Nataliia Fedorchenko, founder and general producer of Channel 8, the business channel for the whole family. This is a unique TV project that is radically different from most TV channels available in Ukrainian mass media. Natalia believes that her brainchild is beneficial and positive for people, because its programs tell about business in an easy and understandable manner. In an interview to Million, she talked about secrets of her success, her hobbies, the way to creating media and modern media space.
The period of becoming you as a co-owner and head of the TV channel, what was it like?
It has been a long journey. A couple of years ago, if I were told that this is how it all will be, I would have laughed and would never believe it. Somewhere in my heart I dreamed about this, but did not allow myself to believe in reality of this dream. However, it was then that the dream began to come true. When I left the position of the general director of one of the business channels, my colleagues and I created a production and invented a new show format about business i.e. Business Bar Show, patented the idea and started implementing it. What was the uniqueness of the show? We talked about business clearly, easily and emotionally, telling personal stories of heroes and presenters. There were advices not only from experienced businessmen, but also from psychics, psychologists, physiognomists and graphologists.
We understood that for most Ukrainians, stock exchange figures were just a random set of numbers. And what then was the point of the business channel? The majority of people do not know how to manage money, plan a budget and run a business. When I was a student I had a chance to study in Greece. There, after graduation, many people do not know the map of the world, but know how to run business (in our country, 95% of those who started were going bankrupt). Thus, we meant to create a business channel that would be easy to comprehend, useful and interesting for everyone. We wanted to be a member of family they would like to stay with during the whole day long. We set ourselves a difficult goal, for many, it would seem, impossible to accomplish i.e. to use every minute of the air.
What obstacles did you encounter on your way, and how did you cope with them?
At first there were more obstacles than those sections of the path, where you could put on speed. Many times, I gave up on despair. But there were signs and events that made it clear that I was on the right way. For example, the Telecom Awards when we became winners in the nomination of “Media Solution of the Year.” It was incredibly important, because our new approach was appreciated by experts, leading persons of the telemarket. I must confess that such victories do give strength and confidence, but the growth of spectator’s attention inspires even more. We want to reach out to every home and give every Ukrainian an opportunity to receive valuable advice on business, psychology, health, personal growth, financial literacy free of charge, watch a good movie, be successful and happy.
They believe that it can be difficult for a man to accept the success of his wife in business. How does your husband feel about your success?
A few years ago, during normal conversation, not about business and work at all, my husband told me: “What kind of manager you are? You're good-hearted. This is not yours.” I was okay with this. Because I'm not a careerist, I’ve never planned to be a leader, and I think that the most important thing in life is family and your close relatives. However, apparently, I was destined to lead, and I often received proposals for leadership positions. My spouse supported me in all my endeavors all the time. I was very lucky.
At first, when the channel was not yet well known, did you have periods of despair? If yes, how did you cope with that?
The channel has not yet reached the level that we meant it to be. Our task is to get the viewer's attention without mud, murders and everything negative. From the point of view of commerce, the task is very difficult. It is much easier to immediately head for the idea of “below the belt” and to hit where it hurts. Well, I do not want to do that. We do not deny that situation is difficult, but let's not cry and not feel sorry for each other. Let's look for options to achieve the goal, options for earnings, for legitimate tax optimization, new ways for business development, new niches, and, let’s face it - options for getting “money out of thin air.”
Of course, there were periods of despair. I'm an ordinary person. But advices given by our guests in our programs always help me. I always record and test everything on myself.
Remember yourself before starting your business. How have you changed since then?
I changed consciously. At some point, I realized that some of my features need to be left for home and family, and some strengthened for work. It was hard for me to say “no”, I was too emotional and compassionate. We told about how to change ourselves and how to develop necessary qualities on the air. This knowledge was shared by Isaac Pintosevich. He was the one, who taught me to manage my time and plan my life, ask myself the question “Why?” And say “No!”. Now I am still learning to plan and follow my plans and actively struggle with laziness - despite my workaholism, I am very lazy person. Sport is very helpful in my struggle with laziness.
What was the basic principle for recruiting your project team?
There is a backbone, people whom I trust extensively and we have come a long way with. But it was necessary to expand the staff to implement all the tasks. And it was a big problem. We faced large shortage of staff. We tried to do everything right and following our guests advices. Repeatedly we talked about recruitment, motivation, determining the adequacy and availability of the applicant at the stage of CV and interview. A team is a living organism, with peaks and drops in mood and productivity daily, while creative team is even more difficult. As for the team, put a challenging task to the applicant, and if he answers: “This is impossible!”, then you definitely have different paths to follow. “Impossible” is a signal to apart. This word is forbidden in our company, there is nothing impossible for us.
You are very active woman. You are not only running the channel, but you run a cycle of programs, go on shooting, play sports ... What helps you stay in the resource and perform so many tasks? Do you have your own method of recuperation?
At some point I felt that I had no strength at all ... At that time I already understood what a “resource state” was. I was lucky, and under my request an interview happened in which I found answers for myself. After this interview, the same evening, I went for jogging for the first time in 35 years. And next day I started practicing sports every day - I did some exercises for several minutes and spent 30-40 minutes every evening on the sport ground. Previously, I was sure that sport was exhausting, but it turned out to be the opposite. Even if you are run of strength, jogging gives a powerful charge, cleans the brain and helps to reboot. And every morning, to keep my “resource state” fit I do and recommend everyone as follows: a glass of warm water, exercises for two minutes, a contrast shower, meditation for a few minutes and affirmations. I used to laugh at that, but now I understand how well it works. Also, a walk through the forest, a special play list on the way home, a cup of aromatic coffee and time spent alone helps to recuperate.
Based on your experience as a media business manager, what advice can you give to people starting their business?
Crisis is a great opportunity to start. It is necessary not to be afraid, but to act. But you can dive into the pool with your head only if you sincerely believe in your idea, have skills in business you are entering, and you are ready to surrender to it completely. Be ready to work without days off and replace any of your employees at any time. Luck and intuition is a very important in business. Luck helps to be in the right place at the right time, intuition - to make right decisions. This is what I wish to everyone! Another very important thing is belief in oneself, structured approach to business and careful assessment of risks.
Do you have a hobby and how much time do you spend on it?
I recently asked myself a question about a hobby and realized that I have nothing but work and interests ... I decided that this was probably wrong, and that I needed to change activities. Now I am engaged in drawing and curling. As a painter, my friend started supporting me, she taught me meditations and Yurii Donik, my co-host on the evening show, opened me the world of curling. It is fun to watch curling on TV. In fact, it is physically and strategically difficult game. At first I could not keep myself on the ice at all. Now I devote a hobby not more than 1% of my time. There are no bruises on my knees anymore and now I’m trying to plan these classes to hold on an ongoing basis. I really want to get Olympic gold (smiles). Let it sound absurd, but why do I have to limit myself? On the contrary, you need to set high goals.
Do you have your own TOP-3 book that influenced your success?
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, “Sell it! The secretes of sale for all life situations” by Isaac Pintosevich and all the series of books about Harry Potter by Joanne Rowling.♥