Life was good! I would say it was amazing. 2020 was supposed to be the best year so far in terms of business. On March 14, everything turned around and we entered this twilight zone.
RISE TO THE TOP
My parents, especially my dad, worked in tourism since a very young age. They survived war times, business recovered, and in my sister and me they saw the future of their small company that was founded more than 20 years ago.
We got dad’s talent for languages, finished school, and since I am the older one, all eyes were turned to me as I was supposed to take over. It was predetermined. No one really asked me whether I want to be a tourist guide or not, it was happening simply because “that is how things are done”.
I was young, 19, second year at university. I studied economics back then and didn’t really like those numbers (mom did hit me with a calculator several times, trying to explain some things). Dad comes one day from work and says “Jelena, we got a major contract with this huge agency in the USA, please get a license (to become a certified guide) and instead of outsourcing, we can keep the money in the family, and it can be great pocket money in summer months."
To a 19-year-old, dreaming of travelling around the world, buying a dream car and a motorbike these were the words I wanted to hear. It took a while to pass a test, but I did it and slowly started working for my dad. To be honest, money was GREAT! Oh boy, I didn’t even know how to handle it, so I spent everything the second I earned it.
Years went by, fast forward to 2020, I mastered my skills, with dad and sister occasionally jumping in, mom at the office handling books, we got to a level of covering more than 60% of incoming tours in the area of Split, Croatia. I got married, bought a new car, motorbike, a new apartment, travelled around the globe and thought this is it. It can’t get any better than this.
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GO SOUTH
In January we got the first news of COVID-19 in China. We did have some Chinese groups, I was even there when one and only bus with tourists from Wuhan entered Croatia but we thought, like previous diseases, this would end in a month and the world will forget it quickly. We still received a lot of clients from Asia, as pre-season is when they mostly travel. We joked WITH bird flu, swine flu, COVID-19. We even invented foot shakes when we would greet each other.
Then March 14 came.
99% of all booked tours were cancelled. Just like that. Like someone came and pressed “delete all”. Several weeks of desperation followed. What to do, how to pay for salaries, what will happen to us? Luckily dad is also a translator, he still had some work, mom works as an accountant, my SO still works, so we thought “ok we can manage this for a month, and then it will calm down." But it didn’t calm down. It was a twilight zone. Everything you worked on collapsed in a second.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
I had two options, let myself drown in misery and depression, or like a true Capricorn, stand up, find my way around things and fight.
I sat down, thought what will people still need even if everything closes down. I realised, the Internet and computers will always be here, and that is what brought me to Udemy. I had to upload knowledge into my brain, refresh old data I had, as I did some minor freelancing during my university years. Created some pages, wrote some articles but oh boy I was behind. Technology advanced so much and now I had less than a month to catch up. Endless nights, I felt like Leeloo from the movie “Fifth Element” as she learned the history of human civilization within a few hours. My brain was overwhelmed.
I started with affiliate marketing, did a bit of that initially and then discovered freelancing platforms.
Google is a powerful tool, it brought me to goLance and some other platforms, you all know, like Fiverr and Upwork. Honestly, I applied to all three.
Difference was visible right away, goLance gives you a feeling of being a partner. You feel safe on the platform, in terms of knowing who are the clients, what they want and in case of any issues with the project, goLance works with you. They brought a revolution to the freelancing market which is mostly oriented on quantity and making a quick buck. goLance’s approach makes you work harder, dedicate yourself to projects more, and be sure that someone will always guard your back.
GOLANCE - SUPERHERO IN BLUE CAPE
As I joined goLance and started getting into some of the projects, my life turned upside down. In a positive way. I got nice projects, from writing articles to currently writing more than five websites and the list keeps on growing. I am constantly learning, exploring and finding new jobs. Even offline, people would see what I did and approach me, wanting to work with me.
Within 2 months, things went from completely dark skies to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. COVID19 got me creative, opened my mind and even convinced my dad that our business should get a website, instead of just having a number in yellow pages. It opened up the whole set of different options, possibilities, and made me who I am today. We got websites I made for both dad’s translating company at www.prevoditelj-split.com and our agency is now completing a website for upcoming tourists at www.travel2split.com
Remember, everything happens with a reason. It might seem hard, it might seem like you will never get out of it, like things can’t get worse. Even if a door is closed, a window will open. You need to fail 100 times, in order to succeed 101st time. That is when a platform like goLance can give you a chance. Use it, build your career all over again, this time backed up by a superhero wearing a blue cape with goLance symbol of success on its back. Take that leap of faith, turn a page, join goLance and start your new journey.