An Interview with Tijana Tamburic, Forbes (Europe 2019) Media & Marketing

Bruno (HE) Mirchevski
Sep 13 · 10 min read

(#00041) — Get your team passionate about their work and they’ll over-exceed your expectation.

  1. Who is Tijana Tamburic?
  2. Forbes 30 Under 30
  3. What Is Female Narratives?
  4. Best And Worst Parts of Being Young and Successful
  5. Best Time-Management Strategies
  6. How To Recover From Failure?
  7. Team Engagement Strategies
  8. What Matters In Life?
  9. In The Next 10 Years
  10. Final Piece of Advice

Sometimes not being satisfied with something can be the biggest motivator to pursue an idea. Knowing that you can do more and taking the challenge is the first step towards succeeding in everything you set your mind to.

Meet Tijana Tamburic, the co-founder of Female Narratives, an all-female creative agency with over 100 women freelancers that tell stories for brands without the use of middle-men.

The business structure of the company allows it to be cost-effective for clients, by removing unnecessary elements that other agencies use and establishing an end-to-end business model.

Female Narratives is much more than a business, and it serves as a place where strong women are encouraged to pursue their dreams, career-wise, and inspire others to do the same.

Thanks to this amazing idea, Tijana recently earned a well-deserved spot on Forbes’s “30 Under 30 Europe 2019: Media & Marketing”. The company’s success is changing the game for women, and hopefully, Female Narratives will grow even more in the future.

If you want to learn the story of Female Narratives and how Tijana and her co-founder came up with the idea behind it, I warmly encourage everyone to read the interview I made with her.

Enjoy it!

Hi Tijana, and welcome to this interview! Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this mission! Do you mind introducing yourself? Who is Tijana Tamburic? How and why exactly did you choose the career that you have today?

Credits: Juliane Kellersmann

Hey! Thank you for having me.

Who I am is a very existential question that I’m still working on the proper answer for!

But in terms of my passion and career, I’m a storyteller.

I’ve had a range of jobs and interests that only now with hindsight can I pull a thread between them and say the common factor is storytelling.

Telling engaging stories that move people in some way, to feel something or to act, is my “why” but I don’t feel limited by mediums.

It can be an article, a dinner series, a social media campaign, a short film, a podcast, a comic book, I find the right people to execute the technical side of any of these but I enjoy to create the story and bring the people together that make the story come to life.

Through a long period and dabbling in different things, I eventually co-founded my own creative agency which does exactly this.

So I guess to answer your question more specifically; I noticed the things I gravitated towards, the things I was good at and the attributes within my personality and I allowed myself to flow towards a career that fulfills me.

I didn’t find the exact job that fit me so I made my own.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for making among Forbes 30 under 30! Was this a dream come true? How was this experience for you?

Haha umm, it was actually a bit out of the blue. My friend recommended me last minute and I received an email to fill out the application form on New Year’s Day with the deadline of New Year’s Day.

So I think I may have filled it out faster than most people have.

Tijana with her co-founder Franzi Klein.

I would have liked more time to do it justice but I was on a beach in Mexico on my phone and just did the best I could. I then completely forgot about it until the list came out (they don’t tell you in advance if you made it in) so I was pretty surprised.

As I didn’t know in advance I didn’t really have time to plan for any kind of press move to promote myself so I think I missed that whole opportunity. I’ve also honestly just been too busy working!

What is Female Narratives? How was your business born? How did you come up with your business idea? What is the mission of your company?

Female Narratives is an all-female creative agency that uses a collective of over 100 female freelancers to tell stories for brands.

I met my co-founder, Franzi Klein, on a flight to Ibiza and we just had so many issues with the industry we were both in (modeling) that we both wanted to change the game. Nine months later FN was born.

Our mission was to cut out a lot of middle-men (and a lot of men in general — sorry men) and connect brands directly with talent, ways to tell that story and the whole production system to make it happen. We are an end-to-end creative service.

We also sought to cut out a lot of formal business structures, like a brick and mortar office, that aren’t necessary for our model and only function to make budgets more expensive to clients. By doing that we could be significantly more cost-effective.

What would you say are the best and worst parts of being young and successful? Please explain.

Not being trusted/believed when you start out is hard. But I think that’s the same for anyone that’s starting a company — there is a long time where people will sit on the fence until they trust your service or product. And I do think that’s fair speculation.

You have to work to prove yourself and your longevity. Companies pop up all the time — but can you weather the test of time.

Being a young woman sometimes means people assume I don’t know enough and I always have to prove something which is a bit boring. It also often means people assume I’ve made it into a room because I am the ‘date’ of a successful man — not of my own accord.

