I am by no means a storyteller or a person trying to write an autobiography. I am sharing my story to support a project I am working on which I am planning to launch on a Kickstarter. I believe the project has a potential to be a success taking me one step closer to my goal. I also believe my story can be of help to those who dare to follow their dreams no matter what and be interesting to those who would like to share this journey with me as it will be unfolding in front of their eyes....

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

First business trip to China, part I

There is one thing I want to say - China is awesome.

I arrived to Guangzhou airport late at night. First thing I needed was a cab to get to the hotel. 
I walked to the side to avoid queuing up and saw a cab driver running towards me. I expected to pay not less than USD $60 for the trip but the guy asked for USD $30 only, when I said 'ok' he grabbed my bag and started running. His cab was parked right on a highway, to get there we had to cross 2 roads avoiding fast driving cars and jump a 1.5 meter barrier. 

At Guangzhou airport
When I got to the car I saw 3 other passengers waiting for us, they were going to other hotels on the way. There were no seatbelt buckles for the back seats in the car, I noticed nobody cared so I just relaxed. Once the cab driver started driving he lighted a cigarette filling the car with smoke, a thought came to my mind: “I might like it here”.

After dropping off the first passenger the driver decided to drive through the middle of a one way road in an opposite direction. At that moment I wished the seatbelt buckle was there. The road had 5 lanes and we seemed to have used all of them trying to avoid incoming cars. A few hundred metres down the road he found an exit and we continued on our trip. A few more minor dangerous situations later the driver delivered me to the hotel.

In Guangzhou I stayed in Yingshang Fanghao Hotel, it cost me USD $100 per night. The room was decent. When choosing the hotel I wanted to be as close to Canton Fair as possible, this one was one of the cheapest 3 star hotels in the close proximity to the exhibition. I booked it for a few nights only, I knew I'd make my plans as I go.

There are options to pay USD $25 per night, but prepare for longer trips to and from the exhibition and don’t expect much comfort.

In the morning I had a breakfast and went onto catching a cab to the exhibition centre. Most of the cab drivers won’t turn the meter on if you don’t look Chinese, instead they’d just tell you how much money they want. I couldn’t be bothered bargaining on the first day and paid USD $8 to get there, the trip took about 15 minutes.

First you need to go through a registration to get your buyers badge. The process is pretty simple. You'll need passport sized photos, but you can take them right there for USD $2.3.

The exhibition is impressive in its size and they way it is organised. There are 3 main sections, each section has 4 levels.

Section A
Sections A & B

I went straight to the section I was interested in and spent next 6 hours walking through the aisles. On the first day I went through all the halls I had to visit and spoke to a number of factory representatives. I took brochures from those I was interested in for further assessment.

Upon return to my hotel I set myself a challenge to buy a SIM card. Hotel staff didn't know much english and couldn't point me in the right direction. It took me over an hour to find a small kiosk where I paid USD $16 for China Unicom SIM card. Later I found out it usually cost around USD $3. If you are lucky to see one of the wending machines that sell them, don’t think twice.

SIM card vending machine
My next challenge was to find a store that sells food as there were no cafes in the area and the hotel's restaurant was not really good judging by the breakfast I had.

I don't usually eat fried rice in the morning but apart from rice, fried and boiled eggs I couldn't eat anything else. The meat didn't really taste like meat and had a weird color. All drinks were offered hot. Milk, orange juice, apple juice, all served hot and tasted like they were made from powder, which was probably the case.

I asked guys at the reception where I can buy food and this time I was pointed across the road. When I got there I was happy to see people coming out with bags. The supermarket was huge. The only problem is that everything was written in Chinese.

The only simple section
Salads with unknown ingredients
Live fish
Frogs and turtles of different kinds to your liking.
Looks delicious but I didn't dare to try.
I was glad to find a section where a lady cook was stir frying food for people. Despite my efforts to point at noodles and using gestures explain that I want it done for me she kept saying something I could not figure out. That battle I didn't win.

