[quote style=”boxed”]Self-initiative is the key word. You have to take responsibility over your thoughts and actions. Everything you do has a consequence, so I try to do things that can lead to positive consequences.[/quote]
Enis Šljivo is a 22 year old student studying international finance and banking at the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the co-founder of aktovka.ba. Since childhood, he was worked with his father in the family business, which is now the number one business in their branch of Bosnian and Herzegovina. But Enis wanted to earn independence and success on his own so he started a website called aktovka.ba (aktovka is the Bosnian word for business suitcase) together with his partner Sead Džambegović. Their mission is to bring all Bosnian firms to one place and make them available to the public so firms and customers can interact in an easier way.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am collecting information about as many Bosnian companies as I can. The more companies that are listed on the site, the sooner potential customers will appear. At the same time, I am doing research so that I can write articles and give my personal opinion on Bosnian companies, economic news from the world and business advice. Whenever I have free time, I write an article. I usually add 3-4 new articles to the site every day. This is necessary and extremely important for attracting people to my site.
Where did the idea come from?
As I already mentioned, I worked for my father’s company during every summer vacation. Being surrounded by business owners from Sarajevo and other cities gave me enough knowledge to realize, “wait, this or that could be done better!” I noticed that the connection between companies and customers needed to be improved. I called my partner and told him that I had an idea and asked him if he wanted to join me. His response was positive. After 3 months of work, aktovka.ba was created. It is a website that consists of 2 parts. The first part contains the latest headlines about the world economy. This news is separated into various categories such as Bosnia, region, Europe and world. Also, there are articles that offer advice related to economic operations, behavior and interpretation. News is present mainly to increase the traffic on the website. The other part, which is more important, is the list of companies. Anybody can add his/her firm, insert it in a category and sub-category and provide basic information about it. The information is automatically visible on the site. Customers that are looking for a specific product or service can simply visit www.aktovka.ba, choose a category and sub-category, decide which company best suits them and immediately make a connection with the company. Everything is free.
This service is constantly improving. Our next step is to build a connection between employers and potential employees. All firms that are listed on the site can post a recruiting ad so that visitors of aktovka.ba that are looking for a job have a resource to find one. This service will also be free. The most important thing is that neither firms or visitors pay for any services available on aktovka.ba.
What does your typical day look like?
Every day is different. It mostly depends on classes and activities at my university. Nevertheless, I manage to write 3-4 articles every day. The only way to do this is to be disciplined and to take responsibility for my success. I use every single minute of free time to contribute to my business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Self-initiative is the key word. You have to take responsibility over your thoughts and actions. Everything you do has a consequence, so I try to do things that can lead to positive consequences.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am really impressed by the power of the Internet, especially online business. My business is constantly adding new features and soon articles will be written by visitors. All articles that are published on the site are going to be paid. This actually has two advantages. First, I will have more time to concentrate on other things and the second thing is that this option will attract more visitors and increase traffic.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was in the summer of 2010. I was working for my father’s company and my job responsibilities were to transport, carry and set-up wooden floors. I was a physical worker and to be honest, I was underpaid. I worked the whole day from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. But in spite of this difficult situation, I learned valuable lessons about respecting money and other people. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that my father gave me this opportunity. Simple things became valuable and I saw the world from a completely new perspective.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
It is too early to be able to tell which mistakes I have made.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be disciplined and show self-initiative. You have to take responsibility for all of your actions. Everything you do, you have to do it with a positive mental attitude. That is basically the key to successful outcomes. A piece of advice for all the young people who read this interview: you have to take your future in your own hands. Don’t allow yourself to have too much free time; instead of playing games or going out, read personal success literature. This will change your way of thinking.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Problems are always present. Instead of worrying, think about how to resolve that specific problem. I have a temporary problem. I simply can’t fit all of my activities in 24 hours. I am a third year student and I have millions of obligations related to school. The only way to overcome this problem is to plan every minute. I try to plan in detail the next 3 days and briefly outline the other 27 days of the month. This does not work all the time because there are always unpredictable situations, but I try to compensate for this by using university breaks and time I should be sleeping.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A personal assistant who is able to effectively organize time for people.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would make education available for everybody because every child in the world deserves a chance to prove that he is adequate in a specific field. I can’t do anything about it, but other people can. Only a large number of people with a positive mental attitude can actually help all those children whom the chance has not been offered.
Tell us a secret.
Sometimes I identify with the TV character Adrian Monk. I am very savvy and I like to have everything organized and placed where it belongs.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- E-mail: The easiest and fastest form of communication
- Facebook: Access to millions of people
- Contan: The program I use to publish articles on my website
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He is basically the most successful personal success author and his work changes the way people think.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I personally don’t use Twitter because Bosnians (my target audience) do not use Twitter.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
When I manage to go to my weekend house with friends, all of us constantly laugh out loud. That is the only place where I find my personal satisfaction and I completely regenerate myself.
Who is your hero?
Every person who succeeds in changing the world is a hero.
You mentioned that education is very important to you. What kind of education do you have?
Since I lived in Germany for 7 years, I finished first and second grade there. In Bosnia, I finished primary school and the International Baccalaureate programme. Now I am a third year student at the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina and my major is finance. My future plans are to earn an MBA abroad.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?
I want people to live in a better world. Regardless of ethnicity, race or where a person comes from, everybody deserves an opportunity to succeed in life.