NAME: Brigita Pirc
BACKGROUND: Higher education/ Master of science degree
POSITION: National Director Adria region,
ORGANISATION: BNI Adria
My Background and Career
Together with my husband Jernej I own a company BNI Adria. BNI is the largest organization in the world for business and entrepreneur networking. Our company owns a BNI franchise for 6 countries in Adria region.
My main occupation in the company is education, which is one of the important pillars in our organization. I give lectures and run workshops for our members. I also organize and run workshops for ''Train the trainer'' programmes, which are held for our business partners – owners of BNI sub-franchises in other countries.
Before that I had been a head of marketing in Nama company. I took care of buying, selling and marketing. This job taught me how to work with people. In this time I've developed an interest in human psyche.
I started my business career as a Brand manager in Magistrat International Company. It was my dream job at that time, because I travelled a lot and had the opportunity to learn about business.
I am a very curious person and have many interests. Therefore my educational path was very diverse. I studied textile chemistry at the Technical Faculty in Maribor, continued on the Faculty of the Economics in Ljubljana, I have a masters in Management and organization. Through the years, I have developed an interest in human psyche in the business environment. I am finishing my masters studies at the Faculty of psychotherapy science of the Sigmund Freud University.
When I look back at my 17 years of experience I notice that I haven't faced any bigger obstacles. In my first employment the biggest obstacle was my lack of experience and knowledge, which was normal. Being a fast learner and having a self-confidence helped me a lot.
In my second job I already gained professional knowledge, but didn't know much about human resources management, so I had some difficulties in that area. Again I lean on my wish to learn and hired a business trainer who has helped me to develop leadership competences.
I did the biggest leap when I left my stabile job and started my entrepreneurial path. This was the biggest challenge, which brought many changes in my way of thinking and also in my personal life. It was a difficult D3:E10period in my personal life because I just had my second child and soon after that I had my third son. At one point I was torn between my company, that needed my full engagement, and my three little children, who needed me even more. Logistically I had help from my mother-in-law and my parents - I couldn't imagine life without their support.
The biggest support was - and still is - my husband. Being there for each other is the fundament of our relationship.
I believe the key factors in my success have been my work enthusiasm, being pragmatic and determent.
The common characteristics in all my work experience are selling, travelling and conducting business with foreign business partners. For me personally, insight in international markets and cooperation with foreigners are very important aspect of entrepreneurship. They allow me to gain a broader perspective and enables me to grow personally.
I believe I was blessed with many competences that help me to be better at what I do. I can definitely highlight self-confidence, courage and determination.
I have a natural gift for selling and everything related to it. These competences were nurtured through education.
My professional occupation is business networking and at the same time it is a skill I have been developing for years. Every year I attend diD3:E10fferent educational programmes about networking in the USA.
I especially appreciate helping people, to be able to listen, to have a connection with a person. I've been developing this competence throughout my studies at the Faculty of psychotherapy science.
In general I believe that a leader or an entrepreneur should have a feeling for people and well developed organizational skills.
Hints & Tips
Women in business are like jugglers. We juggle between our work, family and romantic relationships. We try to balance all the balls in the air but sometimes they fall to the ground – one, two or … even all of them. But we try again, throw the balls in the air and continue to juggle. We keep on trying, but at one point we collapse. I believe the reason lies in one ball we haven't had in our hands – OURSELVES. This ball is hiding in the back drawer and will be used sometime in the future …
I think business women should be aware of this ball and we should try to play with it all the time. One of the most important skill I have learnt after all this years of juggling, is resting. Therefore my advice to all young women, who are deciding for a career, would be to follow your dreams, to have all the needed equipment to achieve them and don't forget to take some time TO REST.