Carole Miltgen is the founder and CEO of Kirchberg – based Prisma SA, a financial communication company for the investment fund industry. A distinct love of style, a constant thirst to learn, and a wish to give back through helping and inspiring future entrepreneurs makes Carole an ultimate LUX WMN. Here she shares her insights on work – life balance, mentorship, and accepting mistakes.
MY RULES TO LIVE BY are really very simple. Have respect for everyone, for each other, for yourself. A lack of respect really upsets me. Learn something new – at the moment, I’m immersed in the world of nutrition, but I’ve studied ballet, learnt Italian, and boxed at evening classes in the past couple of years. And be kind to yourself, in how you talk to yourself and by doing things that are good for you. I’m still learning this one.
SMILING is your secret weapon.
SETTING UP MY OWN BUSINESS was the best decision I ever made. It meant taking a huge risk, but that is what life is about. You should give it a try and not worry what people will say. It was tough and there was much to learn, but it was all worth it.
MENTORING is important to me and I find it incredibly rewarding. I am someone for them to share ideas with, but I learn just as much. Sometimes we get set in our ways so it is so refreshing to hear new perspectives. We become so busy that we forgot to stop and review. I get so much enjoyment out of working with my mentees.
ACCEPT MISTAKES. I try to encourage my mentees to not beat themselves up when things go wrong. Things will go wrong – it’s learning from them and utilizing that knowledge into your new project or business that will make the difference.
HOW DO YOU FEEL? It’s often my big question to the entrepreneurs I work with. I can give a helicopter view and offer perspective on their venture, but it’s important for them to share their gut feelings about what they’re working on and how their life is impacting on their business.
“Running a company means making yourself the least important member of the team.”
BE TOUGH with the facts, kind with the person. I expect mentees to respect my time as I respect theirs and be prepared for our monthly sit – downs – but often life gets in the way. I have been told that my understanding and calmness has helped during stressful situations, when the personal gets in the way of the business plan; I am honoured to hear that.
MAKE A LIST. I am a big list fan! They are one of my favorite tools! Jot down the pros and cons, your to-do list, your worries and anxieties. Just writing them down will make things feel manageable.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER. I have a full calendar and so I have to manage my day in units. I divide my time into work, learning, socialising, and just finding some alone time. I love my evening classes, I love my Saturday brunch crew. I love my work – but to fit it all in I have to eye up the space in my diary and be organized with my time. But you can make things work.
EMPOWER YOUR COLLEAGUES. When I was setting up Prisma, I was given some very valuable advice: “Running a company means making yourself the least important member of the team.” This means that I want to focus on everyone working at Prisma and their entrepreneurial spirit so that they look at their work place as their own business.
REMEMBER THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THE OFFICE. Naturally there are deadlines that keep us late, but I have a strong rule that my team leave the office by 6. I want them to go and have a drink, play with their kids, kiss their partner.
This article was written for LUX WMN, Issue #1 by Charley Larcombe.