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Business

Business babies

Our business projects are like our babies, our sweet kids. They demand attention and time. And like any passionate mother, I am the one who gives a lot of love and my personal self to my business-kids. I love to see them grow, gain strength, call attention of others and become trendy. I am truly proud.

I am not yet really ready to announce who all of them are. As an old saying goes, Happiness likes quietness.

However, one of them I am ready to share about.

In 2019 we are launching our new CRM. Not just any CRM. An unbelievably smart e-individual who will become our office assistant. Custom-made from scratch, all developed by myself and our excellent partner IT company. When I started thinking about what features I would ideally want our new office system to have, and when I started writing them down, at first I couldn’t believe it could be accomplished. But after many researches, countless sleepless nights and brainstorms, we got it all on paper! Yay! And right now it has almost been born. Still a baby in a womb, but one that is kicking hard and showing power. Love it already so much! 2 years of intensive work. The new CRM will substentially simplify all customer request handling, document processing, tour management..and oh, so much more. Interested in learning more? Come and work for us. Hiring more travel professionals. Passionate and loyal.

Business

Emotional support that gives you strength.

A lot of People ask me how I manage to go away from my family for such extended periods of time. For example during this trip I am away for 11 weeks.

It is tough. It is very hard on myself and my family, too, but I think I am Lucky to be blessed with an extremely suportive husband who not only allowed me to implement my business dreams, but keeps supporting me during all these years on all my Trips.

To me, key element to my success are our conversations. Whenever possible, we spend hours talking on WhatsApp, sharing our ups and downs, emotions, experiences and concerns. I am that Lucky woman who has an extremely suportive husband who listens, analyses, gives advice and simply cares.

We enjoy talking over the events of the Day to understand our feelings better and seek room for improvement.

I strongly believe that the ability to share what is on your mind, your feelings and problems is the key to success, and this is what makes a marriage not just two people living together and having kids, but this is what allows you to develop as a whole new entity that is in many ways stronger and more efficient than an individual.

A lot of my female friends expressed their concerns about me being away for so long and trusting my husband to stay loyal to me. I am sure it is their own personal experience or the feeling of insecurity or distrust, that causes them such thoughts.

When I go away, I never even bother about such things. I fully trust because I am being loyal myself and I know for sure that he is, too. People who love and appreciate and honor others will never step beyond the limits. And it is not that we are setting those limits. It is simply what responsible adults do. They don’t cheat. They don’t keep secrets. They talk and they share. And this is What makes my days go by fast.

Because of the time difference We talk two times a day, usually when I wake up and it is his late afternoon, and when I am off to bed, and it is his morning.

Hearing the voice of the one who is so special gives you strength and motivation to win and succeed!

Talk to the ones you love. Tell them you love them, too. It is unbelievably powerful.

Business

Каникулы в Техасе!

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В Техасе надо отдыхать по-техасски 👌💪🤩🤩🤩 Один из старейших танцевальных залов в малюсеньком городке Granger недалеко от Austin, где почти никто не живёт. Но люди приезжают сюда со всей округи в пятницу, субботу и воскресенье, чтобы отдохнуть, послушать музыку и потанцевать от души! 💃🕺💃🕺💃🕺 Ну, и как тут без меня? 😉😍 На фото мои самые необычные кавалеры Wayne & Santa Claus (дедушка работает Сантой с 2001 года, к рождеству от отращивает длинную бороду и уж тогда не отличить! 👌🥰) И ещё на фото я и мои замечательные друзья, которые были на наших экскурсиях в СПб много лет назад!

A post shared by Elena Ulko (@elena_ulko) on

Personal

And one more about never stopping

Я отношу себя к людям, которые никогда не останавливаются на достигнутом. Я неугомонная, и буду бежать вперёд с криками Ура 😂 Я буду всех доставать, но создавать совместными усилиями нечто такое, чего ещё ни у кого не было! Я люблю инновации, технологии, развитие и движение вперёд. У меня было два пути – быть просто мамой и женой, или быть женой и мамой и заниматься бизнесом, ставить невероятные цели и осуществлять их. Да, при этом я чего-то себя лишаю… Но сколько всего при этом получаю, познаю, осуществляю, и сколькими интересными жизненными опытами я смогу поделиться с детьми в будущем! Я не могу сидеть на месте.. Мне надо двигаться вперёд и что-то придумывать… И тут на ум приходит восхитительная цитата.. из Джона Стейнбека:

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself….A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip;a trip takes us.😍🤩

Just Thoughts

Never stop. Do something!

One of my favourite quotes from a recently read book by Mark Manson is really very simple. If you are lost, don’t know what to do, where to go, what to say….just do something! Anything that comes to your mind and then it will surely get easier.

