Jovana Miljanović is the person who helped me make my business what it is today. An expert with over 10 years of experience in business and marketing, Jovana has helped over 1000 women in her live workshop “Turn your passion into profit” as well as her ebook, journal and online course. It was truly an honor to bring her on to my free webinars as my first guest, and below you can read what we discussed.
Over 1000 women have been through your workshop in person and over 1500 online. What is the main difference between those who have made a successful business, and those who haven’t?
Women who have created the desired results worked really hard. There is no substitute for hard work. They did not let themselves slip into the state of procrastination, overwhelm. They did not complain about the amount of work that needs to be done. They set an intention, made a decision and did not stop until they did what they set out to do.
Women who failed once and stopped trying are the ones who constantly used their past as evidence why they won’t be successful this time too. They always looked at what others are doing instead of minding their own business. They had victim mentality and were always looking at what is against them instead of what can they do with what they have, what they know and where they are. They created products and services that they wanted their clients to want instead of what their clients really wanted. They cared way too much about what others think and external validation and looked for support in the wrong places such as friends and family who always give us fear-based advice because they want us to be safe. Also, we sometimes forget that common sense is not business sense so when asking for business tips only ask those who already have a business like the one you want to have.
The ones who failed did not naturally possess or decide to commit to acquiring skills like time management, money management, setting and maintaining clear emotional boundaries… They could not manage their mind, so therefore they could not manage their business either. They lacked focus, they slipped into thought loops, negative thinking, obsessing over unimportant stuff and procrastination. To sum it up, they were interested, but not committed to managing their mind and their businesses.
You have tons of experience in this field and a proven track record of helping women market and sell their products better. How did you decide to tackle this particular issue?
I can only sell what I know brings results. I can only lead people where I have gone myself. This is my zone of genius and women who worked with me can tell you the same thing.
Can you tell a good business idea from a bad one? If so, how?
There are signs that the person is not able to execute on the idea. For example, if they have no experience, they only come with a bunch of ideas without doing any research. They are not willing to do work for free until they are any good to be able to sell to someone. They overthink and do not act. They come up with excuses instead of ideas on how to solve a problem. They do not have an audience or community and have already created ebooks and courses that they don’t know whom to sell to. They don’t have a signature service with a core offer to one target client that solves one problem and produces one result. They have ten things they offer and their website is just a visual presentation of what a mess is going on in their mind and when a potential client sees that they just leave.
People tend to think that giving stuff away for free is the wrong move. Can you tell us what you think about giving knowledge away for free?
I give 80% for free. You can give it all for free and still do nothing for no one. Only those who pay, pay attention!
At the time of this interview, our world is facing a serious health crisis. I know many small businesses and entrepreneurs who are struggling with what to do now – they are often shamed for trying to continue selling their products or services. What do you think about selling during the times of crisis?
This is not our first crisis and it sure won’t be our last so we might as well use this time to learn as much as we can for the next one.
If you are just starting a business, use this time to build a community, interact with your audience, offer free classes or free trials via Zoom, etc. If you are a restaurant or a food business offer contactless payments, free delivery and bonus money to your employees who chose to keep working for you in these times. If you are a fashion business, see if you can help by producing masks and offering them to those in need. If you are a nail artist offer some free tutorials on YouTube on how ladies can do their nails at home. If you are a language teacher who just lost her job install Zoom and offer free weekly workshops on various topics, offer discounted or free classes or find a job as a virtual assistant, call center worker or find a job on iTutor, Upwork or Freelancer. Check out Muse Jobs and LinkedIn jobs for some other remote positions if you are more qualified.
If you are a large brand, see what you can do to help. McDonald’s offered free meals to street vendors of magazine Liceulice which I absolutely love because they are not able to sell on the street now.
If you are a small business and you cannot stop working because you would then not be able to feed your family and your employees, then you need to continue selling if your product or service is something that can help people in this time. If you are selling food, please continue. If you are selling a weight loss program, please continue. People need to stay healthy, continue their exercise routine or stay on their food plan. It is tempting to try to eat your fear, anger, disappointment, but we all know that does not help.
