“I feel so solidary with all living things that it doesn’t matter to me where the separate begins or ends”, Albert Einstein. The hero of our interview seems to agree with the statement of the great scientist. Andrii Burenok, the founder of TripMyDream service for travelers, the head of Viasat Ukraine, a video blogger, tells us not only about his successful experience of a businessman, but also how to make life more colorful and happy!
Andrii you run Viasat, TripMyDream, you have wife and two daughters, personal YouTube blog, you travel a lot and do sports. Where all this energy comes from?
It’s simple: all energy is inside me! At some point, I realized that your very existence is the source of your energy. And in order to do something, nothing more is needed. Once I gave up cigarettes and I have not smoked for about 11 years. I haven’t taken alcohol for six years. I used to be a vegetarian, now I’m a vegan. I try to live as healthy life as possible. All that pleases me brings pleasure and gives energy., I realized for myself that you have to do what inspires you and there is nothing, kind of – go and search!
This is especially important for young entrepreneurs or young people who are building their career. They need to find a source of their inspiration. Many go to work, for example, as accountants, and then they argue that they counted wages all their lives, they impaired their eyesight, got hemorrhoids, but they have never been happy. If you do what you don’t like, you live the stranger’s life.
As for multitasking ... It is difficult to combine many tasks when you are in chaos. You rush from task to task. Not having finished with one, you take on another and at this time you are thinking how to cope with the third one. To avoid this, I use the “box system”. For example, I divide and distribute all tasks into imaginary boxes called TripMyDream, Viasat, YouTube Blog, etc. When I start working on Viasat, I take an imaginary box with Viasat and work only on its tasks. Then I take TripMyDream box, do it, fold it, take the next one and so on. This is called “magic of focus”. Now, I am focused on the interview. During the interview, I do not do business, I do not think about what videos I will shoot. Now I picked up box called Public Relations. If I switch to other things, I will lose energy. Why? Because switching between tasks takes a lot of energy - at least 20-25%. You should focus on one issue, solve it and then move on. I call it parallel businessman.
Does it work with your family to?
No. Family is family. I think about my family all the time. You cannot put a family into the box. Your family is your world.
What inspires you most of all – the nature or urban landscape?
Nature inspires me the most. But not the Kyiv’s one. I love Kiev, but it’s difficult to breathe here. If possible, I get out of the city for fresh air. I like to walk in the woods.
One day I realized that everything around me, people, nature, the weather is me; it is materialized in my consciousness. If I do not like something about others, it is my problem not others and if I want to solve it, I should first cope with myself. Only by changing my attitude, I can change something there. For that reason, wherever I move, I understand that I am everywhere.
You are self-demanding person and what about others?
Erich Maria Remarque once said: “Everything that you see in me is not mine, it is yours. Mine is what I see in you.” We live in evaluative judgments - we estimate someone’s appearance, how someone speaks, what the weather is today, how cold or hot it is outside. Thereby we create frames we drive ourselves in and try to drive others, forgetting about the right to be ourselves. It's like music - there are high and low notes. They are neither good nor bad. All notes should sound in due time. And people likewise. If all people were very “high” or very “short”, what then a piece of music would be?
People see what they want to see, they make stars out of people, heroes, then they make enemies out of them. Every man is a big ocean. But it happens that someone comes with his glass, scoops up some water and says: “I understood. I’m the glass.” Using a glass, people want to describe your limitless ocean. They think at the glass level.
I do not like estimating people. When you do not like something in a person, you concentrate on that, thereby strengthening it in him. As a result, it begins to manifest itself in you and throughout the world. But, if you find in a villain something that you like, concentrate on it, you will strengthen this positive in him.
What helped you to get rid of the fear of failure? Did you invest your own funds to create TripMyDream. Were you afraid of not getting this money back?
I cannot say that investment has now paid off. Fears do not have to be fought. Fear is a part of you; it must be accepted and replaced by a feeling of love and trust. If you fight with fear, you only strengthen it. If you focus on fear, you increase fear. Where your attention is, there is the result! All that we resist, we strengthen thereby. I have a rule: take it and do it! If you are an entrepreneur, it is important to make decisions faster than others. If you don’t, others will make these decisions instead of you.
