Wow, I was just reading my initial posts when I started my entrepreneurial journey back in 2007 and 2010. It was refreshing to see how many of the motivations that I had stated then are true to this day.
- The need to be my own boss
- To manage my time and resources
- Following your dreams, where they take you
- And more
As this journey continues now for over 12 years, I look back with a sense of thankfulness for all the many experiences and challenges along the way. It has not been easy, it has not been always pretty, but it has been fulfilling most of the time.
As I look forward, my experiences educate many of my future choices and decisions. For one, I know I want to continue my journey as an entrepreneur. There’s too much to explore and learn that it would not be wise to give it up for a steady paycheck and other such benefits.
My initial venture, the Albanian online bookstore, continues to operate since 2007, which is a miracle and challenge in themselves. Though I do not manage the day-to-day operations anymore, my business partner does, I still enjoy being part of something that is bigger than me and continues to impact people’s lives all over the world. Ever since we started the online bookstore, many more small and larger ones have sprung up in the market and to me that is very encouraging to see for as long as we continue to promote culture and our language.
Ever since releasing myself from the day-to-day operations at the bookstore, I have also focused on developing another digital marketing and infrastructure business (also incorporated in the U.S. in Sep. 2022). Initially, it was started a blog in Albanian with the idea of producing a book for business in Albanian, via blog articles and other such content. 12 years later, the book has not come through but over 200 articles and many webinars and teaching sessions later, the work continues.
Especially since before the advent of Covid and then during that infamous year (2020) I’ve also started a journey of transforming my now main business venture into a recurring or retainer type of business offering digital infrastructure and other marketing related services. It is something I wished I would have started doing much earlier but am thankful nonetheless of how it has faired so far. Growth has been slow but steady and I do not take it for granted. We are a very small team of 2.5 people working on the day to day projects and infrastructure that we manage, though I keep working on other side projects that have included teams of up to 15 people.
Thinking of the Future!
For the future my focus will continue to be based on digital channels and services. I love the remote nature of what I do too much to leave it behind. Traveling with a laptop and being ‘in the office’ every time I open it up, is something I do not want to part with.
Some of the challenges I face are best grouped under the topic ‘growth’. I either grow or just ‘die’ in this business. I have a clear understanding of what needs to happen for me to continue to grow. In the past three years I have seen this method and system work well, though I would also like to explore new ideas and avenues of growth, which requires more time and effort on my part, but I’m glad to put that in.