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WHO’S WHO: INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCERS & LEADERS
Coming to this country and being on my own, I quickly realized the power of networking. In business, it’s about whom you know and how you put yourself out there.
There’s no better feeling than working with a strong, dedicated group of people, one where everyone has each other’s back.
How long have you been here, and if given the opportunity what would you have done differently?
It’s been more than two decades since a surreal set of circumstances brought me to the United States after surviving the Bosnian War. One minute, I’m dodging sniper fire from Bosnian Serbs while securing food and water for my family in Sarajevo; the next, I’m attending a small college in Iowa. Everything changed for me here in the U.S. I moved to New York and slowly began making a name for myself; and, in 2006, I settled in South Florida and worked tirelessly to build a career in luxury real estate. It’s hardly a traditional business journey. But I’m proud of it; I wouldn’t change a thing.
What is the greatest challenge when it comes to beginning a business in a new country?
The main challenge I faced was not having my family here.
In the beginning, I had no support system; I was all on my own emotionally and financially. I had to make a living somehow—while still processing those four years of daily trauma in war-torn Sarajevo. To this day, I still have moments of clarity, little connections between my past and present. Those formative years not only have shaped the woman I’ve become, but they continue to give me insights that, I believe, distinguish my approach to real estate.
What advice would you give someone today thinking of embarking on a similar business journey?
Coming to this country and being on my own, I quickly realized the power of networking. In business, it’s about whom you know— and how you put yourself out there. At the same time, I’m all about teamwork. There’s no better feeling than working with a strong, dedicated group of people, one where everyone has each other’s back. I also believe in investing in yourself. Be confident in what you bring to the table, but always seek out new ways to improve your industry knowledge, client understanding, and overall approach to real estate.