Stay positive and don’t take yourself too seriously. If there is some problem and we panic, it is often because we don’t have much information. As we discover more about it, we learn and later on select the best solution. It is very important to make a joke about it, even if the problem is you.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jitka Hrebikova, CEO and founder of BOHO TRAVELS. A medical travel agency whose mission is to provide naturally based healing and beauty services.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Sure! Since my childhood, I have always been very close to nature. We were spending every summer in our cottage house in the Czech Republic, going for walks in the forest every day, running outside on a meadow or bathing in the healing water springs. Together with my mom and grandmother we collected forest fruits, mushrooms and herbs. Every time we learned something new about the healing powers hidden in them and how to make use of it.
After my studies I have been working in several travel companies, from the very big international to the smaller businesses. It was a very interesting experience but I have never completely found any satisfaction with the projects or the management because there was not a place for the realization of my creative ideas, I was also a bit tired to follow instructions, which very often didn’t have any logical meaning for me.
All this created the desire for independency to open my own business. I wanted to build a very unique complex of medicine, beauty and nature. Here we go — let me introduce you to the medical travel agency Boho Travels. Our medical and beauty services are based only on specific natural formulas.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
A very interesting story happened on its beginning when someone stole all the important documentation for the oﬃcial registration of my company and there was very soon a deadline for the delivery of the all important papers which I didn’t have. It was a bit adrenaline situation because I had to collect them all again from many institutions and reach the date. The first business examination came earlier than I expected, but I passed it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake was my pure naivety on its beginning, when I trusted one potential business partner who was interested in a professional cooperation. So half a year we talked about some essential steps, I created some layouts for him free of charge and in conclusion, nicely said — he showed interest only in me. It was a very frustrating and unprofessional moment, and since that time I prefer to cooperate rather with woman. This situation opened my eyes and I started to make a better selection of my business partners and this all led to a fundamental improvement.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
It was to embrace a change and make a right decision of the services and products I am oﬀering. I have sharply reduced my range of oﬀers and focused solely on the appropriate segment. On this basis, I started to concentrate all my activities by adding the appropriate dots to the services by a fine- tuning of many important details to achieve the right quality.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am launching the stem-cells regenerative anti-aging treatment, which is based on your own genetic code created from your tissue and a very highly concentrated biomaterial. With the application it rejuvenates and smoothes your skin from the inside. Your tissue receives millions of own stem-cells with the ability to divide into diﬀerent types of specialized cells and also produces additional stem cells. Our stems-cells programs are 100% natural and really work.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Motivation is the very essential ingredient for anyone who participates in a particular project. There is nothing better than share enthusiasm together during the whole process. People are usually very exited on its beginning but to keep this spirit to the end is the hardest part.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
This is a diﬀerent situation because I work with many external partners and it makes my life much easier, they either like the project and wish to be part of it or they do not share any excitement or contribute with any ideas, then it is the best way to let them go. I don’t sympathize with some unpleasant pressure to push people. I believe it is better to properly explain the final goal, give them a freedom and let their responsibility grow. A good choice of the people for cooperation creates real miracles. Everything is about making good decisions, of course it is easy to say and hard to make it.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I would like to make a special thanks to my lovely mom who is also my best friend, huge mental support, awesome psychologist, amazing cook and personal comedian who is able to create the sharpest joke in almost a “funeral” situation. She is the perfect example for keeping the teenage soul, regardless of any age.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My business philosophy is based only on natural healthy procedures and beauty treatments without any chemistry applied into your body. Experts constantly warn against the overuse of medication with a number of negative side eﬀects. Fortunately, today’s world returns to proven natural practices and seeks to capitalize on the centuries-old healing properties of natural healing sources that allow us to treat our bodies much more diligently than medical treatment or a radical irreversible medical treatment.
The medical spa cure has been proven to be beneficial for the healing of many diseases. However, positive eﬀects not only occur during the curative period but persist for several months after the end of treatment. This is one of the reasons why people regularly return to the spa.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1/ Make a clear goal and do something to get closer to it every day. You will have the real feel of going the journey, which will motivate you to continue because later by the hindsight you will not have the urge to stop because you know you already came pretty far.
2/ Be ready to go out of your comfort zone often. Unexpected, unpleasant situations are our good teacher who makes us stronger and more resistant, after all the “big” issues will become suddenly smaller because we know how to deal with them.
3/ Evaluate your risk before an action. When you are making some big decision, think what can be lost and what achieved. If there is more than half the probability of success after considering all the risks, than take the risk and go for it.
4/ Don’t do it just for money, do it for yourself! You must really love what you are doing on its beginning, during the process, until seeing finally some progress leading towards the deserved first success and the financial benefit. If you would be doing it simply just for the money, there is a big possibility you give up in the early stage because you don’t see the outcome immediately and that will not start the motor running.
5/ Stay positive and don’t take yourself too seriously. If there is some problem and we panic, it is often because we don’t have much information. As we discover more about it, we learn and later on select the best solution. It is very important to make a joke about it, even if the problem is you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
A major global problem on our beautiful planet is waste — we are surrounded by too much garbage. This concerns particularly packaging that can not be properly recycled. I would even dare to say that we waste unnecessarily by packing mainly food, but also other products. What I cannot understand are products packed in several other layers, although this is not necessary from a practical point of view, but it is only for design. Many interesting ecological projects are already being developed worldwide to reduce the surplus excess. I believe that this trend will continue to spread further and influence more people. I am cheering on every entrepreneur trying to find solutions in this field.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I find two quotes relevant, the first one is created by my great-grand-father but it is in the Czech language and is a bit vulgar, in English it would have the meaning “Those who are afraid to enter are peeing outdoors!” The second one is simply “Carpe Diem!
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
It would be an honor for me to meet Mrs. Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright. She is a highly intelligent, strong and powerful lady who influenced the history which is actually written. She still keeps the amazing Czech sense for a humor because of hers roots. Thank you Madeleine for being such a great inspiration to me.