Learn & Work

Business owner. Liubov

During your professional journey, which job or project has brought you the most satisfaction? Why?

Hi! I'm Liubov Serova, I am 41 (and still unsure about what I want to be when I grow up).

I have tried a variety of jobs. I started with nine years of relatively routine paper work in a magazine editorial. Then, I switched to translations and did a couple of breathtaking projects, World Press Photo exhibition translations for their shows in Russia for one, driving across several Middle East deserts and mountains as a 24\7 hand to an international off-road rally master.

Then I tried on-set work, as I was always super curious what’s that like, so I grabbed a chance when I could and did a short shooting as someone who’s running around with urgent errands, like, a third assistant producer in a sitcom mini-series. It was a fascinating experience, being on set was a thrill.

I also had some time in news translation department, it was race-like, rather exhausting but interesting and satisfying at the end of the day, but never felt important or meaningful.

After that it’s been over ten years now, of us - my husband Konstantin Voronov and me - running our own family businesses that we’ve built from scratch, or rather, he’s inventing and building, and I’m helping. Others say I’m rather like the muse of his projects, but it’s a philosophical dilemma, who is who, really. But anyways, these include Nutbutter, our family-run brand of all-natural nut butters with cute design and sharp philosophy, and more recently, The Soon Broth, a brand of Sipping High-collagen Bone Broths. We’ve been always following our hearts, creating something unique and based on strong concepts and our own ethic code. And we never planned to get involved in food industry, these ideas just came up and resonated deeply with us, so it just happened, something that called for us, so here we are.

I stopped running Nutbutter late in my pregnancy (texts, orders, communication) and hopped back on when my son was 3,5 (years old!) to join Kostya in developing the concept and recipes for The Soon Broth. In between, things were somewhat vague, toddler’s mom has her focus shifted.

Now, when our son is almost six and spends most of the day in his daycare, I am able to dive back in, and here we are, finishing the launch phase of Kiddodoo, a handy app for parents and child care professionals. This innovative platform aims to help parents get some me-time through an interactive map, that’s pinning all exciting activities for their children in any new environment. Be it a daycare or temporary stay in a foreign country with activities held in the child’s native language, or activities that would help kids integrate into their new or temporary living arrangement, or activities that would provide a smooth introduction to new, international community. It’s about inventing a whole new way to travel with family, really.

So back to the question of what is most satisfying. Launching a new big project is not. Not at the start, I mean, as launching a startup is challenging and rather stressful, and takes an uncertain amount of time to bring fruits. Running a food production, you always feel that there could be more. You could invest more energy, you could show more growth, you could do more.. It is a pleasure to create a product that you really like and believe in, but there’s this shadow hovering over - there’s always room for more efforts and for more ideas, more of everything!

Then, as for my time being an editor, I have to admit, a lot was going on in my head in my twenties, so the job - even a rather innovative and liberal as it was, felt like something on a side. It felt good to be dealing with ‘unusual’ and avant-gardish stuff, which I was, but satisfaction is another thing.

So which of these brought more satisfaction? Hard to tell.

Having had the businesses, beautiful editorial experience, fun and crazy time on set and during my field work with that cross-continental rally (which blew my mind) - ironically, given such a history, I still find the most satisfaction in small, finite things, that can be completed in a day or a week and that come out of solely my own efforts in what I am good at. For me it’s translating stuff that can make a difference, it’s when I can bring some good into the world all on my own.

So I am also, on a side, in my spare time, running my personal Telegram channel, where I translate into Russian some nerdish mindbending health-related stuff (both widely supported by scientific data from PubMed and very much innovative and alternative to the healthcare mainstream views).

This feels easily and purely satisfying - a meaningful thing, even though I don’t advertise this channel.

Apart from your primary profession, do you have any hobbies or engage in other fields that complement your primary work? If yes, briefly describe them and explain how they enhance your overall work.

I think it’s clear from my answers that I am a person who thrives in chaos, and even a person without a profession, if you stretch it just a little.

But I carry my Skills, and my Experience.

Currently, my main work is fueled by my parenting experience, by this burning curiosity, by seeing my parenting as an adventure shared with my child. Fueled by my desire to share meaningful experiences with my child. I am also driven by always wanting to optimize everything around me, to share the good things with the world and by wanting to make a positive impact.

And certainly I am fueled by my passion for written translation. Although it’s not directly related to our new project for parents and childcare professionals, instead, it’s something I am doing for pleasure. Where I feel I am dealing with a subject that is essential and really matters, while result is not stretched far beyond the time horizons.

As someone who has experience in your profession, what suggestion would you give people who are considering whether to study or work in this field?

I don't have advice even for my past self, as I am not even sure I do have a profession and, even if I do, how to study for it.

I feel that I work through my "experience" and through my sense of beauty, and through my sense of common sense.

It would be, probably, nice to be able to clone myself and have my second self study formal nutrition science and biochemistry, so that I could merge all the knowledge I already have in this field with formal education and make it a profession for my other self. However, I see too many contradictions in what’s spread by popular nutritionists and people of functional medicine, even those with respected certificates, as in, Harvard and such. It seems like even sending a clone to study in that field would not make much sense.

Oh, and I would love to send my third clone to live and work on set, behind the scenes at HBO.. or Showtime? Or Wes Anderson Production? Which is it gonna be?!) Perhaps that third clone wouldn't have time to live her life at all, but the job would be a never-ending crazy adventure, surrounded by amazing, creative people and technologies. And then, poof - retirement and a million of crazy memories.

But cloning is not an option any time soon, so for now, I will continue to live and work undefined, professionally.

Liubov Serova
Former Photography editor at Domus Russia
Co-founder of Nutbutter - Russian brand of all natural nut butters
Co-founder of The SooN Broth: Soothing and Nurturing - Moscow-based brand of sipping high-collagen bone broths
Co-founder and Chief Editor at Kiddodoo - Global Parenting Space

The article deals with such areas of interest as:

  1. Editor at a publishing house
  2. Translator
  3. Expedition interpreter
  4. Assistant producer
  5. News bureau translator
  6. Entrepreneur/business owner
  7. Nut butter producer
  8. Bone broth producer
  9. Parenting platform co-founder
  10. Telegram channel curator
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