Fuckup Night Niksic vol. 4: Build a personal brand and you will find the path to success


Fuckup Night Niksic vol. 4 was more than just an event last night, where extra seats were looked for. Milutin Pavicevic, the creative director of Alicorn, Sreten Sosic, founder and executive director of SIMONS Factory and Hasib Alic, the executive director of Alviral media house from Mostar, took care of the great energy that reigned in Code Hub. They wittily and sincerely shared with the audience their professional failures, lessons learned, and advice.

Former “master of all digital crafts”, Milutin, begins his story by presenting an external modem that he received after his 15th birthday, which marked his life. In the following years, his interests grew and he successfully dealt with illustrations, graphic design, web design and programming, mobile applications, computer networks, comics… In a few years, the list included dozens of different activities. However, as technology advanced, he was reluctant to admit that his way of doing business was unsustainable. The market required narrow specialization and Milutin had to adapt or accept failure. It was not easy to choose what to focus on and what to make a career from and what to give up, but Milutin managed to overcome the challenges he faced: “It is very difficult to achieve a balance between career, family, hobbies, and free time, but I am doubly lucky that I am surrounded by great people, both privately and professionally, and when you have someone on both fronts that you can rely on unconditionally, everything is much nicer and easier“.

Sreten, on the other hand, has been very focused on graphic design from the very beginning of his business and has remained faithful to it to this day. Like Milutin, he believes that specialization is the secret of success and that it is necessary to focus on one thing, study it as best you can and constantly improve. He worked as an art director in one of the largest marketing agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, where he gained great life and business experience. However, as he says, he had high expectations from his work in marketing, which did not come true, and after several business engagements, he decided to start his own business during the global economic crisis. Independence did not go very smoothly, but persistence paid off in the end and today he runs a successful company and mostly works with clients from abroad. Among other things, a significant part of his work is related to working on political campaigns in a dozen countries – Colombia, Ghana, Poland, Serbia, Austria, Zambia … As he states, although he is very busy, he always found a way to give back to the community: “I love to contribute when I can and I am most proud of the things I do pro bono“.

Hasib realized very early on that his place was not at the university, so he considered his student beginnings to be one of the first major failures in his life, from which he learned the most. When he had to admit failure after his first year of study and return to his hometown, he decided to take responsibility for his actions and look for new ways to achieve professionally. He focused on digital marketing and tried his luck first in Sarajevo and then in Mostar. His business journey has been very dynamic, he has had many successes and failures, and so far he has been forced to completely change his business direction and start from scratch: “It is not easy when you realize that you will not rent next month deal with that situation.” According to him, it is important to view failure only as a phase and to look for opportunities for change and growth in it. Of the 5 workers they started with, Alviral now has over 50 employees and 20 associates and expects even greater growth in the coming period.

As our guests say, they face different challenges every day, because the job of an entrepreneur is uncertain and difficult, but giving up is not an option. It is often necessary to adapt but also to be careful not to get lost in all this: “You must not allow yourself to identify with your business, you must preserve your own identity” says Hasib,we are all much more than programmers and designers and it is important to preserve own individuality”.

Young entrepreneurs are told that it is important not to fit into the molds and to nurture their differences. “Don’t do everything that others around you do, build a personal brand and you will find a way to build your career“, Pavicevic said.

Milutin, Sreten, and Hasib believe that only work and effort can achieve results and always find time to help young people through various activities and contribute to the development of their community, and participate in various activities – from organizing conferences, startup weekends to free training and projects.

The event was organized within the 2CODE project, which is co-financed by the ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union.


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