EP043: Hecgli Alvarez, Recruiter Project Manager from Venezuela

Sanja Milosavljevic: Good people of the world, you are listening and watching to Mondopreneur podcast. My name is Sanja Milosavljevic and I’m going to be your host today. And we just realized that this is the first episode that we are doing from the studio but the interview is going to be in English language. This whole project is supported by the US embassy in Belgrade Serbia and thanks to them we can share stories from interesting people from all over the world. To see how they are dealing with this situation caused by Covid-19 and how their businesses transformed and how they managed last year and what are their future plans. So, my today’s guest comes from Venezuela, but she lives in Serbia and her name is Hecgli and I’m really going to enjoy this conversation and I hope that you’re going to enjoy it too. So, hi Hecgli, how are you? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Hello, thank you, how are you? 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well, I’m fine, as I mentioned in one episode earlier, whenever the weather is nice I’m good, so. Thank you for accepting my invitation to participate in this project. I know that you’re going to spend maybe a few days in Belgrade so thank you for finding time to come here and share your story with us. So, can you tell us something about yourself, like what is your educational background, where do you come from, why are you here in Serbia and things like that. And how your formal education correlates with what you do today. 

Hecgli Alvarez: Okay. Yes, yes, that is interesting because all of those four questions have a bit of coincidence. Everything that I studied that I’m living, that I’m working now, it’s all a coincidence. So before just then, I’m from Venezuela, Karakas, I graduated from International Trade at Administration, but I don’t work in anything related to that. So, just because of live situations and all that stuff. So I came to Serbia in 2014, but actually the first time that I visited Serbia was in 2012. So that was the very first time where I came just to see. Just to test the waters because at that time my boyfriend was a Serb and I wanted to try it before taking the final decision. So I graduated in 2010. I worked for until 2012, then I decided to come here and travel and see how it’s everything and I love it. The first time I came to Serbia I really- I felt at home. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Really? So what-

Hecgli Alvarez: I don’t know what you have, Serbian people is really nice. I think you are much like Venezuelan, Latin. Latin vibe. You know – social, gathering, I live here and there, I love it. So that’s why I was back in 2014. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Nice. Because it’s not so typical, or it’s not that usual for people to come to Serbia. People from Serbia basically like to come from Serbia and relocate and live, work somewhere else, but it’s nice that you decided to come and try with that boy and then decided to come here. So you are almost 7 years, basically based in Serbia. Do you have any issues with documents, passports and IDs and those kinds of stuff. Do you have to leave Serbia for certain days during the year, then return?

Hecgli Alvarez: No, no, I didn’t have those cases, but I know people who needs to- who struggle. Because believe it or not it’s getting sometimes complicated. In Belgrade. But it’s kind of duality, because it’s good a lot foreigners come here, it’s a good thing. A lot of Latin people from Mexico, Peru, Chile, everywhere. But at the same time while more people coming it’s like more constraints you have for the paperwork. But on my side I was really okay because I am not in Belgrade. My address is like 20 kilometers from Belgrade. So I don’t pass over, no one pass over. So that is why I think I was the only foreigner in that time. So I think that’s why for me everything goes super easily, really, I don’t have any complaints about that.

Sanja Milosavljevic: That’s nice to hear. So, what do you do? You said that you graduated from Business Administration, yeah? But what do you do today? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. When I came- okay, we need to go back a bit to tell so fourteen the first time I came it was really hard to find a job. I used to work in Venezuela to study, to go, to be always on the move. And then I come here and after 6-8 months and I okay, wait. What I’m going to do? It was really stressful. Because I see the language it was one of the main blockers. Even though I speak Serbian, I love it at the beginning but for a job you need it, like…I mean…

Sanja Milosavljevic: A proficiency at C1 or close to native speaker, yes I know. 

Hecgli Alvarez: So, and I live 25km from Belgrade, the main work companies are in Belgrade so it was a bit complicated. And then after I was becoming crazy, depressed, I was crying, I was like ooohh. Twice I packed. I pack my suitcase and I’m going, I cannot. I was this- one centimeter to drop everything and go back to my country. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: So, what happened? Why did you decide to stay?

Hecgli Alvarez: Okay, yes. It was then suddenly I liked to socialize. I went to Belgrade. There are groups – Latin groups in Belgrade. Or foreign groups in Belgrade. So I started going there, meeting people and I met a lady from New York. She- her name is Katherine. She’s like my angel, I always tell her whenever I have the opportunity. Katherine, she’s my angel. So she say Hecgli, but I work online. I say how online? A freelancer. And I say tell me about that. And then she give me a bit of information about that and she had a course, like a program. Paid program. In that moment, 6 years ago it was 300 euros. And when you think like okay, 300 euros. It’s like a big amount when you don’t know. What is that? Because it was like a new concept for me. I say okay, should I pay for this 300 euros, should I- but then I decided to do that with a friend from Colombia. We go and it was the best decision until now. Yes. I don’t regret. It was- I discovered a new world, literally. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well for me when you invest in travelling for pleasure and when you invest in education, it’s never a wasted investment. So it’s always something that gives you new points of view, open some new windows and maybe as you said change lives, so. So what do you do now?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, okay, yes. That is six years ago I started learning because you need to learn, you need to know where you go to get the grasp of everything. So now after doing small gigs, gigs are like small projects, small little things, I did daytime translations, this- how to call when you…any type of small project, task that you can find in platforms like Fiber and Appwork. I started doing those. But with time you develop the skills you can get jobs instead of projects, you can get a part-time job, a full-time job and then I am now a project manager. Or I can- I’m also the operations manager I am in that – HR and operations and also business development. You can do a lot of things sales department. I don’t know, it sounds like that you cannot do sales- I mean for some people it’s like how are you going to sell this product, you know, online for someone who is in the United States it’s possible. So anything is possible to do online, yeah. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: So Hecgli can you explain how do you sell somebody’s product online for the company that is in the United States. How do you or anyone anywhere else in the world, how do you run that  campaign.

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, all is now done online. So you have any- I didn’t work in digital marketing agency software. I’m also business development, so you need to – everybody needs to be in that. So it’s call-calling. You can use now Skype, Zoom, all those communication tools. Also you have the digital marketing strategy, you have advertising, sponsors, post, you have landing pages, you have all these strategies that you can sell whatever you want. And even your own branding for this podcast you have tons of options. Not only podcast, but you can make businesswear, you can make YouTube feed for the Instagram that can boost a lot of engagement, so that is the good thing of digital marketing that I like.

Sanja Milosavljevic: So basically you are what people say- well not people say, it’s the official term – you’re a digital nomad. You can work from everywhere in the world. Is it hard to become a digital nomad? Like, I’m 41 and it would be extremely hard for me to just leave everything and go and work from I don’t know Venezuela.

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, it can be tricky. It’s not for everybody so that’s number 1. You love to travel. I know that, but for some people it’s like “Oh I need to leave my home place or my family or my friends”. It requires a lot of confidence. To drop everything because you need to risk, so let me go- I shouldn’t call myself yet a digital nomad I can call myself a digital freelancer because I of course in the future I see myself travelling more countries in the world, you know. Thailand – I would love to go there. Bhali, Taiwan. So that is one of my- but I follow a lot of people on Instagram who earn money just by travelling. It’s just 24 serving job. They travelling, they get everything for free – the hotels, the everything, they as I told you sell, post Instagram, they get it for free. But what I’m doing more is yes digital freelancing. I have my work, I have a steady place where I live, Serbia. Belgrade, I used to live in Belgrade now I’m a bit on the south. Open. I’m really open to trying new places. And yes, the point of this is you are in a steady place, and then you can for a weekend you can travel to nearby place – Europe is very nice. It’s very strategic. Even Serbia is very strategic, you can go to Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, so I am- I feel very privileged to live in Serbia. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, this is very nice to hear.

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, it’s very- you can go anywhere. Just take a- look, I can work from a train, from an airplane, from a bus, in three hours and a half I think I am in Budapest. So, that is the- those are the good things. Now, going back to your question. What you need to be- you need to have this mindset. Open mindset to just- I’m going for it. You know, you can do it for a week ,for a month, but just be open to leave a bit behind. Just a bit, you know- in life for me I have a manner that in life it’s better to go as smooth as possible. So, don’t carry a lot with yourself. The less you carry with yourself, the better. Yes. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well, I definitely agree with you. I’m by choice minimalist. I don’t have many things. Maybe some books and CD’s, but like material things I don’t like to collect them and I don’t like to keep them. But were you young when you decided to come or to leave Venezuela? Is it something related to age or something related to a mindset or something related to a phase or stage in your life?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. A bit of everything. A bit also of opportunity. Some people, especially because of the Covid situation and even before, the economic situation, they don’t have the opportunity to travel. Overseas. And even more in Venezuela. I come from a poor place where it’s really hard. It’s really hard to travel overseas. It’s even hard right now to travel in the country from one city to another. So in that time back when I was in Karakas, even younger, I always- I’m always imagining myself independent. My father used to work 24 years to a company, international company. Every day 8-5 and I see that and I say oh my god, poor man. And I always told him father, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to give my life to a company. 8-6 every day. I want to be on my own. So I always knew that- I always felt that. And then I had this opportunity to just go overseas to just go travel around and again, come into Serbia give me the opportunity to travel to most of the countries in Europe. And yes. You- as you say, it gives you an open mindset what do you want and who you are.

Sanja Milosavljevic: I know. When I was younger, when I was 20 or something, I said there are two ways of growing up. Either to travel or to move from your parents. Either way that’s the situations when you’re going to actually meet yourself. When you’re actually get to know yourself better. So is it you’re kind of a virtual assistant? To some kind of company? Or on some project. Is that occupation- that occupation is also quite popular here in Serbia maybe last 5-6 years, maybe even more but let’s say for me 5-6 years. Is it predominantly women that work as virtual assistants as a part time job or something from the side, or it doesn’t matter, you can be a man or a woman and doing that stuff. Who is more virtual assistant?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, okay. In numbers you are right. More women working in that, but anybody can work in this. I know a lot of guys who are virtual assistants working with any administrative staff or marketing. So what means to be a virtual assistant. So just, right now this present moment is just that you know the basic thing what holds a business. So that is the admin staff, keeping the book, books of your accounting, invoices, marketing, sales, to know a bit of everything that you can do virtually. So that is someone – most of entrepreneurs or business owners, they need people to rely on. So, it’s not when you hear like I don’t want to be an assistant because we have that old picture like assistant is someone who goes for coffee and you know, taking photocopies and so- no, it’s someone who really adds value to the business. And what I like here is that you have a strong opportunity to get the confidence, the trust of those business-owners, entrepreneurs that you work for. So I think that it doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man, you can do it definitely. Just that you have that service passion that you want to help. Not only a person but the business. I think that’s the most important. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I never thought of that like that. I worked as an assistant. Administrative assistant in a company 10 years ago, and I was also making coffees, but I was also doing those playing bookkeeping, arranging meetings and travel arranging and whatever and maybe I kind of liked that job, but I don’t see myself as- I didn’t see myself as an assistant. I wanted to be something else. But it was interesting for me because all the virtual assistants I know from Serbia, they are all women. Either girls, or even married women with babies like a part-time job. So they take 2-3 projects and it just- adds up to their family budget or something like that. So is it hard- you said something interesting previously, is it hard when you start? You’re not going to get great jobs and you’re not going to get a good paid jobs, but is it difficult to just wait for that moment to just start earning. Is the small tasks like small translations or some- 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, good-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Data entry or something like that. How hard is it to overcome that lack of money and investing your time-

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, that is a really good question and it’s something that I say. Here, you will not find a dream job. You will not find that. I say that you will create it. You will create the dream job. How? Learning a few things at a time. So going step by step and yes it’s- this requires a lot of patience. A lot. Because it doesn’t- it’s not magic. It’s not like in the office job where you know, you have a diploma and you go and you do the interview and you can get the dream job, you rely on it. But here, when you are in the freelancing job, you need to apply to different jobs. You need to email. If you really, if you start- if you say okay I want to be virtual assistant. The first thing that you need to do is go and build your profile in 2-3 freelancing platforms and also you can email a 100 people. Just email a 100 people “Hey, this would be my first job as virtual assistant, I can do it even for free, I can- just want to get experience”. So if you are creating your journey, you are creating your career, so that is- it requires time. It can take 3-6 months, that is the time that I give. 6 months to a year. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: To build your portfolio. 

Hecgli Alvarez: To- to- yes. To finally say this is my niche, this is what I’m really good at. And then you can grow from there.

Sanja Milosavljevic: What is your niche? Where do you feel most comfortable? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes I would say I love process, I love operations, HR, yes. I- anything that is mapping, that is connecting the dots, that’s my biggest skill. I feel good.

Sanja Milosavljevic: That’s good, that’s good to know what are your strengths. Then you can focus on finding some jobs. I think it’s- most people say it’s very easy nowadays to find a job online. But I think it’s the same maybe 20 years ago when I first started looking for a job. It was difficult because you didn’t have that much opportunity, but you didn’t have that much competition. Now you have great opportunities but you also have great competition because everyone is online. So, I don’t know. It looks like a dream job for me, when you look from the outside it looks like a dream job, but you have to really work hard to build your portfolio and-

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. Sorry to-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Start to actually earn for a living.

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, it can be a dream job even for- because I was speaking about starting when you are starting. But let’s say you have a career, I saw what you did for the last years and you know what you like to do. You can find your dream job right now in the freelancing. So there are two different ways or let’s say stages. If you are just starting to find your passion. What do I want. Who I am, what do I like to do. And there is another group. I am an excellent content writer or I’m an excellent podcaster and then you will sell yourself only on that and you can find definitely your dream job. But again with patience. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: With patience, yes. Well, I’m a patient person definitely. I can say that for myself. Can you make a parallel, or can you tell us something about Venezuela like what is the- I don’t know state of entrepreneurship there and what is the economical or political situation there. You know, you’ve been here for quite some years now and you see the downsides of our country, but if you can make a parallel between Venezuela and Serbia? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Wow now you go directly to my heart. Yes, Venezuela okay. Do we want to go there?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well maybe just for a sentence or two. Please. Because I rarely have the opportunity to meet somebody from Venezuela. I think that you’re the third person in my whole life that I know that comes from Venezuela. So, I’m always interested to learn how do people live somewhere else rather than Serbia and Europe.  

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, look – as a proud Venezuelan I feel that everything that I am and who I am of course it’s because of that strength and confidence that we in Venezuela we believe that we can do anything, everything. Really. I don’t know if this is American, because we have a lot of American influence, instead of European so you know the American mindset is just go for it. Do it, yes. And going to the parallel Serbia is a bit of the opposite. And I was like wow, you really want to do that? Are you sure? 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I know, I know.

Hecgli Alvarez: Are you sure? You want to go that way? I’m not sure. And then you kind of really. But yes. So that is the first thing that I noticed comparing. We can do anything. I am- I can do anything if I decide right now to do something crazy tomorrow I can do it you know. Yes, yes. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Perfect. I mean I like that attitude. Towards living and towards learning. 

Hecgli Alvarez: Very, I think it’s just that Venezuela you see a lot of things as I told you growing up in a poor place. Seeing the opportunity that you had that other people don’t have so that give you a boost of confidence. So if I could do that why couldn’t I do this next step, you know? So another thing parallel, economics yes. A lot of friends they laughed because when I came to Serbia I said I feel like I am in a paradise. No, really, believe me. And they say why. Okay, Venezuela is a very dangerous place right now. You- it’s very hard to go- to have that freedom feeling when you walk around. So at 6, 5-6 PM you need to go home because it’s- it can be very dangerous. So-

Sanja Milosavljevic: You don’t need lockdown, you just…naturally go home. Oh, that’s bad.

Hecgli Alvarez: That’s true, so, yes, it’s actually- you said it literally. The Covid, there is literally the same. And then when I came here and I can go- I used to live a lot being in Belgrade and I can go with my phone, with my laptop anywhere. You can’t do that in Venezuela. In any place in Venezuela you can’t. Karakas, the big cities…maybe in the touristic place when you go to an island or the south of Venezuela, Amazons, you can do that. But the big cities, a bit tricky. Education is another. I said that education here with Serbia I feel sometimes you guys you know everything. Yes!

