Margarita Simonova

Founder of ILoveMyQA

Margarita Simonova is a Quality Assurance (QA) expert and the CEO and founder of ILoveMyQA. With over 11 years of QA experience, she has absorbed a vast knowledge of QA, which is now being used to guide IT companies through their QA processes. ILoveMyQA helps companies build and maintain highly adaptable QA processes with end-user satisfaction at its core. Margarita is responsible for all aspects of business for ILoveMyQA. In addition to her day-to-day leadership roles, she also serves as QA Consultant and Product Manager. She is a gifted communicator and a strategic leader who has made ILoveMyQA a leading QA service and solution provider.

Where did the idea for ILoveMyQA come from?

It was 2018 and I was a Quality Assurance Engineer for 5 years already and had a full-time job. I was on vacation in Mexico literally on the beach when I was trying to access a mobile application that I was using a lot and loved it but the bugs were just killing the whole experience. The app was crashing so I messaged the company saying that I can help them to find all the bugs in the app. They agreed and recommended my services to another company! Then I started to hire more QAs and kept growing ILoveMyQA!

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Waking up around 6am, meditate, going for a short walk to get some direct light in my eyes (good for your circadian rhythms), having some tea, and jumping into work until around 1pm. Then I go to the gym or Barry’s, have lunch (I skip breakfast), then work until 5pm and unwind after. I try to schedule my work calls before 12pm so I have time in the afternoon to focus on ILoveMyQA’s goals and strategies. After 5pm I go for a hike or meeting friends for dinner.

I use Trello to keep my day as productive as possible. I write all of my to-dos in there and assign the priority to each ticket. My business assistant is my life savior and I don’t even remember how I lived without her. She helps me with urgent tasks and research work.

I try to take short breaks every hour to move around (even to get up to some water) and my Oura ring sends notifications to my phone to make me accountable.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The key is to act quickly while you still have the drive. If I think about the idea for too long I find all the flaws (thanks to my QA thinking) and don’t do anything. Put your idea and steps that are required to be done in Trello and act on it immediately!

What’s one trend that excites you?

Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low-cost. The deployment of 5G, plus the launch of a multitude of global satellite networks (e.g., Starlink, etc.), allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere, not to mention the connection of trillions of devices on the Internet of Everything. Most importantly, we have now connected 8 billion people globally.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Being consistent. My daily routine helps me a lot to structure my life and business. Because business is all about consistency. Going to sleep early on weekdays is not fun but you can reap incredible advantages. You can get more done, and your sleep and overall health is a lot better.
I even like to go to sleep before 12 am on weekends! My friends have a joke about me that I turn into a pumpkin at 12 am. But I’m not that boring all the time, I’m definitely an afterparty gal sometimes, too. Go to sleep early and wake up at 5am and join the party lol. Success for me is just as much about scheduling a regular time to blow off steam and do inspiring things like hiking, going to festivals, reading, traveling, trying new food, and meeting exciting people.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Keep learning new things because you’ll never know how you might use them in the future. Do whatever it takes to make yourself a well-rounded person as possible!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere: by 2030, 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) will be monitoring and sensing (imaging, listening, measuring) every facet of our environments. All the time! Global imaging satellites, drones, LIDARs, and AR headset cameras will allow us to know anything, anytime, anywhere. In this future, it’s not “what you know” but rather “the quality of the questions you ask” that will be most important.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take good care of your health, exercise, eat less carbs and more greens, have a good night sleep and read or listen to the podcasts.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Don’t be scared to reach out to your potential customers. Bring value to them first. For my company, that meant taking a look at a potential customer’s application. When I found bugs, I’d reach out with a list of issues and ask if they want us to fix them! Value first, then price- it’s the new paradigm of B2B buying and selling.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Spreading myself too thin with too many projects (apart from ILoveMyQA) and feeling burned down all the time. Now, I don’t take more than 2-3 projects at a time and avoid working on weekends. I used to judge my own worth purely based on successes. Trust me, being an overachiever and perfectionist can hurt your business. Take breaks and go off-grid.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Go to your local shops and businesses and offer them to create and manage their Instagram pages. Take pictures for them, tell about the services and pricing, do daily stories. Connect with customers and respond to DMs and comments. Offer discounts when the clients are posting something on their IG stories.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Blue light glasses! I use them if I work after 6 pm. Blue light is known to sabotage your sleep schedule because it messes with your circadian rhythm (your internal clock that tells you when it’s time to sleep or be awake).

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello helps me with my lists of tasks. I’m using it as a board, creating multiple columns (To Do, In Progress, Done, Paused, etc) and adding tickets in the first column (To Do) and then moving it through the process. It gives you a big sense of accomplishment too when you move your tasks to Done.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I love books about communication! If you are working with people that are coming from different backgrounds/cultures read The Culture Map by Erin Meyer. It will help you understand and navigate cultural differences across different people and teams.

What is your favorite quote?

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Key Learnings:

  • Be consistent and create a structure of habits that improve your productivity, health and knowledge about your industry.
  • Act quickly on ideas before you’ve identified too many “flaws” in them.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential customers and offer to help them. Add Value first, give them the price of the service second!
  • Get to bed early and have plenty of downtime spent rest, reading, exercising and spending time with friends. Sometimes you get great business ideas doing these things too!
  • In this future, it won’t be about “what you know” but rather “the quality of the questions you ask” that will be most important.