My start in life was inauspicious.
I was nine years old when I became an orphan.
But, before I became an orphan, I lived in a small, cold, and empty apartment in Russia with my older sister.
Living without a father and with an alcoholic mother forced me to make difficult decisions at an early age in order to survive.
I stole food.
I slept on the street.
For me, developing an entrepreneurial mindset was not an option, but rather a necessity.
In 2005, I walked into a new family, in a new country, to start a new life.
At that time I knew that adoption was a step closer to a better life, but I didn’t know the things I would have to give up in order to have that better life.
Children, who are adopted, have no option, but to change. They have no option, but to give up pieces of themselves, such as birth name, family, friends, native language, culture, memories.
With the love and support of my family, I was fortunate to overcome these changes. In fact, I was fortunate to experience two spectrums of life: from poverty to wealth.
I entered Kent State with a passion to study Russian, as a way to keep in touch with my birth family in Russia. Though soon into my college career, I also gravitated toward entrepreneurship, with the realization that I was already an entrepreneur.
On a broader scale, I realized that I consider my life to be a venture, one that required me to learn from my own mistakes and contribute to a greater cause. A venture that has helped me to discover my purpose in life.
Today, I'm on a mission to help others who have overcome unique life circumstances live a life they've always dreamed of, despite their hardships and misfortunes.
If my mission speaks to you, please join me in helping individuals around the world Stand Up & Speak Up.
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“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS