My name is Irina Milova and over the last few years I have started, grown and sold a business in Russia. I moved to England in 2007 and started my new business in London in 2008.
I went through a few big challenges on my way from being an employee to becoming a business owner.
I learnt quite a few lessons and some of them the hard way, but I grew my personality and skills and I continue growing both professionally and personally, and that’s my idea of life.
Why are people so unhappy? “Why do you get up in the morning and go to work?” 95% of people will answer: “I don’t know!” Just a few years ago I was in a similar situation; I didn’t know why I went to do the job that I didn’t like any more.
I would say to make a shift in my career was the most difficult challenge in my life. I was working as a lecturer in a university in Russia and after about eight years of teaching I started feeling very unhappy because I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to leave the government sector and start my own business. But I had no idea how to make this transition, how to make this happen, and I was 33 years of age at the time.
The fear of losing the security of a government job, the security of regular income, guaranteed pension, predictable life style etc. prevented me from making a decision for quite some time: on my conscious level I was paralysed with doubts and did not take any steps or actions for more than two years...
I remember how I dragged myself to work, how miserable and depressed I felt about not knowing how to change my circumstances! I finally came to the point when my desire to make this shift was so strong and I wanted it so much, that within two weeks after that I managed to get a job in a travel agent and I left the university and I never looked back!
FROM AN EMPLOYEE TO A BUSINESS OWNER
I have a friend. She is 8 years older than me and I saw her progressing from working as an accountant in a small firm to becoming a finance deputy director at a large plant within a couple of years.
After she had become a deputy director we actually lost the connection and I did not hear from her for some time, because not only she moved into a large house in a different part of the city, but she also changed her peer group. She moved forward taking her life to a different level, and I was still doing pretty much the same things that I used to do, so no wonder that I wasn’t part of her circle any more.
She had actually been a good role model for me, because she achieved what I wanted to achieve - she finally became financially free and stopped working. She was investing her money into other businesses.
I desperately wanted to be in her friends’ circle again, but I felt very uncomfortable to call her. It was not until I quit my job at the university and was working as a travel consultant I found out her new phone number and contacted her.
I always wanted to be as successful as she was, so could you imagine my delight when she expressed her interest in getting into a joint venture with me after our meeting.
She was prepared to invest 50% to start up a business – a travel agent with me as the co-owner and managing director.
On the one hand I was really flattered. On the other hand I was full of fear – fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of handling a huge responsibility. In fact I was so frightened that I was attracting all sorts of negative comments from my acquaintances and parents about running a business with a friend, so I refused her business proposal…
It took me two months before I felt more or less comfortable with the idea of me dealing with all sorts of new responsibilities and we started working on a business plan to get ready to launch the business.
She was a true believer in me, my brains, my potential, my overall life experience – and her trust and confidence helped me make the first steps in the business environment. That was another great challenge and the insight I got from it was this: once you try and work for yourself, you will not exchange this freedom for any job in the world.
There was yet another insight: it took me about two years to change a job, but significantly less to make the second life changing decision, which took me only about two months.
MOVING FROM RUSSIA TO ENGLAND
I had been running the travel agent for one year and a half before we moved to the UK in 2007 where I had to start all over again. My decision to move to London was based on my desire to give an opportunity for my son to get his higher education in England.
It was a huge lesson to learn in many respects. I discovered that having no work experience in the UK decreased my chances to get a highly paid job immensely. Even my PhD helped very little. Nevertheless I managed to get my first job in a travel agent within 10 days!
RUNNING MY BUSINESS IN THE UK
Now, how did I come to the idea of running my own business in the UK?
After I had been working for a company in the City for 10 months, I found myself thinking more and more often if giving the extensive chunk of my life to somebody for a certain level of reward was worth it.
It was extremely hard to cope with the idea that I exchanged my time and skills for money to someone who knows how to organise a business.
I gradually started feeling the burden of 9 to 6 shifts, and was thinking of what might be a good way of getting out of it. By that time I read 4 books by Robert Kiyosaki and learnt about the cash flow quadrant, the difference between passive income and earned income. I also started attending seminars on building a property portfolio and multiple streams of income, and that eventually brought me to Internet Marketing in 2009.
I now run both an offline and online business teaching business owners how to double their income doing webinars and building a profitable business both creating and selling information products and services.
DO YOU LIVE YOUR PASSION?
It is my passion to make a positive difference to people’s lives by helping them achieve their personal and financial goals. I really love sharing and teaching others the marketing strategies that help me generating substantial income online and take my life and my business as well as the life and business of my clients to a new level.