IAM858- Co-founder Passionate About Diversity and Leveraging Technology

Podcast Interview with Nelia Kovbasa

CEO and Co-founder of GTMPlus ( – a software development company that provides IT outsourcing, team extension, customer, and technical support services for businesses that want to work with broad-minded people who understand customer problems and provide excellent solutions. Public speaker, Co-Founder of Startup School University Edition, the get-things-done person with a passion for diversity and leveraging technology to make life digitally better.

  • CEO Hack: 1) Google calendar, (2) Calm app for meditation (3) The Promodoro Technique (4) Book- How will you measure your life
  • CEO Nugget: Work smart not hard
  • CEO Defined: Leading and inspiring people by example to achieve a defined goal


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Intro  00:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless  00:31

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today I have Melia Cova of GTM plus Nelly is awesome. Have you on show. Hello, Gretchen.

Nelia Kovbasa  00:41

Thanks for having me here today. I'm really so excited. And I want to share everything with the intrapreneurs and CEOs.

Gresham Harkless  00:51

Yeah, absolutely. I'm super excited to have you on as well too, and get to hear a little bit more about your story and all the awesome work that you're doing. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Nelly. So if you hear about all these awesome things that she's doing, she is the CEO and co founder of GTM plus a software development company that provides IT outsourcing team extension customer and technical support services for businesses that wants to work with broad minded people who understand customer problems and provide excellent solutions. She's a public speaker, co founder of startup school, university edition, they get things done person with a passion for diversity and leveraging technology to make life digitally. Better. noelia. Are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?

Nelia Kovbasa  01:36

Yeah, thank you for the introduction. I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless  01:38

All right. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story, we'll let you get started with all the awesome things you're working on.

Nelia Kovbasa  01:48

Okay. Actually, I started as the project manager in tech business incubator, and I was always part of startups, their passion and the way they work. And I actually wanted to do my business at that time. And I did, I started the education Academy tech education Academy in Austria, in Europe, with tutors around the world. And I failed first time, actually, there were several times. But that was the first time. And because we didn't do the market research and the market was not ready for the product we created that time. Later on, I worked as a consultant for tech companies and also as a project manager. And I found my perfect partners, and we decided to set up the company, which will help tech businesses to grow fast enough to keep keep up with with the developing world all the time. So yeah, that that's the story. Right now. I'm really young CEO of the company. I'm I we've started the company five years ago. And right now I'm 26. So you can imagine?

Gresham Harkless  03:10

Yeah, absolutely. Well, happy five years. And it's a it's a very exciting time, and probably a crazy time as well, too. But I think so many times we forget that when you have the failures, or the mistakes and things that don't go the way we want them to go. A lot of times they're seeds of success, and allow us to kind of start our next venture and adventure after that a lot better. But it's important that we you know, understand that and then also take the lessons learned that we can kind of take to learn and be better.

Nelia Kovbasa  03:37

Yep, all the time, all the time, you need to see what you've done wrong and what to do better next time.

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Gresham Harkless  03:44

Yeah, absolutely. So I know I touched on it a little bit when I read your bio, could you take us through GTM. Plus, tell us a little bit more on how you're working with and serving the clients you have now.

Nelia Kovbasa  03:56

Now, actually, I say that we help startups and companies to grow their tech tech products faster than lightspeed. And to say the truth, we provide software development and staff augmentation in a really short period of time, our team do understand that time is money. And there is not so much time for for proving your concept, for example. So that's why we build Mbps in a short period of time you go to the market, you see the feedback and you decide on how to move with the product forward. Or maybe the pilot pivot or do something better and do more features so that that is the part of our business, which is the most crucial for for our customers for startups and tech companies.

Gresham Harkless  04:51

Yeah, that's absolutely huge. And it's so funny because I often and most of the time when I talk with people, I always bring up the MVP the minimum viable product and to be would have kind of test those ideas out. As you said, sometimes you have a short period of time before you can make that impression. So depending on what your goal is, so to be able to have something you get to understand if you want to kind of double down and put more Reese's resources into it, or if you need to pivot, or maybe just, you know, put it, you know, on the shelf and not deal with it. But you have that information that data you can kind of build from it sounds like,

Nelia Kovbasa  05:22

Yeah, because I was doing mistakes from the beginning in my businesses, and I know that the, the faster you do them, the faster you can make the right choice after. So it's really, really important to do them to fail fast.

Gresham Harkless  05:39

Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a book that says, you know, that the quicker you can get to know or you can fail, the more you have an opportunity to really innovate to pivot or do those next steps in order to get you to where you want to be.

Nelia Kovbasa  05:50

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless  05:52

Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself personally, or your business or combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Nelia Kovbasa  06:04

Okay, my secrets, I don't have any. I would say that. My my six success secret is to combine everything, to relax, to have rest enough and to work enough. I have several tips. I have applications, my phone, which we use all the time, the first one and one is Google Calendar, and I booked there everything. And I'm booking their my vacation one half a year before. And I booked time for us and I booked time for family there. So nobody can book a meeting of serve. Also, I'm using the application call for meditation, I think it's really nice to have this time for your own and to call and relax. Also, I think that it's really important to work, work really dedicated to one task at one time. So I'm using the application. There are a lot of applications for that. But I'm using focus to do this is the application for using pomodori techniques. So the Pomodoro techniques makes you focus on one thing at one time for a short period of time. But you don't have any other disturbing things from outside. So that that's really how that helps to work productively. And also, I have one one thing that may be secret, maybe a secret. It's a book, how will you measure your life? Clayton Christensen? I reread this book each year, I think, and all the time when I need to make a really crucial decisions. And this book book helped me to choose the right way. All the time. Anything that that my my choices were correct all the time.

