Ajla has the quintessential rags to riches story, going from unemployment out of college to 2x business owner and investor.
Ajla’s story starts back when she was only 6 years old and her family was living in their home country: Albania. They won a visa lottery to go to the United States, so they moved over and had to do odd jobs for quite some time to keep their heads above the water. In Ajla’s words, her mom “absolutely killed it” by taking initiative, acting as head of the household, and going back to medical school to give the family a more stable income.
Fast-forward a couple years and we find Ajla in middle school, with her entrepreneurial spirit already showing. She would babysit people’s children as much as she could, resell things on ebay, and would even sell her mom’s homemade lunches at school.
When college time came, Ajla went to Florida Atlantic University to study marketing, which has ended up being a core skill for her today. During school, she “accidentally” started her first business, as so many great entrepreneurs do. Health had always been a huge thing in Ajla’s life, so she was horrified when she started to do research into the ingredients of the skincare products she had been using and found how misleading the marketing was. Ajla immediately decided to start making her own natural products from simple ingredients, mixed right from her college dorm room.
During her senior year, Ajla knew that she wanted to be able to work for herself and plan her own hours, but she had been working with a marketing firm while studying and got a full-time offer from them. Her offer was for a relatively high-up position, with her working right under the firm’s head, the compensation was only $28k per year. That’s massively low for someone with a college degree and in such a high position, but their argument was that their competitor was only paying $26k a year, so she was actually getting a great deal. Ajla couldn’t stand for that and decided that she could do better than $26k a year on her own, so after school she went straight into full-time on her business - Eros Essentials.
Ajla moved straight out to Miami and rented out an expensive apartment for what she called “no real reason” and spent the next year and a half grinding out the business. What came next was a year and half long do-or-die struggle, and anyone who’s been there knows that you just can’t put something like that into words. After having essentially zero money for that year and a half while Ajla got her business off the ground, she finally started to get some real income. She understood that it’s unwise to just spend everything you make, so she turned back to google, where she found an amazing mentor who taught her everything she needed to know about stocks and investing.
After learning about investing her money, it was crazy to Ajla that most people don’t know/understand how it works, so she started her finance TikTok page - Ajla Talks. Her first video absolutely blew up, but it wasn’t all fun for Ajla’s early days. People tend to get bold when they’re talking through screens, so she had to deal with the usual “your advice is fake” and “you look like you were dropped on your head as a baby.” Even when she was dealing with that, or when she was getting 5 views a video, Ajla says she never really felt discouraged or burnt out, since content creation had become such a passion for her.
With Ajla’s growth on TikTok came brand deals, which are especially lucrative for her since she’s in the finance niche. Financial companies tend to have unreasonable amounts of capital they can spend to acquire a customer, since they have such a high lifetime value for their customers. Personal finance is also an impactful part of people’s day to day life, so you’re only going to take advice from people you really trust. That trust makes deals more valuable, but it also means Ajla feels the need to have a strong moral compass, since partnering with a predatory brand has the potential to ruin a follower’s life.
In addition to TikTok brand deals and the skincare business, Ajla also runs a discord server. She spun it up quite early as an easy way to share what she was investing in and answer common questions, but the server’s popularity has led Ajla into hiring help to scale it. You can find great trading information on there and I’d recommend taking a peek, but remember that everything is for educational purposes, not financial advice.
Even though Ajla has all these things going on, she’s still pressing forward to new opportunities. One large one she wants to explore is YouTube, potentially moving into more longform content. Another is real estate, as she has been working with a group that helps to invest in it in the past. If you want to join Ajla on this journey and level up your finance game on the way, you can find her on TikTok @ajla_talks!