by | Jan 5, 2018

A passionate, hard-working guy who loves people, wine and nature

I believe that everything you do for the money you have to do it with passion, devotion and it should be something you would do also for free. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to be able to turn my teenage passion (love for music and radio) into a long-lasting work-life relationship. I strongly believe that passion and curiosity drive us forward as individuals and as a human species so I strive to always do my best.

I’m always working hard to meet the goals and I’m not giving up easily. I believe you have to be stubborn and that you have to believe in you and your dreams. I proved myself a couple of times that you can do anything you wish for. As long as you are patient, working hard and with passion, you can achieve anything! If you don’t believe me and if you need a proof I invite you to check out the story of James Lawrence (http://www.ironcowboy.co). This guy is just crazy and it’s just another proof of what every individual is capable of.

I love people, I love diversity, I love to hug, I love great conversation and people who know how to listen. I enjoy the company of smart, friendly and open people and I absolutely hate people that are stubborn with their own beliefs. I try to avoid such people and also ones that just suck your energy. I’m sure you also know a couple of those, right? Funny, but as I love people I also enjoy being alone.

A walk in the nature by myself… that’s something I really enjoy. Just me, birds, forest and my thoughts.

I fell in love with wine about 6 years ago when I started vinoo.co – a digital platform to help wine lovers discover, taste and buy great local wines that you mostly can not buy in the stores. It’s a kind of Airbnb for wines. vinoo app helps you discover new wines which you can order directly from the winemaker. And as I was building the solution with my team I fell in love with wine and winemakers stories.

In 2019 I managed to get some proper education in this field so I was able to put WSET Level 2 Award in Wines (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in my signature 😉 with a plan to do Level 3 in next couple of years (probably 2021).

A kid from a socialist republic without a father

My story begins in Yugoslavia (1971 btw excellent wine vintage) who at the time was and will stay socialist / communist regime for another twenty years until the independence of Slovenia in 1991. Not having a lot when I was a kid was a great school for life. Nowadays with too many choices and buying too much stuff that we don’t actually need is not a good thing. I still remember how we were driving to Austria to buy coffee, chocolate, rice, bananas etc. as those things were not available in our shops. I still remember how we were not allowed to drive a car on certain days as there was an oil crisis. Those things made a big impact on me which is something I haven’t realised for a long time.

My mum and dad separated when I was two years old so I was actually raised by my wonderful and loving mother, a grandmother that always took care for all of us and our household and a grandfather who never took over the role of my father which I always appreciated. Not having a real father figure I wasn’t raised into a tough man who never cries and who talks about sports, cars etc. I somehow always better connected with girls and later with women and a lot of times even today I enjoy female company better. That made me quite a non-typical man. I take this as an opportunity and my unique strength rather than a minus 😉

Early passion for music and technology

I was always into technology, computers, gadgets so I was really happy to be able to combine all that fascinated me and started to work on a student radio station very early in my life (14 years old). I had my first computer when I was 13 (Sinclair ZX Spectrum), I played violin since I was 7 and I had a band when I was 15. People that attended our concerts were really surprised when they saw 4 guys with keyboards and a computer on stage but we had a great fun (we used an Atari ST at the time as a sequencer – mostly for drums and a couple of additional MIDI tracks).

Crazy in love with radio

After my early passion for playing instruments and making music I somehow got in touch with a team that was setting up the first independent student radio station in my town (Maribor). As this was a combination of technology and music I was hooked and started working as a radio technician at first and then gradually using my voice and a microphone.

I remember I was totally hooked. I had a lot of friends who were clueless what they wanted to do in life (at the age of 15) but I knew I wanted to work in the radio business. After joining the Yugoslav army in 1990 (it was mandatory for 19-year-old guys to serve for a year) I experienced a 10-day war for Slovenian Independence (on the side of Yugoslav army). I was lucky as everything was over before it begun (10 days is not really a war, right?) and I returned to Maribor where I started to work for the public radio.

Huge radio success in the following two decades

After three years at Radio Maribor (a part of public Radio Slovenia), I was invited to work as a Programme Director and a morning guy at the first commercial radio station in Maribor (which is the second biggest city in Slovenia) which we launched in May of 1995 and was an instant success.

Radio City is still the most listened to radio station in the region (after more than 20 years). I was so proud at the time (I was only 24) and I still am proud of what we achieved in the following years. After 8 years I got tired of working for an idiot (an owner and a GM – we never really connected) and I decided I need to prove myself in another market.

So I moved to Ljubljana as a Group Programme Director where I programmed 17 local radio stations. Crazy but wonderful time as I had to travel around Slovenia quite a lot and so I got to know how diverse Slovenian people in different regions are. After spending a couple of years with Infonet radio group and successfully re-launching a couple of their radio stations (Radio Antena Ljubljana, Radio Belvi Gorenjska) I envisioned how Infonet group could greatly benefit from a radio network. So the idea of Radio 1 (the first Slovenian radio network) was born. Unfortunately, before Radio 1 became the reality I had a dispute with a CEO who hasn’t kept his promises so I was out. Infonet moved on with my idea and with the help of BCI from Germany made Radio 1 one of the best radio brands in Slovenia.

Back to the morning show

After I left Infonet radio group I was offered a morning job I was not able to refuse 😉 And another 8 years of great morning show happened. I enjoyed working with Polona Požgan for Radio Center from Maribor which was able to extend its license all over Slovenia so suddenly we were not only a local/regional but a national commercial radio station fighting with Radio 1. Funny how things happen right?

In 2012 I was 40 years old and I had to move

I just had to change something. I was not satisfied with how the things were going in the media scene in Slovenia after 2008. There was not enough money after the financial crisis that could sustain our growth. Also, I strongly believed that the management at Radio Center had made a couple of crucial mistakes which allowed Radio 1 to push faster and harder. I knew that the battle was won and that we haven’t got a chance to come close to the ratings of Radio 1.

I was also not happy with my personal life. After being married for 10 years I decided to move on.

In 2013 I decided to leave the morning show and Radio Center and focus on my startup – MyRadioGoGo (a platform for mobile apps for radio stations.

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Sorry, I still haven’t finished this…

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