Gresham Harkless  08:09

Yeah, absolutely. And and I appreciate you for sharing, you know that with us. Because Yeah, a lot of times with your secret sauce, you're able to combine so many different things. And those like SEO hacks, those things that you have that allow you to be so effective and efficient, allow you to kind of take things to another level. And so you can correct me if I'm wrong, that book and I guess the influence of that book allows you to kind of filter out what decisions to make or not to make, because you've answered that question ultimately in your life and what you want to do.

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Nelia Kovbasa  08:36

Yeah, yeah, that's correct. That's absolutely correct. And I advise all people who I work with, and my partner was to go through this book and to think to think about your life while Why are you reading the book? Because it's really important.

Gresham Harkless  08:53

Yeah, it's so funny, because a lot of times, even one of the books I talked about so often is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And it always talks about beginning with the end in mind, that's one of the habits. And I think so many times we skip over that we jump into our startup, we jump into what we're doing from a work standpoint, we never really ask those kind of foundational question. So I haven't picked up that book. But it definitely sounds like something I should pick up as long with everybody else listening to this.

Nelia Kovbasa  09:20

Yeah, do that. You'll definitely enjoy.

Gresham Harkless  09:23

Nice, I definitely appreciate that. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be like a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger self.

Nelia Kovbasa  09:39

Okay, see, oh, now get is for me. work smart, not hard. And actually, that helps too, to not to burn out and achieve your goal because working a lot and hard is not about goal achievement. It's about working all the time. And working smart is another way for, for organizing all your life and balance in your life and achieving your really important, important goals of the whole life. Because when you're doing something, you're not doing this for nothing, you need to think all the time about the huge goal. And the way that is the most, the easiest way to go there. So that that should be the smart way, not the way when you're burnout all the time every day, you're really tired of life. It's not a thing.

Gresham Harkless  10:42

Yeah, absolutely. And I'll say so many times that it's sometimes not the number of hours in the day is how you leverage them. And I think so many times we forget that we can be very strategic with, you know, what we're doing on a day to day basis. So that's why I love that nugget, because it talks about, you know, really understanding and being focused on how to be creative, smart, and intelligent with the decisions that you make on a regular basis, not just kind of spending time just to spend it, but to be very strategic and smart about those those every second every hour.

Nelia Kovbasa  11:13

And then that's really important. And because the The only thing that is not renewable, is the time and when we might waste the time there is no way to go back and to change something. So the thing that is the most important and the most expensive is time? I do.

Gresham Harkless  11:36

Yeah, I would definitely agree with that. And I imagine definitely, you know, working with clients as you are related to that it aspect and be able to kind of consult with them and let them know the best ways. That's probably one of the best ways to kind of leverage as much time as you can and be very smart with your time.

Nelia Kovbasa  11:52

Yeah, that's correct. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless  11:55

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on this show. So mellieha, which has been a CEO, me too,

Nelia Kovbasa  12:08

or does it be okay? For me, being a CEO is about leading people, by example, to a goal, which is common for everyone in your organization. The goal should be defined, and everyone should understand it. And you as a leader, as the CEO, should provide empower people to go there and to achieve it. So it's about CEO is about leading and inspiration of people around you, and make them feel comfortable in dedicating their time to your business and to your common goal.

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Gresham Harkless  12:58

Nice, I definitely appreciate that. And you said leading and being inspirational, I love that word that you use about empowering, I think so many times as leaders, we think that it's that person that's kind of pointing in front of the ship and saying everybody do this, then third, but I think when you really empower people, not only do they really take ownership of their their position and what it is that they're doing, but they also find out sometimes how to problem solve without being told how to do that. And I think that at the heart of entrepreneurship and business, especially in the startup world is all about solving problems. So as many people as you have doing that, the more likely you have a successful organization.

Nelia Kovbasa  13:36

Yeah, you're right, because you need to have people in a team who whom you can rely on and not only saying the instruction what to do,

Gresham Harkless  13:44

yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, Nellie, I truly appreciate that definition. And I appreciate your time, even more, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get ahold of you, and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Nelia Kovbasa  14:04

Actually, what I want to say is that before doing something, it's really, really important to define what for you're doing this and I think that every CEO and have have his or her own company and they need to think about the company like is this my last company or is this company for just for business? So what is company for business, try to find a company which you will love and then move forward with that company and that will make you be happy and provide you with a result.

Gresham Harkless  14:49

Yeah, absolutely. And I think asking those questions you know, as we kind of talked about and said so much about, you know, in the in the nugget is so important because I think a lot of times, we're just Going through life going through business going from a day to day standpoint, but to be an ask those foundational questions and be able to have those answers is really how you get to where you want to be.

Nelia Kovbasa  15:09

Yeah, that's correct. Absolutely. I really thank you for this podcast. All the time, I'm sharing this thoughts with people. I'm very, very excited because I think that it may change life of someone. I hope that we'll do.

Gresham Harkless  15:27

Yeah, absolutely. I think you're doing phenomenal things. And it's great to kind of have and kind of pick the brains of really awesome people that are doing phenomenal things to kind of learn from. So I appreciate you for doing that. And for people that might want to follow up with you and hear more about what you're doing, what's the best way for them to get a hold of you.

Nelia Kovbasa  15:45

We can connect in LinkedIn or you may write my email, I think you can share my email with them.

Gresham Harkless  15:53

Absolutely. We will have that information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you know, yeah, but again, I truly appreciate you as well. Thanks for taking time out the most valuable resource as we talked about, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest today.

Outro  16:07

Thank you for listening to the IMC o podcast powered by Blue 16 Media Tune in next time and visit us at I am I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five star rating grab CEO This has been the mF CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening

Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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