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Marija's Playground: Creativity, Courage and Authenticity


Marija is multi-preneur with equal experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial world. Starting from an architect, corporate leader to an e-commerce business she is currently juggling consultancy, business coaching and a unique playful workshop! What tips did she share with us?

Photo credit: Milica Rašković

How would you explain to a 6-year-old what you do?

I help business people work smarter and faster, so they can have more fun at work and more free time for themselves. Sometimes I let them play with puzzles. And then when they play, they get some new ideas that they, later on, apply to their businesses.

How does creativity support business?

Usually, when we are in business, we use our cognitive mind and we tend to be really smart and serious and we want to be as productive as possible and make good decisions. And that's okay. However, when we introduce a bit of creativity, it allows us to get out of the box, and get new perspectives. Creativity evokes our subconscious and brings out significant insights and fresh ideas which help us level up our business mindset.

Why do you do what you do?

I've made many changes and spent much of my time searching for happiness at work.

I always looked for purpose, fulfilment and some kind of connection. My greatest belief is that we could all be very happy at work and that's what I help my clients achieve.

Practically, I help them build a productive and inspiring working environment, and be better leaders. Apart from helping them with their business mindset and skills my work also helps them connect with their hearts. And then when they’re aligned with their minds and hearts, it affects a lot of people, their families, their coworkers, their employees.

What is a piece of business advice that helped you?

You don't have to wait! We delay by giving ourselves obstacles such as ‘I will do this at this age’ or ‘when I have this kind of diploma’. For instance, when I was starting, I thought that I should work only with people in my local market and that I need to first prove myself before going internationally. But then I met a coach who questioned why I was waiting. What was stopping me from doing it right now? So a month later, I got my first international client!

Another piece of advice I would give is to be authentic and put our imperfect selves out there. And that's actually what attracts the right people.

What is a key ingredient that helped you grow your business?

Courage! It’s about taking the leap and not giving up. When I quit my corporate job I first had been working in parallel on e-commerce selling art prints. I call it my entrepreneurial MBA. I’ve put a lot of investment in it, made many mistakes, learned a lot, and finally came to the point that it wasn’t for me. The experience and knowledge I’ve gained through that journey is a gold mine for me today, but also for my clients and for my business.

After that, I went into consultancy and coaching which I’m still doing right now. It was quite scary to go out there and present myself with something completely different from what I was used to. And doing that in the early forties.

However, maybe the most courage I needed was to really discover myself. It was about seeing who I want to be with my businesses. And in return, the businesses became some sort of self-development sparring partner.

Your productivity tip

Observe your energy during the week and plan accordingly.

Some people need to warm up and have a peak on Wednesdays and then it goes down. Others are full of energy on the first day. So feel your energy during the week or even the month, and then plan your activities.

What is the difference between corporate & entrepreneurial world?

It’s mostly about the mindset. In corporate world, I had ‘a good pupil’ mindset. As a good student, you get good marks, meet expectations and work well within structures. And in the entrepreneurial world that just didn't work. As an entrepreneur, you need to go out, test, try it out, make mistakes, do it all over again.

Additionally, as an entrepreneur, I get to investigate and search for something that really fits me and is aligned with what I want to do. It pushes me out of my boundaries and makes me do things differently. And it's a tough one :) Finally, I don't believe that any of these formats are good or bad. It is just up to us to test and see what and why we want what we want.

Please leave a question at Playground for the next guest 👇

If you have to present your business as a toy, what would you choose?

P.S.S. If you also believe creativity supports business, check if Playground is for you.


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