Electra saw an opportunity in the Legal industry after working with large organisations and startups and founded her business; The Law Boutique. Here, she shares her candid advice on the importance of believing in yourself and how starting her own business has been a tough but rewarding journey.
“I grew up in Cyprus and later moved to England to study law because I was always passionate about solving obtuse problems. After my studies, I returned to Cyprus, passed the bar exam and came back to the UK to do a masters in international business law before beginning my first graduate role at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands.”
"I then spent the next ten years of my career as an in-house lawyer, working across Europe for some amazing organisations including the European Space Agency, Airbus and Disney, negotiating and managing contracts with startups and smaller businesses. In each role I had, it struck me time and time again how the smaller businesses lacked the legal and commercial support they needed, leading them to make uninformed decisions. I witnessed passionate and talented entrepreneurs damaging long term relationships and credibility by unknowingly signing away their intellectual property and committing to obligations they couldn't adhere to.”
“I realised that there must be so many more businesses facing the same issues and I wanted to help. London’s startup ecosystem was leading the way in Europe and I wanted to support the success of the next generation of small businesses. Since our inception in 2017, we’ve served over 200 businesses with a team of 10 brilliant people who are passionate about rebranding the face of the law.”
“My favourite part of running my own business is the ability to exercise my creative side as well as my practical, legally trained mind all at once. I find it very challenging and satisfying that on the same day, I can be discussing someone’s legal challenges to help grow their business and then switch to the marketing and branding strategy to drive the growth of my own business."
"Over time, this has taught me the importance of self-compassion when running your own business, treat yourself as you would your client. I think that having the ability to (eventually) be honest with myself at times got me through the setbacks and challenges. As a startup myself, I have had to pivot and adapt to fit the changing circumstances presented to me. I think it’s important to take a step back from what you’re feeling and experiencing to assess a difficult situation pragmatically and empathetically.”
“Starting a business has been without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made, even with the challenges, it has been an extremely fulfilling process.”
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is patience. I’ve always wanted things done yesterday but when you are running your own company, that only adds to the stress and pressure. Taking each day as it comes and striving for the best you can be is a more sustainable way forward.
My 94-year-old grandad recently told me ‘Life is not a race, believe me’. And he’s right.
We often feel like we’re in a race to be the best, do the most, make the most but in the end, the only race we’re in is with ourselves. Starting a business has been without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made, even with the challenges it has been an extremely fulfilling process.
“We often feel like we’re in a race to be the best, do the most, make the most but in the end, the only race we’re in is with ourselves”
My three tips to women would be:
It’s OK if you don’t know the ‘How?’ just start the process and it will all come together
Try different things - even if they lead to perceived ‘failures’, knowing that something’s not right for you is actually a huge learning success in the long run.
Nurture important relationships, networking can be the make or break for a young business.
Electra Japonas's story is certainly unconventional, but it shows that it's important to stand up for what you believe in. Why not read more? Check out our post on inspirational leader, Jenna Alexander, CEO of JoinedTo.