Kristina De-Levi is the President and CEO of HomeAssist Home Health Services which she founded in 2017. She was born in Ukraine. Her family, including her grandparents, emigrated to the United States when Kristina was nine years old. Kristina was fortunate to have grandparents that were very involved in raising her in addition to her parents. When she was 16 years old, her grandparents became ill and she became their primary caregiver. During that time, she saw nurses going in and out of her grandparent’s home and that was how she discovered what home health was.
Kristina completed an associate degree in Liberal Arts and had some work experience but working was put on hold when she had her children. She wanted to continue to grow in her professional life, but she needed some flexibility in her schedule. In caring for her own children and remembering how she took care of her grandparents, she realized that she has a compassionate and supportive nature that could be an asset in the Home Heath industry. Her business, HomeAssist Home Health Services has been so successful that her husband, Frank, now works with her as well.
In addition to running HomeAssist Home Health Services, Kristina De-Levi is working on completing her bachelor’s degree in Medical Administration.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I learned about Home Health from being the primary caregiver of my grandparents when they became ill in my teen years. Due to their conditions, home health nurses were often present. I was so grateful that a service was there so my sick grandparents could receive care in the comfort of their own home and brainstormed all the ways that I could make it better.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts around 5am with a workout session and then getting my two daughters ready for school. I try to get to the office as early as possible so I can get to my emails right away. I am responsible for all administrative aspects of the business and with that come a lot of detailed responsibilities. The way I can make my day the most productive is by making detailed lists throughout the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by keeping chronological lists of anything that I come up with throughout the day. When I was a kid, it was so exciting when I would get to pick out a new notebook which I would then fill with ideas and to-do lists. I have continued this habit to this day and it always helps me stay organized to accomplish my goals.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that excites me is all the digital tools that are available to us currently. It just makes such a difference in my everyday life to be able to work remotely using my phone.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I try to have as much confidence as I can with new ideas that I come up with. I take those ideas to my team and ask for their ideas as well. Then we work together to make those ideas materialize.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to never avoid things because they seem hard or stressful. You can do anything that you put your mind to and fear is only something that you must overcome to grow up.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
If I think negatively then negative things will happen and if I think positively, positive things will happen. I try to think as positively as I can. I believe the energy that you release into the universe is the energy you will get in return.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Do not take no for an answer. Never let anyone tell you that you will not be able to get something done.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My strategy has been to take initiative and to always be persistent and present.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first year after starting my business was very tough. I felt as if I had no guidance or direction. There are many regulations that you must know and follow in this industry. Not seeking the help that I so desperately needed in the beginning was a big setback. I later found guidance by doing more extensive market research and attending conferences. There are conferences put on by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and I joined the California Association for Health Services at Home which also provides a lot of educational resources. Early on I tried to find guidance everywhere I could.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
We do give patients our cell phone numbers so they know how to reach us and do what we can to communicate well, but we know that being discharged from the hospital and needing follow up care can be confusing and stressful.
I think it would be great business idea to develop a user-friendly portal for communications with patients and the family members that act as caretakers for the patient, but also keeping their information confidential. It could also be resource for the patient to review the discharge instructions and follow up care instructions in one place and discuss their questions about the instructions.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I take a college course every semester to get closer to completing my bachelor’s degree. I spent about $100 recently paying for a Psychology class at my community college.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am constantly using my apps and software on my iPhone. I can pull up practically anything on it, answer any questions, and being available for my clients and staff.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book made me realize that you can do everything right and still lose or do absolutely everything wrong and still win. It is not about the outcome of what happens it is the actions that took you there.
What is your favorite quote?
“Only those that will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go”-T.S. Elliot
• Be persist and find the guidance that you need.
• Be a strong, confident woman and don’t be intimidated by business challenges.
• Set goals so you will accomplish what you set out to do.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.