“Listen to your intuition and do exactly what you are afraid of,” says online marketer Katka Molnárová
An owner of the digital agency ONLINE TORO, an SEO expert, an expert for online performance marketing and online campaign financing. A mentor and one of the first Google trainers in Slovakia. That is Katka.
But those who know her personally know that she is mainly a woman full of energy, action and with a sense of humour, who is part of the community in our HubHub in Bratislava. We were interested in her beginnings and what awaits her in the near future.
Katka, introduce yourself in a few words.
Online marketing strategist. Leader. Action mom traveler 😊.
What advice would you give to your younger self, who has just started and has an idea “up her sleeve”?
To start right away. To make a plan for every day, that is, to work on it continuously. To listen to your intuition and do exactly what you are afraid of.
Can you tell me some experience that changed your life and that influenced your future or the way you think?
That was gradual, I don’t think it was just one event. The key thing I have recently realised is that I am very persistent and, by trying things from all possible angles, I always achieve what I want in some way. However, there was a lot of experience included. It has always proved to be right for me if I did not give up on anything and tried until the last possible solution and it always worked out eventually. There was also a lot of negative experience with clients and that moved me forward a lot. I don’t want to talk about family break-up, but that was also a powerful moment. That did not move me on the business level, but rather in my personal mindset – I started to act a bit more selfish. I put myself first, I must have free time and space for myself. I found out that a person is still learning and if I had to say something to my younger self now, I know I would say: “You have to figure it out yourself, step by step”.
What did your friends tell you when you told them you were going to start your own business?
I don’t remember that anymore, that’s ten years from now :). I was in college in my second year, so naturally I had my own orders alongside the schoolwork. My mum always said: “Kača, you’re going to do business someday”. I thought that she might have been right. Even when employed, I always did my thing and had much higher goals than the employer many times. It often sounded like a fairy tale for them. You see, I do not know the phrase “this can’t be done”, I think that anything is possible.
Tell us something about your beginnings, how did you establish and start your business?
We started from scratch. I created my own website, started to send emails to a few friends, and every month I lived literally from hand to mouth. But I really believed in what I was doing. I saw the results even though it was a “total suicide”. It was difficult, but gradually it worked, and I did not even have to deal with the sales part in ONLINE TORO for the first years, the orders were coming on their own. There were around 5 of us doing SEO in Slovakia at that time. Surely, I was the first woman here, the guys were arguing in forums as SEO experts, and I was quietly doing American projects. It was very interesting. You could talk about it for a long time and if you are interested, the book Heroes of the digital era will be published this December, where my story and the story of ONLINE TORO is included.
What is the scariest challenge you have faced in the process of forming your business?
What will the people say? This was probably my biggest challenge. I do not know whether this is because I am a woman or that I deal with any conflict very badly. Conflict simply belongs to business. And when one feels iniquity, then it is a very big challenge for me to work with my energy and I know that I still have some things to learn. To simply know at the right time what to give up on. That is still my biggest challenge, even after all those years.
What awaits you in the near future?
Last year, I decided not to do business on my own after 10 years. I contacted the 13 largest advertising agencies in Slovakia. I had 8 meetings, from which I received three offers and finally I chose one. This year, I sold part of my business and I can sell a majority stake in the next 2-3 years. I will see to what extent we will make it by 2022, but this awaits me. And another thing. Since I have been consulting for the second year (mentoring, consultations), I want to invest my energy into interesting projects in the next 2-3 years. I will lend my experience and see if I can start up something. I am the “first runner”, that’s what I enjoy doing. In three years, I would like to withdraw myself from the work and devote more time to my family.
What do you like about HubHub?
People. Atmosphere and people. When I come here, I deliberately invite customers here, because it’s a very cool space. I present it as an innovative incubator, a perfect phrase. It is a very good place to represent, but really people are, in my opinion, the best. Although I regret that I cannot be in this community, with you, so often, to cooperate with you more. But the things that are done here, the people who work here, are on a completely different level, they think differently, and it’s just great to work with such people.