Not a very friendly lady cook.
I ended up buying a precooked meal with extra duck, some grapes, buns and a warm beer. For the whole thing I paid USD $12.

My dinner set
The next day I went to the exhibition to talk to companies that offer their services in logistics, legal matters, quality control etc. Their booths located in the long corridor that connects main sections.

Booths are on the left
At the exhibition centre you can also buy airplane and train tickets. Those who sell them speak good english and can answer all questions you might have. I purchased a train ticket to my first destination there. Two hour travel on the intercity train cost me USD $12.

The taxi on the way back cost me only USD $2.6 because lady driver turned the meter on, so it is worth a try pointing at the meter asking to turn it on.

In the cab
My third day I dedicated to planning of my further travel. It was a little tricky as I had to visit 4 different cities in 4 days. I needed to plan for both intercity and subway train trips, for two domestic flights and for three hotel bookings in convenient locations.

The good thing is that you can book and pay for it all online. To book hotels I used www.agoda.com, it has all the information and great discounted rates. Domestic flights I booked through chinatour.net and the timetable for trains I checked on english.ctrip.com.

Another important point to note is that the hotel might not have an option for you to make international calls. To change my tickets I had to call to Australia but figured that I can't call from the phone in the room. I had to top up my SIM card to call from the mobile. SIM card top up can be done online through www.HandyCHN.com. Alternatively you can use online calling services if the internet in the hotel is strong enough, mine was quite bad. Keep in mind that Facebook and Google don't work in China, but if you want to use them just download the VPN app.

So my travel shaped up like this: 
From Guangzhou I’d take a two hour intercity train to Shenzhen to visit the first manufacturing plant. Next day I’d catch a domestic flight to Taizhou to visit the second factory the morning after. After the second meeting I'd catch a one hour intercity train to Ningbo to have the third meeting on the same day. Next morning I’d fly off to Shanghai, spend a day there and depart for Sydney in the evening. 

I had return tickets for two weeks after the date of my arrival, but I managed to fit all I needed to do in one week. I paid a few hundred dollars to change tickets and was happy to be able to come back to Sydney sooner . The truth is you can’t really plan anything until you visit an exhibition and speak to factory representatives.

On the forth day I went down to the reception to return the room key. Young hotel workers were not in a rush to attend to me signing other people in. As a result I missed my train and needed to buy a new ticket at the station. The timetable did not promise much help.

Guangzhou Train Station timetable
I hoped purchasing the ticket from the cashier will be easier than talking to a lady cook in the supermarket.

To be continued..

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Systema and people with cerebral palsy

In 2007 I discovered for myself a Russian Martial Art called Systema. I was not even aware back then that russians had a martial art with its distinctive principles that dates back to the 10th century. There is a reason why cossacks were considered one of the best warriors in the world to which there are testaments by many foreign generals.

When communists came to power in 1917 national traditions were suppressed and national fighting styles went "under ground" kept by priests. Such fighting styles were reserved for elite government units like Stalin's highest ranking bodyguards called Stalin's Falcons. Only since 1980's it started to reemerge and is widely popular these days all around the world.

Cossacks, my great-grandfather is on the left on this picture
Systema training works on all three levels of human abilities - the physical, the psychological and the psychic. It has helped me many times in various situations throughout the years and has become an integral part of my life.

The main point of this post though is as follows.
While in Russia I have visited Systema HQ in Moscow and trained there for a few days. Leaving back home I took a stack of DVD's covering different aspects of the art. One of the DVD's focused on the importance of proper breathing and it had a segment where a young man with Cerebral Palsy(CP) comes to trainings to improve his condition. I've made subtitles for the segment and uploaded it to Youtube, you can watch it below.

