Miriam Lottner, COO Gangly Sister: Hi, I’m Miriam Lottner, I’m COO and cofounder gain sister.com and I am thrilled to be today with Miriam Schwab, CEO and founder Illuminea and I let her introduce herself.
Miriam Schwab, CEO, Illuminea: Hi, I’m Miriam Schwab and I’m CO and founder of Illuminea. We are press development and online marketing agency located in Jerusalem.
Miriam Lottner: How did you get started?
Miriam Schwab: After two years of doing patent editing and during my maternity leave, I basically founded Illuminea while sitting home with my baby. And at first we didn’t actually do web developments, you know, I wanted to go in that direction, I started off just doing freelance marketing writing, but then you know, when you start off you have lots of free time which is great to learning. So I started learning have to built web sites, and I taught myself and then I realized that web sites need content management systems so I did a lot of research to that and I picked word press .
Miriam Lottner: Tell me something that changed about you as person when you became an entrepreneur.
Miriam Schwab: I think one of the best lessons for how to be a good person is actually being in business. You learn a lot about communication, and a lot of those principles that means to be good for life are good for business, so I feel like being in business, always challenge me and push me outside of my comfort zone very much. Sometimes I do know where to put the line down, I don’t go too much outside my comfort zone, but it makes me to do things that I think I wouldn’t have done before. It’s given me more self confidence, I speak a lot at events and lecture and I force myself to do that and when I started out, even if I was speaking to group a five people my voice would shake. And now I could speak to 200-300 people no problem and a don’t think I ever imagined that I could do that or that I could go out and sell something and believe enough in my product, in my service to sell well.
Miriam Lottner: What was something you tried that everyone said was crazy?.
Miriam Schwab: Well everything…the entire business. I have been told along way that everything that I am doing is crazy very much. Like for example, when I started learning wordpress and really, like taking that seriously I spent a lot of time building test sites like really getting to know it…people around me, at that point mostly family were like: you are crazy, why you spending so much time on that, nobody is buying it, and what’s the business opportunity.
Miriam Lottner: Great. OK. Tell us a little bit about WP Garage, WordPress Garage where did that come from. I forgot mo mentioned that’s Miriam’s.
Miriam Schwab: So, we have a blog. It’s about the spirit of community and it’s about a lot of people given their time freely to build something and help others, and when I started learning word press I used Google lot. Google was my friend, my teacher…
Miriam Lottner: Google was always our friend.
Miriam Schwab: …and I were found list tutorials that people were written just to help other people and I had learn so much from others that I want it to give back the community in some way and on that point that was my little ways I could do it. Basically, every time Rebecca and I learn something new that we thought it could be helpful to someone else…why should they have to spent hours freaking out, we were wrote tutorials about it. So we having about 200 tutorials, we were writing for six years or something.
Miriam Lottner: What is the worst advice that you ever got?
Miriam Schwab: Oh my Gosh, I have definitely… Oo the worst advice, I have got so much bad advice. The worst advice, it’s hard to me to remember specifically, but I’ve to tried consultancy few time one way and…
Miriam Lottner: Like coaches? Or consultancy?
Miriam Schwab: Like a… You know coaching is relatively new, I guess now it called coaches than they were called consultancy and yeah that is the same thing. And generally they were trying to apply like you standard brick and mortar type business principals to our office, and say thing like you need, what it’s called, office stationary. You know we don’t even have office stationary, we never had office stationary. The worst is when some govern office need us to write something official letterhead, we don’t even have it, we don’t need it because it we do is digital. It’s no reason for it, and things like that they just often didn’t get the roll on the web and luckily I think maybe this is something…um the people who sad business is, I always felt like I knew best, now is…because many people would get my good advice and I told it’s OK, but when I don’t agree with it I often turned out to do right thing, thank God. Even with people who have much experience than me, but it’s not relevant, this digital world I guess is new and now people have experience building up business that so digital.
Miriam Lottner: If for some reason you have an amazing opportunity to start other business, present business partners excluded and you can pick one person, anyone in the whole world, who would be? And why?
Miriam Schwab: … Matt Mullenweg, the guy behind Word Press and he does work on other projects, so..
Miriam Lottner: Matt are you listening?
Miriam Schwab: This is some kind dream scenario, so that’s OK. I like his approach to his business life. He is strongly about open source, he puts his foot down about GPA license behind Word Press, constantly… that Word Press must remain completely open source, everything that is connected to it and he is a champion for reasons that the goal is to proof to world which is democratization of publishing. That approach in business; it’s not just about revenue it’s about doing something that makes world better place. I totally relate that in my mind…I’m a fan.