Where do you live: Zagreb, Croatia, and in the past few months my dream come true and I spend a lot of time in Belgrade, Serbia.
Usually first thing that comes to peoples mind is Business café, Be your own boss, connecting people 🙂 Somehow I became a synonym for encouraging people to start their own business, also earlier for introducing mystery shopping, and now for inventing Business café and writing a regional bestseller book Be your own boss (Sam svoj gazda).
Currently working with:
I run Business café and I educate people to start and run their own business, also I write and teach and coach entrepreneurs and mentor those who want to become one a lot.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
I always knew I was suppose to do something big. Ideas just come to me, and I go and realize those that keep me up at night 🙂
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Belgrade, I feel there like a fish in the sea, it is symbol of hedonism, and I am true hedonist. People are so open and great example of hospitality. Belgrade is just ALIVE. And that is me – I live my life to the fullest.
And Zadar during summer. Again great cuisine, and as Hitchock said – the most beautiful sunset in the world.
How would you describe your creativity?
My motto is live your life without any regrets. Ideas just come to me, I can’t explain how. I am just here to serve, it’s not about me, it’s about us – it’s about putting my potential in service of others, everything and everyone is connected.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
After graduating Marketing I spent 4.5 years in a pharmaceutical company, then I quit my job and started a first mystery shopping agency in the Balkans, sold it after 10 years, started and sold in 8 months a dating company and for 5.5 years I run Zaokret (Shift education) and Business café (networking) I wrote 3 books, first one in English on mystery shopping, then one on sales and customer service, both with colleagues and Sam svoj gazda on my own.
What do you do at the moment?
Business café – I run events in Zagreb and Belgrade, I plan to franchise it more I plan to finish my 4th book, I mentor a group of 30 people for 5 months but also many more in 3 countries.
I am looking for new franchisees, and a person to run all this and a new personal assistant.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Stop thinking – start doing. There is only one life. Live it in your own way, your terms, your rules. You never know how much more time you have left. No excuses, no regrets.
Tell us how it all started.
Back in 2002 I had spine operation. During recovery I watched an Oprah show and a lady secret shopper said she gets paid to shop. I was 25-26 then and I wanted to do this and so I got up, quit my job and I did it – That is Herakles, my first business I sold.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
My laptop and mobile phone 🙂 Nothing else matters also WiFi of course 🙂
What is your favorite film?
Intern, In pursuit of happiness, Hitch, Down Town, Dead poets society…
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Earlier I would answer Oprah or Richard Branson but now I have had the privilege to meet so many rich and successful and inspiring people around the world, as well as simple yet wise men and women in villages in India… Croatia, everywhere..
People are all the same. Some are fake and not authentic which disappointed me when I met them, all have fears and struggles like any ordinary guy… So I think we are all the same and equal, no one impresses me to the point I admire them, not anymore.
I actually invite people who inspire me all the time to be our guests on Business café so I am lucky to talk to them.
I would like to invite my son for dinner in 10-15 years and hear how I helped him be who he truly is, that is what really matters.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Walking by the lake near where I live in Zagreb or along Danube river near the apartment where I stay in Belgrade, a good book or (online) seminar, a glass of red wine or coffee with my friends, great food and going out in Belgrade, vacations on Croatian coast which is objectively saying known as one of the most beautiful in the world 🙂
What is luxury for you?
Piece and quite. Being disconnected.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I receive daily notes how I transformed peoples lives, how I inspired them to stop complaining and finding excuses, and start living how they want.
We receive so many compliments for Business café – that it is movement, an institution, way of doing business, new way of entrepreneurial thinking and working here in the Balkans..
For my book I also received so many notes – how it got them to finally start the business of their dreams.
For my coaching – same..how deep it is, no bullshit just action no excuses any longer 🙂
What do you fear most?
My greatest fear is that I am never going to have what I really long for – a deep intimate and passionate marriage – I have been divorced for 5 years, after being 16 years in relationship and marriage, still learning about men and learning how to BE a modern woman wanting it all. At the same time any form of freedom terrifies me.
What is a happy life to you?
This one, mine, that I am living.
What does a regular day look like for you?
I get up at 5 am, take time for myself read, pray and thank/meditate, prepare for the day, wake up my son Luka he is 7 he goes to first grade of elementary school, take him to school, and then I am off for a walk, and for juice/coffee few meetings with people, working on connecting people, I hold education or coaching a lot and then some events usually, IN the evening I have dinner with my son, prepare him for the next day, read to him, and we go to sleep early. When I travel I take more time to catch up on my mails, also in Belgrade I go out more and get up a little later 😀 and walk along Danube…
Tell us about your dream project.
My vision is that our region (CEE Europe, ex Yugoslavia) becomes recognized as a best place to live. I think it can. Here people are smart and hard working, and climate is great, people live more slowly and enjoy life, there are so many opportunities, quality of life is great, you need and can earn less money to be financially free and enjoy rich life, you know your neighbors, you have time to drink coffee..
That is my dream, but I have a dream project I still did not realize because I lost the inheritance I was supposed to receive.
I wanted to build 25 km away from Split airport in the hills with the perfect view on some of Croatians islands, a Change your life resort – place for a different vacation – healthy home made food, piece and quite and personal growth programs. IN case I would find an investor I would be more than happy to realize that dream in no time.
My passion is personal growth, and travel and entrepreneurship and connecting people so that would combine this all.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
All those small entrepreneurs I invite to speak at our Business café events. Their stories continuously show everything is possible no matter what now here in spite of everyone and everything.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
My own. People tell me they have no clue how I make money, it seems to them that I am just having fun with everything I do.
I believe in entrepreneurship it is who you become not what you earn, also life is about living, having fun, being ALIVE, not struggling..sacrificing…
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
I can live without anything. Well maybe without WiFi and mobile phone haha..
I have very few things.
I am not attached to anything specific. I went through a lot in life. I know we can survive anything with proper mindset, air and water of course.
What inspires you?
Stories of success. How people turned their life around. How they are happy, how they change other peoples lives..and live fully.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
I read all the time, there were many. E-myth, Rich dad poor dad series for Business, and private – Goddess in every woman, Louise Hay – heal your body and mind…