Which is is also boring to keep correcting. But I’ve long stopped feeling a need to prove to justify myself to anyone.

Interestingly I actually find the opposite to be true more often: clients working with us precisely because we are millennial women and that’s their target audience.

People are finally realizing that if your audience is X you should probably have X on your board, or at least on your advisory committee.

Suddenly I’m the ‘expert’ on millennial women, which I think is equally hilarious because of course, I’m not, but yes maybe I do know a little more than a middle class, middle-aged man, from lived experience alone.

The sky is also the limit when you’re young and I have time to keep refining and re-routing my goals. I feel no obligation to stick to an industry or a job title.

My parent’s concept of staying in one company doing one role for 40+ years I just don’t think exists anymore. We are in the process of creating new work norms and breaking down archaic, inefficient structures gay just don’t serve us anymore and it’s exciting to be part of that wave.

How challenging it was to start your own business? How difficult it is to run a business? How do you manage your time? What are the best time-management strategies you know of?

My company is my life so my work-life balance is a non-existent concept which I am working on re-assessing. I think any founder has this struggle, especially in the first few years.

I prefer what I once heard Jeff Bezos call ‘work-life harmony’; if they’re already inextricable how can we function to make them work together effectively.

I find it hard to ever switch my work brain off so I find yoga to be a great way to tune out my thoughts and tune back in with my body. It’s an hour, ideally in the middle of the day, when I’m not thinking about work and actually means that I come back to my work with a new perspective or idea.

If I think about something for too long uninterrupted my creativity slowly decreases. I’m also very slowly learning the concept of a ‘weekend’.

Everything I do is based on good time management and organization. And as useful as google cal or Dropbox or other shared-work systems are there’s nothing better for me than a big wall calendar and a notebook. I’m a visual person and I like to see it all in one place.

Have you ever failed before succeeding in business? If yes, how did you recover from failure? What are the best ways of improving the mindset?

This is my first company and we haven’t failed yet!

But I have been fired before and ‘dropped’ by my modeling agency which felt very personal at the moment and it’s hard not to take it that way but with hindsight we learn that everything happens for a reason and any perceived “failure” is, in fact, an opportunity to get you on the right track or do something new.

Failure has bad connotations but it is always a great opportunity or learning curve that you had to make in order to do better next time. I wouldn’t personally use the word failure to describe any of my experiences.

How would you describe your team and what are your employee engagement strategies?

My team is a wide friendship circle of incredible women.

Get your team passionate about their work and they’ll over-exceed your expectation. If it matches up to their ‘why’ them it’s the perfect team. Don’t try to force something that isn’t working.

If you can — build culture. And I don’t mean take them all out for a beer. I mean do something altogether that’s authentic to your brand that ideally, each individual can show their strengths at.

According to you, what matters in life? What do you do in your free time? How do you unwind?

I think I already mentioned yoga which is a big one for me as it combines exercise with mindfulness and meditation.

I like to experience new things with new people and try things out of my comfort zone — I’m always pushing myself.

If you can find some kind of balance and calm in your life that’s huge. Regularly unplugging from social or being somewhere without internet for a while is amazing. Ideally with good friends and food!

Where do you see yourself and your company in the next 10 years?

It’s impossible to predict and I don’t like to mess with fate. What’s the saying — show god your plans and he will laugh?

I aim to find more stability, hopefully, be blessed with a family and still be telling stories — maybe through AR and VR!

What would you advise everyone who struggles entering the business world?

Don’t rush. Amass all the possible information you can. Ask everyone. Sit on it. Sleep on it. If it still feels right then just do it. Prioritize. Plan. Be organized. Don’t get overwhelmed. Stay informed. Find your tribe ( there’s likely an initiative or group happening in your chosen industry no matter how niche).

Don’t beg for funding — do what you can yourself first and money will come. If you need funding, be very careful about who you get it from and what that contract says.

In general, carefully read every contract you ever make. Stay humble. Be kind.

I hope we will be seeing more of Tijana and Female Narratives in the future, as the idea behind this all-female creative agency is amazing.

Furthermore, I also wish that this interview was inspiring to all the women who read it, and they appreciate hearing Tijana success story.

Remember, sometimes, all it takes for a person to be happy and fulfilled is to take a risk and accept a challenge. That way you are one step closer to fulfilling your dreams, even if you currently don’t realize what your true calling might be.

Don’t be afraid to be daring, and never refuse a challenge. You are much stronger than you think you are.

“The Mission to Empower 1 Million Entrepreneurs”

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Bruno (HE) Mirchevski

Written by

The Logician (Dreamer) 👁️ Don’t follow me. I am lost too!😎 Founder of HE Group - (Investor) 📈

The Logician

The Official Publication of The Logician

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