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Q&A with Viktorija Aksionova, Founder & CEO @ MindTales

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Viktorija Aksionova, Founder & CEO @ MindTales.

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

My career path was nonlinear and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to various career opportunities. After graduating with a degree in Public Administration and completing an internship in the parliament, I decided to opt for a faster paced career. I then made the transition into the finance sector and was grateful to have the acquaintance of many talented and successful people. It’s a great industry to kickstart your career because you learn to cope with tight deadlines and work under pressure. Aside from my day job, my evenings and weekends were spent on creative projects, including creating my own activewear brand. This included building a sensor to measure dehydration levels and a project on how to democratise real estate ownership using blockchain technology.

A year and a half ago, I went through a difficult time and was looking for a support system. I was disappointed that it seemed so difficult to find. I realised that I wasn’t alone in looking for this kind of support. That’s when I decided to create MindTales, an innovative, emotional wellness platform. MindTales provides a wide range of digital interactive and science-backed exercises and access to wellness coaches in English and Arabic. The platform is designed to equip employees with a “toolkit” to understand and boost their emotional health. It’s my hope that a platform like this can build healthy, thriving communities.

When you get surprised by an unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?

Managing an early-stage startup is by definition being surrounded with uncertainty. And that’s why I’ve learnt to befriend uncertainty and ambiguity. When you do something innovative, there is no clear path forward and standard procedures aren’t easily available. It’s often difficult to plan what to do next and with limited resources, whether that’s time or money, you don’t have the luxury to explore all possible options.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the myriad of details. What I do is to make sure I have a great support system around me. First, I prioritise my peer group. I’ve found that other founders are a great support. We’re intentional about sharing and exchanging notes on relevant topics and insights. I’ve found this to be invaluable. Additionally, I’m not shy of asking for advice from experienced mentors and advisors. In particular, the individuals who have already ‘been there and done that’. On top of that, I cannot overemphasize the importance of wellbeing. Sleep, good quality food and exercise routine helps me to be grounded and make better decisions. And finally, once a month, I make sure to take a step back, reflect on everything from a high-level perspective and ask myself whether I’m going in the right direction. Those details help me to stay focused and are essential for me being able to see things through.

What’s the most important key success factor for you based on your experience?

First, it’s important to have a clear idea of what success looks like for you. Some count success as having a million dollars in their bank account. For others, career fulfillment, family planning or fame is key. For me, success is to positively contribute to the world to the best of my abilities. As Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” For me, showing up everyday and doing my work to the best of my capacity is a success. The key to that is to have meaningful and fulfilling goals. That makes showing up easy.

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