My mission is simple and it starts with a real story of oppression in Montenegro. Back in the 1990s my parents opened a little grocery store, they called the Adriatic. Our lands were converted to tangerine plantation that soon became my dad’s hobby, growing to over 3000 trees. To this day, my mother still looks after these plants and sells the fruit to local shops.
My financial career started right there at the grand age of 8. I was supposed to sit at the front of the store and sell ice-cream. My official title was Ice Cream Fridge Manager. In all fairness, I ate more than I sold, but I did learn everything about cash management.
My dad also taught me about gross profit margins. Eat less and sell more, he said. But a good start nonetheless.
After that, each summer was spent working at the store. It didn’t take long until I was running the whole operation. Except my mother did not want me and my sisters to spend our life in Montenegro married, working at the family store. She wanted us to be independent, educated and empowered to do good in the world.
Education was never a choice, but a must if we wanted to be successful in a country where girls don’t get a fair chance. And so we studied. English classes, computer science every day after school. All for a chance to be independent.
As a minority in Montenegro, oppression and injustice were commonplace, but as a child my parents shielded me.
As my small family store fell prey to political conflict, they could no longer keep it hidden.
By the time I was 15 I witnessed first-hand how much injustice my parents had to fight against. I went to bed as a child and woke up next morning as an adult. Looking after the store, caring for my siblings, going to school and dealing with corrupt officers was something I just had to figure out.
My parents' determination to keep the business going was what inspired me to learn all the financial know-how to keep the business and my family together.
Nearly 2 decades later their strength continues to inspire me to help other businesses shine and continue on their mission to do good in the world. Just like my parents, I too believe in people. I know that 1 profitable business can allow an entrepreneur to do more good than 100 losing ones. After all, I’ve seen it myself.
So let’s work on your profits, so that you can focus on your mission!