Describe your path up to what you’re doing now.
I was born and raised in Ukraine. I was the only child in my family, so all my parents’ attention and care were channeled towards me. They wanted me to be an all-around talent, therefore, I attended a few different sports clubs since I was 5.
With time. I quit most of them. And decided to stick to the only one — swimming. Ultimately, I’ve been swimming for 15 years. I even won a few national tournaments as a junior. I think sports played a crucial role in my life. I am thankful for all those years of exhausting workouts for letting me cultivate such traits as discipline, patience, and persistence.
Until a certain age, my parents were the biggest role models for me. They both are bankers. It’s no surprise. I also wanted to pursue a career in economics or finance. I did stick to that idea and did my bachelor’s in International Economics and Management and recently became a Master of Science in economics. However, with age, the views and preferences have changed dramatically. I realized I don’t want to follow my parents’ path.
Instead, I found out that there are many more exciting things to do in life than simply deal with paperwork from 9 to 5 for 40 years straight.
There were two factors that led me to where I am now.
The first one is living abroad for two years. I did my Master’s in Germany. And I should say it was an incredible experience. Everything has changed when I moved abroad. Everything around me instantly became different. From the culture in general to the society’s life values. Those two years significantly adjusted the trajectory of my life.
The second reason was my habit of reading. I read “the smart” books on business and personal development that eventually shaped my worldview and values that couldn’t lead me to anywhere but where I am now. I would underscore “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. It made the most profound impact on me. I am firmly convinced that these two things significantly changed my major aspirations.
So when I failed to get the job 37 times. I decided to quit looking for a job and create mine.
Have you had any mentors or influential people in your life?
No, I haven’t. But I would love to. I didn’t know almost anything about mentoring before I started following some popular bloggers who cover self-improvement topics. Most of them do emphasize the effectiveness and importance of mentoring and call it one of the strongest driving forces of your personal growth. It’s hard to deny that it has become a big thing recently.
Therefore, from time to time I also think about the opportunity to find someone who would help me experience a breakthrough.
Have you taken any big risks to move forward?
Big risks? Not really. When I look back and analyze everything I’ve been through, all those decisions don’t seem too risky. However, others think differently when I tell them what I do.
I should admit, though. When it comes to doing something for the very first time, especially in business, I’m a vivid risk-taker.
I don’t always do things the way they are supposed to be done. I love new ideas and love applying them, even if they seem strange and weird. I believe that risk is the only source of growth and progress. If no one had ever been a risk-taker, mankind would still have lived in the Stone Age. Every once in awhile we all need to venture.
Otherwise, we can end up stagnating one day. Needless to say that risk-taking is not something we can find within our comfort zone. Indeed, it is sometimes far beyond it. However, this is exactly where all the opportunities for growth are.
Are your family and friends supportive of what you do?
Yes, they are. Especially lately. However, only one year ago they weren’t. Not always did they fully understand what I was doing and what my goals were. However, with time, as I became more confident and clear about my goals and vision, in general, my family and friends became more confident about what I do as well. Ultimately, they became more supportive too.
I made a few bold decisions that were not in line with my family’s expectations for my future. So it was naïve to count on their instant support and approval. Instead, I had to prove that my choice was right. Moreover, I had to prove it by building the portfolio of worthwhile results and wins.
When you do something out of the box, people always seem to be skeptical and really concerned… So it took some time for me to convince everyone that I do the things that are worth my time and effort — the things that are indeed worth doing. Frankly speaking, it was difficult. Nevertheless, the results paid off.
Are you creatively satisfied?
No. Not yet. Probably, I’ll never be. I always strive to be better and enhance my skills, knowledge, and the quality of work I do. I know that there is always room for improvement. Never let myself settle for less. I know I can do better.
There are definitely some achievements. I’m totally satisfied with it and proud of it. However, it is a tiny fraction of the things I’ve done. Most of the time, I stay in constant discovery mode and look for ways to improve life in a broad sense.
When it comes to work, there are plenty of gurus and trendsetters in my field whose accomplishments inspire me to work harder. Therefore I’d say I’m still far from being creatively satisfied. Nonetheless, it seems to be a nice thing to pursue…it makes you keep perfecting your skills and evolving as a professional.
That said, is there anything in the next 5 to 10 years that you’re interested in doing or exploring?
Well, I think the main priority for me for the next 5 years is growing the business. In its turn, this requires constant acquirement of various new skills. Hence, I believe the main interest is improving my skill set in the business-related spheres. Regarding writing, the first thing that comes to my mind is the expansion of the range of the topics I cover in my articles. I’d like to start writing more on business issues. I already have a vision. I now need to carve out some time to commit to its fulfillment.
Besides, I would be happy to spend some time working while traveling. The digital nomad lifestyle has always been appealing to me. I hope I will stay flexible enough and my type of occupation will allow me to work from anywhere in the world, so the only thing I’ll need for work is instant access to the internet.
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
I have a dream of becoming the best-selling author. My goal is to write a book full of mind-blowing things — the book people would refer their friends to and quote it all the time. I have already read lots of business books and they provoked some interesting thoughts in my mind. So I believe I have something to say too. Hopefully, with time, when I have more valuable experience in running my own business, I’ll be able to present a bunch of great ideas people will enjoy.
I’m on the stage of collecting and digesting different views and opinions, though. For that reason, I’m constantly looking for provocative and inspiring books and articles to extract some new ideas from. There are already a few nice concepts worth considering in my mind. Therefore, I’ll continue developing them.
I think it’s important to be helpful. First of all, to be helpful while sharing your knowledge with others. Why not do this with the help of books and articles? Moreover, the modern world makes it simple to do this. I think it is a nice thing to invest your time in. Besides, it is a good way to make your legacy look nice.
Max is a writer. His writing has been featured on BBC, CNBC, Inc, Business Insider, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Muse, Medical Daily, and Apple News. To connect with him. Find him on his blog. Where he spent most of his time.