Name: Christiane Holzinger
Entrepreneur: since 12 years
Speciality: (digital) taxes & business planning for startups
Recipe for success = [(Be focused + Be disciplined) x good network]^be authentic
Personal life motto: Be fla-mazing
“It’s the best time to create a new business because there will never be more support. Invest in your personal development. In the end, we can only rely on ourselves.”
Having been raised in an entrepreneurial family, Christiane decided to jump into entrepreneurship herself and founded her own digital tax consultancy company. “I wanted to rely on my own ideas. What’s the worst that can happen? The worst is that I don’t succeed and I lose my personal savings.
She hired her first experts to do the marketing and organizational management of the company, so she could focus on her strengths and be out there acquiring clients and generating revenue. 12 years later, she runs two companies (360 Business Planner and StartUp Stars), is the National President of the Junior Chamber International and Junge Wirtschaft, and the Deputy Head of Carinthia’s Federal Economic Chamber. At the latter, she makes an impact giving feedback on how to improve the situation and the entrepreneurial spirit in Austria. Christiane’s main focus is digital tax consultancy – perfect for traveling since nothing gets lost, and on top, it’s environmental-friendly.
Her passion for the world combined with her international experience come in very handy in all her roles. Deep learning, becoming an expert in her field, the right people around her, and very hard work, especially in the first years of establishing her business, was crucial to successfully establish herself in a man’s industry.
Why taxes are sexy
Let’s be honest: There’s no entrepreneurship without taxes. Everyone needs a good tax advisor. “Working with taxes is like solving a riddle. You have to find a solution, be smarter than the rest to find the right strategy, and it’s actually sexy when you save taxes. At least my clients tell me this”, Christiane laughs.
Masters are made not born. It takes a long time to become an expert and Christiane worked in various positions to acquire the necessary skills and to see how different areas and tools such as accounting, payroll, and controlling interrelate. “If you know the whole strategy, and you know how to play the game, it is a very cool job.”
What is success?
Christiane loves what she does. In fact, she considers her employees family, and her pink office her living room. Therefore working feels more like a hobby: “Working with taxes came very naturally to me. It was easy to handle the questions and tasks when I first started.”
Communication skills, persistence, and persuasiveness are essential when she works closely with (tax) authorities that have very strict plans and ideas. Due to her international experience and mindset, Christiane never regrets anything and lives by a daily routine. Her motto is “reaching 50% of a very high goal is better than reaching 100% of a very low goal.”
When doing business, her employees, her team, living quality of her team, and communication with clients are the most important factors to her. All this combined gives her “the energy, the learnings, the good times, the laughter, and everything that comes with it when you are an entrepreneur.” Furthermore, Christiane draws her success mostly from the people she surrounds herself with: “Surround yourself with people who have the same spirit, mindset, and above all, the same values.”
Be authentic, Be fla-mazing
Authenticity resonates with inner happiness, which results in good business. Inspired by a conversation in Florida, Christiane sees herself as a flamingo who is happy because of everything she absorbs, learns, and surrounds herself with, e.g. the positive working environments. Why? Flamingos turn to the color they absorb, eat, or see. That’s why they turn pink: “Be authentic. Look at the strengths you have and start from there. Focus. Don’t try to copy others. If you fail, and if you are a hard worker, you’ll reinvent yourself. However, be prepared to work harder than others in a male business as a female founder. Don’t overthink what the rules are in business and be yourself. I also thought: It’s my office, I’m my own boss – if I want to wear dresses and flip flops or be barefoot, I’ll just do it. If people don’t like it, I don’t care. It’s not about my dress code but about the results I deliver to my clients.”
Observe the market & invest in yourself
Christiane recommends the book “Non-obvious” by Rohid Bharghava, whom she met last year: “As an entrepreneur, no matter what you do, you should always observe what’s happening. Being flexible and adaptive is what we see right now, in this time, the most important skill for an entrepreneur.”
Personally, she envisions the future as very positive despite some hard years ahead. “Human kind has always survived crises. Why shouldn’t we survive this crisis? Crisis is very important for innovation.” The time to change and adapt to our environment is now: “It’s the best time to create a new business because there will never be more support. Invest in your personal development. In the end, we can only rely on ourselves. Read a lot and structure your day. It doesn’t matter where you want to be in the future, just try to imagine how you will feel when you reach our goal.”
Next week: Eugen Prosquill
In our weekly interview series, we will be featuring various inspirational entrepreneurs of the Austrian startup scene. Each Monday, you can expect useful insights into their lives and practical tips that you can follow in order to walk your entrepreneurial path. Like, share, comment – and feel free to reach out to us. Suggestions, ideas, remarks are all welcome – let’s shape the ecosystem together!