How I left corporate business

Photo by Marko Mac Šimenc
Photo by Žiga Intihar

Introduction

This is a story about new beginnings and how you bring passion and business together. It is going to be personal. And it should be. 

Life (or better Universe) is always struggling for equilibrium. With all ups and downs that at the end more or less turn to success and happiness. Or is it a matter of one’s perception? I am an optimist. A surviver. I win.

 

How it all began

The first quarter of 2018 was one of my hardest and the most challenging one.

First I went to Whistler/Canada for a free riding week with PerfectRide to make my dreams come true. The third day I injured my right knee up in the mountains and had to watch the rest of the skiing from the apartment. F*** painful.

After returning home the doctor was crystal clear and straight forward: “I’ll repair your meniscus as much as possible and reconstruct your ACL. You will follow the rules I set. 9-12 months minimum to be fully active again!” Right? I’m almost 49. All of my this year’s sport plans had to be changed. I was really sorry for missing Adventure race Slovenia 2018, not to mention the rest. 

Second, in mid February I was asked to leave the company I have worked for the last five years despite great results and a record year 2017. Not expected. Not even wanted. But I’ve been in corporate business for 23 years and I pretty much know how it goes. I faced it. Again. But left behind great projects and people. Luckily there are people I know and respect and vice versa. And that matters. Contacts, relationships, time spent together, stories to be remembered. I achieved a lot, have no need to complain. I made a successful career so far. 

Third, my 101-year old grandmother died end of March. The heart of our great family. Somehow expected but hardly accepted. She gave us love and taught us respect and endurance.

 

A turning point

Finally there came a turning point. A knee surgery end of March. It was a great job done by Dr. Vladimir Senekovic and his team. I am thankful.

Sitting on a terrace in the early spring days I had to face many questions. And I did. To be frank it can’t be done in a few hours or even during a weekend. At least in my case. I needed time to think. I needed time to analyse, time to define the bricks that will define my future. So, I started working. I read, met and talked to people, drew sketches and clouds of possibilities and did a lot of thinking. But first I made my priority list:

1. Total knee rehab

2. Completely clear my mind

3. Define my future!

Most importantly I was ready to hit the road now. You all probably know the law of Evolution: it is not the strongest who wins but the one who is able to accommodate better.

The rehab is not easy. But I’m an athlete and I can stand the pain and I can endure in what I do.

Clearing my mind was a great step. Just switch off and do what you really like. It took me some time but it helped. Everyone should do it once in a while.

As you may imagine the point 3 was the hardest. It took me three months to come up with some basic decisions. Should I stay within corporate world or should I start my own business. Should I continue playing ego power games, be controlled by others and smile just for the sake of showing off or should I pursue my own way, my own passions with people I like and respect, where the results, freedom and respect really matter!

My thinking was strongly supported by my family and I am happy about that.

 

The new beginning

When you are open you see things differently. You are more sensitive. At that time in early March there came Mac, a friend of mine. We’ve known each other for 25 years. We did skiing, kayaking and biking together. He was looking for a partner to upgrade and speed up his own business. Someone with business knowledge and passion for sports and hard work. We did a lot of talk. I asked many questions. Mac is much different than I am. A lot. However, we share the same passion, we share the same goals. Mac brings an extensive field knowledge about biking, trails, gear and people. I will focus on business development, planning and marketing and I will keep a strong hand on finance :)

For most of you who know Mac, he has been shaping the MTB world in Slovenia for more than a decade. With his strong will and persistence he has been facing and overcoming all sorts of challenges. He built up his own company MTB Galaxy, well known to all MTB fans even outside Slovenia. Bikegalaxy is now its successor. Mac promised to write an article in this Blog in order to share his story about his work at MTB Galaxy. Let’s hope we can read more about it in near future.

 

The company

After weeks of thinking and discussing I made a decision. I’m going off corporate into private enterprise. Mac and I shaked our hands in June and started working. The Bikegalaxy was born. The biking adventure agency, offering guided bike tours. This is going to be big. This is going to be the best in the region. I can feel it.

I know it is gonna be hard and it will take time to accomplish what we want. We know what it takes and we want to do it. Ask me after a two-year time :)

September 15, 2018
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8 comments

I Can feel this and I know that you are f****** unstoppable now !!! Good luck !!!

Bravo Andrej! Respect. Veliko srecnih trenutkov.

Andrej, z veseljem sem prebrala tvoj zapis. Super je! Še drugi se lahko iz njega marsikaj naučimo. Želim ti vse dobro na tvoji novi poti! Urša

Hvala, Urša za lepe besede in vzpodbudo!

Congratulations Andrej!!

Loved reading the story, or rather, summary of the route that led to your decision.
Best of luck with BikeGalaxy, you know where to find me if you need bike carriers :-)

Cheers,
Patrick @ Yakima

Thank you, Patrick! Let’s stay in touch! You can also decide to come and visit us with your friends or family and we can arrange a nice bike tour for you :) Enjoy!!

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