I was born in Southeastern Europe in the mid-eighties. My early childhood went smoothly, I was quite happy, but soon enough, my country was facing one of the worst wars since WW2. Believe it or not, but I had bigger problems than that – a kid from my class started bullying me, and back in the day you couldn’t do much about it. Expected to hide your pain inside, which I did, for years. Apart from bullying, I remember that I was always able to write eloquent and beautiful essays. One day we had to write one on the topic of
“When I grow up, I want to be a __________.”
What? Had no idea back then, and had no idea in years to come. Long story short, I ended up studying philosophy, which I truly loved. However, the world didn’t need another academic philosopher, not even an award-winning one.
Way out of my comfort zone
Do you know what I did? I jumped into one thing that scared me the most: SALES. My first unofficial job was in sales – I worked at the farmers’ market to finance my studies. After graduation, I applied for a marketing assistant position, which turned out to be a classic cold-calling sales job.
After that I went back to studying philosophy, only to be disappointed once again. And once again, I went back to sales – selling earrings that I’ve made with my own hands. Soon enough I created a Facebook profile, before eCom was a thing, and started selling my earrings online. No, I haven’t made a million that year, this is a different story.
Finally, I started working in a high school, as a Philosophy Teacher. And nailed my first real marketing job – a fast-paced content writing job. Boy, that was intense, but the company crashed only months after.
In the meantime, I actually started my own blog – called Sofia Movens. It didn’t look like much back then, but from this perspective that was shockingly successful. With only 100 readers I sold my first workshop program, using nothing but Facebook event publishing feature, with no ads. Made $400 but it sure felt like I made a million.
Brand-building became my passion
Went back to my handmade jewelry business, and built a whole new brand – which was 10x more successful than the first one. But I was never happy with the fact that I was creating jewelry from polymer clay material, so I decided to say goodbye to 2360 people. I’ve put all my efforts into workshop creating, but I still felt like that kid – shy, insecure, and afraid of people. Back then I suffered from a strong case of imposter syndrome. But that didn’t make me stop, just pause things from time to time.
Finally, thanks to a series of fortunate events, I stumbled upon porcelain, I found myself in it. I finally started to feel like I belong somewhere. And I wrote one blog post that was read probably 50.000 times. About Banat, but that’s another story.
What’s yours is yours, no matter how many times you run away
Three years ago my husband had severe pneumonia, spent 30 days in the hospital, had a couple of CT scans, and a life-threatening diagnosis. Luckily, he was able to recover, but it was then when we both decided to live our dream lives and build our dream businesses. At the time I was working at the local marketing agency, and decided to quit and went on to build my ceramic studio and creative business coaching business. Do you know how Apple started in a garage? Well, my ceramic studio started in my super-small pantry. I also bought a domain for my coaching business and started building my international website – but I got scared once again. Who do I think I am?
In the last 10 to 15 years I’ve done a lot of inner work. And have had a few magical moments in life. So, one day a guy reached out to me on Linkedin. He offered me a Content Writer position, which was upgraded to a Content Manager position right after we finished our test work period. That guy was friends with another guy, and I worked for both of them. Months later they went their separate ways, and a year later the second guy called me and my colleague to work with him again. Which I gladly accepted. And today, I’m the Head of a marketing agency and a Board member in a group of companies. I don’t feel like I’m an imposter anymore. Years of hard inner and outer work are finally starting to pay off. Plus, I feel like I am part of something greater than myself, we have built an amazing portfolio together, and I feel like we have a bright future ahead of us. But becoming an expert in digital marketing and being a creative entrepreneur myself, helped me realize that the worlds of regular business and creative business have a lot in common, but are not the same. And my calling is still calling.
This time I won’t quit
I said no to things so many times in my life. To awesome things, things that have been working. And somehow that always resulted in something better. This time, I feel like I found my ikigai. For real. There’s a merry bunch of fellow entrepreneurs at “work”, there is a ceramic studio in my backyard, and there is finally a way to do what I love – help others conquer their fears and start living their own dreams.
The Black Swan in Theory and in Practice
Little did Europeans know when they coined the black swan term. But just like in the Black Swan Theory, some things seemingly happen out of the blue, when in fact, they happen out of necessity. I prefer fairytales over theory – and believe that those of us who spend more time trying to find ourselves in this world end up finding out the whole world within ourselves. And just like in the movie, we are only fighting ourselves, there aren’t any other real enemies out there. Once you master yourself, you mastered everything. As long as you live, you have another story to tell.