New Entrepreneur (NE)
Name & surname: Sara Idzig
Age: 27 years
Sector of activity: Health and wellness
Have you already started your business? No.
What is your future business? The company will provide a safe, professional, psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational space for young adults (25-35 years old) with mental health issues and their relatives/friends. The primary service offered will be dance movement psychotherapy, while there will be a secondary psychoeducational service aside.
Host Entrepreneur (HE)
Name & surname: Dimitrios Zachos
Sector of activity: Health and wellness
Experience in running a business: 25 years
Name of business/website: DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY / dimitrioszaxos.com
What is your business? Dance Movement Therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance through which a person can engage creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration. Through acknowledging and supporting clients’ movements the therapist encourages the development and integration of new adaptive movement patterns together with the emotional experiences that accompany such changes.
Period of exchange: 11/09/2020 – 12/10/2020
Duration of exchange: 1 month
What did Sara Idzig learn about the importance of relationships and networking for her future business in the sector of psychotherapy?
RELATIONSHIP(s) – AN ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT IN PSYCHOTHERAPY AND BUSINESS
Sara Idzig is a young Slovenian entrepreneur, specialized in dance movement psychotherapy, who wanted to learn from her host, Dimitrios Zachos. He is an experienced entrepreneur and founder of the company “Dance Movement Therapy” which is based in Greece and operates internationally. They have both agreed on the participation in this business mentorship program to extend their business network, to evaluate and upgrade their working strategies and to establish future professional collaboration between Greece and Slovenia.
The activities during the 1 month-exchange programme were focused on the exploration of how to develop a successful private practice as a dance-movement psychotherapist in Slovenia. Sara is honoured to have a chance to observe, participate, collaborate, and learn from the successfully established private company “Dance Movement Therapy” whose founder is Dimitrios Zachos. With him being in the role of a host entrepreneur, they had regular one-to-one meetings where they discussed many business-related topics, such as the early beginnings of his company, past and present marketing strategies, finances, early challenges, mistakes, regrets, examples of good practice and also future opportunities. All of Sara’s questions were addressed and supported by examples from real practice. She was able to visit many private and public institutions and to meet with professionals from related fields (psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists…). Each visit brought new connections and new perspectives. It offered her a great opportunity for cultural exchange and mutual learning about similarities and differences between the Slovenian and Greek health and business world. Sara also attended Zachos’ promotional courses and workshops, shadowed his working process, co-facilitated his work with clients, and embarked on a research project with him. They have created a plan for future professional collaboration between Greece and Slovenia and she looks forward to hosting Zachos in Slovenia.
Thanks to a very prolific collaboration, the HE and NE managed to exchange knowledge of cultural differences and similarities in terms of how the public and private sector works in Slovenia and Greece and to what extend it is supportive for business development in the field of Dance-Movement Psychotherapy (DMP). The NE learned that Slovenia has room for improvement and that there is one specific business model that the NE observed and evaluated with HE which could be translated to Slovenia. However, being part of the exchange made the NE realize that it would take ages to do it by herself. She has seen many benefits of the HE’s strong networking, and she knows now that she needs to reach out to other professionals and build a trust-worthy professional network first. Furthermore, the exchange and the HE’s guidance helped the NE to improve her business plan, to re-evaluate her marketing strategy, and to re-do her market analysis. Through work shadowing, she has also gained self-confidence in her expertise and gained courage for further steps on her young entrepreneur’s path.
On the other hand, the HE has enjoyed a new role he took as a host entrepreneur and business mentor. It was a completely different experience in comparison to his regular work. During the exchange, he was able to re-evaluate his business by answering the NE’s diverse questions. Also, he has realized how much knowledge around business he has gained through all these years and how good it would have been if he could have attended a program like this back when he was starting his own business. Besides that, the exchange process reawakened some old ideas he didn’t manage to carry out due to lack of time or motivation. Together with the NE, these old ideas took on a new perspective and opportunity. The two entrepreneurs started working on a professional article and have developed a future project which will be carried out in Slovenia.
Dimitrios Zachos (HE): “I did not know about the EYE project before and I have decided to join mostly due to curiosity and because – knowing myself – I would have probably applied for a program like that if there had been one when I started as a young entrepreneur. I went into this completely open, with no major expectations, and found myself enjoying a lot when sharing the knowledge and wisdom I have gained through my many years of experience. The NE challenged me with questions about various business-related topics, which made me reflect on my past business and related life decisions. Hosting the NE, I took more time than I would normally do, to re-evaluate ‘why’ I am doing my business in the way I am doing it and why it works – still. I have already been to Slovenia and spending a month with the NE, I see it from a different perspective now. I hope to return there for business as we have discussed with the NE. As I said to the NE many times, networking is the most important thing, and the EYE program was a great chance to expand my network into another country.”
Sara Idzig (NE): “I have decided to participate in the EYE program because I wanted to experience how a successful dance-movement therapeutic company works and survives even in challenging times such as the Covid19-year. I am much of a kinaesthetic learner who needs to try out things to really understand the mechanism behind them. Having a chance to learn from the experienced entrepreneur who happened to work in the same field as my profession is, was a not-to-miss opportunity for me. I was not sure what to expect but I got exactly what I needed, not only for my professional development but also for my personal growth. My fears, doubts, and questions around ‘how’ to become a successful young entrepreneur were grounded through this monthly exchange. I strongly believe that it is through relationships that we exist, develop, and become. And it is only now that I am starting to understand that the same logic is true in business. I am determined to start focusing on relationships in a broader context, using my psychotherapeutic knowledge to enrich and extend my business network. From there on I am sure I can not only grow but become – an actual entrepreneur. I am grateful for EYE and the HE and I hope Greek-Slovenian collaboration extends past the dates planned for future projects with the HE.”