Justin Olechna is a founder and Director at Instant Mortgage Solutions. After a successful career in the financial services industry, he decided to launch his mortgage and protection business.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I moved to the UK in 2007, just after secondary school, thinking it will be an exciting gap year, which turned into a gap decade (and counting) since opening my own business.
I started in the hospitality business, working for Marriott International before moving over to the financial services industry. I joined one of the biggest companies in the UK as an academy consultant and in a first year achieved a record banked income in England. That gave me a confidence boost so 2,5 years in the role I applied for a regional manager's position and looked after 64 London consultants. From there, I moved over to competitors to look after smaller teams and grew them to top 2 teams in the company. Corporate life did not excite me anymore; therefore, I decided to launch my mortgage and protection business Instant Mortgage Solutions.
WHAT PROVED TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
Our business is very people orientated, at the end of the day, house purchase may be the most expensive purchase in your life. Hence, confidence in the person who is arranging your finances for the purchase is paramount. Not being able to meet people face to face was not easy initially; people need to trust you to do business with you. The first impression counts when you need to gain trust. Doing it over the phone, not being able to read peoples body language was a bit of a challenge, but in time, as all got used to it, you also learn to read people better through their voice tone.
HOW DO YOU THINK LIFE IN THE NEW COUNTRY AIDED YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
As an immigrant, you don't have much choice, but succeed, in many cases no relatives to go and ask for help, so foreseeing unexpected, being able to plan few steps ahead were the biggest traits.
WHICH OF YOUR PERSONAL TRAIT HELP YOU MOST IN ADAPTING TO THE NEW WORK AND SOCIAL MILEU AND WHICH ONE APPEARED TO BE THE BIGGEST HINDRANCE?
I think having a thick Lithuanian skin helped me to get up when I was down. Rushing through things and expecting results too early have caused some troubles in the past.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY SO FAR?
Setting up my business right in the middle of lockdown and getting results better than expected.
KEY LESSONS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
Resilience! Being able to learn from your mistakes and take it positively, as a learning curve.
SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED AND HOW YOU OVERCAME THEM?
Negativity is a big one. Sounds blunt, but it's really effective in a negative way. It's important to have your own strong opinion, rather than taking someone else's view. I think learning to step out of the negative surrounding and observe it from a third person view is crucial to create that personal opinion of yours.
WHAT YOU DO FOR THE SELF AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT?
Taking myself out of my comfort zone, getting involved in projects/ideas that I don't have much experience in and learning it by doing it.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
In every No, there is a silent YES!
YOUR TOP PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS?
No assumptions, proactivity, finishing unfinished business and attention to detail.
WHERE TO NEXT: WHAT IS YOUR BRAND VISION?
Expanding my business, appointing representatives and growing a mortgage network, helping individuals and companies to grow along the way, educating the customers about the process and financial decisions when it comes to mortgages and protection.
WHEN I'M NOT WORKING.
I'm an early bird. Love my routine, which always starts with a sporting activity, then good food, quality family time and social life. I also love adrenalin, jump off the highest point, ride the craziest ride in the park, dive into the deepest point in the lake.
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