IRELAND, 15 months that changed my life…
Where I am today and what I do, I certainly owe my stay in Ireland. More precisely, Viktor.
Viktor was a Ukrainian who worked in a hotel gym. He was there for less than half the time, doing business, traveling and more or less doing what he enjoyed. Now, in retrospect, I think he saw himself in me when he was young (he was 35 years old when I was in Ireland). Metaphorically speaking, I think he saw in me something like a sponge that could effectively absorb at least part of his life experience, develop further, and start living (and not surviving) life much earlier than he… I was for learning his „know-how“ more than inclined!
But that would be much ahead of me. It would be nice if I arrived in Ireland, I was caught by a Ukrainian boy and started to tease me in my eager head, how business works, how to make one dollar two, basics and later practice in gaining passive income, advice when traveling, the basics of self-defense, and I no longer remember what else. Now I take a lot of things as automatically and it feels like I’ve always done them. But when writing previous articles, such a rough biography of my youth, I say to myself that Viktor’s teachings offered me seven-mile shoes of the „school of life“ instead of gradual steps. In the following lines you will encounter several passages of direct speech. I think it will be most ideal to understand this article, and especially the whole point, when I write it as a memory of our frequent interviews. Of course, this is not exactly word for word, but I hope I have enough in my head to document the past as authentic as possible.
From today’s perspective and shards of memory, the journey to Ireland wasn’t going smoothly. Well, yes, it went smoothly, but only after I had to find out the information myself.
I was not the first or last student to travel there, and it was naïve to me that the teacher who provided the service would provide at least basic information about the internship, etc.
Until then, I had only been on the plane twice, and my friend Michael actually helped me buy the tickets. What one cannot arrange cannot have. So I found a plane connection from Prague to Dublin, and then a bus connection almost in front of the hotel.
I traveled to Ireland with one of my friends. He also needed to get out of the Republic in a sense. So I didn’t go into the unknown alone.
Everything evil is good for something… How true this saying has turned out to me.
In the 4 * Dunraven Arms Hotel in the small Irish town of Adare, I did a porter for the first 14 days. Such a smudge for everything – I brought out baskets, helped at weddings, prepared tables and chairs, cleaned everything after events, washed dishes, carried suitcases, etc. As I cursed and cursed the hotel management. A boy with two years of experience in a 5 * hotel has to take out garbage and suitcases.
Later I realized that thanks to these works I perfectly explored the hotel through and through, which helped me later orientation (among other things, eg during idleness, when I was sitting in one hotel wing, surfing on wi-fi and if there were management or other control, I had two more exits). But most of all, I acclimatized in the new environment.
After 14 days I was transferred to a bar where I worked until the end of my stay – ie until the end of August 2009.
Working at the bar directly encouraged direct communication with hotel guests, in addition to mixing basic drinks, draft beer, etc., also served food and made sandwiches. It worked like a small restaurant with great tips, which we divided between each other (compared to the hotel restaurant, where the chief waiter at the time of paying cunningly sent the waiter away, took the guest money himself and of course he kept the tip).
The first month of my stay passed fast. The first paycheck came and I found that even with tips I earn more than both of my parents together. Wow… And I wasn’t even 19 years old.
Working hours at the bar were + – still the same. Between 40 – 42 hours a week, two days off. Over and over. The other colleagues went to the pub almost daily after work, to the cafes for breakfast in the morning, and so on.
No, because I would not like to go too, but I thought it was unnecessary to spend money on uselessness and I saw in the growing amount of potential that I would like to exploit (evaluated), but at that time I did not know how to do it…
And at that time, Viktor came in my way. Or rather I…
“The week has 168 hours. From that, about 8 hours a day sleep, 112 hours left, and subtracting 40 hours work, I get to 72 hours a week, which I should somehow use to avoid being bored. ”
I write this intentionally, because that’s exactly what I said at the hotel fitness reception desk when he wrote me on papers and arranged for registration.
Perhaps he was intrigued and immediately responded, „You are working 40 hours per week ?! Why? “
It surprised me a bit and I began to argue: „Because I have it in the contract.“
For a while we talked about the general theme of the hotel as it goes, I told him something about me and we agreed that the next day we would go for a beer and chat in a less stressful environment than here …
I met Viktor irregularly either during my workout in the gym or occasionally for a beer. Now, as I remember it, it seems to me that he examined me. He studied me for a long time. He opened up various topics, whether from finance or how to get as cheaply as possible from ‚A‘ to ‚B‘. I caught it again, either because I do not know what to do with the euro, whether to exchange it to the crown, keep it or invest it somehow (but where or in what ???). I was dropping school-learned phrases and „guaranteed“ tricks that Viktor just laughed at.
