December the 10th, 2020 – Lea Kosovic decided to take the daunting plunge into entrepreneurial waters and develop the LOL agency during her time as a student. Despite the numerous draconian rules the Croatian state still has in place, she succeeded.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, they say that studying is the most beautiful period of a person’s life, a time during which we discover and polish up our interests and dream about the future. Some, however, are so impatient with their dreams that they don’t wait for the end of their studies in order to attempt to make them come true, and one such individual is the doggedly determined 26-year-old Lea Kosovic, who started an event organisation agency called LOL during her studies.
She decided to take this step despite trying to cope with the very challenging time swimming in exam deadlines in the 4th year of communication management studies, and today, she has several successful years of business under her belt.
As Lea Kosovic points out, the entrepreneurial world seemed to her to be a natural sequence of activities to take, and her environment contributed to that; her mother, father and boyfriend are all entrepreneurs who additionally motivated her to move forward with her own goals.
On the other hand, the faculty she attended places a lot of emphasis on practical teaching, which also gave her a spring in her step. “The faculty I attended is a big proponent of practical classes, so I had the opportunity from the first year onward to take internships that taught me a lot, that is, where I could apply what I’d learned in theory in college. On top of that, we often had exercises in the classroom where we could hone our skills well,” said entrepreneur Lea Kosovic.
Although the days of studying and running her own business are a few years behind her today, she still fondly remembers it all. As she explained, she’d do it all again if needed, and the secret of success lies in good organisation.
”I’d deal with everything as soon as I could, so my deadlines were always always free. The most important thing was to properly position my student, private and business obligations, so that none of these three segments suffered, or if they had to suffer, it would be minimally. At first, I planned my commitments day by day, but I soon realised that way didn’t work. So I introduced appointment planning a week in advance and wrote everything down in my calendar. I knew exactly what was waiting for me, so I was able to set positive priorities,” Lea Kosovic added.
Although the idea of entrepreneurship came to her mind during her very first year of study, several years had passed by the time the first step was taken. Lea started to think more seriously about this venture in the 3rd year of her studies when she did her internship at the Media Val agency. There, she fell in love with organising events and started thinking about the concept of her own company. From that idea came LOL.
She shared her idea with her boyfriend and best friend, and their support gave her yet another spring in her step. Although she felt only excitement at the beginning, from the moment she held the very last administrative paper in her hands, Lea Kosovic admitted that for a short period, fear of the unknown was very much present.
‘‘The biggest challenge for me was proving to people that I know how to do my job. When I opened LOL, I was in business event organisations for four years. I felt I’d done enough to be able to try it out. The main assumption today is that young people have no experience and aren’t old enough to start their own businesses. I don’t think that’s really the case. There’s nothing wrong with young people trying to experience the magic of entrepreneurship. The worst thing that can happen is that their job fails and they have to put the key in the lock, but they still achieved more than those who didn’t even try,” Lea pointed out.
LOL opened when she had one safe client; thus securing some income. “I’ve noticed that when finding new clients, it’s important to love what you do. Clients notice when you talk with great passion about their event, when they send new ideas and suggestions, and when they feel that you’re not under any pressure. If one client is happy with you, they will recommend you further and so the whole story will be accepted. It was the same in my case, and that gave me additional motivation and self-confidence,” said LOL’s Lea Kosovic.
The very nature of this sort of job presents numerous challenges, but they’ve only been further exacerbated by the emerging situation caused by the pandemic. Lea was naturally very scared back at the beginning, but even in this situation she managed to pull through. ”Entrepreneurship simply prepares you for a fight”, she said.
Lea had learned long ago that there’s no time to lose and that empty steps only distract her from her goals. “We all called 2020 ‘our year’, but we were wrong. We were supposed to have eight events this year, and we only had three. I know others in this industry who haven’t managed to do any events this year so I can only be happy because I’ve had at least that much. I was terrified at the beginning of this pandemic. I was afraid that was it and that I might have to put the key in the lock after all. However, it turned out fine. Not the way I planned, but it was still okay. Patience is also something that entrepreneurship teaches you to have,” concluded LOL’s owner, Lea Kosovic.
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