When I watched it for the first time I was very surprised that Systema has a positive effect even on conditions as serious as Cerebral Palsy. I wondered why it has not yet been further researched and introduced to Cerebral Palsy organisations so more people can get help. At Systema classes people learn to get rid of excess tension in their bodies, become more flexible, gain core strength, improve movement coordination,  improve cardiovascular efficiency, restore blood flow to the muscles, joints, brain and organs, become more resistant to stress improving overall psychological condition, learn to breathe properly etc.

A couple of months ago I decided to make first steps in bringing Systema to those who need it. I discussed a possibility of specially structured trainings to accommodate people with CP with two Systema instructors in Sydney and they kindly agreed. Trainings with people with CP will have to be tailor made for each person to start with and taking little steps will hopefully progress to a more systematic approach. Instructors would also have to asses peoples condition before any training takes place.

The first organisation I contacted was a Cerebral Palsy Alliance, an organisation that has a registry of all people with CP in NSW. I provided supporting material and spoke on the phone with both the head of health and fitness and with a head of sport activities. All I asked for is to deliver the information including it in one of their newsletters. I was rejected twice without any explanation for the refusal. It seemed unfortunate that people that suppose to be looking for new ways of treatment and improvement of peoples condition take it upon themselves to choose for those suffering from Cerebral Palsy. I will be trying again using every channel possible to get through to those who make decisions in this organisation.

Meanwhile, I have put together another letter and sent it through to all organisations I could find that work with people with CP, one of them is NSW Disability Services which is a government organisation, hopefully they will listen. 

Apart from immediate health benefits Systema will have a big impact on peoples social life. I believe many people with CP would want to do some kind of martial art but were simply unable to. Now it is offered to them.

Systema instructors that hold regular classes and are ready to start working with people with CP are:

If those who read this post can somehow help to spread this information or deliver it to those with cerebral palsy it would be greatly appreciated. 

P.S. People with various health conditions can benefit from learning more about Systema. There are plenty of material on Youtube with peoples testaments of how it helped them.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Staying the course

In late April 2015 I dialed our contact in RMS and was advised that the government is determined to make Aerial Freestyle Activities legal but they would need time till December 2015 to issue official guidelines for applicants.

It was clear Edway Extreme operations will have to be laid off for an even longer period so I needed to decide what to do next.

I updated my resume with the skills I gained in the last 6 years and started applying for project management roles. Most of the jobs required a specific set of skills, knowledge and/or qualifications, I knew getting a job offer will not be easy.

At the same time with applying for jobs I decided to try an easier way to make money driving for Uber. It proved to be a much simpler and better way. Driving enough hours one can make a decent leaving meanwhile freeing up the mind for strategical thinking.

By the end of the first week driving for Uber I had a very important realisation, actually 3 of them. One was a realisation that I actually have a product which I could develop, a concept of which I had in my head since the student years. The second one was a new concept website which would help people in more than one way. The third one was a nice and simple business idea but it once again required going through government channels making it a long shot. Once again I had goals to reach.

I contacted my friend who has a passion for engineering and we met for several weeks in a row thinking over the best design for the product. With 2 of my other friends, who are very skilled in back end programming, front end, developing mobile applications, website design and the rest that is required to develop a high end website, we met on different days working on website structure and systems. And with another friend of mine we started making enquiries in regards to the 3rd business idea.

I must say it was all possible thanks to Uber. Never before could I make money and think and do so much in a day. Freedom of choosing your own hours and flexibility while driving allowed me to move towards my goals much faster than it could be done doing any other type of work.

Uber device
I started liaising with engineers from India and planning a trip to China. With the website we reached a point where we agreed on the structure and the systems to be used but decided to lay it off for time being as I simply did not have enough time to dedicate to this project and I was not willing to start implementation with half the effort. Working on 3 projects at a time I still had to drive for Uber 12 to 14 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. I learned my limits fast and tried to channel my energy towards one project at a time.

To keep a live feed of an ongoing development I created a facebook page: facebook.com/thestoryofadreamchaserlive, it will be interesting to come back to it at later stages and hopefully it will help with a kickstarter campaign which I am planning to launch when the prototype of the product is ready.

