NAME: Ana Lukner
BACKGROUND: Master of Science
ACTION/SECTOR: Services sector, Volunteer and non-government sector
POSITION: Founder and CEO
My Background and Career
I studied international business and German language in the USA, and I got my MBA in marketing in Slovenia. I was able to study in the USA because of my sports scholarship I got for playing tennis.
My first job was at pharmaceutical company Lek. However, I had plenty ideas and when I realized I am more of a freelancer, I bravely quit my job. My independent path started poorly, at age of 27 I was leading an international project, which ended because one of the partners left.
My first company is a marketing agency BE EL, which is located in Austria. My goal is to become huge according to world standards. The second company we own is P marketing. The main product of the company is a patented protection for the pillars in car parks, which prevent the collision of cars, while the protective layer is an excellent communication channel for advertising. The third company is Interstelar, which represents the brand "Nakavo". We have opened a coffee shop with many different kinds of "coffee to go" in the center of Ljubljana.
Because of a personal experience (my mother's disease), I became a legal representative of a brand "Best Alzheimer's products" in EU, because I wanted to warn people about the problematic and to destigmatize the Alzheimer disease.
I give many lectures as an inspirational lecturer in Slovenia and abroad. I am also a mentor for young start-ups.
In my free time, I am Ana's star. This charity foundation helps socially disadvantaged families. It is based on a simple idea: take the food with a longer shelf life and take it straight to the person who needs it. It is not our job; it is our best-spent leisure time.
We also published a fairytale "Ana's star", because children experience our project as a fairytale, and Ana's star is a fairytale character who helps people and saves the world.
The most important thing is to know how to set your priorities straight. Many times people ask me if I have any free time for my personal life. I do. However, my family understands and supports me; they understand I am in my creative period right now.
My mentors were my parents. They have given me so many true values, they told me I have to work hard, and that nothing is free. They taught me to be consistent – sometimes I am a bit too perfectionist.
You meet people on your way, who become mentors for a while and support you. I could say this is my entire team.
The deciding factor for me is the fact that I am a major challenge to myself – all the time. I have so many goals and I have still so much to do. Consequently, I always say that this is just the beginning … for me, there is no end, only another sequel.
Patience, to know how to look on things from afar, from another perspective.
To succeed you have to have a vision, feel what you are doing. Believe in yourself, and work hard: '' work, work, work '', I say. You have to be persistent and at the same time keep the level of values, in the team, and yourself. I call that the "TRUHOMA" principle and it means a sincere, honest humanity (TRue, HOnest MAnkind).
All along, I strongly follow my intuition, which I feel as infinite.
Hints & Tips
The idea I often use: "It is a small world, everything is possible and this is just the beginning." This idea seems very powerful to me. In addition, you have to be able to set your priorities.
I do not make differences between people – for me they are all the same. Sometimes, there were situations when I could notice some differences between the male and female position. For example, female jealousy, which I find even more unfounded, because it seems to me that we women are generally more capable – we can do everything, you know what they say, the woman supports three corners of the house. Sometimes, we do not realize how capable we are.
In Slovenia, I notice that more and more women opt for entrepreneurial challenges. They are more in contact with themselves and acknowledge their discomfort sooner, before they are ready to quit a dissatisfactory job. Everyone has the opportunity to take things into their own hands. I know many women who did not wish to have an unfulfilling job anymore. This is common in other countries, especially in America this is already a standard practice. In America, women are in leadership positions and that is not controversial, I strongly encourage it and I think that men and women should be equal.