Sanja Milosavljevic: How come? Can you explain?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, I’m sorry. In-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Because I think our kids are overwhelmed with information especially now that information can be found on your phone. And they have to learn it by heart just to get good grades. So can you explain?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, that isn’t good. Because in Venezuela it’s hard to get internet for example. So you cannot get access to all of information. Only a few exclusive information is mostly coming from the government. But here is more open even though television- you can consider everything. But I see the education here, not only from schools but from social gatherings, you know a lot of things. And sometimes I go with friends, Serbian friends and say- they tell me some topic and I say how did you know that? I mean, some topics from my own country and they know- I said how did you know that, and they don’t know about things from Serbia. So, it’s funny because when I first came to Serbia I didn’t know a lot of things. Even history- no. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Don’t worry, most of the Serbians don’t know Serbian history, so. Don’t worry.

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, it’s a lot. It’s beautiful but it’s very advanced. It’s wow. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Yes it is. So nice. Can you tell us something about the state of entrepreneurship in Venezuela? Is it actually hard to start your own business and develop and go to some other markets?

Hecgli Alvarez: Good, good that you bring back that question, sorry I didn’t answer before.

Sanja Milosavljevic: No, no, don’t worry I think that topic is quite important for me. 

Hecgli Alvarez: It’s really important because actually I’ve been working with a business also from America and they try to enter to different markets and one of the things is that we’re trying to achieve some projects in let’s say Costa Rica is really top. If we’re speaking about Latin speaking countries – Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador is also getting really good. And Venezuela is unfortunately not on the top. You know. Even- it’s there. We have a very serious economic situation. Inflation.  

Sanja Milosavljevic: Rating is the same in Argentina, they also have a great rate of inflation and they have the black market- the dollar- black market of US dollars. Is it similar in Venezuela or…?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, we have a similar system there. I don’t know how you knew that, but yes. But in terms of entrepreneurship, a lot of Venezuelans- we are migrating everywhere. So it’s very hard right now that I find friends if I go tomorrow to Venezuela, none of my friends are in Venezuela. Because the entrepreneurs are going.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Going somewhere else. 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. It’s- 

Sanja Milosavljevic: So it’s not on the government radar to help and improve the economy by helping and boosting entrepreneurship? 

Hecgli Alvarez: No. No. I- 

Sanja Milosavljevic: But how come, you’re so- you actually said it yourself you’re close to the States and the thing is that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset actually comes from the States, how come you didn’t catch some of that? Or is it just that young Venezuela won’t stay?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, young people want to leave. That is the situation, economical situation, the danger situation, criminal – they just leave. And even though we have great education, universities – public, by the way. Pubic universities in Venezuela, I am from a public university. And you have really good careers there, but it’s hard. It’s hard for you to grow there. I would love to do what I’m doing from Venezuela. Actually I- as a freelancer I can work, but even the internet there is really bad. You need to be in very inclusive places. So yes. Mindset – the mindset is there. People. Mindset. The problem is the environment, economical and the infrastructure that you need in order to do business. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well that’s the most important thing that you have structural health from the government and infrastructural health, it helps you to work. I’m so sad to hear that. Because it’s not similar in Serbia but we also have some period of 10-20 years of transition and moving towards this state that we’re living now. So how did you spend the last year? How was it like? Because you couldn’t go, you couldn’t travel? Okay? You can work from every place you are, but when you’re constrained with not being able to move, how was it for you? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, I was lucky. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I thought that you’re going to say it was too hard or I was sad. You were lucky? Okay.

Hecgli Alvarez: No, I was in a lucky group because I know there are a lot of people who suffer who had problems, many lost their jobs, many downgraded their salaries, you know, but I was one of the luckiest in that group. So let’s say I could travel twice to Turkey in the last year exactly when the airport was open in Serbian and Turkey. I could also move. Actually the decision to move from Belgrade to the south it was exactly during the Covid. So yes, I could – I didn’t find any problem. It was like- it was meant to be. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: So you didn’t have those inner struggles and you didn’t suffer from anxiety or- or is it when you’re a digital freelancer and digital nomad you overcome those things? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Could be, yes. Could be. I was- even if I wanted- to be honest, when we were in the lockdown, I think it was in April-May?

Sanja Milosavljevic: March-April and it ended on 7th of May last year. 

Hecgli Alvarez: It was kind of a relief for me. To be honest.

Sanja Milosavljevic: But you were on the countryside, you were in Soko Banja? 

Hecgli Alvarez: No, at that time I was in Belgrade. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Oof, you felt relief. Why? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, I felt relief- I don’t know, I was- I don’t know what I had some kind of awakening or something. I needed some awakening to stop. Because I do a lot of things, a little bit of HR, business development, operations and I am always in everything. So that moment was like stop – house. I have less work, I say oh god thank you, I needed this to hear myself, to be in my place, my apartment, and then in that moment I realize I like the peace. I like this peace. And it was in April and then I said I will move. And then in May I pack everything and by the end of May I decided to leave the apartment and to move. Where? I don’t know. Just a phone call – hey, do you have a room for me for 15 days. Yes, come – and I’m going. So it was needed. All my personal case I had that whole peace to move away a bit from- I was in a lot of movement. Hussle. So being in Belgrade, I love the social gatherings, I have a lot of friends – Serbian friends, Latin friends, from everywhere. But I had a need. I need to retire a bit. Every retirement that we can save. I am from Karakas which is a huge city. I come from Belgrade, I love Belgrade but suddenly I got that call, yes.

Sanja Milosavljevic: How did you decide to go to Vrnca, Soko Banja is a small town in southeast part of Serbia and it’s basically a spa. And people go there to-

Hecgli Alvarez: Only grandmas and grandpas. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Yes, so, how did you decide to change the busy Belgrade- nevermind it was the lockdown, but how did you decide to change the busy Belgrade with that kind of I don’t know Soko Banja. It’s so boring there. I mean, I’ve been there for seven days, and it’s so boring. 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, I know, I know. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I mean, the nature is beautiful and you can hike, walk, do whatever, you can go to the spas. But to live there? It’s nice to go for 7 days but to live there…plus you’re very young, so?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, that’s very true. I always love the nature being the mountains, being- I struggle a bit. I love Belgrade and I always say the only thing that Belgrade is missing is just a mountain that I can see from the window of my apartment. Just that. So, that. Karakas yes I used to live- Karakas has the Avila which is- I used to go almost every weekend to hike just about 2000m altitude. So that was- and then I suddenly during that lockdown, suddenly something. I don’t know what, but I needed that. And yes, it can be lonely. I wouldn’t say boring, but it depends. Maybe lonely sometimes. But it’s just a matter of keeping yourself busy. I got a lot of things to do. My work and not only work – sometimes I am learning new things or reading new books or hopefully hope to make new friends. Because that is one of the problems, yes. One of the problems to find like-mindset people in Soko Banja. Or even Vrnca that do this thing like you. So that is the only thing missing, just meet people, friends, that you can…

Sanja Milosavljevic: To feel connected?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Well, I think that the feeling of disconnection is a huge problem for most of us. When you don’t have your crew, when you don’t have-

Hecgli Alvarez: I understand. And that’s when someone’s asking me how to define Serbian people I say – friendship. Social. That’s why when happened the Covid they say wow, this for Serbian is going to be a huge problem. Because you guys are everywhere, every day the coffee and let’s go for a coffee, for a drink and that is like I mean, yes, let’s do it. So I truly understand you. But it’s possible to find from time to time those places. Especially those people who love nature-related activities. Mountaineering, cycling…

Sanja Milosavljevic: There are many of them now. We are actually opening up ourselves towards those things like hiking and biking and mountain hiking and all kinds of outdoor sports. So what are your plans for the future? Or do you have any plans? 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, of course. There are many. I definitely stay here for a while more. Serbia is my home. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Oh, that’s so nice to hear. 