Sell – don’t sell, it is your choice. But those who are shaming those who sell are usually not the ones doing that have to do selling for a living. They usually work for someone who sells something for a living. It is easy to shame someone when you are not doing the work. It is ok and I get their perspective. They think sales are bad and money is horrible. But I am just saying that selling a product or a service to someone who needs that product or service and wants to pay for it is never a bad thing. Crisis or no crisis. If you one of those who are now able to sell and you are successfully selling and therefore feeding more mouths, continue doing that because by doing that you will help save the economy!
That is so true, and I really think we all needed to hear this! As we mentioned earlier, you’ve been in business since you were 18. Entrepreneurship can be a tough road. In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?
I always remind myself I chose this. No one made me do it. I fucking wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world. This is my dream job and I created it by myself for myself. It requires me to constantly grow, evolve, expand and invest in myself. I believe I am my safest investment. I never found anything with a better ROI than me investing in me.
Besides that, my business supports my top values in life which are freedom, knowledge sharing and contribution through the community. This is not just how I do my business, but how I lived my life even when I was young, broke and just starting out.
Something being difficult just means the reward is better and fewer people get to have it. I always enjoyed doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing and safety is not something that motivates me. I like taking risks, thinking on my feet, making fast decisions and pivoting when necessary. It makes me feel alive and that is why I believe I was born to do this.
Yes, and we all face failures. I remember you saying that you fail on a daily basis – and I can say that I do too. What was your favorite failure and what have you learned from it?
Having an extremely painful surgery for 35m minutes without anesthetics because I could not afford it. It taught me to now always have money saved for at least 6 months in case I cannot work.
Ouch! Well… let’s move on to something less painful. You spent several years studying and working abroad. What has been the most challenging situation for you in terms of language?
I do not remember any challenge with my language. I think people obsess over this for no reason. Serbian people have a better accent than they think. People in the US always compliment our accent.
I am glad you said that – my students have so much fear of being misunderstood and a misconception that their English needs to be perfect before they can use it with foreigners or even natives. However, the fact is that it is only important you can communicate your thoughts and nobody judges you because of your accent. Most people who speak English don’t speak it perfectly – but it’s about always learning and improving. You are best known as a promoter and a believer in constant education. Which course/mentorship/book/education do you think has most influenced your entrepreneurial path?
If you have 3000usd per month to invest in yourself, invest in Brooke Castillo Coaching certification which lasts 6 months. You will learn all you need to know about managing your mind and business so you achieve all that you want to achieve.
If you have 300usd per month to invest in yourself, invest in Brooke Castillo Self Coaching Scholars membership program. It lasts 12 months and you will learn how to manage your time, money, energy and start a business in the right mind.
If you have 30usd per month to invest in yourself, invest in these two books: The E Myth by Michael Gerber and Men’s Search for Meaning Victor Frankl.
If you have no money, invest your time in listening to every episode of Brooke Castillo Life Coach School podcast and write down what you learn and implement along the way. Call me in a year if you don’t end up in a better place mentally, financially and in every way shape and form.
Well – that is what I call an actionable plan and a good recommendation! Thank you! Finally, tell us: how can we work with you right now?
If you want to learn in Serbian for free, read my blog there are over 100 amazing posts that will help you if you implement them. Listen to two business lectures I have posted on my YouTube channel that I gave in person on two live seminars.
If you are interested in starting your business and want to pay me money for my products you have 3 options at the moment. You can invest 22 euro in my ebook if you are interested in starting your own business but unsure if that is for you. In case you are committed to having a successful business invest 220 euros and all the time and energy you currently possess in my online course. If you already have a business and want to improve your marketing and sales, reach out via email email@example.com and we can talk more.
Want to listen to the entire interview? Check the video below and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for future webinar and interview recordings.