What's Entrepreneurship Like For You?

September 25, 2023

Interview questions I was answering for a blog post for Plavi ured (the support you need when you start your entrepreneur journey), got me thinking.

I started preparing myself for the journey way earlier, that’s how I am (sometimes). I knew there would be so much information that I needed to process, that I decided to start while I was still freelancing and “informally exploring the market”. Went to multiple workshops and presentations physically and virtually, to get as much as possible insights on what it meant to be an entrepreneur in 📍Croatia and in practice.

Yes, I graduated from a school with a major in Enterprise economics and had multiple subjects during my university years on the different types of entities and their pros and cons, but I needed to see and hear for myself how it is here. What makes Plavi ured amazing is the team they have and the mission they have chosen — to help beginner entrepreneurs by answering their questions and helping them with their worries by giving them all the right information and advice in one place.

Hi, it’s me, Nikoleta.

Curious about what they asked? Let's see, here are the questions and my answers. Enjoy 😊

Brief introduction — who and what do you do? My name is Nikoleta Angelova and I do web design without coding with a focus on improving the user experience. Curiosity and love for travelling brought me to Croatia almost 7 years ago as a student in my last year of student exchange as a bachelor, and in the end, it happened that I decided to stay to live and do business in Croatia.

How did you enter the world of entrepreneurship? — With the constant yearning to work more, and better and with the desire that my efforts be acknowledged and recognized. I quickly realized that a regular 9 to 5 job was not for me (even though I knew it all along). Flexibility, freedom and the desire to help as many and different people as possible led me to freelancing, and now also to entrepreneurship. The first research started with the fact that I wanted to learn more about user experience, and freelancing and bit by bit, from one course, and workshop to another, I found out about Blue Office (Plavi ured) and here I am now with an open business for design and other services. 😄

What does your typical working day look like (if any)? — Every day is definitely different from the previous one in terms of the activities and tasks I have, but it definitely starts with making the bed, breakfast, and coffee, keeping a diary and writing down the goals and tasks for that day. Flexibility and freedom most of the time mean non-traditional working hours and the flow of the day. Sometimes until lunch, I focus on my own business, meetings and planning, after lunch, I spend at home or in a cafe in the city working on some project with a colleague. In the afternoon training or a walk is mandatory and then you see, someone remembered that they need a website, SEO optimization or UX consulting from the United States so I write a project summary at 9 in the evening or have a short 30-minute discovery call. It happens. When it comes to a project, it is always a priority and takes up most of my day, but without stress and restrictions on organizing my time and space. When I’m not working on client projects, I like to explore new tools, work on my website, learn new technologies, visit museums and networking events. When you work for yourself, the work never stops, so I even create or polish content on Sundays to be ready on Monday and published on Medium and my blog. Not because I have to, but because I want and love it. 😊

Did you use any grants (government or EU support)? How much did they help you? — I received a positive assessment for my business plan (digital/green category) and I am very happy and grateful for that. I have just signed the contract, and I believe that the new equipment I am planning to buy will strengthen my services and the quality that I am developing. Also, since I am alone here (in Croatia) and have no family capital or any property, I believe that this grant will really help me and my business.

How would you describe the experience of independent entrepreneurship? — As chaotic but incredibly interesting! There are wonderful days when everything goes according to plan or even better than expected, and there are days when the universe simply tells you: let’s pause and rest today, tomorrow will be better. It’s a bit scary too, to be honest, because there is so much that you have to learn and inform yourself about. But that fear is connected to everything we care about. The secret is to do it even when we are afraid, with faith that everything will be alright in the end.

If you have something else to say… — If you have been thinking about entrepreneurship for a long time — go for it. Whatever you don’t know, ask the right people and you’ll get the right answers. Also, people who want to progress are mostly ready to help anyone who has started on a similar path. So find your people! 😊 P.S. If you need help with design — I’m here!

If you want to hear more about why my colleague Kat and I started freelancing, check out our podcast:

Thank you for reading until the end, and hello from Zagreb, Croatia! ⛅✨

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