Whenever I feel helpless or lost – I act. Whenever I feel sad – I listen to music. When I am lonely – I read. When I miss the ones I love –  I call them.

Do something. Don’t think twice!

Business

Opening up our Moscow branch

It’s 2019 and we are looking for travel professionals to join our ULKO team in Moscow.

It’s time to make another great step and open up an office in Moscow. We have been offering tours in Moscow for a long time. Having a coordinator that could take care of it all had been pretty much enough for the needs of our private tours. However, we grow and develop and now it is perfect timing to add more excellent professionals to our team!

If you are  a travel professional, that lives in Moscow and loves incoming tourism, anywhere from 25 to 45 y.o. and looking  for a position with a reputable company, then don’t look elsewhere. Get in touch with us and we will set up a meeting.

Must be fluent in English, both oral and written. Any other language is a nice benefit.

Собор Василия Блаженного и утреннее солнце St. Basil's Cathedral and the morning sun
St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow and the morning autumn sun
Just Thoughts

Big Boss Blues

How often do we feel helpless? Do we WANT to feel helpless? Why?

There are moments in life when it seems that you are making everything right (or at least is seems so), performing on top level and getting other people’s compliments, attracting attention, and your success is being envied, yet…something’s amiss.

I’m extremely goal-oriented, a perfectionist, a commander, somebody that can easily motivate people and bring them to success. I love to speak up to defend what I care about. I fight for the ones I love like a tigress. I protect the ones I care about, family or no family. Yet sometimes, I just want to feel weak. I want to give up. I want to be cared about and feel protected, too.

Don’t get me wrong. Being strong is great. I love the feeling . But big girls cry, too. When others don’t see.

And I think at times we all WANT to cry and feel helpless. The moment when you feel that there’s nothing you can do, and you fully depend on someone else, this very moment you realize you don’t like it. You don’t like being weak. You don’t like depending on anyone. You don’t like just contemplating. You want to make your own decisions and…become strong again. You need action.

It’s a funny feeling.

Obviously we can’t make the world perfect. We try and when it doesn’t always go our way we step back and hide. Only to gain more strength and start fighting again:-)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I love this saying.

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Business

On hiring people

It’s been a month or so that we have been searching for the right team member to join us. I had never thought it would prove to be such a challenge.

Now I know I have been truly lucky to bring together those people who are with me now. It was easy. It was quick. And somehow we knew right away it was the right match for us. My team is exceptional and I am proud of it. So I thought getting a new member to join us wouldn’t be a problem. However, life put it differently.

I have been brought up to be honest, to speak what’s on my mind and to do what I mean. Somehow I still expect others to be the same. But obviously everyone cannot be the same, otherwise all of us would have had the same success? Anyways, I am still learning…better to say, I am learning to get disappointed in people.

I was taught to see the best in people. To trust them. To treat everyone the way I want to be treated. To give everyone a chance. And these days I feel like a child whose illusions are being ruined by cruel reality.

People are not the same. Some are stupid. Some cheat. Some don’t keep their words.

We are getting dozens of applications daily. I was excited at first. But then it dawned at me.

Most don’t even read the job description and and apply without having any qualifications at all.

Others read, but when they come for an interview they realise they hadn’t understood what they had read.

Some send a support letter along with their CV and sound excited and interested (as if they had read AND understood the offer), yet when we invite them immediately they don’t even bother to respond amd simply disappear.

A lot of people do overestimate their qualifications. Their ‘fluent’ language makes my brains boil when I listen to them, and reading what they had written proves to be a real challenge per se.

And finally, some people seem suitable, pass all the tests. And we are ready to make them a job offer. And then, they just disappear. Don’t even bother to decline or give a call or anything. Just disappear.

I was brought up to look at myself first, then blame others. So immediately the first thing that comes to my mind is What’s wrong with us? Are we putting people away? Are we so scary? Are we asking too much? And then, after having discussed it all with my team over and over again, I see that I am blessed to have such dedicated, honest and beautiful people working with me. Those who are not such are being led away from us by the greater powers.

Will keep searching…

Personal

Getting started

Начинать всегда сложно. Я долго шла к этому, и в один прекрасный момент стало понятно, что мне необходимо самовыражаться не только дома и в бизнесе, но и делать нечто, что позволит мне более точно формулировать свои мысли, делиться ими с другими, и, возможно, это поможет мне найти ответы на многие вопросы, которые постоянно возникают в моей голове.

В силу своих особенностей буду писать и на русском, и на английском. Иногда, почему-то, автоматически переключаешься на другой язык, что совсем иначе позволяет взглянуть на ситуацию.