Olivia von Holt, an accomplished businesswoman and entrepreneur with a unique blend of European and American perspectives, has left an indelible mark on the realms of personal development and mentorship for young professionals. Her extensive experience spans various industries across multiple business sectors, earning her recognition on the esteemed “30 under 30” list and the prestigious Woman-Owned Business Award. While authorship wasn’t initially on her radar, Olivia found herself inspired by a mentee to share her wealth of knowledge, leading her to ponder, “Who is mentoring whom now?” Her writing now focuses on inspiring the emerging generation of professionals, offering insights she wishes she had received earlier in her career. Olivia’s journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of experience, mentorship, and the courage to embrace new opportunities.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Throughout my career, I’ve always been the kind of person who loves to learn and share knowledge. My desk is usually covered in sticky notes with all sorts of ideas and shortcuts I’ve learned. I’ve learned a lot over the years, working on my own business projects and leading teams for Corporate 500 Companies. One day, someone I was mentoring suggested I write these things down, and here we are.
At first, the thought of writing a book made me nervous. But then I found an old sticky note that said, “Growth comes from being uncomfortable.” That made me think maybe I should try it. So, I started the same way I started a project for any of my clients. I organized all my notes and ideas and created an outline. I matched the outline to my calendar to keep track of what I should write about next. This process helped me stay focused and on track for the most part.
I wanted this book to guide young professionals just starting their careers. I hope it can help others who are just beginning their professional lives.
What books have most influenced your life most?
My journey into the world of business and nonfiction began with Tim Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Work Week.” This book has been a constant companion and a source of inspiration for me. It’s now filled with my personal notes, ideas, and bookmarks, reflecting its impact on my thinking and approach.
Several other remarkable nonfiction books have also influenced me. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen opened my eyes to the art of productivity. “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau provided practical insights into entrepreneurship on a budget. “Moonwalking with Einstein” by Joshua Foer offered a fascinating look into the world of memory champions, and books like “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek have deepened my understanding of various aspects of business and personal development.
These books have enriched my knowledge and shaped my perspective on entrepreneurial growth, business development, and the crucial balance between work and personal life. I’m grateful for the wisdom they’ve imparted and the guidance they continue to provide in my journey.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
My journey through the writing process has been a profound learning experience. As a self-published author, I’ve realized that self-accountability is empowering and challenging. This path has been filled with its fair share of highs and lows. However, I’ve learned the importance of being kind to myself, recognizing the need to take regular breaks, and rewarding myself with small treats upon reaching each deadline.
Additionally, sharing my deadlines with family and friends has been invaluable. Their support and gentle check-ins have kept me on track and fostered a balanced and effective work environment that suits me well. This experience has been humbling and has taught me so much about perseverance, self-care, and the power of a supportive community.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my career to have the guidance of some amazing mentors. Their wisdom and support have been crucial in building my confidence in myself and my work. With this book, I want to be the readers’ cheerleader, inspiring them as they start their professional journey, no matter which career path they are considering. Understanding what drives and motivates oneself is a key part of boosting self-esteem and daring to take risks that might lead to significant steps forward in their career.
Do you like audiobooks, physical books, or e-books better? Why?
I really appreciate all the different reading platforms, including audiobooks. I believe each one serves its own unique purpose. Reading a book on a plane helps me escape the noise and chaos, transporting me to another world. Similarly, there’s something special about flipping through pages while relaxing on the porch or beside a fire. In the early days of my career as a designer, I found myself deeply engaged with audiobooks, often listening for 40-50 hours a week. This experience helped me discover a harmonious balance between my creative and analytical skills, making my work weeks more enjoyable. For vacations, I prefer using an e-book reader to reduce luggage weight. Access to these diverse options highlights the flexibility that both technology and traditional books offer. It’s fascinating how I’ve listened to audiobooks and felt compelled to buy the physical copy, read a book, and buy an e-book version.
How do you relax?
Around three years back, I had the chance to explore Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra. I’ve found that dedicating an hour or two each week for meditation and consciously stepping away from technology has benefited my mental well-being. It’s a great way for me to relax and decompress. Additionally, I really enjoy spending time outdoors. Whether going for a leisurely walk, tending to my vegetable garden, or even browsing a plant store, these simple daily activities bring me a lot of joy and relaxation.
Picture this: You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
As with any task, I’ll step away for a bit if I struggle to concentrate for 15-30 minutes. During these breaks, I might go for a walk with my dog, phone a friend for a chat, tackle a few tasks on my to-do list, or relax with an episode of the Great British Bake Show. Sometimes, I also indulge in a bit of gardening, finding that tending to plants is a great way to clear my head. On other occasions, I might try a short meditation or yoga session, which helps me refocus and reenergize for the tasks ahead.
Do you feel like you’d be a better writer if you wore sparkly socks during your writing sessions?
Absolutely! I like to keep things simple and enjoyable, especially here in Florida, where we don’t really have a long Sock Season. My writing routine is pretty straightforward, but it works for me. I’ve got a playlist of classical music that I like, a salt lamp on my desk for a bit of ambiance, and some of my favorite books usually surround me for a bit of inspiration.
I stick to the writing software I know and use every day. It’s comfortable and familiar, which makes writing a bit easier. And here’s a little habit of mine: I print out each chapter and take it out to the porch. With a red marker in hand, I read through it aloud. It’s a nice way to mix up the editing process and enjoy a bit of the outdoors.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can find more about me on my website www.OliviaVonHolt.com, or my Instagram @OliviaVonHolt. They can message me either on both platforms or drop a message if they have any questions or even want to share a friendly “Hi”!
The Reward of Risk: Embracing Confidence In Your Career is available for purchase on Amazon.
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