I wanted to tell my story for a really long time. I wanted to tell the world, who I am. I wanted to write and through my writing unveil my life. If I’m honest, this is a huge step for me. While writing this post, I felt so many doubts, there came so familiar feeling of anxiety. There were fears. But I know, where I want to go, so I faced all those fears and finally decided to let them go.
But now, come with me to one of the most exciting and terrifying journeys of my life …
When a change knocks on your door
Life can be so unpredictable. It takes us to completely unknown directions. And that’s exactly what happened to me and my husband. Stara pošta (Old Post) came our way. That ramshackle old building never got my attention. I knew that it had been for sale for a long time, but that was it. But at one moment, Jure, my great visionary, told me that he had been observing that old building for more than a year. He noticed that nobody wanted to buy it …
I had no idea, what he was talking about. In that time, we were building our own house and were completely occupied with that project. We both had regular jobs. We were living an ordinary life. Life, full of worries, loans, responsibilities. But (obviously) also a life full of big dreams.
At that time I was working in Slovenian Armed Forces and was so unhappy at my working place. I felt no joy, there was no space for creativity. I felt like every day a small part of me died. I cannot describe how bad I felt there.
I admit that I always wanted to create my own business that would allow me to work for myself and my family. But in reality, I had no idea, what to do with my life. I was a hard worker and nothing seemed too difficult for me. All I wanted is to see a deeper purpose in the things I was doing. Nothing more.But, let’s go back to Stara pošta. Once Jure suggested that we go there and see if it suited us. The alarm in my head went off right away: “What should we do with that house? We cannot afford it! What’s the matter with us?” I knew that Jure had already made a decision about Stara pošta. He wanted to buy it. But he was also afraid that he would have no support from me in that crazy project.
You’re completely crazy!
I can’t say that it was love at first sight. The house was in a really bad condition − facade was falling off of it, the smell in the house was unbearable, the air was full of humidity. It reminded me of a ghost house. I didn’t have the slightest idea, what we were supposed to do with it. But Jure had a clear vision in his head: He wanted to renovate it and create a new tourist spot on Jezersko. At that moment I thought that he completely lost his mind. We already had a huge loan and couldn’t afford any more expenses.
We didn’t get any (moral) support from other people who knew what we were up to. They thought that we were crazy. We also got only negative feedback from all the banks we asked for another loan. But Jure wanted to do the project and asked me to trust his decisions. We made a really crappy business plan and finally found a bank that was willing to listen to us. It was prepared to give us a loan, but only then, when Stara pošta was already bringing some income. That gave us so much needed glimmer of hope!
We talked again to the owner of the house. She saw that spark of passion in our eyes and felt that we really wanted this house (well, Jure was the one, who wanted it). She decided to rent the house for one year. We had one year to turn things around and change Stara pošta into a profitable business. We accepted all those crazy conditions and Jure created the craziest plan ever. Stara pošta should be renovated and open in just five weeks. There was no more time for discussions and debates, we needed to get this project done!
We were working like crazy for 20 hours a day. We hired a nanny for our daughter Živa, who was only three years old then. After only a first week of renovation, we were completely broke. I started to panic, but Jure didn’t want to stop. He believed in us. That was a really difficult period in our lives. We were living from hand to mouth.
I had serious problems with insomnia, suffered from severe diarrhoea, felt immense fear and anxiety. But finally, when we had nothing more to lose, I just surrendered. And after only five weeks (of pure hell), Stara pošta was ready to accept first guests. During that difficult time, I got proven so many times that we had a guardian angel.
Soon after the opening, I started to think about quitting my job and working full time at Stara pošta. But Jure was a bit sceptic about it. He never wanted that I ever blamed him for this decision. He wanted me to take time and think things through.
Big decisions, even bigger fears
Deep inside I felt that there was no place for me in Armed Forces. I was so miserable there. But at the same time, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to run the business all by myself. I knew only that I was a hard worker and that I was willing to put my whole self into this business.
I was terrified, as I didn’t have the slightest idea how to run a business. I didn’t know how to set prices, I had no budget for marketing. But I still quit my job. That was back in spring of 2014. I was afraid, very afraid. My parents thought I completely lost my mind. But that was my decision. I just couldn’t watch my life slipping through my fingers anymore. When I overcame all my fears, I realized that quitting the job was the best decision of my life.
In the beginning, I did some really expensive mistakes. Nobody can teach you, how to run a business. You need to do learn it through trial and error. In the first few years, I often asked myself, what I was working for, as we didn’t make any noticeable profit. But I didn’t give up. I did everything by myself: I was a cleaning lady, a boss, a waitress, a marketing manager, a front desk manager, a financial director … you name it.
At the same time, I was constantly fighting my inner battles. I had some serious issues with myself worth. It was hard. I come from a family that didn’t give me any positive self-esteem. But I was hungry for more. I wanted to create a good life for me and my family. I didn’t want to play small anymore.
When you know that you’re on the right path
It was only last year when I finally realised what I wanted for myself. During all this time I constantly had a feeling that I was making my husband’s dreams come true. But in the end, I was the engine of Stara pošta. I went through so many crises: I was thinking about going back to a normal job, sometimes it seemed so frustrating spending all my days at home, there were constant challenges with money. I doubted myself so many times!
But I’ve done so many changes. I’ve known myself and realized that there were no limits for me. I no longer let any limiting beliefs hold me away from pursuing my dreams. I do things very methodically, but I’m also aware that sometimes I need to let things go and wait. I think that people too often want to control every aspect of our lives. But life doesn’t function that way. We don’t know, what’s the best option for us. I needed to make thousands of mistakes to realize that.
Another important turning point in my life was my 40th birthday. Then I asked myself, what I wanted to do with my life. I asked myself if I was doing the right thing. I knew that wanted to do things my way. I knew what kind of story I wanted to offer to our guests. I finally created my vision of Stara pošta.
I completely changed the rules of the game and went on a slightly different path. I wanted our guests to feel welcome and completely accepted. I wanted that they felt safe. I wanted to take as much time as necessary and listen to their wished and needs. For me, the most important prize is positive feedback from our guests. I’m so happy to see that so many of them are coming back over and over again. That means the world to me.
In the beginning, Stara pošta was Jure’s story. It was his vision. And his persistence definitely paid off. But today I’m the heart and soul of Stara pošta. I’m running the business my way. I’m living my dreams. But once again I have to say that these dreams wouldn’t exist without Jure. I’m grateful to the moon and back that he took me on this wild journey and showed me that the only limit for us is the sky.
Thank you, dear reader, that you stayed with me till the end of this (long) post. Till next time!