For Women’s International Month, we are delighted and humbled to congratulate all our women employees and clients for their success. We’re eager to support businesswomen like Panagiota Manukau and are honored to share her success story.
Panagiota knew early on that success always comes with a huge price tag. She felt guilty sacrificing her family life at times and was under pressure at other times, but kept working hard to make her vision a reality.
Panagiota built her businesses on her own, she was one of the very first entrepreneurs to start a business on eBay, then years later in 2021 set up couple of other firms, one of which is Vaquay, a short-term rental property management business. We wish that you’ll be as inspired by her vision and leadership skills as we are.
Here at Cap Taxation, Create & Protect Financial Planning, and Fast Repay Home Loan, we are passionate about supporting influential businesswomen and we strive to ensure leading women like Panagiota achieve their goals and full potential.
Read the full interview to know more about Panagiota’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey
Q: What are some milestones you achieved in your business life?
A: I guarantee I’m not alone when I say that I’ve often felt like I have imposter syndrome in my working life but here are some small successes.
Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I started an importing business which led me to China and introduced me to the then hugely successful platform – eBay. I had mentors who fast-tracked my business. I soon achieved Power Seller status, was designing my bedroom furniture line and was also asked to briefly speak to potential students at conferences held by my mentors.
Fast forward to 2021, I’m now running Vaquay, a 6-figure bespoke short-term rental property management business. I have an exclusive collaboration with an internationally acclaimed interior designer, Anna Giannis, who works with us to create incredible spaces for discerning travelers. I have also enjoyed mentoring others looking to explore further coaching options down the track. Last year was very tough for our industry but I used that time to learn about digital real estate and e-commerce. I also launched a new property services business that naturally evolved out of Vaquay. I’m very excited about what the next 12-24 months have in store.
Q: How did dealing with our company help you/your business?
A: Having Cap Taxation on my ‘team’ is my safety net. Ekram has stood alongside me during some really tough times. No matter what’s going on, she’s actually like my own personal cheer squad that also just happens to be a genius with numbers! She knows her stuff, is very clear on expectations, advice, and feedback, and has an open-door policy. It’s really important to feel that you connect with the people helping you with your finances, and equally important to have a sense that they’re available, open, and willing to listen to you. I know Ekram will laugh when I say that there is no stupid question when it comes to Cap Taxation! She’s had plenty from me but I don’t mind asking those questions because then I get the benefit of Cap Taxation’s expertise.
I can’t finish this question without giving a huge shoutout to everyone on Cap Taxation’s team. They are highly professional, timely, willing to go out of their way for me.
Q: What advice do you have for women starting in business careers?
A: When you take those first steps, you will find an overwhelming amount of information and advice. Some will resonate, and some won’t. Before anything else, your ‘why’ has to be big enough, important enough, to survive the trials and tribulations of your entrepreneurial journey. Be very careful about whom you decide to let into your circle of influence because not everyone that’s been with you until now, is the type of person who you’ll be able to take with you moving forward. This is just a natural part of life – people are true with you for a reason, season, or lifetime. Sometimes, a brief encounter with the wrong or right person is the moment that changes everything.
Here are some tips I (try to) live by. I say this because for too long, the perception of ‘successful’ people is that they’re superhuman, have everything figured out and do everything right 100% of the time. This is simply not true. Everyone has good and bad days, triumphs, and challenges. We cry. We need a time-out. Then we get up and keep going in the direction of our ‘why’.
- When opportunity knocks, say yes and figure the rest out later. You don’t need all the answers to commit to something that’s either scaring the hell out of you or making you feel like it’s out of your league or hard to schedule. The saying that pressure creates diamonds is a great analogy for many things. These scenarios often cause you to work with better intention and timeliness, knowing something is pulling you to perform. A deadline of some sort is a great way to bring out your best.
- Your network is your net worth. Grant Cardone is big on saying that you don’t need money to make money. His mantra is ‘contacts get the contracts’. It’s your job to find out who has your money and network in those circles.
