Digital entrepreneur, fashion influencer and public speaker Xenia, talks all things tech, success and being your own boss with us
Being a successful digital influencer in this day and age requires heaps of vision, determination and a passion for all things tech - qualities that have helped shape the career of Xenia Tchoumi and resulted in her acquiring a multi-platform seven figure following.
Creating an online empire wasn’t always on the cards though, in fact, Xenia originally pursued a career in finance before entering the world of digital enterprise. She found the world of banking was too restrictive and she couldn’t see herself doing it long-term so, on the advice of her friends, she changed course and took her first steps into the world of blogging.
Fast-forward a few years and the model, blogger, fashion influencer and digital consultant is now a social media force to be reckoned, having attracted an audience spanning millions on Facebook and Instagram.
Driven by a passion to encourage young women to realise their potential personally and professionally, she also works with the UN to champion female empowerment and delivers motivational talks on all things digital business and start-ups the world over.
We caught up with Xenia to gain a glimpse into her career, her working day, the pros and cons of being your own boss and her tech essentials.
GTG: What does your working day look like - do you set hours for yourself or check in almost 24/7?
XT: My 2018 goal is to have a routine, because right now it’s non-existent. I travel a lot, so when I’m back home I tend to work late hours, weekends or whenever I feel that I need to catch up on admin, contracts, emails or creative work (photography, videos or interaction with my fanbase).
GTG: What are the pros of being your own boss?
XT: It really suits my type of character. I was always a very independent kid. I’m creative and very business oriented and I love to set my own schedules, push myself and make my own decisions. I can work hard for a week straight or book myself into a spa and completely disconnect (even during the week if necessary).
GTG: And the cons...?
XT: At times, I end up working more than everyone in my entourage - I guess it’s normal when you have the pressure to run your own show. And you never know what the future holds as you are the one who creates it, it’s not a job that gives you a defined salary at the end of each month - it’s a big responsibility.
GTG: Who do you turn to for support and feedback?
XT: In terms of business, I am quite rational and self-reliant. But for very emotional moments or when I worry, I tend to spend hours on the phone with my mum (who still lives in Switzerland).
GTG: What's your ideal work environment? When are you at your most productive?
XT: At night - I’m 100% a night owl. I also like to work in groups, but when everyone is doing their own thing alongside each other. I feel that it can push productivity and provide a sense of discipline.
At the beginning of the day, get something small done to set the mood and to help you feel better about your productivity
GTG: You've spoken on the topic of technology in the UN - how has tech helped to further your career, and when can tech be a hindrance?
XT: Tech is literally my bread and butter. I could never reach such a large amount of people so easily and interact with them or have such strong publishing tools without it, so I could never say that tech is a hindrance. Of course you need to switch off and nurture human relationships or have silent meditative moments. Yet internet, telephones and the laptop I’m writing this interview on are incredible blessings for all of my digital business endeavours.
GTG: What are your favourite apps?
XT: Instagram and all of the ones that make my life so much easier and quicker, from hailing a taxi to deliveries.
GTG: It's lunchtime - how do you use your breaks? What do you like to eat during a working day?
XT: I eat wholesome and healthy food but I don’t have set times - I eat whenever I feel hungry. I have quite a lot of business meetings during lunch and we tend to go to nice restaurants for those. When I’m alone though, I like to eat something from WholeFoods or just my favourite dish - pasta.
GTG: What are your 'work smarter' secrets?
XT: Make lists the day before. At the beginning of the day, get something small done to set the mood and to help you feel better about your productivity - it will prepare you for starting your bigger tasks.
When you feel work mode has set in, skip to the biggest and most important task.
GTG: Do you have any role models in business?
XT: It sounds cliché, but I’m mesmerised by figures like Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk.
GTG: How do you like to wind down from work?
XT: I workout, and dance. I love latin dancing - bachata mainly.
GTG: The one great work tip I’ve received…
XT: “If you start, you’re halfway there” - I use it when it comes to a new project or business venture.