A few months after starting Uber I also started working on a project that would not have any financial benefit to me but can have a significant impact on people who have health problems. My next post will be dedicated solely to it.

P.S. If anyone decides to try Uber contact me for useful suggestions and for incentives we can both get if you sign up through me.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Fresh start, Sydney

When the decision to come back was made I contacted Sergei Sergienko who I knew back from my student years. Sergei and his friends, Yaros and Stan, established and run a few successful businesses with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Their company “Edway Group” appeared on Australian BRW Fast Starters list in 2010 bringing a fair share of fame to the company and to its founders.

I told Serge that I am coming back and if there is anything I can help with in Edway I would definitely consider joining. I was told it is a possibility so upon my return I was on my way to one of their offices.

Sergei wanted to grow the company starting new ventures. After tossing a few ideas around the decision was made. There is an emerging Aerial Freestyle Watersport where people fly above the water using a variety of devices such as jetpack, flyboard, hoverboard, etc. It was and still is an emerging market so we decided it is the right time to enter. So Edway Extreme was born.

Parramatta office
The government is fierce with regulations for extreme sports and required a thorough risk and safety management systems to be developed. There are also local and city councils, national parks, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) all to be reckoned with. Each state has its own rules which made it even more fun. We researched opportunities to operate in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD) and Western Australia (WA) with WA being the easiest and NSW the hardest to deal with.

Inspecting Georges River, Botany Bay 

Instructors were required to hold a Coxswain Certificate II which is pretty much a skipper licence for small commercial vessels. It took a significant amount of effort to get that one.

The fun part was inspecting possible locations in NSW and in QLD. Even though Sydney and Gold Cost are surrounded by water it was extremely hard to find spots that fit RMS requirements.

Inspecting Gold Coast Broadwater
Dealing with government agencies was the most frustrating part. It took 3 months on average every time we submitted documents for approval. It made no difference if it was a local council or a national AMSA office, all stretched assessment time to the maximum. 

Edway Extreme team

Waiting time gave us enough time to work on a website, promo material and numerous other things required prior starting operations. We also became official exclusive distributors of Jetlev-Flyer (Jetpacks) in Australia.

Official Exclusive Distributor for Jetlev-Flyer in Australia

It took us 6 months to get an approval to operate in WA and a few more months for QLD but high set up cost dictated that we must start in NSW so we patiently waited. The final approval to start operations in NSW was just a few months away, or so we were promised.

While building a platform for Edway Extreme I helped with other Edway businesses. In early stages I took part in Salesaroundme project in development of the system to appeal to customers needs and in creation and revision of the cold call script for sales staff. In Labor Hire I worked on the development of new and more efficient reporting methods and elimination of redundant data entry processes, meanwhile helping head accountant doing weekly payroll. In Edway Training I helped with admin duties on Saturdays. 

Another interesting project I was fully involved with was a cocktail lounge called 'Mixology'. It was the venture we started from the scratch. 

Team Mixology
Serge came up with the idea to introduce Molecular Mixology to the public. Molecular Mixology is an art of making cocktails using science. We used Liquid Nitrogen to turn cocktails into sorbets and ice creams. Many of our cocktails contained alcoholic pearls, some were smoked, some had cotton candy as an ingredient and melted in front of peoples eyes. We experimented with alcoholic noodles and alcoholic deserts. Our cocktails were unique and looked absolutely amazing.  www.mixologylounge.com.au

We started operations in Parramatta but then moved to Newtown to be closer to the city. It was the beginning of winter which was not really the right time to move. Next 6 months showed how much effort it takes to run business in hospitality and how vulnerable it can be in the cold time of the year. 

You'd need to be fully committed and devote all your time running such business. Having it as a side project didn't seem feasible. After careful consideration it was decided not to proceed with the lounge any further.