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. Is my home. Really. Some people get surprised like how you stay here, why. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I feel equally surprised. I must admit I’m equally surprised.

Hecgli Alvarez:I feel like one of you guys when I walk the street and when I go to Soko Banja I really- I don’t feel anything different. So yes, this is my home, I want to do more- you were asking about being a nomad, a digital nomad. I consider myself yet a digital freelancer. I want to switch a bit more to the nomad. To be more travel and go there. So I want to go more places in Serbia this year and then go to buy a car, go to outside Serbia, that is my plan. And of course doing my own business, working on my own business, not only working for people, but this is something we should- all of us, we should do something our incomes. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: So what are you- what are your plans? I didn’t know that. I thought you only worked as a virtual assistant, so can you tell us? Can you share something about your business?

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes, yes, it’s still in process, we are still cooking for it, building the website and everything. I do a website is called Pana Freelancer. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pana?

Hecgli Alvarez: Freelancer, yes. Pana in Venezuela is like Bre. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ah, okay!

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes. Hej bre – pana. So it’s like hey friend for freelancers. And the point there is just to give the resources, the knowledge, the first steps – what do you want to do, what do you need to do. So just to be a bit of guidance. And then my plan for a year from now is to connect those potential freelancers to the companies. So I want to be some kind of HR outsourcing. So yes. That is my idea. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: That’s good.

Hecgli Alvarez: Passive incomes.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Incomes, yes, everyone is talking about passive incomes. And most people think it’s not to write some e-book or something like that, but no you have to actually work on it, you have to build community, you have to…

Hecgli Alvarez: Yes…

Sanja Milosavljevic: Offer it, sell it, whatever. So what will be your message – we came to the end of our conversation, what will be your message? To the world, to the listeners? It doesn’t have to be some huge- 

Hecgli Alvarez: Everything is possible. I think that’s- yes, everything is possible, whatever we want. Whatever we want to do in this moment we can do it, anywhere. Just make sure you have a phone, a laptop, internet, and then you got everything. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Thank you Heckgli, thank you so much. Thank you for not thinking I’m a strange person when I- when we met in that coffee shop in Soko Banja.

Hecgli Alvarez: No, really – why, how? That was really- 

Sanja Milosavljevic: No because I just approached and said hi, hello, I do a podcast, do you want to be my guest. So thank you for- 

Hecgli Alvarez: And I leave still opened invitation for another meeting, you know. With drinks and anywhere, we can even travel there.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Of course, well I’m going to Vrnca for this weekend, awesome. So, good people of the world you were watching and listening to Mondopreneur podcast. You can always follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. So stay good, stay in good health and see you in a week. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dobri ljudi sveta, slušate i gledate podcast Mondopreneur. Zovem se Sanja Milosavljević i biću vaša voditeljka danas. Upravo smo shvatili da je ovo prva epizoda koju radimo iz studija, ali intervju će biti na engleskom jeziku. Ceo ovaj projekat podržava američka ambasada u Beogradu, u Srbiji i zahvaljujući njima možemo da delimo priče zanimljivih ljudi iz celog sveta. Da vidimo kako se nose sa ovom situacijom izazvanom Covid-19, kako su se njihove firme transformisale, kako su se snašli prošle godine i koji su njihovi budući planovi. Dakle, moja današnja gošća dolazi iz Venecuele, ali ona živi u Srbiji i zove se Egli. Ja ću zaista uživati u ovom razgovoru a nadam se da ćete i vi uživati. Pa, zdravo Egli, kako si?

Hecgli Alvarez: Zdravo, hvala ti, kako si ti?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa, dobro sam, kao što sam spomenula u jednoj ranijoj epizodi, kad god je lepo vreme, dobro sam. Hvala ti što si prihvatila moj poziv da učestvuješ u ovom projektu. Znam da ćeš možda provesti nekoliko dana u Beogradu, i hvala ti što si našli vremena da dođeš ovde i podeliš sa nama svoju priču. Pa, možeš li nam reći nešto o sebi, na primer, šta si po obrazovanju, odakle dolaziš, zašto ste ovde u Srbiji i slične stvari. I kako tvoje formalno obrazovanje korelira sa onim što radiš danas.

Hecgli Alvarez: U redu. Da, da, to je zanimljivo, jer se sva ta četiri pitanja podudaraju pomalo. Ono što sam studirala, gde živim, što sada radim, sve je to slučajnost. Dakle, pre svega, ja sam iz Venecuele iz Karakasa, diplomirala sam na Međunarodnoj trgovini i administraciji, ali se ne bavim ni sa čim što je u vezi sa tim. Dakle, usled živih situacija i tome slično. U Srbiju sam došla 2014. godine, ali sam zapravo prvi put sam posetila Srbiju 2012. godine. Dakle, to je bio prvi put i tada sam došla samo da izvidim. Samo da testiram prilike, jer je u to vreme moj dečko bio iz Srbije i želela sam da probam malo, pre donošenja konačne odluke. Diplomirala sam 2010. godine Radila sam do 2012. godine, a onda sam odlučila da dođem ovde i da putujem i vidim kako je to sve i mnogo mi se dopalo. Prvi put kad sam došla u Srbiju, zaista sam se osećala kao kod kuće.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Stvarno? A šta-

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne znam šta je to što imate. Srpski narod je zaista fin. Mislim da ste mnogo poput venecuelanskog, latinskih naroda. To je neka latino vibracija. Znaš – društvenost, okupljanje, živim tu i tamo, volim to. Zato sam se vratila u 2014. godine.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Lepo. Jer to nije toliko tipično ili nije uobičajeno da ljudi dolaze u Srbiju. Ljudi iz Srbije u osnovi vole da odu iz Srbije i presele se i žive, rade negde drugde, ali lepo je što si se odlučila da dođeš i pokušaš sa tim dečkom, a zatim i odlučiš da ostaneš ovde. Dakle, ima skoro 7 godina, da si u Srbiji. Imaš li problema sa dokumentima, pasošom, ličnom kartom i tim stvarima. Da li moraš da napustiš Srbiju na određeno vreme tokom godine, a zatim se vratiš?

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne, ne, nisam imala tih problema, ali znam ljude koji imaju, koji se bore. Jer verovali ili ne, ponekad postaje komplikovano. U Beogradu. Ali to je vrsta dualnosti, jer je dobro što puno stranaca dolazi ovde, to je dobra stvar. Mnogo Latinoamerikanaca iz Meksika, Perua, Čilea, sa svih strana. Ali istovremeno, kako dolazi više ljudi, kao da imate više ograničenja kada je u pitanju papirologija. U mom slučaju je zaista nije bilo problema, jer nisam u Beogradu. Moja adresa je otprilike 20 kilometara od Beograda. U Novoj Pazovi sam prijavljena. Mislim da sam u to vreme bila jedini stranac. Mislim da mi zato sve ide super lako, zaista, nemam ni jednu žalbu po tom pitanju.

Sanja Milosavljevic: To je lepo čuti. Pa, šta radiš? Rekla si da si diplomirala na Poslovnoj školi? Ali, čime se danas baviš?

Hecgli Alvarez:  Da. Kad sam došla – u redu, moramo se vratiti malo unazad da kažem, bila je 2014. godina, kada sam prvi put došla, bilo zaista teško naći posao. Radila sam u Venecueli dok sam studirala, zujala, bila uvek u pokretu. A onda dođem ovde i posle 6-8 meseci, kao u redu, sačekam malo. Šta ću da radim? Bilo mi je stvarno stresno. Jer vidim jezik, to je bio jedan od glavnih blokatora. Iako govorim srpski, volela sam ga na početku, ali za posao vam treba, mislim …

Sanja Milosavljevic: Poznavanje jezika na nivou C1, ili da budeš blizu izvornog govornika, znam.

Hecgli Alvarez: Dakle, a ja živim 25 km od Beograda, glavne firme su u Beogradu, pa je bilo malo komplikovano. A onda, nakon što sam malo poludela, postala depresivna, plakala sam, bila sam u fazonu, u redu… Dvaput sam se spakovala. Spakujem kofer i kao, idem, ne mogu. Bila sam ovaj – na milimetar da sve bacim i vratim se u svoju zemlju.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa, šta se desilo? Zašto si odlučila da ostaneš?

