Entrepreneurs should strive to surround themselves with people who are better than them and who have specific skills that can help them achieve their business goals.
Aleksandra Đermanović, Founder and CEO of Mediacor
A Croatian digital and social media marketing agency
The company creates ads and mobile applications and develops social media strategies
The average age of employees is 28
WEgate: Tell us more about your company
Aleksandra Đermanović: Mediacor is a digital marketing agency based in Croatia. We help large international clients achieve their business goals through digital and social media marketing. Mediacor operates across the entire region, handling businesses in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and even markets as far as Indonesia and Singapore. We pride ourselves on impeccable client service skills and excellent know-how of our clients’ businesses, ensuring they stay with us for a long time. The team currently consists of 13 full-time employees but we’re constantly growing.
What or who inspired you to set up your own business?
I attended a session at college where we had to envision ourselves aged 40 and create our personal website describing our life and which served as our CV. Because I was really into advertising at that point, I wrote down a dream list of positions I would like to hold and the career path I would like to follow. It was probably a silly list for a 20-year-old! Around my 33rd birthday, I remembered that website and realised I’d managed to achieve almost everything on the list. I guess I always knew I have what it takes to make it. No one inspired me, I just believed a better version of me existed and if I worked hard enough I would be able to meet her one day.
What challenges did you face when you decided to launch your company? Did you have any sort of support from organisations?
The subtle art of saying no and hiring people who are better than you. When you start your own company, more than usual there’s a pitfall of becoming a ‘yes’ man. Therefore, it’s very important to learn how to say ‘no’: ‘no’ to practices that don’t achieve your business goals; ‘no’ to associates who can’t keep to your track; ‘no’ to habits that don’t improve both your professional and personal goals.
As regards hiring people who are better than you, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Entrepreneurs should strive to surround themselves with people who are better than them, and who have specific skills that can help them achieve their business goals.
Entrepreneurship is still often considered a man's territory; what advice would you give young women who want to become an entrepreneur?
Find an idea you believe in and let it consume you. Think big but build small at the beginning. Always be kind to the people you meet along the entrepreneurship road. Some of them will try to change you, some of them will try to harm you but always make sure that you alone choose your path. And as Churchill said in his famous speech: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never…”.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Making a positive and visible difference to my clients’ businesses.
You didn’t come this far to only come this far.