When the deadline for Edway Extreme regarding the location in Sydney was reached, the government advised they need a few more months. Such activities were illegal on public waters but RMS advised they have nothing against allowing it at certain spots. By that time, even though I was occupied with Mixology and with my other duties at Edway, I needed extra income. Getting a full time job was not an option since Extreme was just a few months away and still a lot needed to be done at Mixology, so I started taking shifts as a labourer in Labour Hire.

Working in construction as a general labourer is not the best job in the world, but it is manageable. You could be sent to do any type of job, from fixing sewer lines to detecting mines in the airforce base field. Sometimes there would be really boring ones where you’d just carry stuff or dig dirt. At times when there were a lot of workers from Edway at one job I took on a role of a supervisor.

People from different parts of the world and of different professions worked alongside me. Engineers, doctors, mechanics, dancers, teachers, physicists etc. even people with their own businesses overseas, all found it easy to make money doing labouring for some period of time. Often I was sent to help skilled professionals where I once again learned a lot every time, but this time on Australian soil.

Hard physical work shows what people are truly made of. Those full of s**t showed themselves straight away when there was pressure to work hard. Those who did what needed to be done without crying had my utmost respect. I met a lot of good people at those jobs and have many good memories.


It was January 2015 when we heard bad news from RMS, we were advised that the minister of transport didn't approve any of the applications because such sport is considered unsafe. We were baffled with the news since twice before we were assured there are no objections and the approval is not too far off. We scheduled a meeting with the decision makers in RMS to discuss their concerns. 

After an hour of discussions of how we can change their mind we were advised that they need more time to decide how to work with companies that want to do this sort of activities in Sydney. This time the date of the next contact was set to the end of April. I was pretty discouraged by the fact that i'd need to spend 2.5 more months at construction and told myself that if at the next meeting nothing changes I'd have to make some decisions.

To be continued..

Friday, 30 October 2015

Back to the roots, part II

Coming back to Russia I was 25 years old.

The plan was to build a factory that would produce a range of smoked seafood products. We registered a company and called it a “Pacific Product”.

A block of land was purchased to build on and the construction process started. Building from the ground up required careful planning and monitoring of all processes. I was learning new things every day. When I had time I helped at construction site.

The fun part was to work in winter. At 8am when it is usually -25 C to - 28 C, I had to unfreeze the engine of the snowmobile, good old Yamaha VK 540, and load up the sleds with equipment. We had to go about 1 km away to cut metal pipes which were later used in construction. Then I’d manoeuvre back and forth  all day bringing pipes back. The only footwear my feet didn’t freeze in were the boots made of dogs wool, I don’t know how they make them, but they are sold in stores and you really appreciate the warmth. 

We experienced a few major delays along the way which extended the construction stage greatly. Half way through construction the fishing factory was no longer in the picture, influential people made sure of that. We’d have to source raw fish from other factories until we figure out a way to have our own. Kamchatka has always been the biggest fishing region of Russia so finding a supplier did not pose a problem.
Construction stage lasted over 1.5 years. When the building was almost completed but legal papers weren't yet ready, I decided to start the process. I smoked 30 kgs of salmon, grabbed a friend who was looking for a job and drove to the area with office buildings. We went door to door offering our product, a few hours later all 30 kgs were gone. It was an encouraging result, from that day on we started the production process.

"Pacific Product" in winter
The product was smoked using a special technology, so the taste was unique. My father learned it from indigenous people of Kamchatka. Once people tried it they were hooked and wanted more.

My friend has become a full time sales person, later bringing his brother in too. A couple of months later we had a good portion of hospitals, schools, government agencies, banks, numerous small business offices etc. all waiting for us to come with bags full of our product on a fortnightly basis. We also had a few spots at markets and a number of small stores. The coverage of existing selling places and scheduled addition of new ones was under strict control.

