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Looking back in the past. A brief history of my transformation.

When I left the criminal investigation department, I tried to find myself. At first, I just went to clubs, drank alcohol, and hoped that life would somehow guide me. A year passed, then two, and at some point, I realized that even those people who drank with me began to turn away from me. It turned out that some of them only befriended me while I had opportunities and resources in the criminal investigation department. And so I was left completely alone.

I experienced a harsh crisis of realizing my values, and at some point, I even wanted to end my life. But then I asked myself, “Ruslan, why are you living? Why continue to suffer? How will you build your life?” I thought about what brought me to this point. I found the only meaning, as it seemed to me, to live on.

I remember buying my first cell phone, a Sony Ericsson, with my first paycheck from the criminal investigation department. At the time, I found it interesting to think about how the world of the future would be structured and how technology would help people achieve their goals. That’s how I found the only meaning to live on: to observe how the world would change in terms of technology, how people would live in the future. And now I live in a place where these technologies are being created. I think that crisis was the impetus for me to end up where I am now.

Finding the meaning to move forward, the best thing I could do was occasionally work as a taxi driver. Over time, I realized that I needed to find something more serious and started working at the housing maintenance and utilities department, where I grew to become a master in roofing work. I supervised people who did roof and wall repairs. At that time, I came to work and wanted to cry from what I was doing. I remembered how much more interesting the scale of tasks was in the criminal investigation department. And now, my scale of tasks was to fix a leaky roof or paint pictures on a fence. And I really wanted to cry from these tasks. But I had no other ideas about what I could do differently.

Before, I used to read self-improvement books, but at that moment, nothing interested me. When I thought, “Why was I born?” the answer came to me: I am here to learn how to work with people. Not with those who know how to set and achieve goals, but with those who need direction. This is much more difficult to do than with people who are motivated by good money and already have experience setting ambitious tasks. I told myself, “Okay, so you will learn how to work with these people, gather them into teams, motivate them, and make sure that tasks and goals are accomplished.” I realized that if I learn to work with these people, it will be easier for me to work with people of different motivations and continue moving forward.

From a master, I later grew to become the chief engineer. The teams I worked with always achieved the best results in the area. I would come up with reasons for myself to achieve a certain result and do the best I could. I thought that I couldn’t just come to work and pretend to be working. It’s unclear how long people would tolerate that. And if I came and tried, I might earn more money and gain interesting experience that could help me in the future. And if I came to do nothing, I wouldn’t learn anything.
That’s when I started reading more books by Stephen Covey, Bodo Schäfer, and other well-known authors. I began downloading everything I could from RuTracker. That’s when my development path began, because those books inspired me and gave me motivation. Step by step, I started to better understand what I could do.

At one point, I realized that I had read most of the self-education books, and one day I decided to go to Moscow to see Bodo Schäfer speak. I didn’t have any money, so I snuck into the hall. I remember how Schäfer inspired me. He said that you not only have to read, but also attend various trainings. But there weren’t any trainings back then.

Later, I found a training on Forex. They taught how to make money on the stock market. I paid for this course, passed all the exams, and even tried to play for some time, but then realized that it wasn’t for me. However, I understood that the financial market was a promising field and I wanted to dive deeper into it. So I decided to enroll in university.

In 2010, I enrolled in university for a second degree in economics on an evening form of education. Every evening after work, I traveled to the other end of the city to study at the university for three hours. I met new guys. They found out that I worked in criminal investigation, and invited me to work in the security department of a bank. As a result, I worked at VTB24 from 2008 to 2012-2013.

It was very helpful for me to continue studying, reading books, and attending trainings. Perhaps the most profitable investments I ever made were investments in myself, in education, because it gave me a new perspective.

I continued to look for ways for further development and searched for events that I could attend. I didn’t find anything that suited me, so I decided to organize such an event myself in Ufa.

I didn’t do it for the money. When I organized the event, I set myself the goal of just trying and was ready to spend my five-month income on it. It was a very risky undertaking, but I decided to move forward.

Back in 2010, I realized what mission I would like to follow – to make as many people aware as possible. I wanted people to start reading books, attending trainings, becoming more aware and successful. And this became the mission of our company. At first, we transmitted it through small events in Ufa, then throughout the country. We did what others couldn’t do. When we organized events in Tyumen and Omsk, everyone shook their heads and said that it wouldn’t work for us. But it worked for us because we put our heart and soul into it.

What would I advise my past self?

I would advise myself to improve my English skills, because now I often struggle to express myself properly. I love to talk, but unfortunately, my English is not yet good enough for long, full conversations.

But in another sense… I believe that everything happens for a reason. We are in this universe like in a simulation, the purpose of which is to make us stronger, to take us to the next level, to give us enlightenment. And this enlightenment can only be achieved by going through certain lessons.

I remind myself of this every day: all the good and bad, black and white, is given to me to see some information and accept it. It has to be written in black letters on a white sheet, because if it is written in white letters on a white sheet, or black on black, I won’t be able to understand this information.

The only way the Universe can teach us a lesson is by giving us black and white. Each of us has four paths: you can go from bad to bad, from good to good, from bad to good, from good to bad. Everyone chooses their own trajectory.

The experience I have is my own. I have to understand why it was given to me. Nothing is given for no reason. Each of my past lessons had some significant meaning in the moment. When I wanted to commit suicide, everything seemed to be a tragedy and the end of the world to me. But in the end, it brought me to this present moment.
For example, thanks to all the difficulties I faced this year, I was able to attend Vipassana and Ayahuasca retreats, and I’m grateful for the new experiences. I became more productive, slept less, and so on. I saw people with different beliefs and perspectives, and looked at all my problems.

During Ayahuasca, I realized that I’m alive. For a long time, I lived in the illusion of other people’s expectations. I thought that they expected something from me, and I tried to fit into those expectations. I didn’t want to look stupid, was afraid to say something, or, on the contrary, tried to show off or impress others. But in reality, it wasn’t like that. I just had to be myself and live outside of other people’s expectations.
Therefore, if the world gives you negative feedback that you perceive negatively, if something doesn’t work out, maybe you’re doing something wrong. In this case, you can either be upset or make a conclusion and start doing things differently.

That’s why I try to approach any situation that I perceive negatively philosophically: “What should this situation teach me?”.

You have just read an excerpt from the podcast “From the criminal world to Silicon Valley.” The full podcast in Russian can be listened to on the following platforms:


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