Hecgli Alvarez: Ok, naravno. Bilo je iznenada, a ja volim da se družim. Došla sam u Beograd. U Beogradu postoje grupe – latino grupe. Ili strane grupe u Beogradu. Tako sam počela da odlazim tamo, da upoznajem ljude i upoznao sam jednu damu iz Njujorka. Ona se zove Ketrin. Ona je poput mog anđela, uvek joj to kažem, kad god imam priliku. Ketrin, ona je moj anđeo. I ona mi je rekla: “Egli, ja radim putem Interneta.” Kažem ja njoj, kako putem Interneta? Kao slobodnjak. I kažem, ja njoj, pričaj mi o tome. I onda mi je ona dala nešto informacija o tome i držala je kurs, nešto kao program obuke. Plaćeni program obuke. U tom trenutku, pre 6 godina, to je bilo 300 evra. A kad dobro razmislite, 300 evra, to je kao neka količina novca kada ne znate o čemu se radi. Šta je to? Jer je to za mene bio kao novi koncept. Kažem ja sebi, dobro, da li bi trebao da platim ovih 300 evra, da li bih … ali onda sam odlučila da to učinim sa prijateljem iz Kolumbije. Otišli smo na obuku i to mi je bila najbolja odluka do sada. Da. Ne kajem se Bilo je- Otkrila sam novi svet, bukvalno.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Po mom mišljenju, kada ulažete u putovanja iz zadovoljstva i kada ulažete u obrazovanje, to nikada nije bačena investicija. To je uvek nešto što vam daje nova gledišta, otvara nove prozore i možda, kao što si rekla, menja život. Pa čime se sada baviš?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, u redu, da. Pre šest godina sam počela da učim, jer treba da naučiš, moraš da znaš kuda ideš da bi sve shvatio. Dakle, nakon manjih poslića, nešto poput malih projekata, sitnica, radila sam prevode, ovo – kako se to zove kada … bilo koju vrstu malog projekta, zadataka koje možete pronaći na platformama poput Fibre i Upwork. Počela sam to da radim. Ali s vremenom razvijate veštine i možete da nađete posao umesto projekata, možete da dobijete honorarni posao, posao sa punim radnim vremenom a sada sam menadžer projekata. Ili mogu – ja sam i operativni menadžer, radim poslove kao što su HR i operacije, takođe i razvoj poslovanja. Možete mnogo toga da radite u sektoru prodaje. Ne znam, zvuči kao da ne možete da prodajete – mislim za neke ljude je to kako ćete prodati ovaj proizvod, znaš, na Internetu, za nekoga ko je u Sjedinjenim Državama, ali to je moguće. Dakle, sve je moguće raditi na Inetrnetu, da.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dakle, Egli možeš li da nam objasniš kako prodaješ nečiji proizvod na Internetu, za kompaniju koja je u Sjedinjenim Državama. Kako ti ili bilo ko drugi, kako vodiš tu kampanju?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, da, sve se sada radi outem Interneta. Dakle, postoji – radila sam u agenciji za digitalni marketing. Takođe sam radila na razvoju poslovanja, tako da moraš – svi su u tome. Svodi se na pozive. Sada možete da koristite Skype, Zoom, sve te komunikacione alate. Takođe postoje strategije digitalnog marketinga, postoji oglašavanje, sponzori, poštu, postoje početne veb-stranice, postoje sve te strategije, tako da možete da prodate šta god želite. Pa čak i brendiranje podkasta ima puno mogućnosti. Ne samo podcast, možeš da napraviš, možeš da napraviš YouTube feed za Instagram koji može podstaći angažovanja, i to je dobra strana digitalnog marketinga, i to mi se sviđa

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dakle, u osnovi si ono što ljudi zovu – odnosno, ne zovu ljudi, to je zvanični izraz – ti ste digitalni nomad. Možeš da radite sa bilo kog mesta na svetu. Da li je teško postati digitalni nomad? Na primer, imam 41 godinu i bilo bi mi izuzetno teško da jednostavno ostavim sve i odem da radim ne znam, iz Venecuele.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, da, može biti nezgodno. Nije za svakoga, pa je to problem broj 1. Znam da voliš da putuješ:. Znam to, ali za neke ljude je to kao „O, moram da napustim svoj grad ili porodicu ili prijatelje“. To zahteva puno samopouzdanja. Da odustanete od svega jer treba da rizikujete, da pustite – ne bih sebe još nazivali digitalnim nomadom. Mogu se nazvati digitalnim slobodnjakom jer, naravno, u budućnosti vidim sebe kako putujem po svetu, znaš… Tajland – Volela bih da odem tamo. Bali, Tajvan. Dakle, to je jedno od mojih – ali pratim dosta ljudi na Instagramu koji zarađuju novac samo putujući. To je posao koji zahteva pružanje usluga 24 sati dnevno. Putuju, sve dobijaju besplatno – hotele, sve, oni, kao što sam rekla, prodaju, postavljaju na Instagram,  zauzvrat dobijaju sve besplatno. Ali ono što ja radim više je digitalni freelancing. Imam svoj posao, imam stalno mesto gde živim, Srbiju. Beograd. Nekada sam živela u Beogradu, sada sam malo na jugu. Otvorena sam. Zaista sam otvorena za isprobavanje novih mesta. I da, poenta ovoga je da ste na stabilnom mestu, a onda možete, tokom vikenda da otputujete u neko obližnje mesto. Evropa je jako lepa. Čak je i Srbija na strateški vrlo dobrom mestu, možete da odete u Grčku, Tursku, Italiju, Francusku, Španiju, tako da – osećam se veoma privilegovano što živim u Srbiji.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Hvala ti, to je lepo čuti.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, vrlo je – možete ići bilo gde. Samo pogledaj, mogu da radim iz voza, aviona, autobusa za tri i po sata, mislim da sam u Budimpešti. Dakle, to su– to su dobre stvari. Vratimo se tvom pitanju. Ono što je potrebno – morate da imate određen način razmišljanja. Da budete otvoreni … da preduzmete akciju. Znaš, možeš to da radiš nedelju dana, mesec dana, ali da budeš otvorena i samo malo. Samo malo, znaš – u životu, što se mene tiče, imam jedan stav, da je kroz žiot bolje ići što je moguće mirnije. Dakle, da ne nosimo mnogo sa sobom. Što manje nosimo prtljaga sa sobom, to bolje. Da.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa, definitivno se slažem sa tobom. Ja sam po izboru minimalista. Nemam mnogo stvari. Možda neke knjige i CD-ove, ali materijalnih stvari ne volim da ih skupljam i ne volim da ih čuvam. Da li si bila mlada kada si odlučila da dođeš ovde ili napustiš Venecuelu? Da li je to nešto vezano za godine ili nešto vezano za način razmišljanja ili nešto vezano za fazu u tvom životu?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da. Po malo svega. Malo je i do prilika. Neki ljudi, posebno zbog situacije sa Covid-19, pa čak i ranije, zbog ekonomske situacije, nisu imali priliku da putuju. U strane zemlje. To posebno važi za Venecuelu. Dolazim iz siromašnog mesta, gde je zaista teško. Zaista je teško putovati u inostranstvo. Trenutno je čak teško putovati i zemljom, iz jednog grada u drugi. U to vreme, dok sam bila u Karakasu, čak i mlađa kad sam bila, uvek- uvek sam sebe zamišljala kao nezavisnu osobu. Moj otac je radio 24 godine u kompaniji, međunarodnoj kompaniji. Svaki dan od 8-17h i to sam gledala i govorila o bože, jadan čovek. I uvek sam mu govorila: Oče, ne želim to da radim. Ne želim da dam život kompaniji. Od 8-18h svakog dana. Želim da budem svoja. Tako da sam to uvek znala – uvek sam to osećala. A onda sam dobila priliku da odem u inostranstvo, da putujem i da dođem u Srbiju. Pružila mi se prilika da putujem u većinu evropskih zemalja. I da, to vam pruža otvoren način razmišljanja o tome šta želite i ko ste.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Znam. Kada sam bila mlađa, kada sam imala 20 godina ili nešto slično, rekla sam da postoje dva načina odrastanja. Ili da putujete ili da se odselite od roditelja. U svakom slučaju, to su situacije kada ćete se zapravo upoznati. Kad zapravo bolje upoznate sebe. Pa jesi li ti vrsta virtuelnog asistenta? U nekoj kompaniji? Ili radiš na nekom projektu? Da li je to zanimanje- to zanimanje je takođe prilično popularno ovde u Srbiji, možda poslednjih 5-6 godina, možda i više, ali recimo za mene je to 5-6 godina. Da li pretežno žene rade kao virtuelne asistentice kao honorarni posao ili nešto sa strane, ili nije važno, to mogu da rade i muškarci i žene? Koga ima više među virtuelnim asistentima?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, da, u redu. Da, što se brojki tiče, tu si u pravu. Više žena radi kao virtuelni asistent, ali svako može to da radi. Znam puno momaka koji su virtuelni asistenti i rade administrativne stvari ili sa odsekom za marketing. Dakle, šta znači biti virtuelni asistent? Upravo, to znači samo da znate osnovne stvar koje su u vezi sa poslovanjem. Dakle, to je administrativno osoblje, koje vodi poslovne knjige, malo poznaje računovodstvo, fakture, marketing, prodaju, morate da znate ponešto o svemu što možete virtuelno da radite. Dakle, to je neko – većini preduzetnika ili vlasnika preduzeća trebaju ljudi na koje se mogu osloniti. Dakle, to nije kad čujete da neko ne želi da bude asistent, jer mi imamo onu staru predstavu, recimo da je asistent neko ko ide po kafu, pravi fotokopije i tako da, to je neko ko zaista daje dodatnu vrednost poslovanju. I ono što mi se ovde sviđa je što imate priliku da steknete samopouzdanje, poverenje vlasnika preduzeća, preduzetnika za koje radite. Tako da mislim da nije važno da li ste žena ili muškarac, to može svako da radi, definitivno. Samo što mmorate da imate onu strast ka pružanju usluge, da želite da pomognete. Ne samo osobi već i celokupnom poslovanju. Mislim da je to najvažnije.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Nikad nisam tako razmišljala o tome na taj način. Radila sam kao asistentica. Administrativni asistent u kompaniji, pre 10 godina, pravila sam i kafe, ali radila sam i stvari kao što je knjigovodstvo, dogovaranje sastanaka i organizovanje putovanja ili bilo šta, i mislim da mi se sviđao taj posao, ali ne vidim sebe tu. Nisam sebe doživljavala kao pomoćnika. Želela sam da budem nešto drugo. Ali bilo mi je zanimljivo da pitam, jer su svi virtuelni asistenti koje poznajem iz Srbije, sve su žene. Ili devojke, ili čak udate žene sa bebama i to im je honorarni posao. Dakle, uzmu 2-3 projekta, i to se samo dodaje na njihov porodični budžet i tome slično. Pa, da li je teško – ranije si rekla nešto zanimljivo, da li je teško u početku? Nećete dobiti sjajne poslove i nećete dobiti dobro plaćene poslove, ali da li je teško samo sačekati taj trenutak, da počnete da zarađujete? Da li su mali zadaci poput malih prevoda ili neki-

