LinkedIn: Susana Ceballos

Susana is a designer, entrepreneur and an experienced Pilates instructor. She moved to London five years ago, completing her Master’s degree in Business Administration at Anglia Ruskin University where she was endorsed to participate in their entrepreneurship programme. Originally from Mexico, Susana was the CEO of a branding company that managed a broad portfolio for more than 20 years, including seven Fortune 500 companies.

She is the founder of “Kids Pilates in Action” programme, whose purpose is to teach Pilates to children and creating body-posture awareness in the prevention of health problems in adulthood.  Susana truly believes that by giving attention to their bodies, people can accomplish both, their professional and personal goals more efficiently.

 You have various skills: designer, entrepreneur, Pilates instructor… What is the most important skill that a migrant entrepreneur should have to run her/his business?

Difficult question, reducing what is needed to be an entrepreneur into just one skill, sounds almost impossible to me. So, I would say rather that what an entrepreneur needs is a bundle of skills that go together to get the best results. From my experience, I think some of those skills are: being analytical and risk-taking to take the best decisions; having expertise in their industry to spot trends and opportunities; excellent communication skills to network and understand their customers’ needs and team perceptions and; maybe the most important one, having resilience to accept failure as part of the process. The latter helps to keep a positive attitude to strive for success and it is, for me, the most relevant for a migrant entrepreneur.

What did you learn from the entrepreneurship programme at Anglia Ruskin University?

Anglia Ruskin’s Entrepreneurship programme is addressed to any of its graduates from every topic; therefore, my learning started from the moment I decided to apply for this challenge. Once I was selected for the programme I was assigned a mentor. However, my studies in business gave me the advantage of having a good theory for a start-up; hence my mentoring was focused on a practical approach in subjects such as accounting and finances. The programme also helped me with networking and events that answered some of my questions as an entrepreneur.

Tell us a little more about your business: it is different from what you did before, why did you change?

Working in branding can be very rewarding in regards to the recognition received for your work. However, at the same time, it is quite a stressful job due to tight deadlines, which seem to be an inherent element in this sector. Competition in this industry is growing fast due to new technologies and this led me to think that I needed to take my career to a higher level; thus I decided to take a break from design and came to London to study my Master’s Degree in Business and Administration. Alternatively, I also developed my Pilates skills to open new opportunities.

How did you come up with the idea of creating Kids-Pilates?

I started my business Kids Pilates in Action just a few months ago, but I have been involved in Pilates teaching for more than ten years. To deal with the stress I had in my previous business, I used to practise all sort of exercise. It was then when I discovered the magic of Pilates. In a short period of time, I realised how useful the technique was for my lower back problems. With the purpose of transferring this benefit to others, I became a Pilates instructor in 2005. When I finished my business degree, I decided to put it all together and establish a company that can be profitable, but at the same time give me self-content and wellbeing. I want people to learn about their bodies to prevent health problems related to their bad posture. Many people complain that they were never taught how to avoid these issues; I thought that the best way to prevent this would it be to learn good habits from childhood when we all are natural learners, this was the beginning of Kids Pilates in Action.

In the future do you think you will expand your programme to adults?

My main experience is based in teaching adults; hence I already have a strong portfolio in this segment. My programme Kids Pilates in Action focuses on promoting the technique for the young population, but adults are still part of my scope.