CEO TALK: Kate Pljaskovova of Liwely on Combining Tech and Wellbeing
Tech is transforming about every industry there is and it’s about to have a big impact on wellness.
Kate Pljaskovova is the CEO and Founder of Liwely, a pocket wellbeing coach. Now closing in on beta status, the app helps users be more mindful of their wellbeing, focus on what matters, and grow to reach their potential.
Kate offered By Geekgirl a special interview to share her thoughts on startups, wellbeing, women in tech, and more.
On Her Wellbeing Tech Startup
The app began with something we can all relate to: burnout. “It’s quite simple. I had a burn out. Startups are hard. We know that, but this was bad. For the 1st time in my life I wasn’t excited about my work, about my relationships and I was confused.” Kate related.
Source: Liwely sneak peak from Liwely.com
Always one for self-improvement, Kate didn’t languish in burnout, but sought a solution. She dove into positive psychology and neuroscience to understand what she was going through and how she could prevent it.
Kate found that she wanted something other than blogs and books to support her through burnout. “I found quite a lot of apps, but most of them where all rainbows & unicorns. And I don’t do rainbows and unicorns. Next to that these apps were useless.”
Deciding to build something better, Kate had her big idea and went to work to make it a reality. With the study of countless books and a lot of research under her belt, Kate began to develop Liwely to help people systematically work on their wellbeing and create a solution for burnout that’s engaging and useful.
On The Impact of Tech
The hardworking CEO’s passion for tech is inspiring. “I’ve been always in tech. Now for 8 years. I love how technology can help humans to fulfill their potential and make the world a better place.”
Finding a tech-oriented, carryable solution to burnout was what led Kate to start Liwely. On how tech affects her mission to improve wellbeing, the Liwely CEO commented, “Tech is about efficiency and scalability, thus Liwely can help and connect millions of people around the world.”
The Liwely CEO’s ultimate vision is to create the biggest community of people working on their wellbeing and a hub for wellbeing researchers.
“Burnout shouldn’t be a byproduct of founding/working for a startup” Kate believes and this is why she’s taken to tech to share the ways of wellbeing.
“Wellbeing is about understanding yourself, your needs and your emotions. I definitely improved a lot, but it’s a life journey and that’s very key.” Kate understands that the tricks of wellbeing aren’t learned in a day. wellbeing is a practice and through Liwely’s systematic tracking, that practice becomes a habit and strengthens users’ skills of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is something that Kate understands to be critical to wellbeing. “It helps us realize that we’re in charge and that we can change or improve our mental state and personal characteristics if we want to.”
Using Liwely inherently helps users gain self-awareness, which is no happy coincidence.
On Starting a Company
For hopeful tech startup founders, Kate advises “Choose a problem/opportunity that you really, I mean really care about. And get ready that it would be really hard. The worst outcome: you will learn a lot.”
In a personal blog Kate gets real about pitching and startup success. “If somebody said, he would buy your product, it still doesn’t mean anything. If you didn’t get a check with that promise, you validated nothing. People like to promise into future. It doesn’t hurt. It’s easy.”
The studied entrepreneur goes in depth on how your idea of pitching is probably wrong. A handful of emails doesn’t mean you’ve got it made.
To really get support for your startup, Kate challenges entrepreneurs to practice active listening and approaching customers like friends.
On Women in Tech
“For anybody seeking their dream job, learn about your strengths, mission & passion first.” Kate is passionate about passion and advises thoughtful job searching.
She also understands that pursuing your passions isn’t always easy. “Not all passions & missions stuff can actually pay for your rent. At least not from the beginning. But if you know your strengths well as well as your weaknesses, it’s the gold right away! Realizing that will help you to be true to yourself. It’ll also help you to decide whether the “dream job” you chose is the right ONE for you. It definitely helped me to do much better choices.”
Women in tech can succeed and do something they love by understanding exactly what it is they love and how their strengths play into that.
Kate believes that being a woman in the tech industry has been an advantage. On motivating more women to enter tech, she argues, “I believe we should included men these discussion. It’s a not a women only question.”
Her best advice for ambitious women in tech? “Tech is a man’s world (still), so make friends with men and learn from them. They will teach you how to take advantage of your strengths.”
Kate is full of knowledge on wellbeing, working in tech, and creating an app. We’re grateful to be able to share her wisdom and hope you’ll find inspiration from her hard work and experience.
What are your top wellness tips & tricks?
Have you experienced burnout? What are your favorite ways to prevent it? Let us know in the comments below to keep the wellness conversation going!