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, dobro-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Unos podataka ili nešto tome slično. Koliko je teško prevazići taj nedostatak novca i ulaganje vremena-

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, to je zaista dobro pitanje i to je nešto što volim da kažem. Ovde nećete naći posao iz snova. To nećete naći. Kažem da ćete ga vi stvoriti. Stvorićete posao iz snova. Kako? Učite nekoliko sukcesivno. Idite korak po korak i da, to je – ovo zahteva puno strpljenja. Mnogo. Jer nema – to nije magija. Nije to kao u kancelarijskom poslu gde znate, imate diplomu i idete i radite intervju i možete dobiti posao iz snova, i oslanjate se na njega. Ali ovde, kada radite honorarno, morate da se prijavljujete za različite poslove. Morate da šaljete mejlove. Ako zaista, ako započnete – ako kažete dobro, želim da budem virtuelni asistent. Prva stvar koju treba da uradite je da napravite svoj profil na 2-3 platforme, a možete poslati i imejl na 100 adresa. Samo pošaljete imejl na 100 adresa i kažete „Hej, ovo bi bio moj prvi posao kao virtuelni asistent, mogu to da radim i besplatno, mogu – samo želim da steknem iskustvo“. Dakle, ako stvarate svoje putovanje, stvarate svoju karijeru, to je potrebno – zahteva vreme. Može potrajati 3-6 meseci, to je vreme koje ja dajem. 6 meseci do godinu dana.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dok se ne izgradi portfolio.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da. Da kažete, ovo je konačno moja niša, ovo je nešto u čemu sam stvarno dobra. I odatle možete da rastete.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Gde je tvoja niša? Gde se osećaš najprijatnije?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, rekla bih da volim procese, volim operativni deo posla, HR, da. Sve što je u vezi sa mapiranjem, to povezivanje tačaka, to je moja najbolja veština. Tu se osećam dobro.

Sanja Milosavljevic: To je dobro, dobro je znati koje su naše snage. Tada možemo da se usredsredimo na pronalaženje poslova. Mislim da je – većina ljudi kaže da je danas vrlo lako naći posao na Internetu. Ali mislim da je isto možda i pre 20 godina bilo, kada sam prvi put počela da tražim posao. Bilo je teško jer nije bilo toliko prilika, ali nije bilo ni toliko konkurencije. Sada postoje sjajne mogućnosti, ali i velika konkurencija, jer su svi na Internetu. Dakle, ne znam. Meni to liči na posao iz snova, kad pogledam spolja, to izgleda kao posao iz snova, ali moraš zaista da se potrudiš da izgradiš svoj portfolio i-

Hecgli Alvarez: Da. Izvini-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da zaista počneš da zarađuješ za život.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, to može biti posao iz snova čak, i zato što sam govorila o tome kada počinjemo. Ali recimo da imaš karijeru, videla sam šta si radila poslednjih godina i ti znaš šta voliš da radiš. Posao iz snova možemo pronaći upravo sada u freelance-ingu. Dakle, postoje dva različita načina ili recimo faze. Ako kad počinjete vi pronalazite svoju strast. Šta želim? Ko sam, šta volim da radim? A tu je i druga grupa. Ja sam odličan pisac sadržaja ili sam izvrstan podcaster i tada ćete se prodati samo u tome i sigurno možete da pronađete posao iz snova. Ali opet, potrebno je strpljenje.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Strpljenje, da. Pa, definitivno sam strpljiva osoba. Mogu to da kažem za sebe. Možeš li da napraviš paralelu ili možeš li nam reći nešto o Venecueli, na primer šta je … Ne znam, kakvo je tamo stanje preduzetništva i kakva je tamo ekonomska ili politička situacija? Ovde si već dosta godina i vidiš i negativne strane naše zemlje, ali da li možeš da napraviš paralelu između Venecuele i Srbije?

Hecgli Alvarez: Sada si me dirnula u srce. Da, u redu, Venecuela. Da li zaista želimo da zalazimo u to pitanje?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa možda samo rečenicu ili dve. Molimo te. Retko imam priliku da upoznam nekoga iz Venecuele. Mislim da si treća osoba u mom životu za koju znam da dolazi iz Venecuele. Uvek me zanima kako ljudi žive negde drugde, a ne samo u Srbiji i Evropi.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, da, vidi – kao ponosna Venecuelanka osećam da je sve ono što jesam i ko sam, naravno zbog te snage i samopouzdanja da mi u Venecueli verujemo da možemo sve, sve. Stvarno. Ne znam da li je ovo američki uticaj, jer imamo puno američkog uticaja, a ne evropskog, tako da, znaš da je američki način razmišljanja baziran na tome da samo treba probati. A kada uporedim sa Srbijom, u pitanju je suptornost. Kod vas je fazon – da li stvarno želiš to da uradiš? Jesi li siguran?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da, znam.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da li si siguran? Da li želiš to da radiš? Nisam siguran. A onda nekako, stvarno… Dakle, to je prva stvar koju sam primetila. Možemo sve. Ja sam- mogu sve ako sada odmah odlučim da učinim nešto ludo, sutra to mogu učiniti znaš. Da da.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Odlično. Mislim, ja volim takav stav. Takav stav prema životu i prema učenju.

