I was born in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia (then Yugoslavia) and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 as my country began disintegrating. I started my first company while in high school, developed one of the first websites to sell car parts online. I was only 16 when I launched the site, complete with dancing bears and sparkly stars.
I focused on what I knew best at the time - cars. I grew the company to a success via SEO before 'SEO' was a thing. I sold the company to private equity about seven years later.
Then I jumped into developing large corporate footprints online via digital strategies, from XM Radio to USA Today (Gannett Corp), and other media companies. These days, I focus on developing our enterprise digital marketing firm, Executive Digital, which I own and operate with my partners Charles Kim and Anthony Lopez.
Today, with over 130 employees and nine offices around the world, my goals are helping companies strategize, develop and execute on various SEO, social media and paid media campaigns and in creating these digital ecosystems, helping corporations grow their businesses. It has been a true pleasure growing thousands of brands over the last decade, and as we continue to grow our footprint across the nation and the world, it’s been an amazing experience in constantly learning and evolving with our digital industry and all of its challenges.
It’s been anything but a smooth road. I can’t tell you what it’s like to start your dreams in an actual broom closet-sized office with just an idea. There were so many failures in attempting to bring various ideas and solutions to the marketplace, but the one thing that makes this industry fun are those same exact challenges. Boring isn’t acceptable and my company and approach is anything but boring. I think that we, as a company focus on using true-and-tried concepts with our own spin on various strategies which bring amazing results to our clients of all types.
Executive Digital was literally born from the idea that an “enterprise” approach doesn’t have to be expensive, but that it has to be revolutionary, systematic, planned and executed in a certain manner and in certain order. You can’t build a roof over a non-existent house foundation and the same is true in our approach. We believe in companies having to be omni-present online, in order to grow their revenue and their retention.
What I would do different? I would’ve micromanaged less. I am so “in the weeds” every day, it’s ridiculous. Anyone who knows me or has done business with me knows I obsess over the smallest of details. I notice everything and am bothered by everything that’s not proverbially “perfect”, it’s obsessive…but then again, after 24 years in this industry, I don’t know of anyone who’s successful by being lax, obviously.
The real win in this industry is keeping your cool when clients come and go, employees make mistakes, clients don’t pay, etc., etc. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t really change much. Every day has been one hell of a ride, and like I tell many of my clients, “let it ride”. Enjoying the journey is part of the growth and success, getting to milestones is rewarding, learning from failures is amazing, but most importantly, exploring new heights of your business and your success is mission-critical.