Our CEO Martin Pecko: In 25 years in business, I’ve met so many successful people. This is what they have in common!

Our CEO Martin Pecko: In 25 years in business, I’ve met so many successful people. This is what they have in common!

19.08.2022 4 minutes

He built a business that motivated a whole generation of athletes to perform better. Martin Pecko has been doing business in Slovakia and abroad for 25 years. He decided to share what he learnt by doing business himself and what other successful businesspeople and the best athletes have taught him. “I have been in business for 25 years and I have met so many inspiring people that had some things in common. Which ones? If you ask someone else who’s doing business, perhaps, you’ll get the same answer. For me, these are the 9 most important abilities that I continue to develop. Thanks to them I am who I am today, and the brand wouldn’t be the same either.

1. Have a strong will

This is a paradox. Business isn’t for those who are used to success, it’s for those that don’t give up after any inconvenience. Failing and challenges are part of the process. The ability to never give up is essential for success. The person who overcomes failure and follows their dreams always wins.

2. Pick your priorities

As yourself this: “Am I willing to give up on short-term pleasures for something bigger?” When I created NEBBIA, I was working day and night. Nothing has changed after 25 years. I work 70 hours a week. If you want something to work, you must give up things that waste your time. If your goal is truly important for you, you must dedicate to it all your free time.

3. Have an open mind

Everything changes. Are you ready to accept that your strategy won’t work forever? Changes may be big or small. Often they appear as small innovations that are hard to notice. However, your business gains noticeable advantage on the market. New software or like in my case, changes in management. Be open to change. If I didn’t learn modern principles of management, I would not have attracted smart people that pull NEBBIA forward.

4. Be disciplined

Business is like sports. If you are not disciplined, you don’t have a plan. Without a plan, you don’t have time to train, and you start losing. I created rituals that kickstart my day and help me stay organised. Plan and be rigorous in keeping your schedule. Many people talk but don’t do.

5. Be patient

If you expect immediate profit out of your investments, you are doomed to fail. Statistically speaking, it takes at least five years for a project to be truly successful. In NEBBIA, it took us years before we created a name for ourselves in the fitness community. We invested money and time. We attended many competitions, expositions, spoke to people at gyms. We did everything we could so that NEBBIA established itself in the world of fitness. This is priceless. Invest in your brand, wait patiently for results.

6. Surround yourself with the right people

A good team will get you to places you haven’t even dreamed of at the beginning of your business journey.NEBBIA has been on the market for several years when I realised that I reached my limits. If I wanted to get my brand further, I needed professional businesspeople with good level of English. I am always trying to attract the best of the best in their field. Surround yourself with young talent or experienced players. They’ll help you expand your business, inspire you to new ways of thinking, and expand your horizons.

7. Become a natural authority

People will follow you if they see the passion for your project in you. I have kept my fire going for 25 years of leadership. I open up to my employees and talk about my goals and dreams. As a leader you should motivate not scare.

8. Be a visionary

I don’t like to reference the most famous icons in business. If you wake at 5 am, it doesn’t mean you’ll achieve success. Whether we talk about Bill Gates or Elon Musk, they have one thing in common: they never asked people what they wanted. If Henry Ford did, people would say they wanted faster horses. Follow new trends, progress in developed economies, and guess what people will need few years into the future. When we founded NEBBIA, only a small group of men and even fewer women were doing bodybuilding and fitness. And now? I would say that going to the gym has become a social phenomenon.

9. Don’t compare yourself. Get inspired instead.

I saved the best for last. Take care of yourself, take care of your business, your employees, your plan, and your product. It’s good to learn from more successful but comparing yourself with giants won’t help you. Believe in yourself Focus on smaller targets and celebrate every success, no matter how small. If I told myself 25 years ago that my goals is to sell in more than 50 countries of the world, I would probably get discouraged and I would assume that I would never make it. I mean brands like Nike or Under Armour. One day I would like to compare myself to them, but today is not that day. Today they only serve as an inspiration. Be inspiring as well.


In 1997, thanks to their passion Martin Pecko and his wife Stanka founded a brand that became synonymous to fitness. Brand’s portfolio contains highly functional sports pieces for men and women, underwear, swimwear, and eco-friendly collections made from recycled plastic materials and organic cotton. NEBBIA is the very first Slovak brand that appeared on platforms like About You or Zalando. One of our biggest is the exclusive 7-year partnership with fitness&bodybuilding competition Mr. Olympia. We also sponsored the best of the best in the fitness world.