Hecgli Alvarez: Vrlo, mislim da samo u Venecueli vidite svašta nešto, kao što sam rekla, kada odrastate u siromašnoj državi. Kada uvidite priliku koju ste imali, a koju drugi ljudi nemaju, to da vam daje samopouzdanje. Pa ako sam mogla nešto da uradim, zašto ne bih mogla da uradim i ovaj sledeći korak, znaš? Dakle, još jedna paralela, ekonomija. Mnogo prijatelja mi se smejalo, jer kada sam došla u Srbiju, rekla sam da se osećam kao u raju. Ne, stvarno, veruj mi. I oni su me pitali, zašto. Ok, Venecuela je trenutno vrlo opasno mesto. Vrlo je teško hodati – imati taj osećaj slobode, kada hodate. Dakle, u 18h, 17h morate da idete kući, jer to može biti vrlo opasno. Tako da-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Vama ne treba karantin, vi prirodno odlazite kućama. To je loše.

Hecgli Alvarez: To je istina, pa, da, zapravo je – doslovno je tako kako si rekla. Upravo je tako i sa Covid-19. A onda, kad sam došla ovde i mogla da idem gde želim- nekada sam živela u Beogradu i mogu da krenem sa telefonom, sa laptopom, bilo gde. To ne možete da radite u Venecueli. Bilo gde u Venecueli, to ne možete. Karakas, veliki gradovi … možda na turističkim mestima kada odete na neko ostrvo ili na jug Venecuele, Amazon, to možete. Ali u velikim gradovima je to pomalo zeznuto. Obrazovanje je drugi problem. Obrazovanje u Srbiji – ponekad sam u fazonu, ljudi, vi znate sve. Da!

Sanja Milosavljevic: Kako to? Možeš li da objasniš?

Hecgli Alvarez: Sa, izvini. U-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Mislim da su naša deca preopterećena informacijama, naročito sada kada informacije mogu da pronađu u svojim telefonima. I moraju da uče na pamet, samo da bi dobili ddobru ocenu. Da li možeš da objasniš?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, to nije dobro. U Venecueli je teško dobiti Internet, na primer. Dakle, ne možete dobiti pristup svim informacijama. Samo određen broj informacija koje uglavnom dolazi od vlade. Ali ovde je otvorenije iako televizija – možete imati različite izvore informacija. Ovde vidim da je obrazovanje, ne samo u školama, već i na društvenim okupljanjima, znate mnogo stvari. Ponekad, kada izađem sa prijateljima, srpskim prijateljima i kažem- oni predlože neku temu, a ja budem u fazonu – kako ste to znali? Mislim, znaju za neke stvari iz moje zemlje i znaju – pitam ih kako ste to znali, jer u Venecueli ne znaju za stvari iz Srbije. Dakle, smešno je jer kada sam prvi put došla u Srbiju nisam znala za mnoge stvari. Čak i istorija- ne.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ne brini, većina Srba ne poznaje našu istoriju, tako da, bez brige.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, baš je snažna. Lepa je ali je gusta. Fascinantna.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Jeste. Lepo. Da li možeš da nam kažeš nešto o stanju u preduzetništvu u Venecueli? Da li je teško otvoriti firmu, razviti je i izaći na druga tržišta?

Hecgli Alvarez: Dobro, dobro je da si se vratila na to pitanje, izvini što nisam već odgovorila.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ne brini, ta tema mi je jako važna.

Hecgli Alvarez: Zaista je važna, jer sarađujem sa firmom iz Amerike i oni pokušavaju da uđu na različita tržišta, a jedna od stvari je da pokušavamo da ostvarimo neke projekte, recimo da im je Kostarika zaista interesantna. Ako govorimo o zemljama sa španskog govornog područja – Kostarika, Čile, Argentina, Ekvador stvari zaista idu na bolje. A u Venecueli nažalost nije tako dobro. Znaš. Imamo vrlo ozbiljnu ekonomsku situaciju, inflaciju.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Slično je i u Argentini, oni imaju visoku stopu inflacije i postoji crno tržište US dolara. Da li je slično u Venecueli…?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, tamo je sličan sistem. Ne znam kako to znaš, ali da. Ali što se tiče preduzetništva, puno Venecuelanaca je u imigraciji. Tako da je trenutno veoma teško pronaći prijatelje – da odem sutra u Venecuelu, niko od mojih prijatelja nije u Venecueli. Jer oni koji su preduzetnici odlaze.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Odlaze negde drugde.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da. To je-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dakle, vladi nije u fokusu da pomogne razvoju ekonomije tako što će pomoći rastu preduzetništva?

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne, ne-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ali kako to, pa ti si – zapravo si i sama rekla da ste blizu Sjedinjenih Država, a stvar je u tome što preduzetništvo i preduzetnički način razmišljanja zapravo potiču iz Sjedinjenih Država, kako to da niste ulovili nešto od toga? Ili samo to što mladi iz Venecuela ne žele da ostanu u zemlji?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, mladi ljudi žele da odu. To je situacija, ekonomska situacija, opasna situacija, kriminal – oni jednostavno odlaze. I iako imamo sjajno obrazovanje, univerziteti – državni, inače. Državni univerziteti u Venecueli, ja sam završila državni univerziteta. I tamo zaista možete da razvijate karijeru, ali je teško. Teško vam je tamo da rastete. Volela bih da mogu da radim ovo što radim iz Venecuele. Zapravo ja – kao slobodnjak i mogu da radim, ali čak je i internet tamo zaista loš. Morate biti na vrlo ekskluzivnim mestima. To je to. Način razmišljanja – način razmišljanja je tu. Ljudi. Mindset. Problem je životna sredina, ekonomija i infrastruktura koja vam je potrebna za poslovanje.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa to je najvažnija stvar, da imate strukturnu pomoć od vlade i infrastrukturnu pomoć, jer to vam pomaže da radite. Tako me rastužuje. Jer baš tako u Srbiji, ali imali smo period od 10-20 godina tranzicije i kretanja ka ovoj državi u kojoj sada živimo. Pa, kako si provela poslednjih godinu dana? Kako je bilo? Jer nisi mogli da ideš nigde, nisi mogla da putuješ? Zar ne? Možeš da radite sa bilo kog mesta, ali nisi mogla da se krećeš zbog ograničenja kretanja, kako ti je bilo?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, imala sam sreće.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Mislila sam da ćeš reći da je bilo teško ili da si bila tužna. A imala si sreće. U redu.

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne, imala sam sreće, jer znam da ima puno ljudi koji pate i koji su imali problema, mnogi su ostali bez posla, mnogima su smanjili plate, znaš, a ja sam bila jedan od najsrećnijih. Recimo,  mogla sam da otputujem dva puta u Tursku u poslednjih godinu dana u trenutku kada su otvorili srpski i turski aerodrom. Mogla sam i da se krećem. Zapravo, odluka da se iz Beograda preselim na jug se desila za vreme Covid-19. Pa da, mogla sam – nisam imala problema. Bilo je kao – trebalo je tako da bude.

Sanja Milosavljevic:  Dakle, nisi imala te unutrašnje borbe i nisi bila anksiozna ili – kada si kao digitalni nomad ili digitalni slobodnjak već prevazišla te stvari?

Hecgli Alvarez: Moglo bi biti zbog toga. Čak sam, želela sam čak, da budem iskrena, kada smo bili u izolaciji, mislim da je bio april ili maj?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Mart-april i završilo se 7. Maja prošle godine.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da budem iskrena, za mene je to bilo olakšanje.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Bila si u unutrašnjosti, bila si u Sokobanji?

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne, u tom trenutku sam bila u Beogradu.

