Do not put off tomorrow that which you can do today. Procrastination is the killer of all your dreams and you must realize that every little step, as insignificant as it may seem, is a step in the right direction as long as you take it.
Zynnia, Zanna and Kytka Jezek are the Tres Bohemes behind their popular new site of the same name.
This mother and two daughters team travel all over the place and share the obscure, strange, interesting, offbeat and unusual from all over the world. While there are many lifestyle blogs out there and many of them feature interesting reading and pretty things to look at, what makes Tres Bohemes unique is the mix of the 3 contributing authors – all who have their own set of interests, styles and ways of sharing.
They bring well researched, artfully prepared and carefully curated information to those interested in learning more about the Czech Republic. They have posted about the culture, heritage, arts, people, films, designers, hotels, restaurants, customs, traditions, music, education, history, food, drink, and the other wealth of Czech abundance from their beautiful homeland. Structuring the site to eventually become a non-profit to eventually utilize grants and other funding, their goal is preserving Czech and Slovak culture and heritage, and to make the Czech Republic more understood, especially by the younger audience whose parents and grandparents may be of Czech descent. They have taken on this labor of love because they believe it is ancestral heritage that defines us.
Greg Bachar, the Outreach Coordinator for the upcoming film Too Loud a Solitude based on Bohumil Hrabal’s book said of their site, “TresBohemes is a beautiful blog. It feels like a luxury print magazine that would look nice on one’s coffee table…” which must have been a wonderful compliment as they are also owners of Distinct Press, a publishing company, and those are precisely the sort of books they have planned for 2017, beautiful, hardcover, full color, limited edition prints of art, style and story.
Clearly this mother-daughters team is passionate about two things, their Czech heritage and publishing, whether it be digital, on the web or through actual books.
Where did the idea for TresBohemes come from?
Kytka: Three Bohemian/Czech girls. I was born in Prague and my parents emigrated here in 1968. I raise my daughters the Czech way even though we are Americans. Many friends who grew up chose to be very ‘American’ while others held fast to their Czech roots. Having children of my own now, it’s important for them to know where they come from.
Zanna: As we shared the many different Czech things we’d discover with each other, we realized that others may be interested too.
Kytka: The best part is we get to work together every day and that makes it all the better, and we’re helping others come closer to their families and family history, thus strengthening their relationships as well.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Zynnia: The mornings are when we are busiest. The house is very quiet and each of us are in our own corner searching the internet for news, stories and websites we can find information to curate.
Zanna: By lunchtime we’ve found interesting things to share so we discuss what we’re going to feature in our posts and who will be writing the posts.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Kytka: We take action. I learned a long time ago that it’s one thing to sit and dream—but another thing entirely to do something about it. If we have an idea, we go after it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Kytka: More and more people are interested in a lifestyle of travel and Prague, while super popular, is still yet to be discovered by so many people. Hidden behind the iron curtain for so long, many people don’t realize the richness of culture and history there.
Zanna: And that’s why we’re so excited about the things we share at TresBohemes.com. Each day more people visit the site and write to us about how we are making the Czech Republic and all its wonders more inviting to the world.
Zynnia: There are also a lot of Czechs in the United States and Canada who have Czech relations but they don’t know much about the culture. Our site gives them that connection to their heritage.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Kytka: Do not put off tomorrow that which you can do today. Procrastination is the killer of all your dreams and you must realize that every little step, as insignificant as it may seem, is a step in the right direction as long as you take it.
Zynnia: Keep the social media off. I do most of the Instagram and Pinterest posts for the site and I must discipline myself not to get distracted by looking at my personal stuff. When working, keep your personal social media off.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Zanna and Zynnia look at each other and start laughing— “I am my younger self!”
Kytka: Many people use this as an excuse and then they blame external circumstances for whatever they didn’t do. Get in the habit to work on whatever it is your heart desires and commit to work at least a little each day in that direction.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Kytka: Family first. Sure, people will all say that they do this, but in practice, I know few who commit to this and make it their lifestyle, though more and more are getting it each day. I still meet people every day who will tell me how their business is so important, or their latest project is so important, and they become almost obsessed with it and let everything else, including family, fall to the wayside. This is a recipe for disaster because you burn out and cut off those you love most—your support system. Put yourself and your family first and work small steps towards your big goal every day. This way you are still living in the moment and enjoying today. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow and many successful people have thrown away what could have been otherwise happy lives in the pursuit of their success.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Zanna: Manage my time. I schedule things for myself. Proper time management ensures that you take care of all aspects of your life.
Zynnia: Stay open to learning new things. Today, technology is the name of the game and I think it’s good to keep an eye on what’s new and what works best. I’ve found a lot of tools that make my job easier and I’ve learned to use them because I’m not afraid to try new things.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Kytka: Responding to people in a timely manner. We live in a time of instant gratification and people expect everything now. So, when we get a comment or someone answers a question or sends an email, we do our best to respond immediately.
Zynnia: I love when they are pleasantly surprised and let us know.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Kytka: My biggest failure was trying to fit into someone else’s mold. I kept wanting to make a website that everyone else had. Finally, I just let go of that and decided to take a risk. We still struggle with keywords and rankings, but slow and sure we are starting to build a following, and it’s a loyal following.
Zynnia: Our readers are both young and old, from my generation, my mom’s generation and my grandparents’ friends and people their age too. That’s exciting.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Zanna: Take the time to add keywords to your posts. It makes a difference.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Kytka: Nothing gets your story out there faster than a well written press release. Next to that, a couple of rented kayaks on the river. We spend so much time working together, it’s also great to get out and just enjoy the day and it refreshes and energizes you for the next day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Zynnia: Something simple like a photo editor or keynote. For me, visual presentation is something that is important, it gives the audience an image to connect with the story, and for me, a way to show exactly what mean. I don’t like to take anything overboard, less is more when it comes to editing photos (especially some of the vintage black and whites you can find on our site).
Zanna: I write all my posts in pages and then copy them onto our blog. I like that pages automatically saves the document as I write so I don’t have to worry about losing my work.
Kytka: I second that. When working in WordPress, you never know when the internet may hiccup and nothing is more frustrating than losing your work.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Kytka: Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It gets you focused.
Zanna: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden. It is full of excellent advice and can be read in an hour.
Zynnia: All of Paul Arden’s books are a great inspiration. Whether you choose to read one of his books, or simply read a couple of his quotes on the internet. Everything he writes is very motivational and easy to read.
What is your favorite quote?
Zynnia: I have two — “Be – don’t try to become.” – Osho and “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn
Zanna: I have two as well. “To begin, begin.” – William Wordsworth and “Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.” – Frank Ocean
Kytka: “Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Saint Francis of Assisi
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.