A special sales technique was developed which started from the knock on the door and a smiling face of our sales person, before people knew it they had samples right in front of them to try, and that’s all we needed. 
At the very start at one of the banks
As it was mentioned earlier Kamchatka is a land of salmon, markets are full of it and many people go fishing. So selling it door to door was like selling bananas in Africa. First reaction was always “are you kidding me?”, after trying samples the majority ended up buying.

Our product got very popular, many people bought it as a present for their friends and family when they travelled to other cities. One of our very wealthy customers was apparently taking it as a present for a Queen of Monaco, or so we were told. We provided an excellent service with a free home delivery. 

A start of the day
By then we have purchased all the necessary vacuum packaging equipment and were experiencing with new lines of product.

When we got all the necessary certification we started pushing our product to supermarkets and small stores. For a while we concentrated on widening our stores distribution base, it didn't take long to understand why distribution companies exist. It takes a lot of time and resources to develop a big distribution chain. We approached a distribution company and increased our production even more. Now our product was on the shelves of big supermarket chains and many different small stores.

We competed with brands that were giants comparing to us, so we had to get the presentation of each line close to perfect and widen the range. We worked on the new improved design of the stickers we used and were getting close to having our own plastic packaging.

        Initial Design                                                New Design                                                            Plastic Packaging

We had 14 lines of product in our second year.

Most of Kamchatka's smoked salmon producers used liquid smoke to reduce the production cost. It enhanced the flavour and added the golden/brownish finish to the surface of the fish so it looked like it was just made. Some didn’t even bother smoking and soaked fish in liquid smoke, those who know the difference can tell by the taste straight away. Liquid smoke is a poison and we never used it.

Our point of difference was that we only used natural wood smoke in production and didn't add preservatives. We produced an Eco product and were taking pride in it.

We were in the process of establishing connections with big distribution companies and supermarket chains in the central part of Russia. Additionally we created our own online distribution channel, something that has never been done before for a product like smoked salmon. Our representative in Saint Petersburg organised an online sales platform with a 1 week delivery time. Once the order was produced it would then be frozen and delivered to customers within a week in a special thermo container. The distance between Kamchatka and the central part of Russia is 9000km. The first customers in Saint-Petersburg were very happy with the product, the second batch order was twice as big, the third one twice bigger than the second.. 

As was mentioned before we did not have a fishing factory anymore and sourced raw product from wherever we could find. By then I knew most of local dealers and companies that sold seafood. When I couldn’t find something, I started dialling numbers and eventually would be directed to the seller.

Kamchatka's Halibut
As time went by it has become more difficult to find what we needed. The price of raw product has also been steadily increasing. We had commitments from people we worked with and hoped for the situation to get better. We had to start to prioritise who to fill orders for first. Online distribution had to be stopped until the situation improved. At one point we had to buy salmon from Vladivostok and get it shipped back to Kamchatka, the salmon that was originally caught in Kamchatka.

What started to happen is businesses from the central part of Russia started to buy raw salmon straight from the ships in the see and ship it straight to Vladivostok where it would find its way to the customer. A good portion of salmon never reached Kamchatka’s shore anymore, freezers became half empty.

Having no raw salmon in Kamchatka freely available for sale was an unbelievable scenario, everyone was adjusting the best way they could. We had an agreement with one factory that it will supply us with what we need if we manage to push through for another 6 months or so, so we did. It was painfully difficult to maintain operations at levels below what we could potentially do.

By the end of 6 months the situation only got worse, we had to make some decisions. Our main supplier stepped in and assured that next summer, which was almost 9 months away, he’d provide us with enough raw product. In return we would have to redirect our distribution channels through him. He also assured that till then we’d have enough product to sustain operations at the minimum level.

I knew I would not be able to support myself and have the factory running in those conditions, but we had to give the business a chance. I decided that it is time for me to turn back to Sydney. By then everyone in supply, production and sales knew their roles and didn't require me to be present. The person in charge would just need to check daily reports. 

In 9 months the supplier could not fulfil his promise and the processes had to be stopped.