His frequent statement on finance was, „How do you deal with paycheck and how with profit?“
„I don’t know,“ I say.
„Well, you invest the paycheck and then spend part of the profit on what you absolutely need,“ he explains.
„This remotely reminds me of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs,“ I note. And he said, „Of course, just a little modified to the 21st century.“
He pauses for a moment and continues, “Look at most of your colleagues, they make incredible money, and what do they do with them? Spend them! Most and most. Then after a year they return home, have nothing or a few months of survival and must start from the beginning. But they have experienced a standard of living in that year, from which they will have to withdraw because of the payout, what will pay them. Here they are wasting 1,500 euros a month and will they receive in the Czech Republic how much per month? ”
I take a breath to answer, but Viktor ignores me and continues: “As waiters around 800 euros, they are still happy. I won’t earn any less or more than them, but I won’t spend a quarter of my time at work. This month I have been to Dublin several times, once flew for a few days to the sea and next month I fly for 14 days to Ukraine. I have no need to swear at my boss, because I have none, I am my boss myself. It’s just not to be a sheep, but to be able to invest your paycheck and not just spend it, or let money work and earn benefits for you… ”.
He sips his beers, wondering what else to add, and suddenly starts again, „Why be abroad for one year if you can’t sell it?“ Yeah, you have experience, sometimes references, but you know what they say – quickly gained, quickly lost. Now there is a crisis and this is an ideal opportunity for people like us. Multimillionaires and billionaires are going through the crisis. But we, the millionaires … ”sips and continues,“ But we millionaires have a great opportunity to accumulate capital, to invest advantageously and to make two or three more from each euro. Why do you have ten thousand euros after a year of work? Useless. You won’t buy anything slowly for that. Money must work for you and your job is to guard and regulate the investments!”
Most of our conversations were led by a monologue in which I, an eager student, devoured every word.
If I build on my current experience, I actually understand it. There is information that can be said, information that cannot be said, and it is wonderful to find someone who is on a similar wave and you can confide in him and trust him. Confide in real troubles, not problems such as butter getting up a few cents, adding $3 a month to retirees, or what my boss is like a dick. We will not influence these things and I would rather not think why it is all wrong, but where the hell is my fault… If a person is healthy, there is no obligation of a dying neighbor or any other case where one must be where he is of us to make a move „one house further“.
However, the offset does not always have to be forward. We often move a step backwards so that we are actually much better in the future. Patience in this case is the most important feature. Who can not be patient and would like to be king every day, will usually not achieve anything in life. Only a patient man can lower his values, humbly move down a step and then start to rise.
I see it every day. Man is a creature dissatisfied and most likely to blame all others than himself. How many times I go out with my friends to the pub for a drink and listen to how it sucks there or else. The topics of these interviews revolve around the same topics (bad work, boredom at school, girlfriend / boyfriend / wife / husband / etc. are busting, etc. Not only the above problems). As alcohol increases, complaints increase, but no solution is sought. And yet we’re so close. Actually, we have it in us. We are the solution.
We just have to be able (and want) to step out of the established stereotype and take the first step into the unknown (sometimes level down).
The same step that Viktor, myself and a lot of people took before and after us.
The first months of our „beer meetings“ showed me and actually confirmed what I had known before. So the value of money.
Most start-ups will be successful if they invest their own resources in the start-up business, ie the money they earn themselves. This is then considered every step, because the memory of how hard and long it took to „earn“ and how easy and quick it could be to lose them.
First useful advice, which was actually the first real demonstration of „practice“ after hours and months of „theory“ Viktor gave me in December 2008 (after 7 months) before my departure for three days in the Czech Republic. Don’t take it that he’s not telling me anything before. Rather, he was suggesting, initiating me, asking me to my opinions.
„Listen,“ he tells me. “Wherever you go, I mean, of course, for a longer distance and not to the next town for Sunday shopping, you have to consider how to cut costs. It is the basis of. On a European scale, you will reduce it by a few tens of euros, but on a more sophisticated journey you can already spend your Caribbean vacation in the price range of a Mediterranean holiday. You just need to be able to „give“. Find out what is scarce and easily accessible.
