Unleashing the Champion: Lia’s Story of Success in Taekwondo and Digital Marketing

Unleashing the Champion: Lia’s Story of Success in Taekwondo and Digital Marketing

By Lia Katerova

August 21, 2023

Can you introduce yourself and describe how your journeys in Taekwondo and digital marketing began?

My name is Lia Katerova, and for 13 years, I’ve been devoted to Taekwondo ITF. For the past 3 years, I’ve been navigating the exciting world of digital marketing. 

My journey with sports began in first grade. I was the only girl on our school’s football team – a boys’ team, actually. Being the only girl among the boys taught me to build a strong character. I constantly had to prove myself to earn their trust so they could start passing me the ball more and help me score goals. Winning the best player of the tournament award definitely showed the boys that I was a reliable teammate.

When I changed schools, my football career came to a halt, and I was in search of a new sport to immerse myself in. That’s when I ended up in a Taekwondo sports hall. After just one training session, I was hooked. I fell in love with the sport, the atmosphere, and the coach, and I haven’t stopped since. Taekwondo has become more than just a sport; it’s my way of living.

Regarding my digital marketing career, it’s an interesting story. Ever since I was a kid, I loved writing poems and short stories. One day, my best friend said “We have to make you a blog Lia!”. That night, we sat on a call, and he taught me how to set up my first  WordPress website. I started posting my work and figuring out the best strategies to promote it. I experimented with the best times to share a poem and how to get the most likes.

Next, I created a Facebook page for our Taekwondo club. I started managing it, and then I was asked by a friend to manage their page. It all came naturally to me, and I found out that I love doing digital marketing.  And here I am, still growing and learning in my digital marketing career.

Can you share with us your most significant achievements in your Taekwondo ITF career and what they mean to you personally?

Standing on the podium at a European championship was one of my proudest moments. To get there, though, I had to walk a long path. First, you need to become the national champion. I won this title in 2019, which secured me a place on Bulgaria’s national team for the 2020 European championship.

But then, the pandemic hit, and the championship was canceled. This meant I had to compete and win again at the 2021 national championship to keep my place on the national team. The challenge was upped when I sprained my ankle two weeks before the competition. Doctors told me to take a month off, but I knew I couldn’t afford to. With the help of kinesiotherapy, I was able to start doing exercises after a week (with a lot of pain, though, but never tell my coach). 

Standing on the podium at a European championship was one of my proudest moments. To get there, though, I had to walk a long path. First, you need to become the national champion. I won this title in 2019, which secured me a place on Bulgaria’s national team for the 2020 European championship.

But then, the pandemic hit, and the championship was canceled. This meant I had to compete and win again at the 2021 national championship to keep my place on the national team. The challenge was upped when I sprained my ankle two weeks before the competition. Doctors told me to take a month off, but I knew I couldn’t afford to. With the help of kinesiotherapy, I was able to start doing exercises after a week (with a lot of pain, though, but never tell my coach). 

Lia Katerova Taekwondo Ankle Sprain

On the day of the championship, my ankle was all bandaged up, but I managed to move—and I won for the second time!

Preparations for the European championship began soon after. I was at a sports camp, but I also had to keep up with my work in digital marketing. So, my schedule was packed with training and work throughout the day. Despite the challenge, I managed to balance both. After a month of this hectic schedule, we went off to Cyprus for the championship.

Lia Katerova Taekwondo Euro1

I competed in two disciplines: Sparring and Power test. My medal came from the power test competition, where I helped the team secure 3rd place among all teams from Europe. This achievement was a dream come true for me. The feeling of victory is something I’ll never forget.

Can you share insights into how your discipline in Taekwondo helps you in your role as a Digital Marketing Specialist?

You know, it’s interesting because, at first glance, Taekwondo and digital marketing seem worlds apart. But when I started to delve deeper into both, I found that the discipline I learned from Taekwondo played a huge role in shaping my work as a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Firstly, Taekwondo is all about focus and precision, right? Each move, each technique needs to be executed with complete attention and accuracy. And that’s not too different from digital marketing. Whether it’s crafting a social media post, analyzing performance data, or developing a marketing strategy, you need to be meticulous and fully invested. You can’t afford to miss details.

You know, it’s interesting because, at first glance, Taekwondo and digital marketing seem worlds apart. But when I started to delve deeper into both, I found that the discipline I learned from Taekwondo played a huge role in shaping my work as a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Firstly, Taekwondo is all about focus and precision, right? Each move, each technique needs to be executed with complete attention and accuracy. And that’s not too different from digital marketing. Whether it’s crafting a social media post, analyzing performance data, or developing a marketing strategy, you need to be meticulous and fully invested. You can’t afford to miss details.

Then, there’s resilience. In Taekwondo, you can’t give up just because you didn’t perfect a technique on the first try or lost a match. You need to get back on your feet, learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing. The same holds true in digital marketing. Not every campaign will be a hit. Not every strategy will yield results. But that’s okay. You learn you adapt, and you keep moving forward.

Lastly, there’s the need for continuous learning. In Taekwondo, there’s always a new technique to master, a new challenge to tackle. Similarly, in digital marketing, the landscape is always evolving. There’s always something new to learn – a new tool, platform, or trend. And I love that. It keeps me on my toes, both literally and figuratively!

So, all in all, the discipline, resilience, and eagerness to learn that I picked up from Taekwondo have been instrumental in shaping my journey as a Digital Marketing Specialist. It’s like my training on the mat has prepared me for the digital battleground!

Could you share some of the sacrifices you’ve had to make in your Taekwondo and digital marketing journeys and how you’ve balanced the two?

Absolutely, it’s been quite a journey. High-level sports and a demanding digital marketing career require big sacrifices.

In Taekwondo, you have to commit to a rigorous training schedule. This meant saying no to hangouts with friends and missing family events. I also had to take extra care of my diet and sleep patterns to ensure my body was always in top shape. There were also injuries, like the ankle sprain I mentioned earlier, which meant physical pain and the emotional struggle of being unable to train or compete.

Absolutely, it’s been quite a journey. High-level sports and a demanding digital marketing career require big sacrifices.

In Taekwondo, you have to commit to a rigorous training schedule. This meant saying no to hangouts with friends and missing family events. I also had to take extra care of my diet and sleep patterns to ensure my body was always in top shape. There were also injuries, like the ankle sprain I mentioned earlier, which meant physical pain and the emotional struggle of being unable to train or compete.

When it comes to digital marketing, the landscape is always changing, and you need to keep up. That meant many late nights learning about new tools and strategies, many times even on weekends. 

Importantly, the discipline I’ve gained from Taekwondo has helped me structure my time and stay focused. Whether it’s a Taekwondo competition or a big marketing project, I make sure I’m all in. And honestly, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of punching a bag or your friends in the Taekwondo hall after a long day of work. It’s the best stress relief and helps me hit the reset button!

So when things get overwhelming, I just remind myself of my passion for both Taekwondo and digital marketing and why I started in the first place. That’s what helps me regain my balance and keep pushing forward.

If you want to learn even more about Lia. Read our article “Why I chose a career in Bulgaria?” with her!