I was lying to myself for the past 30 years and I realized that recently. When I challenged my beliefs and the fake stories I created for myself, everything started to change. I was born in Moldova, Kishinev on 08th of July 1987. My parents broke up when I was young and my mother moved to Cyprus. I moved to Cyprus when I was seven years old to live with my mother Tania and my step father, Mike. When I moved to Cyprus I didn’t know Greek and my English was not that great. I tried to fit in with locals and I tried to make friends. People used to make fun of me at school because of my surname and because I was Russian and not Cypriot. My mother was a very strict Russian parent who beat the shit out of me and my step father used to give me things I wanted, so I started to hate her as a young teenager would. I started working at 13 years old at Domino’s Pizza as a kitchen boy to make pocket money. When I was 17 years old my self-esteem was very low and I tried to prove to my mum that I was worth it. I left home and started to live by myself. I was working at different coffee chains starting out as a barista and working up to store manager. When I was 19 years old I got a job in a web development company which I’m very grateful for. I had an online gift shopping mall that failed miserably and got me into debt.
On a sunny Monday in November 2010 I was fired from a major advertising agency and started my own marketing agency, IQD. By following different leaders around the world I got confused and started lying to myself about what success is and who I am. I thought that by making more money and hiring more employees I would get more clients and pay off my debt. I had this mindset because our clients made millions and billions in revenue, and I thought that I wasn’t good enough which led me to be scared of asking them to pay on time, to increase our prices and to tell them the truth of what I really thought. I was scared to write an article or do a video and express my true feelings because I was scared that a client wouldn’t like it and we would lose the account. I made a lot of mistakes in business and lost a lot of people that cared for me. I came to the realization that I had created a fake image of myself because I got so good at branding myself and branding clients that I lost sight of who I was and what matters most. Today, I can confidently say that I’m in the process of becoming authentic and not lying to myself first. It doesn’t matter if somebody makes millions in revenue. I don’t need to reach one million in profits to be worth it and not be scared. The most important thing for me today is living a life that is authentic to me.
Working with different CEO’s and marketing managers made me realize that some business leaders didn’t want to face the truth, they didn’t want to change and always complained about other people. I could see that other business leaders were open to our advice and were true to themselves, and I saw that they had better business and marketing results. This was one of the things that made me realize that all the problems that I have at the agency is because of me, it’s because I have a certain mindset. That’s the reason why I opened up my mind and found solutions to help myself. I read books on self-development, attended conferences and spoke truthfully to people next to me.
Today I realized that I’m passionate about change, about helping other people. I’m passionate about it because living in a fake world is not a good place to be.
Marketing is one bridge to sharing authentic stories, making an impact and at the same time making more money to help other people. I didn’t ‘make it’ and I’m not a guru that knows everything (I thought that I had to know everything in marketing to be successful and be accepted but that’s not true). I’m on a journey to build something that will help people and something that will help myself.
Recently, I spoke to my step father after 13 years. I forgave my mum. I confessed to people that I love about my lies and I’m doing things that I’m scared of every day. I’m ready to go skydiving and do different challenges to push myself beyond my limits. I deeply understand that comfort zone doesn’t benefit me. I’ve shared with our clients my humble opinion about what they should do which led us to lose some clients and win some great clients.
This is me, with my ups and downs, with my weird Russian/Greek/English accent, with a lot of weaknesses and other issues that I’m working on. This is me, running a marketing agency that believes in a better tomorrow, organizing Think Beyond Workshops and organized the first Think Beyond Conference with five amazing speakers from UK & Cyprus. This is me, publishing my first Think Beyond book. This is me, where I know how to make a change and push myself to do things that I’m scared of. This is me, telling the pure truth. This is me, sharing my authentic journey on this blog. This is me, telling you that you are worth it and you are amazing because the world and even some of our close friends can tell us otherwise.
You might like me or you might hate me, but the reality is that I believe in myself and I have started loving myself more. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the journey.
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