Sylvia Katiforis

Motiva Consulting


Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne and in October 14 I moved with my beautiful family to the Mornington Peninsula.  We had been dreaming about a sea change for years and finally took the plunge – and we haven’t looked back!

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? 

I always wanted to own my own fashion store.  I grew up loving fashion and selling.  For now, I still get to work in fashion without the pressures of having my own shop.  In saying that I don’t think that dream has ever left my heart, one day maybe!

When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?

It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I left an amazing role as a National Training Manager working for an iconic fashion retailer.  I was earning a great income but travelling loads. I knew that one day I wanted to start a family and the travel was going to be really hard work. So I took a deep breath and plunged into starting my own business but still doing what I love.  That was almost 6 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.    

What’s your why?

My family! I know it sounds corny but I do everything I do for them. I get to run my own business and earn an income but still be around to raise my children and spend time with my hubby whenever I like.  I get to have the best of both worlds – and one day when my business is really, really successful, I will know that it was worth the sleepless nights, the ‘dry’ income periods and the stresses of when is the next project!

What do you love about what you do?

My work allows me to be creative which means each piece of work I produce for each client is different.  It keeps it fun and interesting and when I get repeat work from the same client, it’s the best compliment in the world!

What’s challenged you most since being in business?

A constant stream of income!!!!  Going from getting paid monthly to not even earning anything some months.  It’s those ‘dry’ months that I would start looking at Seek for possible full time jobs but then I remind myself why I’m doing this and how much I would hate to work in a 9-5 office job again.  I should really just slap myself during those moments of madness!

What are your greatest achievements to date?

That 6 years on and I’m still doing this.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I’m still getting work and the business is getting stronger each year.  Last year I gained 4 new massive clients and this year I’m about to launch into a new business. 

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Just believe in yourself!  In the early days I second guessed myself all the time.  I questioned my worth and what service I was providing.  I got myself a great business coach very early on and she was integral in helping me sort out my vision, my ‘what and why’ and set some goals.