“Written by Mitja Mirtič – CEO of Goolets”

The year 2020 was brutal in many ways for the tourism sector. Lots of agencies closed their businesses and suffered unimaginable losses, and the year 2021 looks as unpredictable as ever.
However, the year 2020 forced us to take some time to set our priorities straight and determine what matters aren’t just in our business, but in our lives as well.

I think the best way to “close out” the year 2020 is with a nice list of things we are grateful for:

There is a quote that sums this up:

“Stress and anxiety end, where gratitude begins”

1- Health Gratitude:

I think the year 2020 showed us what are the most important things in the World. It is not money. They say a healthy person has 1000 wishes. A sick person has only one wish. And if I am grateful for one thing, it is for the health of me, my family, and my co-workers at Goolets. Until we have our health, I do believe we are capable to achieve EVERYTHING!
When it comes to me personally, this Pandemic did limit social events, travel, and gave us extra time to eat better, work out and do something for ourselves.
I am also thus very grateful I lost 15 kilograms and got myself in much better shape than I was at the start of 2020.

2- Family Gratitude:

When you can not go out of the house for a couple of months, it is a great test of what your relationship with the family is like. In hard times, when it comes to a relationship with kids and your spouse, there are only two directions:
a) the family gets connected even stronger
b) they fall apart
I am very grateful I fall in the first category. We spent lots of time together with the kids, talked a lot, laughed a lot, had some decent arguments, but all in all, a great experience. Covid did give us a lot of “family time” which we would never have in a normal year, and I am very grateful for that.

3- Focus Gratitude:

While our business was booming at the start of the year (pre-covid) I have to say we were a bit “all over the place”. In this year, our vision, mission, and long term goals got a new dimension and I firmly believe, that in 3 years, we will be very happy COVID came as we will be doing much more business and much better business, then what we would do if 2020 would be a normal year. We made several huge decisions about WHERE WE WANT TO GO and WHERE WE WANT TO BE in the next five years.

While we did great business in GULET CHARTER business, making more than 300 charters per year, on gulets only, we have decided we are moving from a small “gulet only” lake to a Luxury Crewed Yachting sector Ocean. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but one of the best to make, and in just around 6 months after that decision was made, we already learned a ton, made first bookings for luxury yachts in the Caribbean, sold first Yachts in Croatia, Italy, and Greece, made lots of new partnerships and cant wait for the year 2021 to start.

We are also more determined than ever, to PUT ALL THE ENERGY WE HAVE into the best customer service support an agency can offer to clients.

And we also wish to do our best to make lives for our Gulet/Yacht partners as easy as possible when sending them groups, so they can concentrate 100% on making the client happy.

So yes, our main focus to sum it up is:
a) Move into the Luxury Yachting sector
b) Concentrate on Customer Support to the max

4- Goolets Team Gratitude:

Unfortunately, our team got a bit smaller in 2020 and we had to let some amazing people go, but the core of the team stayed on board.

All the challenges in sales, marketing, customer support, commercial business, ground services, finance, and administration brought the best out of our people in 2020 and I think we all grew more in a couple of months than we would in 5 years of “normal business”.

A good sailor is made in rough times, not in calm weather. And I think we navigated this storm perfectly.

I am thus grateful, we have a team of people that can do the work when times get rough and I am sure this will enable us to be incredible when the storm passes.

5- Not Being Greedy Gratitude:

Goolets company started to do business in 2005 and since then, we did well. It is a family business, built on good values, and of the things we did in the last 15 years was:
– Not going crazy in-“money depth” and aggressive investments (means we have no credits in banks)
– Not going crazy with spending money

Maybe our growth was a bit smaller due to the reasons above and maybe we would have more “superficial respect” from our partners if we were driving around with Bentleys instead of “normal cars” 🙂

But due to the reasons stated above, we know we can survive the COVID crisis if it would last for 3 more years. We are careful. We needed to do some savings and we are trying to be smart here as well.

But it is much easier to go sail through this storm if you know you can normally pay your salaries and you do not owe anything to banks.

6- New Logo – New Mindset:

We made a new LOGO in 2020, that we are super proud and grateful for. It communicates everything we want and here is the list of everything that reminds me of daily:

Compas: Focus, determination
Anchor: Stability, safety, power
The Helm: Direction, staying on “the path”

7- New webpage:

In the minds of the largest storm, we decided we needed to get aggressive, not passive. So we made the largest investment of our lives and started to build a new Goolets.net web page. the goal is to publish the new page in January and the expectations are high.
We are grateful we made this decision and cant wait to show what we did to the world.

8- Lots of new projects:

The year 2020 is a year, we will remember starting lots of new projects. We are now building our own Central Agency Fleet of luxury gulets. We are going strong in the luxury mini cruisers market. We are building (marketing-wise) on already very good business we did on “unique Croatian luxury sailing yachts business”. We are flirting with the yacht brokerage business again. We are also making some good partnerships when it comes to charter management projects and investment opportunities for our clients. We are starting to strongly promote new destinations such as the Caribbean, Indonesia, the Pacific, and the Mediterranean in general, while we are well aware we also have to do a much better job in our most important markets, Croatia, Turkey, and Greece.

We have A LOT going on and we do believe it will be very fun when Covid situations settle down.

Goolets new projects

9- Leadership:

I am also grateful, that I and my wife did not fail as leaders. We did not go into panic mode and we are both doing our very best, to make sure we get out of this situation as winners. We also improved as leaders and as managers more this year, then we would in “normal” times in 10 years. We now understand better what type of people (team) we wish to have around us and we will be “fanatical” in making sure we do not forget this – ever.

At the end of this crazy year, we have a lot of things to be grateful for and I am very much looking forward to the year 2021.

At the end of the year 2019, we celebrated our best season ever. We booked the castle in Bled and invited our best partners from Croatia to celebrate with us.

This seems to me like it as 10 years ago.

I hope we can organize a similar event at the end of 2021, without masks and social distance in a celebration of a huge win over this pesky virus and with understanding, we are all better humans due to what we all went through.

Stay healthy, and together with my wife, I wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all the good people in the World.

Keep fighting! Stay healthy! Be better with your spouse, kids, employees, co-workers, and at the end – with yourself.

And maybe you might wanna create your list of what you are grateful for. I promise you, that you will feel much better when you do so.

Mitja Mirtič