Claire Nottale is the CEO of CN Traduction
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
My passion for arts, techniques and humanities brought me to work for companies. After working as a tour guide and executive secretary, I founded my own company.
What does an average day look like for you?
After a time of meditation very early in the morning, I get to work for a few hours, translating, proofreading books, etc.
I have breakfast while listening to the news. Then I review with my team the work of the day and the week.
Then we work until noon. After the break, the afternoon is devoted to coaching students or young translators, visiting prospects or working group meetings. From time to time, the work is punctuated by a tradeshow or an exhibition.
How do you balance the needs of your business with the needs of your personal life?
Being self-employed is not always easy, but we have found some tricks that make it easier to organize. For example, each job is carried out in stages and the work is organized in coherent sections. Each expert takes charge of the work of his field of expertise.
We are a whole group of international translators working together. Each one of us is at home, but we are very coordinated and supportive of each other, which allows us to work efficiently and to preserve the time dedicated to our private life.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
For me, it was: be tough! We are always too shy when we start, but years of experience and collaboration with colleagues and customers, eventually make us adopt the right attitude to make the business work.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
In our work, AI is causing us a lot of trouble! Because people haven't understood that it is a great tool, but only a tool. Some people are ready to step on their contemporaries to make this industry advance. Many translators have become discouraged by this and at best have quit their jobs.
But I am not so pessimistic. First of all, I believe in the man and in his sincerity and I think that people will realize that the result is not up to their expectations. All those who practice an intellectual profession, have several strings to their bow. The needs are exponential and one can write, transcribe, translate, invent and invent again endlessly. No creator is at the end of his profession. We can inspire each other and support each other.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful business owner or executive to have?
You will need to be very organized, patient, resilient
You must be open and communicative, always seeking to resolve setbacks peacefully
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a business owner?
To start a business, you need to have a good wallet or be able to acquire one; you need to be resilient and willing to go through fire.
Downturns are inevitable. Never get discouraged, never hesitate to ask for help. Many of your colleagues are really willing to support you.
Move forward in sincerity to all; at all times, be positive.
What are the top three things you think are essential for business success?
Vision, communication and resilience.
Do you think someone can be a great business owner without having many years of experience first?
Well, the small businessman will become great! It is better to build a small business on a good foundation than to take on a large one without experience!
In general, do you think the world is producing better business owners in 2023 than it was fifty years ago?
There are great people in all times and times are not comparable, especially with the speed of evolution of techniques and societies.