University of La Verne, College of Law - Juris Doctorate Degree
Nellie Aklap has always been passionate about the ideals and trailblazing spirit of entrepreneurship. What she wasn't so passionate about was how intimidating and seemingly difficult the process of taking dream to reality could be. So she teamed up with her husband and, after starting a few of their own businesses, created CorpNet to help other small businesses succeed.
As CEO of CorpNet.com, a legal document filing service, Nellie has had her hand in the formation of more than 100,000 corporations and LLCs. All of that firsthand experience has made her an expert at making the process of business creation a lot less intimidating for her clients. And while it's a lot of hard work, Nellie also takes personal inspiration from "beautiful people who are are trying to blaze their own trail and make their small business dreams into a reality." It's all part of the personal philosophy she follows: working toward being significant, then letting success naturally follow.
Don’t worry about being successful, but instead work toward being significant. Success will naturally follow.
What drew you to your job?
Starting a business can be quite intimidating. I know this because I've done it myself not once, but several times. Back when I began my career, there were limited resources to help someone like me start a small business. In fact, the perception was that only lawyers could handle the legal paperwork necessary to start a business, and frankly, the costs were outrageous. I learned quite a bit on my own and I decided to start a business to help other entrepreneurs in their journey to success.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
As CEO of Corpnet.com, I manage the daily operations of the business -- including all sales and customer support aspects -- as well as our marketing and social media initiatives. I also strategize with my business partner and the team regarding the direction of the company on a daily basis.
What makes your company CorpNet.com special and different from your competition?
Corpnet.com is not some big, anonymous corporation with nothing but automated emails and recorded voice messages. We’re a small business helping small businesses. We're a team of real people who are on the phone all day speaking with entrepreneurs in their journey to success.
I really pride myself in running a business that's there to help others succeed. And at the end of the day, I leave the office feeling satisfied that it's being accomplished by myself and my team.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love so many different parts of my job. I love working with our clients; new and established business owners taking that step forward to incorporating their businesses. I enjoy coming into the office with my employees who are truly like family. Most of all, I love being blessed to work with my best friend, business partner and husband of more than 15 years, Phil Akalp.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
I tend to stress out the most when it comes to aligning the business tasks I enjoy doing the most along with the “must do” business tasks that make the business profitable.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
My biggest challenge is sometimes bringing my work life into my home life. I'm so passionate about what I do and and have a difficult time shutting off my mind after work hours, but I've been working on it and it's getting to be more manageable.
What I find that really helps is being extremely well-organized at the office -- and at home -- with my four children. Making sure my calendar is up to date and knowing what’s planned for the week keeps me afloat and helps me avoid too many surprises. I also make sure I take a few minutes to myself every day to really stop and reflect. That "me" time is crucial.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
This happens every minute of every day for me. I love my job and I can truly work every minute of every day. I love every second of it: from working with my publicist to collaborating with our social media manager to our everyday clients. This is why I do what I do; because I get inspired by these beautiful people who are trying to blaze their own trail and turn their small business dreams into a reality. What's a better job than to be making someone else's dreams a reality and getting to say you helped in that process?
What are some of the rules you live by?
1 / Do what you love and love what you do each and every day. You only live once!
2 / Don’t worry about being successful, but instead work toward being significant. Success will naturally follow.
3 / Treat others the same way you would like to be treated.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Learn to say "no" and don’t dwell on your least favorite tasks.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
If someone is looking to get started in their own business venture like I did, I’d say that person has to be organized and patient. Nothing is an overnight success. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, in addition to having every detail organized. However, once success is found, the reward is so worth it.