I'm Mateo and in 2 years of time:

  • I moved 1,400 km from home without any expectations.
  • I became independent.
  • I stepped down from my university after 2 months.
  • I accepted jobs in a factory and delivered food.
  • I understood that there is more to life…
  • I suffered my first panic attack.
  • I landed my first remote job.
  • I created a brand and founded UIXA.
  • I connected with successful people and I got my first clients.
  • I can now work remotely and sustain myself.

These were all major decisions that were made in a relatively short amount of time. The real driving force behind my journey was my effective hustle towards my goals.

Today, I’ll discuss the aspects of my journey that aren’t typically showcased online.

Moving abroad.

In August 2021 I moved from Slovenia to a town called Leeuwarden in the Netherlands.

Moving reshaped my perspective of the world. I escaped from my family’s bubble and realized that there is a whole world out there. Living in the Netherlands was a challenge at the beginning. But once I got settled I began to call this place home.

Traveling back seemed difficult, expensive or time consuming. Now this has become part of my routine and travelling back home takes a lot less time than I imagined. The difficult part now is departing from my family and sacrificing the time that we have left.

Becoming independent.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you start living on your own, there are so many things to consider. Becoming independent is mastering time management and creating a routine that works for you.

In today’s era it is very easy to get distracted and time management plays a big role in hustling. There are many side tasks you have when you are living on your own, from cooking to washing clothes, going grocery shopping. I learned that time can always be optimized.

The biggest challenge for me was being productive, for that you need extreme focus and becoming independent helped me achieve this.

Now I am my own boss and I can make my own schedule. Creating your own schedule is definitely a benefit, but getting stuck doing worthless work is the dangerous part.

After the first 2 months of trying to fit in with a group of people, I dropped out of a 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from NHL Stenden. I believed that I could achieve more through self-learning in the time it would take to complete the degree. But I wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

I was always a dreamer, I still am, but now I think about big decisions more realistically. Dropping out motivated me and my mind was tricked to follow the path of success. Doing things by myself surprisingly worked, and I started digging into entrepreneurship.

Working a 9-5.

In the Netherlands, getting a job was quite an easy process, although I had limited options since I didn’t know a single word in Dutch. Eventually, I found myself shuffling between 3 jobs, earning a wage higher than my parents, and doing the same things every day.

The flow of money was sufficient for me and with it I could live an extravagant life, travelling and buying brand new phones. But this was not for me. I was curious and wanted to achieve something meaningful.

Learning hard skills.

Doing meaningless work can tire you out. Everyday I would glue myself to the computer screen and think about what I can be great at.

This is how I started in design. I was never good at drawing; I had a short attention span and was always more inclined towards active sports. But now that my mind has calmed down, I can translate my thoughts onto the screen. Design was the first hard skill I learned, and it opened many doors for me.

Living in your 20s is simple, but for me, the 20s are a race that I am running by myself. There is no competitor, no prize, but I am still trying to achieve success.

The synergy between these areas made me believe in the possibility of transitioning between opportunities.

Don't overlook mental health.

Everything will chase you down and there will be hard days. Living in your 20s is simple, but for me 20s is a race, that I am playing by myself. No competitor, no price, but I am still trying to achieve success.

My assumption was, that money is the source of our problems and becoming successful will fix that. However, I’ve come to value health and spending time with my family above all else.

Sometimes it is more beneficial to stop hustling and enjoy life. I am still in the race, but managing my energy and time now, will allow me to still finish the race, but not in the first place or last place.

Becoming remote.

One of my goals was to become completely remote and make enough money to invest in myself and my businesses. My first try was quitting my non-meaningful jobs and getting a job where I would learn a new hard skill and expand the knowledge of my current skills. I targeted local agencies, where I could expand my design or marketing skills and after sending about 20+ emails and messages, I was unsuccessful.

I was mostly rejected, solely because I didn’t have any prior working experience in marketing or in development, nor any education. I saw myself going back to working a 9-5 job. The hardest part of hustling is rejection.

I have learned a lot of things through listening to podcasts and one that I listened at work was the AIDEA podcast. One day on the podcast they were talking about implementing a newsletter, I immediately saw an opportunity and contacted Klemen. I proposed an idea to him and we started talking about recruiting me to manage the newsletter. And this was it, I became remote.

Most people would say this is a dream job, but for me this was just a start to my career.

The essence of effective hustling.

I realized building something is far more difficult and time consuming that I ever imagined. Time is my greatest fear, but what I had to understand is to make small steps towards pre-determined goals. This is why I call it effective hustling. Everyone works hard, but not everyone gets rich by working hard.

I have noticed that I had to take risks instead of just working hard to achieve small steps towards success. My risks were moving to a completely unknown location, meeting and talking with people that I wouldn’t necessary have the courage to do and the list goes on.

Once you start learning, your passion will become clear and the path will open many doors for you to take. You just have to choose wisely and take risks.

Founding UIXA

Last year, on November 12, I launched my first company, UIXA. It started as an agency with no goals, no clients, and no investment. The name, the logo, the website, the paperwork, the accounting, the management, the marketing all done by effectively hustling. My next step was to accompany 2 of colleagues, as I saw my capabilities were not enough to sustain a business or to be credible enough to grow into a large business.

A small team can achieve greatness. Realizing this lead UIXA to first clients.

What I know now.

Most of the people I meet are in the same race. They’re too focused and will likely only begin to understand my viewpoint in the years to come.

I started this article with my accomplishments, I will finish it with my understanding.

  • I hopelessly moved 1.400 km from home. -> Being away from home deepened my appreciation for the importance of family and health.
  • I became independent. -> This is my time, and I’m choosing how to spend it.
  • I stepped down from my university after 2 months. -> I learned how to say no.
  • I accepted jobs in a factory and delivered food. -> I had to start somewhere. 

    I understood that there is more to life…
  • I suffered my first panic attack. -> I learned to overcome the hardest obstacle of my race, myself.
  • I landed my first remote job. -> I have the ability to travel.
  • I created a brand and founded UIXA. -> I am capable of creating value.
  • I connected with successful people and I got my first clients. -> I built meaningful relationships.
  • I can now work remotely and sustain myself. -> I am free…

Thank you for reading,

Mateo <3

Mateo Jakelic