Give people what they want, but they can’t afford it or don’t know how to get it cheaply. ”
I looked at him, he thought, but I couldn’t think of anything. Of course, he realized that and went on, “I’ll give you some simple examples: go to America and bring Ipod, that’s a hit now, isn’t it? Go to the Caribbean and get cheap but good quality alcohol. Visit China, bring teas and cheap clothes… Do you understand? I am not telling you to go to Thailand with a pound of heroin, but to do something that is legal and as a result it will reduce your costs and make others happy and save money! ”
This „consequence“ paid me a return ticket, local transport, and part of the investment in the first laptop for which I actually went.
Now it’s actually 12 years since Viktor gave me the first lesson of many of the following. I have been trying to pass it on all the time – to family, acquaintances, clients and now to all readers of this article.
“What about the euros?” I say. „I’ve been here for eight months, it’s accumulating on my account, slowly no spending, so how do I make even more?“
Viktor smirked and I questioned a little about his genius. Maybe he got it, so he runs one of his monologues with questions, but more of a rhetoric to which he answers (if he himself): „I thought you understood in months that you wouldn’t get a sheet of paper from me with points one to ten to become a millionaire. The word millionaire emphasizes a lot.
„Yeah,“ I say, „but some advice would be useful.“
Viktor smiled at me again, finished his beer and said, “You know that information, or know-how, is terribly expensive today. Actually, the owners of know-how do not need to reveal anything, because, God forbid, someone would start doing it similarly and suddenly another pocket would be filled.
But it’s you, buy me a beer and I’ll tell you something. ”
With the word about the extortionist, I ordered him another beer. That was another thing I liked. As soon as Viktor got drunk a little, he began to interpret much more, and so my almost three euro high investment immediately began to appreciate.
„That’s like the various lectures from millionaires, multimillionaires, and billionaires“ he drinks half of his beer, bursts, and continues:
“Anyone who is a bit successful would like to give lectures and instructors right away.
The problem is, sometimes you go to a lecture where a person like Paris Hilton tells you a life story. What did such a person accomplish? All the masonry, she never worked, she doesn’t know much about business, just because she has it and doesn’t have to deal with whether the baguette costs half a dollar or five dollars.
I’m not saying that everyone does that. I’m just giving you the more extreme example. People are eager to attend such lectures, paying outrageous money for it, and the most valuable thing they will get is shaking hands with a millionaire. Hmmm. Millionaire… Who is a millionaire today? Anyone who slowly takes a mortgage for an apartment or a house is already a millionaire. But what is this millionaire when you borrow from a bank at thirty, paying it back to 65 and, at best, twice overpaying?
The bank will take your house, move you and your family on the street, and you’re shit again. That’s the extreme again. But I want to get what I mean by this. You want to give me advice on how to evaluate the earned euro, or money you have in the Czech Republic. You have a lot of ways. Some are less risky when you put it on the bill, and after a year you get a couple of thousands that actually equal current inflation and thus actually make nothing. Then you have more, more risky steps. Some of them are less risky and others are more profitable, but you can lose the investment from day to day.
Before each investment, everyone should ask themselves “WHY INVEST”. I have a bundle of money and I want to double, triple, hundredfold, and keep going. Once it works, then not again. Or I have a bundle of money that I want to earn on my needs and expenses. Of course, most people would prefer to do it fifty-fold. But honestly, let’s say, what then? I can’t eat more, I can’t have three shoes on my feet, etc. I’m not saying I’m an investment professional, I’m just doing everything to make my life happy. Than slave at work and work on someone else’s dream.”
„That’s nice,“ I say, „but we’re running around the same.“ You know I am a generation younger and I would need more tangible, audible and visible impulses. “
The word more tangible I say later. I got a slap from Viktor saying that I should wake up and start listening to him. And then he continued: “You know I was in Ukraine for two weeks now. You know what I got there? Two suitcases of clothes and via cargo I sent three bike bikes. On the internet, I saw advertisements being sold very cheaply.
I mean, it paid off to buy those bikes, pay for the cargo and sell them in my country. I still made so much of it that it was worth the time and effort. And the effort I mean in quotation marks. I just looked at the ads, arranged an appointment, meet potential buyers.
Got it? This is the magic to buy and sell. The bikes had been in my garage for over two months, but I knew I’d find a buyer. Should I have money or bikes lying there? It does not matter. It’s like currency…”
He paused, sipped, and I seized the opportunity and asked, „How’s the currency?“
„You’d like to know a lot, don’t you? It’ll cost at least another beer and then another. ”And I quickly headed to the bar because I felt the potential in this.
