Csilla was born and grew up in Hungary, from an early age she had a passion for learning foreign languages and enthusiasm to get to know other cultures. Like many of us Csilla graduated with a good degree (in Law) but found herself struggling both financially and emotionally in a negative working environment. She dreamed of working abroad.
“People did not understand and judged me, having comments like even if you have a law degree, you can be only a maid or a cleaning lady abroad.”
Undeterred by the negative comments of those around her, Csilla spent a year applying for positions. In 2010 she found an amazing opportunity in Naples, Italy, within the framework of the European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission. “It was the perfect place to improve languages in a multicultural working atmosphere.” Csilla worked as a volunteer for a year and over the course of the year was involved in office work, organizing intercultural programmes and international youth exchange projects. She also taught English to Italian youngsters and immigrants in a youth center. For Csilla the experience was life changing.
The following year Csilla moved to Brussels, Belgium where she began working in the European Parliament. One year later she gained a Leonardo internship financed by the European Commission and started to work in an international law firm in Brussels where she specialized in business immigration law.
In 2015 Csilla established her own company, Across Continents Translations, a Brussels-based translation company. Across Continents offer professional translation services from any language to any language and work with a worldwide network of 2000+ highly qualified, tested and experienced native speaking translators, interpreters and proofreaders. They handle all types of projects, such as legal, financial, business, technical, marketing, medical, certified translations, book translations, consecutive, simultaneous interpreting, even remote interpreting and proofreading.
“NEVER let anyone discourage you! Never! Always focus on your goals and don’t let others distract you!”
Across Continents Translations donate a % of their profit to support needy children in Sri Lanka and to fight against child hunger all over the world.
I asked Csilla what inspired her to found her company?
When you own your business, you get the freedom to work on projects that have meaning in your life and you work with more passion. While running your own company, there are always new challenges to face, you never stop learning, you create the work atmosphere you want and you have geographical freedom as well.
What was your biggest challenge when setting the company up?
It is a great challenge to build up a “translation empire” from zero, only with your passion, can do attitude, enthusiasm, hard work and your determination. I created a worldwide database of 2000+ translators, interpreters and proofreaders, then I tested their skills with other native speaking translators. I built up trust to have clients and to make people get to know the company.
What has been your biggest challenge since?
It is a challenge to be a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominant business world. I think women have the talent and potential to change their economic status and to develop their countries as well. Women’s economic contribution and political participation is still undervalued and unrecognized. It is a challenge to promote your business on the market and stay focused while you have so many ideas in your head. Because of global debt and economic struggles, uncertainty is stronger today than in the past. It is difficult to strategically plan five to ten years into the future. A major challenge is finding the right, trustworthy staff. Each team member’s personality can have a huge impact on the harmony and productivity of the business.
What have you learnt?
If you feel like quitting, remember why you started and only one year ago how much you desired to be at the place where you are today and focus on where can you arrive in 1-3-5 years!
What tips would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Choose your team members very carefully. Your team is the key of your success. Your collaboration is about trust and mutual respect. Have a detailed business strategy. Don’t be afraid to ask help from people you trust (but be very careful who to trust). Be aware, that immediately after you become successful, there will be a lot of fake friends around you, as well as “admirers” who try to take advantage of you, so ignore them and be very conscious, remember those people who were there with you in the downs, who supported and encouraged you in difficult times and focus on them. Give your smile, time and support to those ones who were interested in your well being also when you were not on the top and they didn’t forget you, they believed in you and respected you.
It was fantastic to speak to Csilla she is so passionate about her business and so proud of her team. She really gave me a sense that she had built a business culture of collaboration and multiculturalism celebrating all the things she loves and cares about.
I’m super excited to introduce the very first of my Inspiring Interview Series. Each month, I’ll be asking some Qs to a inspirational business woman because I feel it’s so important to learn and share what motivates us, as female entrepreneurs.
This month is the lovely Csilla Rostas, who is also a dear friend of mine after we met in a business Facebook Group and realised we both lived in Brussels!
Tell us about yourself
I’m a Hungarian lawyer and legal translator living in Brussels, Belgium. Multilingualism and multiculturalism has been a part of my life since my childhood. I’m passionate about self-development and success, open-minded and human-oriented.
In Hungary I found myself struggling both financially and emotionally in a very negative working environment. I’ve always dreamt about living and working abroad as part of a supportive and positive society. My curiosity and ambition led me to come to Brussels and to quickly develop an ascending professional experience in the capital of the European Union.
I created my own company in 2015 and since then it is growing at a fantastic rate. Across Continents Translations offers professional translation services from any language to any language, and works together with a worldwide network of 2,000+ highly qualified, tested and experienced native speaking translators, interpreters and proofreaders. We handle all types of projects, such as legal, financial, business, technical, marketing, medical, certified translations, book translations, website translations, consecutive, simultaneous interpreting, even remote interpreting and proofreading. We also donate a percentage of our profits to support needy children in Sri Lanka and to fight against child hunger all over the world.
What’s your morning routine?
I usually start my day listening to inspirational and empowering anecdotes, stories and quotes, because motivation is the most important thing you need to run your own business. Never lose your motivation and enthusiasm!
Finally, I’m happy to say I’m doing something I love and I’ve chosen the right people to work with; working with a happy, positive mindset is the base to be successful.
Happiness is also being grateful for everything you already have. Every morning, write down at least 1-2 things or people you are thankful for and learn to count the small wins as well.
I try to make time for exercise in the morning to make me think clearer, be healthier and to combat stress as well.
I take a few minutes to plan and strategise and find the direction of my day, and to review my tasks, which helps the day become more manageable. Focus on your goals!
It is also very important to have breakfast so the brain can function and so you have enough energy to face the new day. Plus, I always watch/read the news in the morning so I know what’s happening in the world.
Why did you start your business?
Freedom and to do what I love. The conditions offered by the Belgian state for startups are really advantageous.
When you own your business, you get the freedom to work on projects that have meaning in your life and you work every day with more passion. When running your own company, there are always new challenges to face, you never stop learning, you create the work atmosphere you want, you choose people to work with and being your own boss means having geographical freedom as well.
What can’t you live without?
My family, my real, true friends and those supportive people that always stood by my side, not only when my business started to grow for their own personal interests, but the ones who were there during those many years of struggle and hardship; the ones who took me medicine when I was sick, the ones who asked how I was and how can they help, when nobody else asked, the ones who were interested in me when the whole world didn’t care. Never forget the people who cared about you when nobody else did. They are treasures and they love you for YOURSELF. Only these people matter.
As for my work, I need my laptop and my phone every day. Without them my business would stop. Having Wi-Fi and fast internet connection is a must for my business.
And something else, I couldn’t imagine living without my favourite Hungarian dishes!
What makes you feel beautiful?
Happiness and inner peace. A good sleep. Receiving flowers. Travelling through Italy. Finding my own strength and trying to walk through the world with positivity, expressing love and kindness.
Beautiful acts make you a more beautiful person.
Colours – to wear and see in the world around me. Smiling. When people appreciate my personality or my work, it makes me feel amazing. But the most important thing is to appreciate yourself every day.
What’s your number one top tip for other female entrepreneurs?
Choose your team members very carefully because your team is the key to your success. Your collaboration must be about trust and mutual respect. Surround yourself ONLY with supportive people and always be aware, that immediately after you become successful, there will be a lot of fake friends around you, and ‘admirers’ who will try to take advantage of you, as well as tons of haters, so you must be conscious enough to ignore them.
sponsorship – Le Grand Bal d’Italie 2016, Brussels