What “take and do” is? Imagine that you work for me, I give you a task. You are 50% sure that you’ll cope with it and 50% that you’ll fail. 50% that this will be a cool project or 50% that a cool lesson. Doing something, you are always in the black, because you get a good result or invaluable experience. When you are simply afraid and do nothing, you do not get anything but wasted time and thinking “how could it all be”.
If you go somewhere, go and make decisions. During business negotiations it is always very important to get a clear “yes” or “no”. Because “maybe” is about nothing. I adhere to this principle by running my blog. My main task is to evoke a person's emotion so that he understands that he likes me or not, whether he is interested in my information or not. People don’t have to like me.
Different situations may happen both during trips and in business. We face unpleasant situations and people. What makes you resist negative situations and keep your business fit?
Our past is shaped by our attitude towards it now. If somehow I return to the tyrants of my childhood, they will torment me. But, if I am ready to accept them and thank them for the lessons, they will retreat. As a child, I was not just a hot-tempered, but a very anxious boy, who always exaggerated everything. Somewhere it's still in me. That’s why it is important for me to exhale and allow emotions pass. It is best to sleep the night and make decisions in the morning. If you make a decision based on emotions, then it will be short-term.
Remember, we talked about the “magic of focus”? In the case with negative, you need to reverse your attention from it. Imagine such situation: you were going to have borshch for breakfast, but someone spoiled it. The first option: you can pour it away, eat oatmeal and go ahead. The second option: you are tense, offended and all the morning thinking about who and why spoiled your borshch. Concentrating more on the negative, you call your mother and girlfriends, telling how they were unfair to you, thereby reinforcing the negative. And if in a fit of emotions you also wrote about spoiled borsch in social networks, and 50 of your friends commented on this trouble, and you read every comment, then by evening you will feel yourself the most miserable person. The more attention you pay to this filth, the longer and stronger it will keep you.
For many years I have not watched the news. I am only interested in macroeconomics. People are constantly frightened and forced to hate someone. These two emotions rule billions. All religions have used bullying and hate speech. By giving way to them, people are in a state of effect, and then they are easy to control. By the way, Mass Media are used for that purpose today.
How do you educate your daughters? What values are you trying to bring up in them and what future do you see for them?
For me it is important that my children live in pleasure and do what they like. I send them to private schools, but I do not insist on good grades. My grandfather was a big head in Chernihiv oblast for many years; he was in the TOP 3 leaders of the region. He wanted me to be someone. Partially, I was the result of his desires or the wishes of my parents. I was told where, how and what I should learn, probably, to the age of 20. After 20, I did everything myself. I want my children to understand what they like in this life. You don't have to make a lot of money. You can dance, sing, draw, be a researcher. The main thing is to enjoy your life. No matter how much money you have. What matters is how you can enjoy what you have every moment of your life. Neglecting the “now” moment, you neglect the whole life. If now you do not get pleasure from just breathing in the air with a full breast, you will not receive from this pleasure neither tomorrow nor the day after tomorrow. If now you do not appreciate what you have, then you will not appreciate it either tomorrow or next year. Because this “tomorrow” and “in a year” will never be, there will always be “now”, which we often ignore. At some point I understood it myself. I was a careerist, ran myself ragged, and then I realized that I needed to live now. Indeed, I still chase interesting projects, I have a lot of them (I can't just sit, I have to do something all the time), but now I'm learning to balance.
And what about new projects? I’ve heard that you have some ideas…
I wanted to open an organic restaurant in Kiev, because there are none. I’ve been a vegetarian for six years and now a year as a vegan. There are few places in Kiev where one can find healthy organic food, and in fact food affects us very much. There is a niche, I can open a restaurant, but I need a partner for this. I do not have time to physically manage this restaurant. If I open it, I understand that I will have to run it for the first six months. Also I want to launch author's travels, but I need a partner I could trust to. I want to open a travel agency, but I cannot do that because there is no right person.
My inspiring goal is to develop in Ukraine in such a way as to multiply myself by five or merge with an existing market player. In 2019 I would like to try our product anywhere in the Southeast Asia and USA. Today TripMyDream is already in Europe and runs two business lines. The main thing is our IT solution, which we sell to large companies, and they use it for their clients. This is a very strong and complex product, and it is the one I would like to enter new markets with. Ukraine is the second business line, a small part of business, which brings small income. People fly at best once or twice a year. With an average airfare of $ 400, we earn $ 8. This is a difficult market, it is small, but I love Ukraine so much! That’s why, at some point I stayed here and try to develop this business.♥