It was the middle of 2014, Moscow bought a big portion of Kamchatka’s raw salmon factories making the price skyrocket. A year later they started sending their representatives to the rivers buying salmon and caviar even from those who were fishing illegally.

The fact is these days, Kamchatka’s salmon and red caviar cost less to buy in Moscow than in the region it was produced in.

Our disadvantage was that we heavily depended on the market price and the availability of the raw product. If we had our own supply we'd pay 5 times less for the raw product and would be able to adjust. 

We managed to make it work our way and created a name for ourselves as one of the best smoked salmon producers in the region. Unfortunately we could not cope with tense market conditions at that time.

I was back in Sydney and ready for a new chapter.

To Be Continued..

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Back to the roots, part I

The factory was located in a remote region. The provision and workers were taken there either by a helicopter or by sea. The factory provided jobs for over 100 people, mostly unskilled labor. At the age of 14 I spent my summer working at another such factory so I knew the processes involved.

The most valuable currency in Kamchatka - red caviar
Factory operated 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, for over 3 months every year. Every shift was 12 hours of physical labour. It was not an easy job and not everyone could handle it, a few people were sent home, some of them young men. Conditions were rough, but in a good season one could make enough for the whole year.

I learned a few valuable lessons in that period, mostly about applying psychology managing a diverse workforce in challenging conditions.

In a helicopter on my way back
Upon my return from the factory my father laid out a few different scenarios of what could be done should I choose to stay. I was impressed with the scale of operations and opportunities that could be opened to me so I told my dad that I will stay with one condition only, once the new business is set up I would come back to Australia.

I knew it would probably take a few years and was ready for it. It took just over 4..

To be continued..

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Life in Australia, part II

After finishing uni with a Business and Commerce degree my next goal was to achieve certain results in a corporate world.

My friend helped me to get a job in an online home loans company. The annual salary was only $30,000 but I didn't mind, I kept a weekend shift at Sunglass Hut to compensate. My luck was that the world financial crisis struck shortly after I started and 2.5 months later I was already looking for the next place to work.

After a couple of months of searching I was invited for an interview at GE Money for a position of an underwriter for car loans. The catch was that the office was located over an hour drive from where I lived. Even though I wanted to work a bit closer to home I could not waste the opportunity. I strongly believe that EVERY OPPORTUNITY AWARDED BY DESTINY HAS TO BE TRIED OUT so I'd never have to ask myself a question 'WHAT IF?'. And I wasn't wrong taking it. I started working for a reputable company with a salary increase to $45,000. But the crisis affected GE as well. Seven months after I started, the company decided to centralise operations in Melbourne. I was offered to keep the job if I was willing to relocate to Melbourne. I loved Sydney way too much, so I declined.
My third job was with a Macquarie Bank in a Corporate Actions team. This time the salary point was at $60,000. By then I understood another important thing: CHANGE PROMOTES GROWTH. In 12 months I doubled my income and got experience working in 3 different fields. 
I stayed with Macquarie for the next year until they too started downsizing and started letting people go.
At Macquarie Bank
So 2 years and 3 corporate jobs later I had a pretty clear idea of what I want to do. I knew I could continue to grow in a corporate world, but something was lacking in my life, and that was the love of what I do.

I needed to do something that I would not regret spending 3/4 of my life on, something that would make me want to get up in the morning striving to reach my goals. I decided marketing would be a more creative and interesting field to work in, I knew that given an opportunity to work with organising marketing events I would be able to prove myself and progress to a managerial position.

In a few weeks of searching for an entry point into the industry I thought of another short-term solution. It was a month of May and that’s when a 3 months fishing period in Kamchatka starts. My family owned a fishing factory so I thought I could go there for a few months overlooking operations of the factory. My father was happy to hear I am coming over. I would see my family and make some good money along the way. In 3 months I would come back and continue to push further.. or so I thought..

To be continued..