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Becoming your own boss: Aiva’s story of self-discovery & personal branding

Originally from Latvia, Aiva Eiduka is a communications and branding specialist with over 10 years of work experience.

When she visited the Netherlands for the first time, she fell in love with the country and the culture. In 2020, she decided to move to Utrecht. “This multicultural environment just blew me away,” Aiva says. “I think environment plays a huge part in our success story, and I saw that here in the Netherlands, I could be a little bit more than I could be in Latvia.”

I really liked this opportunity at Delitelabs. I think that without them, it would’ve taken me so much longer to figure out what exactly I wanted to do. I’m super grateful for this program.

From a “good job” to an identity crisis

When she moved to the Netherlands, Aiva also left her job at a PR agency in Latvia. “I felt I had achieved what I could and I wanted to take the next career step,” she says.

But when she left her job, she suddenly found herself struggling with her identity. “It was very difficult for me to find myself and my voice,” she explains. “Who am I? What do I really want to do? My identity was my work. Once I left, I felt like I lost some part of myself.”

Aiva started working with a career coach to find more clarity and figure out her next steps. During this time, she came across Delitelabs – and it immediately sparked her interest. “I had no idea what exactly I wanted to do. I don’t have anything I can make or sell, but I have always been passionate about helping people,” she tells us. “When I left the PR agency, I really lacked this feeling and this satisfaction of helping somebody step out of their comfort zone and take action.”

Discovering personal branding

Passionate about branding and having experience in the field, Aiva joined Delitelabs’ Pre-incubator program with the idea of building her own branding agency.

However, over the course of the program, Aiva discovered a new field: personal branding. After several eye-opening discussions with the program faculty and guest experts, Aiva decided to further explore personal branding.

She started applying the program learnings and frameworks to her work. “Personal branding is pretty similar to building companies,” Aiva explains. “When you are building a business, you need to create a vision, create goals, define your mission. There are frameworks that I’m using and exercises that we were asked to do for companies that I can do for personal branding. To me now, it seems very logical because people are the ones building companies. Before you build a company, you need to work on your own personal brand.”

Aiva’s classmates also challenged Aiva to think bigger. “They often had completely different viewpoints and different ideas,” she says. “They actually broadened my perspective.”

Aiva is excited to take her learnings to become a personal branding expert. She is already working with a few of her classmates, helping them to build their personal brands. “Working with people is definitely my passion,” she says. “I like to connect and this gives me energy. I really liked this opportunity at Delitelabs. I think that without them, it would’ve taken me so much longer to figure out what exactly I wanted to do. I’m super grateful for this program.”

(Practical) lessons for life

Without Delitelabs, Aiva wouldn’t have discovered a new career path. She even says, “I don’t know if Delitelabs realizes how life-changing this program is.”

“It’s a very high-level program, so all the information we were given makes it easy to build a concept for a company,” Aiva adds. “You get to learn the basics of entrepreneurship. You learn not only about branding and identity, but also really practical things. I know how to make a budget, for example. A huge part that was highlighted was customer research and testing your idea. It was a super short mini-MBA.”

Through Delitelabs, Aiva also had the opportunity to do a short internship. She tells us, “I had a chance to be part of the branding team of a worldwide brand. I actually had a chance to see how they work in a real work environment and what kind of tools they are using. I was inspired by the company’s culture a lot.”

She concludes, “If you really want to change or build something, then the Delitelabs Pre-incubator program has all the tools and opportunities for you to do that. If you put the work in, then you’ll get a lot out of it.”

Are you an ambitious, aspiring entrepreneur like Aiva? Join the Delitelabs Pre-incubator program to get the skills, knowledge, and expertise you need to create your path to building a sustainable livelihood.

Written by Sophie Poulsen

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