1. What age do you feel right now and why?
Right now, 32 years old. I think it is a good compromise, where you know a lot of things already, you are not new to everything and still your life front of you
2. Which book are you reading now?
I have just finished The French Art of War by the French writer Alexis Jenni. Interesting Roman about the life of a French soldier, overall a story against the war. I enjoyed it although a bit long one…
3. What are your top 3 favourite books and why?
I will start with Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. Difficult to start, but once you get into it you get to another world. The second will be The Memoirs of General Baron de Marbot, it is a nice story telling of a Colonel under Napoleon. Then, I enjoyed the Red and Black from Standal. It is a difficult dark life, forced through a lot of things which doesn’t end up so well. But I like that personal story that you follow, and you rely on to along the way.
4. What is your definition of elegance?
Elegance is something so natural, that you can feel the person is not trying to harm. Naturally it is about a lot of little things which have been built over life, but you can’t gain overnight. And all that build the whole character just looking at it and listening to the person.
5. What are you the most passionate about?
I think I am most passionate about building things, and no matter what the project is about. Just feeling that there is a passion driving it, and there is something impossible which is slowly transforming into something possible. I am a serial entrepreneur since I finished my studies, I had many companies, some failures and some successes, so for me creating new things is part of me.
6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
Saint Petersburg, at first because I have learnt Russian for 9 Years, never really used it. Then I believe that I am missing the whole part of what was Russia before. The actual Russia is not so sexy, I think there is a hard life over there, this is a contrast which has always been in Russia and I am interested in it.
7. If you could only keep 3 possessions, what would they be?
A computer, maybe a family souvenir and the third thing would be a painting.
8. What is your philosophy towards your work, or role, or life?
My philosophy is to say do something you like on a middle terms, accept the daily challenges and routine, keep the long term mission and vision.
9. What do you worry about, and why?
I am worried about everything, even to small details. I believe I am sensitive to human relationship, so I maybe put the empathy to an extreme which is not needed sometime. In general, I am always worried about why people react in such way and how I should react to that.
10. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
It is more about the type of people I like, this would be the pure entrepreneurs, those who believe in their mission so much that they are ready to put themselves at risks. There are plenty of entrepreneurs, but less when it comes to the one purely motived by their projects, forgetting about everything, worried about not much except that. I think this is an inspiration for me. I took some risks, but I don’t think I was like that, putting myself too much at risks, often I had partners, so for me there was a preserve environment with always a way out.
11. What was one of your most crucial moments in life?
When I decided to go to study abroad. I was 17 years old and had to prepare for it. One year before finishing my graduation and I decided I would not go for the same path as 99% of my friends and therefore I would study abroad. I made a big difference in my life from this moment. I studied in England and then in Canada. I became aware of so many new things that I really felt there were crucial moments: the moment I decided and the moment I arrived in England.
12. If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
Maybe the end of one of the two world wars, just to see the ultra-positive reactions people had, the euphoria spreading after so many years of frustration.
13. What are the 3 things you need, to be successful in your job, or role?
I guess as entrepreneur, the first thing is to be perseverant, keeping on going when others start slowing down. The second, would be benevolent, because I really believe you can get much more on the longer terms by being positive and trying to be constructive about things. And one very important is that you have always to learn about and listen to the people around you. Those 3 are for me the good Karma you could have for your professional and private life.
14. Is there a skill you would like to learn and why?
One major skill I am already working on is the digital strategies for SMEs and Corporate level. I think I can learn and get to higher level. It is a huge topic, fast moving one, and to understand what is coming tomorrow: internet, artificial intelligence, machine learning are going so fast forward that you cant keep up on every levels. Some people get specialised but as project manager you have to be able to discuss with each experts to make things working together, and I would love to go deeper in this.
15. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I was having a small job in a bar restaurant of a hotel, and my boss asked me what I want to do in the future. I told him I want to be an entrepreneur but first I will go to England , to study and learn more about a job and from that I will grow the idea for business. And he told no, don’t wait you live 30, starts as soon as possible if you know now you want to be an entrepreneur, start as soon as you have the opportunity. I think this is the best piece of advices I could get, because I have seen many of my friends later on, at their 30s – 40s, who were ready to be entrepreneur, but they missed the time where they were young, mobile without family.
16. What does a perfect day look like to you?
I like a quiet morning, to be 1 hour with the kids, it is really refreshing. Then an intensive work day with a friendlier lunch , a brainstorming in the afternoon then a family /friend time for the evening
17. What cheers you up?
The kids, no matter what happened during your day in the office, they are completely so innocent, so disconnected with your concerns, and it cuts down all grounds for you to be unhappy.
18. How do you define success and how do you measure it?
I think success is very personal. It is for me achieving every day a little more than the day before, getting a little more. And all that without frustrating anybody in your surroundings. You can measure somehow the growth of the success if you have achieved something and does it build in something larger and not at the expense of somebody, and by watching out the people who are involved in the process.
19. What part of your job would people find most surprising?
Maybe the fact that I am ready to do everything which is needed to be done, any tasks, as I did when starting my company. And today people could be surprised that without hesitation I am ready to come back to basics, it means I do a lot of small things which could surprising… if we need to move the furniture I am the first to move the furniture…
20. What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?
Play video games. This help me to disconnect from negative feelings, energy you have built, then sleep over it and then it starts over.
21. In which order (most important 1st) would you classify these 4 A-words: Accuracy, Acceptance, Achievement and Appreciation.
Appreciation, Acceptance, Achievement and Accuracy
22. How would you define leadership?
For me leadership it is to stimulate people in whatever they are good at. And be the vulnerable rock they can rely on. Vulnerable because I think they should know you are human but they can rely on you as a rock.