Nastasja Minja is an
aspiring entrepreneur from Slovenia who graduated in psychology. She wanted to start
a business in the field so she went to Italy for a five-month long entrepreneurial
Yet, not long after
she started working alongside host entrepreneur Valentina Bortolotto, owner of NEFELI EDUCATION, she found herself facing
the coronavirus crisis and a national lockdown.
"I arrived in Italy in
February and the lockdown started in March. It was a sudden change that I was
not prepared for. Yet, I had to promptly adapt to the situation and comply with
the restrictions of movement and social interactions. It was very difficult for
me to avoid physical contacts with people as I am psychologist, but there was
no choice”. "We needed to be responsible and show respect to those suffering from
the consequences of the disease.”
Even if she was not ready for
this, the lockdown presented an opportunity for Nastasja and
Valentina to work differently. The two women decided to continue the collaboration
virtually using digital tools for communication. They could carry on
the activities initially planning during the exchange.
Using the spare time the quarantine offered, Nastasja could refine some aspects of her business
plan. She notably focused on creating content for sport psychology, whilst also
being fully committed to Valentina’s business.
To make her remote
work life more comfortable, Nastasja created an environment at home that resembled a workplace, which really helped her to be efficient and productive. She advises
everyone to do the same. She also recommends setting a schedule making sure
that it fits a daily agenda.
"It is more difficult
to avoid distractions at home, especially if you live with someone, so I needed
to have a strict schedule that I would follow rigorously (e.g. working whilst others
The communication flow
with Valentina and the other colleagues at NEFELI, did not change much during
the quarantine, it actually got better!
The restrictions actually allowed
people to have more time to talk to each other and focus on discussions
about strategies and future projects.
And one of the most
important strategies during the quarantine, was to try to adapt Valentina’s business
services to virtual methods. Indeed, like many other businesses, hers has been financially
struggling during the crisis. The government provides economic support but that
is not enough for a full recovery.
But the two women
remain positive about the situation, no matter how bad it is, it still represents an opportunity for both business growth and personal
Nastasja Minja remains
also very keen to connect with other EYE entrepreneurs currently abroad facing
the same challenges. She can provide psychological support to anyone who may
need it. Her mission as a psychologist is to help people overcome the worst and
thrive in adversity and she would be more than eager to offer her help in these