Sanja Milosavljevic: O, osetila si olakšanje. Zašto?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, osetila sam olakšanje – ne znam, bila sam- ne znam, desila mi se kao neka vrsta buđenja ili tako nešto. Trebalo mi je buđenje da bih zastala. Radim puno stvari, pomalo HR, razvoj poslovanja, operacije i stalno sam u svemu. Dakle, taj trenutak je bio poput zaustavljanja. Imam manje posla, i kažem sebi – o bože hvala, trebalo mi je ovo da čujem sebe, da budem na svom mestu, u svom stanu, i onda, u tom trenutku, shvatim da mi se sviđa mir. Sviđa mi se ovaj mir. Bilo je april i tada sam rekla da ću se preseliti. A onda  sam u maju spakovala sve i do kraja maja sam odlučila da napustim stan i da se preselim. Gde? Ne znam. Samo jedan telefonski poziv – hej, imaš li sobu za mene na 15 dana. Da, dođi – i otišla sam. Dakle, bilo mi je potrebno. U mom slučaju, bio mi je potreban taj mir, da se malo odmaknem – stalno sam bila pokretu, u gužvi. Kada sam u Beogradu – volim društvena okupljanja, imam puno prijatelja – srpskih prijatelja, latinoameričkih, sa svih strana. Ali imala sam potrebu. Morala sam malo da se povučem. Da se povučem, da mogu i da uštedim. Ja sam iz Karakasa koji je ogroman grad. Živela sam u Beogradau, volim Beograd, ali odjednom sam dobio taj poziv, da.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Kako si se odlučila da odeš u Vrmdžu? Sokobanja je mali grad na jugoistoku Srbije i to je banjsko mesto. Ljudi odlaze tamo-

Hecgli Alvarez: Samo bake i deke.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da. Pa kako si se odlučila da promeniš užurbani Beograd – nema veze što je bio period izolacije, sa mestom kao što je Sokobanja. Tamo je dosadno. Mislim, bila sam tamo nedelju dana, i dosadno je.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, znam.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Mislim, priroda je predivna, možeš da šetaš, pešačiš, šta god, možeš da ideš u banju. Ali da živiš tamo? Lepo je da se ode na 7 dana, još si ti i jako mlada.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, to je tačno. Volim prirodu, planine, i- pomalo se borim. Volim Beograd i uvek kažem da jedino što Beogradu nedostaje je samo planina koju mogu da vidim sa prozora svog stana. Samo to. Tako da… U Karakasu, da, nekada sam tamo živela – Karakas imaju Avilu i išla sam skoro svakog vikenda da prepešačim na oko 2000m nadmorske visine. I to je bilo- i onda sam iznenada za vreme izolacije, odjednom se nešto desilo. Ne znam šta, ali to mi je trebalo. I da, mogu biti usamljena. Ne bih rekla da mi je dosadno, ali i to zavisi. Možda se ponekad osećam usamljeno. Ali stvar je samo u tome da zaposlite sebe. Moram mnogo toga da uradim. Moj posao i ne samo posao – ponekad učim nove stvari ili čitam nove knjige ili se nadam da ću steći nove prijatelje. Jer to je jedan od problema, da. Jedan od problema u pronalaženju ljudi koji razmišljaju na sličan način, u Soko Banji. Ili čak i u Vrmdži. Dakle, to mi jedino nedostaje, samo da upoznajem ljude, prijatelje, da bih mogla…

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da osetiš povezanost?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa, mislim da je osećaj nepovezanosti veliki problem za sve nas. Kada nemaš svoju ekipu, kada nemaš-

Hecgli Alvarez: Razumem. I kada me neko pita kako da definišem srpski narod ja kažem – prijateljstvo. Društveni ste. Zato, kada se dogodio Covid-19, mislila sam da će ovo za srpski biti veliki problem. Jer, vi ste svuda, svaki dan idete na kafu, na piće i to je onako kao, da, hajde da to uradimo. Tako da vas zaista razumem. Ali moguće je povremeno pronaći ta mesta. Naročito oni ljudi koji vole aktivnosti povezane sa prirodom. Planinarenje, biciklizam …

Sanja Milosavljevic: Postoje mnoge takve aktivnosti. Mi se otvaramo prema stvarima kao što su biciklizam, pešačenje ili sportovi na otvorenom. Pa, koji su tvoji planovi za budućnost? I da li imaš ikakve planove?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, naravno. Imam mnogo planova. Ovde ću definitivno ostati još neko vreme. Serbija je moj dom.

Sanja Milosavljevic: O, to je lepo čuti.

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, to je moj dom. Zaista. Mnogi se iznenade i budu u fazonu, kako možeš da budeš ovde, zašto.

Sanja Milosavljevic: I sama sam iznenađena. Moram da priznam da sam iznenađena.

Hecgli Alvarez: Osećam se kao da sam jedna od vas, kad šetam ulicom i kada odem u Soko Banju, zaista- ne osećam se ništa drugačije. Dakle, da, ovo je moj dom, želim da učinim više – pitala si me da li sam nomad, digitalni nomad. Smatram se još uvek digitalnim slobodnjakom. Želim da se malo više prebacim na nomada. Da bih više putovala. Tako da želim da odem na više mesta u Srbiji ove godine, a zatim da kupim automobil, odem van Srbije, to je moj plan. I naravno da radim svoj posao, radim na razvoju svog posla, ne samo da radim za ljude, to je nešto što bi trebalo svi da radimo – svi mi, trebalo bi da radimo i nešto više a ne samo za prihode.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pa koji su tvoji planovi? Nisam znala za to. Mislila sam da radiš samo kao virtuelni asistent, pa da li možeš da nam kažeš nešto više o tome? Da li možeš da podeliš sa nama nešto o tvojoj firmi?

Hecgli Alvarez: Da, još uvek je to u razvoju, i dalje se krčka, gradimo vebsajt. Radim na sajtu koji se zove Pana Freelancer.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Pana?

Hecgli Alvarez: Freelancer, da. Pana u Venecueli ima značenje kao bre, na srpskom.

Sanja Milosavljevic: O, u redu!

Hecgli Alvarez: Da. Hej bre – pana. To je kao nešto – hej, zdravo prijatelju slobodnjaku. Poenta je da pružimo resurse, prve korake – šta žele da rade, šta treba da urade. Da budemo kao neka vrsta smernica. A onda je moj plan za preko sledeću godinu da povežem potencijalne slobodnjake sa kompanijama. Nešto kao angažovanje spoljnih saradnika. To je moja ideja.

Sanja Milosavljevic: To je dobro.

Hecgli Alvarez: Pasivni prihodi.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Prihodi, da, svi govore o pasivnim prihodima. I većina misli da je to pisanje neke e-knjige ili nešto tome slično, ali na tome stvarno moraš da radiš, moraš da izgradiš zajednicu, moraš da…

Hecgli Alvarez: Da…

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ponudiš, prodaš, šta god. Pa koja bi bila tvoja poruka – došle smo do kraja razgovora, šta bi bila tvoja poruka? Svetu, slušaocima. Ne mora da bude nešto epohalno…

Hecgli Alvarez: Sve je moguće – da sve je moguće, šta god poželimo. Šta god želimo da uradimo u ovom trenutku, možemo to, gde god da smo. Samo je važno da imamo telefon, laptop, Internet, i onda imamo sve.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Hvala ti Egli, hvala ti mnogo. Hvala ti što nisi pomislila da sam neki čudak kada sam ti prišla u kafeu, kada smo se srele u Sokobanji.

Hecgli Alvarez: Ne, zaista. Pa zašto? To je bilo stvarno-

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ne, ja sam ti samo prišla u rekla, zdravo, radim podkast i da li želiš da budeš moja gošća. Hvala ti na tome-

Hecgli Alvarez: I ostavljam prostora za neko drugo druženje, znaš. Uz piće i sve ostalo, možemo i da otputujemo negde.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Naravno. Vraćam se u Vrmdžu ovog vikenda. Dobri ljudi sveta, gledali ste i slušali Mondopreneur podkast. Uvek možete da nas pratitie na Facebook-u, LinkedIn-u, Instagramu i možete da se pretplatite na naš YouTube kanal. Budite dobro i dobroga zdravlja i vidimo se za nedelju dana.