Updated: Mar 8, 2021
By Natalya Permyakova
COVID-19 ended up one of the best things that happened to me this year, despite all the plans to travel the world that got canceled. Why? It created the perfect conditions for finally launching my business, something I’ve been dreaming of for years.
Having spent years in a corporate career in London, I decided to take a break to travel the world and figure out what to do next. Everything was going according to plan, until I arrived in Seoul in February 2020, where I got stuck when the whole world closed international borders.
While it was easy to freak out about all the canceled plans and uncertainty, I embraced it and left South Korea five months later with a fully running international business.
The idea to launch Life Startup evolved over time, as all pieces of the puzzle were coming together. I spent years advising CEOs of large companies on growth strategies and was stunned by how individuals don’t take as nearly a rigorous approach to their life. I wanted to change that. I created a set of tools to help people navigate what’s coming and all the new work, life and relationship models in a structured way to figure out how to make the most of their future and life.
This is how Life Startup was born, as a next-generation personal development space for those who want to be chefs, not just cook, and for those, who have what it takes to pave their own path. At Life Startup, we call them trailblazers.
We offer coaching programs for people who are stuck in life or feel they have more potential than they are currently realizing, and cover topics such as life strategy, life design, financial freedom, career development, and more.
Life Startup as it is today wasn’t nearly the same 6-7 months ago. It started as a simple WordPress blog where I was sharing my experience with figuring out my own life strategy and designing my own dream life. Gradually over time, as I was researching more about the market and testing value propositions with customers, it evolved.
While launching a business, especially during the global pandemic, might be full of uncertainty, it can be rewarding too. I signed my first paying customer 4 months after the idea was born and incorporated a fully functioning international business after 6 months. Today, we are a community of over a thousand people and rapidly growing.
One of the most exciting things that happened since the launch of Life Startup, was all the help I got from other people. And not just friends and family. As I was overwhelmed with all the tasks needing to be done and wishing to move faster, I created several volunteer roles on our website. It was a long shot – to have people help without a paycheck. Little did I expect to receive 36 applications from all over the world in less than 48 hours! This only proved my hypotheses that often purpose and belonging to a group of like-minded people can mean more than a paycheck.
If you are an early-stage entrepreneur and can’t afford to hire a team, see if you can attract like-minded people who would be excited by your start-up’s purpose. You’d be surprised how many people will be willing to help in an exchange for growth and experience that you can offer them in return.
Today we are a team of 20+ coaches and volunteers, working hard on a mission to make the world more fulfilled. For example, we are developing a digital coaching program to help people become more fulfilled in life. Not everyone can afford to hire an actual coach, so we want to bridge that gap by using technology, such as AI and machine learning.
Is there ever a perfect time to start a business? Yes, it’s now. One of our design principles at Life Startup is ‘bias towards action’. Instead of staying in your head and missing out on the opportunities life presents, get out of your head and into your life. Do things, you might fail, you might learn, you might fail better next time. What matters, is that you are moving towards your vision.
Natayla Permyakova is an entrepreneur, artist, writer, yoga teacher, and an all-around trailblazer. She is the founder, CEO, and life coach at her coaching company Life Startup.
You can check out Life Startup and book a session at www.yourlifestartup.com. To stay up to date with what is happening with Natalya and Life Startup, follow them at @yourlifestartup on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.