equally as powerful and valuable in our society and now than ever before we need to believe that we are all capable of great things. But it all starts from within our own belief systems.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
You will fail, many times over but this will not define your worth or your capability. Because you have more strength than you know, you are capable of greater things, but you need to believe in yourself and the power of your dreams.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My biggest goal for 2021 is to break down the barriers that women are facing right now. To change the perceptions that we have of ourselves and the world at large. Show women what they are capable of and help them rise to become the leaders and torchbearers that the world needs right now.
I want every woman with a dream to feel empowered to build her empire and believe it is possible. We struggled for too long, this is our time now, to rise together in creating a better future for ourselves and the next generations to come.
In 2021 I want to stand up and say – there are no more women leaders – there are just leaders.
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