By Joelene Latief
We are all busy people with many things on our to-do lists, but as the saying goes, “you have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” I interviewed UC Berkeley ‘14 graduate, Nathania Elise, who is owner of the successful online makeup store Roxefello, for some of her tips on how she became successful.
The biggest piece of advice she has, is to have a goal; not only will it get you motivated to work harder, but it will help ensure that your hard work is not in vain, and you accomplish the results that you want. For Elise, she went to high school in a small school in Indonesia and her goal was to go to college in America, then start her own business. As most of us know, getting into Berkeley is an accomplishment to be proud of, even for students with many resources at their disposal. For her, it took just as much, if not more, drive and determination to get into Berkeley.
“I set myself goals, then I had to have someone to keep me accountable for them. If I didn’t, I definitely would not have gotten to where I am today. I think that sometimes, it’s really tempting to keep your goals to yourself, because you’re afraid of what people will think about them, but you have to push yourself to take that step.” Also, make sure you are patient when you formulate the right goal for yourself; although it may take some time now, it will save you effort and time in the long run. A good way to create good goals is by basing them off of the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Reasonable, Trackable) criteria.
Her second tip is to “prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.” In addition to running her small business, Elise also has a thriving fashion and lifestyle Instagram account with over 82 thousand followers (@nathaniaelisa). When asked how she balances everything, she said, “I started my business and [Instagram account] back when I was still in school. Now it is easier, because I have more control over my schedule. Back then, though, I had to weigh the importance of one task versus another, and that often means giving something up; like turning in a quality essay would have priority over posting the day’s blog post, or something like that.”
Research has shown that we really only need three hours of “deep thinking” per day; the rest of the time doesn’t require the same focus and mental power, so keep that in mind when you are organizing your day. Try to protect a block of time where you can purely focus on your work, with no distractions, and you’ll be amazed how much you can get done. Also, simply be more aware of how you are allocating your time and try to cut out the waste.
The final tip is to “not be afraid to be a beginner!” Surprisingly, Elise was a nutrition and food science major – something that is not very related to the work she is doing today. Starting her own business was something pretty new to her, but she jumped in because she decided that nutrition and food science were not her passions. “It was scary,” she said, “but I had the support of my family and my mentors.” Taking advantage of opportunities that arise, is always a good idea. Even though it may stretch you to feel discomfort, that is how you grow as a person, and growing as a person is what leads you to success.