The ability to observe, adapt to his surroundings, and recognize opportunities for change is the formula that enabled Balkan entrepreneur Mišo Savović to establish his StartUp – “NaMapi” – the very first modern, Montenegrin real estate advertising platform, which aims to connect the entire real estate market and unite the diversity that characterizes it. His idea emerged as a response to the Montenegrin advertising business, which had not yet been introduced to the ever-growing digital marketing revolution.
Right Balance between Education and Practice
Mišo graduated from the Faculty of Economics (University of Montenegro) and then gained experience in the corporate world. The educational system helped him to understand its limitations and the importance of independent, self-paced learning, while working at a great global company brought him to understand his potential as an entrepreneur. He simply realized that the confining realities of an often-gloomy corporate environment just wasn’t for him and his aspirations, and consequently he branched out and ventured into the unknown world of entrepreneurship, with its inevitable risks.
Certainly, it wasn’t an “enlightening” experience that gave the spark required for a startup, but rather a simple “a-ha” moment of the sort that we all experience countless times. To act on it, and most importantly, to hold a strong conviction of the value of the idea is what counts as a good kick-start. Also, starting something new bears a huge responsibility for the eventual success or failure of the plan and the team.
Difference between a Leader and a Boss
What makes the difference between a leader and a boss is whether total responsibility is accepted, or blame is projected on anyone but himself. Mišo understood this concept well and took risks that resulted in a quite solid working atmosphere in his company, with a team of hard-working and dedicated people quickly established.
“It’s easy to work for yourself. Eighteen hours a day sometimes isn’t enough. It’s different with employees. They are the face and voice of the company. They need to be motivated and encouraged to consider the company as their own to contribute in the right way.”
To Lead, Learn and Be out There in the World
Due to the variety of (free) opportunities that the Internet offers, it’s smart to utilize free courses (led by teams of professionals) on platforms such as Udemy and edX for personal gain, which Mišo emphasizes strongly. Building on his experience, Mišo has improved his digital marketing game by using this “spin-off” version of education.
In order to lead, the individual should constantly learn and be out there in the world. In addition, Mišo has in his personal resume years of volunteering and seasonal jobs, so it’s not surprising that he came to understand the importance of valuing himself and appreciating the importance of money. It’s necessary to learn to like money (as a tool) and have the guts to say “no” to any kind of downgrading compromise. “Until you begin to respect yourself, your efforts, your work and your time, and measure up to your own standards, no one will respect you.”,Mišo claims.
Advantages of being an outcast
When he is not busy at the company and cycling from point A to point B to meet with clients, Mišo spends his leisure time reading light, easy books for relaxation, or passionately cheering for the “Lazio” football club. In a short period of time, his LinkedIn profile has attracted a large number of followers. In addition, the United States Embassy in Podgorica has recognized him as a successful aspiring young businessperson and has awarded him with a trip to the USA as an honored participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
All of this wouldn’t be possible if Mišo had not taken the opportunities associated with being an outcast – often misunderstood, and alone with own visions. Without outcasts, the world would not have innovators, therefore a small country like Montenegro would be deprived of people like Mišo who refuse to adhere to the imposed patterns of living, and instead create new systems within the system.
Catch up with Mišo on LinkedIn.
Photos: From a personal archive