We’ve all heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because it may just happen,” well shit got real on my end, I’ve acquired a business. To say that it happened organically would be some truth, but I have been channelling this for many years now. Along with producing content for this blog and various other websites, I have also been employed full-time in a fashion boutique called State of Style in Zagreb, Croatia. It was an opportunity that arose through a friend who wanted to create something fresh and new in the country revolving around the best Croatian designers and a selection of international brands available exclusively only in the boutique within Croatia. The concept was great, the brands were great but there were many things I would have done differently if it were my own from the start.
Months rolled by and given the fact I was there majority of the time, I started to notice a customer I didn’t even know existed in the country. I familiarised myself with what they were asking for and at what time of the year and slowly began building a rapport with them. There was a gap in the fashion industry and for this particular type of customer, they were not interested in shopping in Zara and looking like the rest, they were more interested in one-off pieces.
I decided to test out Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Content is King” philosophy by building a store website that focused on product and designer information, success stories of local business owners and influencers and advice, all with a 100% SEO strategy. The website would eventually turn into an online store but I had to figure out the best way to go about it and which brands to work with closely.
Blogs and websites are a funny business or side hobby to get into. You often don’t see the results immediately but you can only assume what you’re doing is working. For the past few years I have been researching extensively on online businesses, SEO and social media marketing. I’ve found solace from Gary Vaynerchuk to Tim Ferriss to Jane Lu. I figured that my decade long history in the fashion industry could potentially be put to good use some day but didn’t really bank on it. Until I moved to Croatia.
I sat back for six months, observing how people behaved, how they spent their money and what type of trends appealed to them. I was very eager on building my profile based around travel and lifestyle within the country but I found myself more interested in the business side of things. Suddenly, my previous work experience came full circle and even those bosses in my past that I hated, I started to be grateful for. Everything I had learned, I could now apply in Croatia.
Let me make one thing clear, is is far easier for me (but still but a hard job, trust me, I know) to be a blogger but I want more out of what my name represents here in Croatia and outside. I want a legacy. I have been doing well with my writing, I’ve landed some lucky breaks with my addiction struggles in regards to my writing but there is something stinging me on the inside that wants more. Sure, I’m good at opening up about my wounds and in doing so I’ve begun healing myself but I want to conquer a business environment.
I get soo many messages from Croatians in Australia who want to move here, who know they belong here but have no clue how to make it happen and if it’s all well worth it. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, following your heart is worth it, there are just many sacrifices you must make along the way before the seas calm. I want to be a prime example of someone who came and conquered, despite having little connection and minimal language skills. Trust me, I’m still learning how to speak Croatian and I have a very long way to go but I don’t care. Each day, I show up to my life and I try, I try and try again each and every day. The same philosophy that I applied to stay succesfully sober “just show up, take it day by day,” I apply to my working life.
What does all this mean? I will still be travelling and blogging but I am 100% settled in Zagreb, Croatia. Never in my life have I been in a situation where I don’t want to be anywhere else than where I currently am. Previously, I always wanted to live somewhere else, this is how I know this is where I belong and must focus on the opportunities in front of me. My workload has tripled and from my personal business to the store and online ventures that will launch in the new year, I’ve somehow managed to not have a breakdown. I am one foe-friend less but with plenty of experience with these types, this one didn’t hurt me as much. Life goes on.
Be careful what you ask for.