„So would you like to look into the currency exchange business?“ He asked me a rhetorical question when I put two pints in front of him. Nor did he bother to wait for my response or at least nod his head and continued, „It’s not secret. More like a public secret.
Sometimes risky more, sometimes less. You just have to watch it for a long time and have a little sense and instinct in how it will evolve. After all, we don’t work at the National Bank, so we don’t know it beforehand. Of course, the more you invest, the greater the effect. Take your million. One million Czech crowns. Now the exchange rate is about 27 crowns for one euro.
For a million you have the euro 37 037. The currency is still floating. One is up, one is down, as would be said in porno actor terminology. So you exchange the Czech million crowns for euros and wait for it to rise. During the year it may have two or three major fluctuations. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. Sometimes to profit, sometimes to minus. In general, it pays to change to a foreign currency in winter.
Maybe now. And then in the summer, as the holidays begin, so change back. In summer you will get 27.5 Czech crowns for one euro. Then you have an appreciation of 18 500 crowns in less than six months. Nearly 4% per year. “
He enthusiastically enters numbers into the calculator on his phone and continues, „Now imagine you do it three times a year, not with one million, but with three. And look.
You have about 166 666 Czech crowns. Now the only question is how to reach the three million. In the conditions where you work now, you earn about half a million a year. You’re in a million in two years. If you invest cleverly throughout that time, you take the opportunity, you make a million a year. And we’re talking about a million for investment. You have paid your living costs long ago.
And that’s just one idea. The idea of a million. But for a million. Or a beer, huh? Opportunity is a plethora, you just have to start to realize what you want. Do you want to live your life at work or on the other hand by constantly investing? Or to secure yourself and your family and enjoy life? ”
In this spirit, almost all our conversation was carried. Viktor liked to say, “I give you advice. Advice for free. ”And I got more than enough advice. But they were not advice with a clear start and finish. But thoughts that I had to make myself and try for myself to see if it was worth it or not.
And I have to say that every so-called pint for Viktor was „paid“ by some advice that forced at least to think.
During my later stay in the UK, I was also based on Viktor’s model. Almost before my return to the Czech Republic, he told me that he was helping other people from Ukraine to start in Ireland. Most of them do not know the language, they do not know what papers to handle and thus he, an experienced matador, offers help.
I was looking for basic information myself both before my departure to Ireland and before my departure to Great Britain. And not only the experience of these two countries actually began to write another chapter in my life. But that would be more than a year ahead of…
We ended up in Ireland with an epic house party, after which I was a bit afraid to get references at all.
Luckily I got great.
Nice. But I appreciated Viktor’s school of life more, when he gave me (over the course of 14 months) most of the experience he had acquired over the years.
And what happened to him?
Until December 2009 we were in touch, occasionally skyping. Then he paused. He didn’t reply to my mail for about a month and was still „offline“ on the skype. So I made contact with his girlfriend at the time, who told me a message that… Well, I won’t lie, cry … In early December, Viktor went to Ukraine for a month and a half and had a car accident in the first week of December and killed himself. This report caught me on the last day of December 2009. On New Year’s Eve. I got drunk a lot…
Yes, that’s how my first life teacher ended up embarrassingly (unless I count my first scout leader, who in one sense is one of my first life mentors).
Everything can come out best and then boom and it is over. Close the curtain and go home.
Nobody asks, nobody warns, the situation comes and goes again. At this point I was about to believe in fate … Why the hell didn’t he kill himself half a year earlier or before I arrived in Ireland ?! As if there was some unfinished work, some life experience that should be passed on to the next generation…
So what did those 14 months give me? At least direction. Enough people are mostly fixed in the morning to get up and go to school / work and like this all the time. Until retirement. This leads to complaining about how the whole world is responsible for the fact that I am doing badly.
In 8 years or 22 years (since my first valuation of goods in my mother’s shop) I think I have come a long way. Like everyone, I have a bad and good time.
Things I am proud of and a situation I cannot be proud of. But I can honestly say that I have walked the path myself, so that no one, including my own family, has the right to comment „if and how“ or impose my vision on me. As Viktor used to say, „Do things yourself, and if it sucks, it will be your royal jelly, which you will then have to eat yourself to the bottom.“ And that there were already many…
Comment… Of course they will comment, family, clients, readers. But I wanted to formulate it more so, yes, I could have done something differently, but on the other hand, it is my fault that only me and no one else has gone wrong. And so I will bear the consequences myself.
I am not saying that I will not get advice. I like to surround myself with smarter and more experienced people, from whom I can learn and pass on my knowledge.