- Become a problem-solver. Resourcefulness is one of the most important skills you’ll need to nurture. There is always a way forward and it’s your job to figure it out.
- Diversify. If COVID-19 taught us anything, it was to prepare for the unexpected. Some industries thrived while others weren’t so lucky. This is a vital lesson when working on the longevity of your business.
- Slow motion is better than no motion. In other words, get started! Consistent imperfect action is a lot more realistic and a better representation of how it is and will beat procrastination any day of the week. This is a personal challenge for me as well so I’m getting better at the ‘done is better than perfect’ mantra. Get started now!
- Not everyone is coming along for the ride. You will have the doubters, haters, and those who just don’t believe in you, your idea, and/or your business. That’s OK. They’re not your tribe. You will attract the right people into your circle if you stay the course.
- Read, read, and read. Don’t underestimate the value you can get by taking a few short days to read and learn from someone’s experience that has spanned years, often decades. The wisdom of a lifetime inside a book is priceless. If it’s not your thing, grab it in the audio version or on an app like Blinkist. I’m currently reading ‘Everything is Figureoutable’ by Marie Forleo.
- Get yourself a mentor. I can’t stress this enough. Invaluable and an excellent way to navigate your business by leveraging the knowledge of someone who’s been where you’re going.
- Morning routine. This used to stress me out. So much contradictory advice that I always felt I wasn’t doing mornings ‘right’. I recently stumbled across some information that has changed everything for me. I get up, eat breakfast and get to work. Mentally, these are my most productive hours. I have more focus, clarity, energy, and motivation. I can now leave things like mindfulness, meditation, and other activities to later in the day. The disclaimer here is that I’ve planned my day the night before. If you have to think about what the day has in store that very morning, you’ll find yourself behind. The moral of the story is to find what works for YOU!
- Know your numbers. They don’t lie. This is where your finance team makes all the difference. Cap Taxation can help you understand the key metrics that keep your business financially healthy.
The list does go on and on but this is a great start. I’ll leave you with this quote I recently read which can sometimes feel like the life of an entrepreneur. It helps me to realise that there is always a way.
“Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.”
Q: Are you a working mom?
A: Absolutely! Lucky and blessed mum of three extraordinary humans – Alessia 15, Thalia 18, and Michael 21. The struggle is real at times and it has more to do with permitting myself to nurture my entrepreneurial spirit, and less to do with them holding me back. They’re always telling me how proud they are of me and encouraging me to do what I love – and rest when my work schedule is relentless! In doing this, I hope to permit my children to feel good about being the playmakers of their future and instilling a belief that anything is possible and within their grasp if they work towards it.
In terms of quality time, we’re continuously finding ways to plug into each other despite all our busy days and it’s something we’re constantly aware of and working on as a family. It’s not perfect, but it’s a work in progress.
I’ve always felt like I gave birth to a baby in one hand, and guilt in the other, and this is something a lot of female entrepreneurs struggle with but each situation is different and it’s about finding out what works for you.
Q: Share a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.
A: To me, Jacinda Arden is the embodiment of everything that inspires me both in business, and as a wife, and as a mother. I admire her perfect balance of courage, empathy, compassion, determination, and resilience. Jacinda in all her human ways unapologetically embraces everything that’s innately and amazingly beautiful about being a woman. She brings all these dimensions to her role where she leads with grace and purpose.
Having given birth and taking maternity leave while in office sent a powerful message to the world that the gift of motherhood could go hand in hand with a woman’s professional goals. Often, as women, we feel guilt for wanting to pursue the ambitious part of ourselves, aside from the hopes and dreams we want for our families. Out of all the exceptional examples Jacinda has set for women, this by far is the most significant for me.”
No wonder we’re inspired by Panagiota. We congratulate her on her achievements and ask you take a page from her book
Your success is what matters. Create the lifestyle you deserve. Contact us to find out how can we assist and help you grow your business.
Happy Women’s International Month!