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Interview

How Much Money Is Enough

My mission in life is to live a happy life for the benefit of society and the environment. But the first point is to live a happy life. If the benefits to society begin to put pressure on a happy life, I will refuse.

In general, it seems to me a fundamental thing. Entrepreneurs are burning themselves. Because they don’t do what they like.

They set the wrong goals. The goal is to make money. And the goal should be to live a happy life. These are two different things. Moreover, when you set goals to achieve them, your tools and methods are completely different. They are radically different.

But for a happy life, you need some kind of result, just to create it.

It depends on what is meant by the result. The point is that money is not the result. Money is a by-product of the outcome. In general, I would say this, I regard any enterprise as driving a car. Accounting is a rear-view mirror that will tell you what happened yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, in the morning, but never tell you what will happen in the evening.

And money is exhaust fumes. The harder you press on the gas, the more exhaust fumes. You should periodically look in your rearview mirror and see what kind of exhaust there is. But if you look in the rearview mirror all the time, then the first ditch is yours. From here you should understand how to distribute your attention. 90% -95% attention forward, forward, forward. 5-10% of the exhaust is normal.

That is, for goals that motivate you, for which you do business.

You have to do what you love. If you do what you love, rightly, it will start bringing in money, then you will receive hormones of a happy life of a successful entrepreneur. And if your goal is to make money, then you will work like a galley slave.

One hundred percent.

I treat everything in terms of efficiency. That’s what competition is. Competition is a competition between a businessman to prove to society who loves his business the most. Of course, if you don’t love, you will always lose, because someone who loves his business will spend half an hour at work, burn 100 more calories, and think 1 hour more than you. You have no chance. This is the difference. When you don’t do business for money, you will always be successful in it.

I agree. Friends, we are already in the interview. And I will try to do a blitz interview in an unusual format for Margulan. I wonder how you will respond to it. I have 20 questions, let’s give or take one minute for one question approximately. I understand that this is difficult for you, because I was at your speech and saw the depth of the answers.

I don’t like to answer superficially. Because, always, when you answer superficially, as a rule, you do not reveal the essence.

Probably, this is just that uncomfortable question when you need to try to jump as fast as possible and I just had the first question about entrepreneurship. You have already, in principle, answered in a broader form and then I will ask another question instead. And if you do what you like, you enjoy the business that ignites you. You wake up in the morning and you are happy, but there are some difficulties, there is some kind of stress. Then it’s okay, or it’s not about happiness anymore. Where is the line?

I would say that God created difficulties specifically in order to weed out people who do not like this business. I will give a simple example. If you like boxing, getting punched in the face periodically is part of the process. You don’t take it as a problem and you won’t quit boxing because you love it. Getting in the face is part of the process. If you don’t like boxing, then when you get punched in the face, every time you think, “Why am I doing this?” Therefore, problems are a kind of filter that cuts off all random people and prevents them from achieving success in this direction.

Cool. You have managed large companies, made big deals. The larger the business, the more stressful. Did you also relate to this, that this is absolutely normal, you just dealt with it and move on? Did you like it or not?

All my life I loved doing business and investing, but I didn’t like money. Money is a by-product that exists today and not tomorrow. There are situations of complete lack of money, there have been situations when there were billions and so on. This did not affect me in any way, because my goals were completely different. The size of the business does not affect your love to do it in any way. If it affects, then you are doing it for the sake of the dene. And if you do it out of love for this, roughly speaking, art, then it doesn’t matter to you how much money came and went. I call this the hygiene threshold. There should be as much money as is necessary to maintain a quality standard of living. Eat what you want, dress what you want, go wherever you want, etc.

What’s the best decision you’ve made in your business that made you who you are?

There is no silver bullet. Everyone asks me about the secret of success. Everyone wants it fast.

What was the first bifurcation point?

I think the first thing is when I graze sheep. Half asleep, I looked at the sheep and wondered if I was born to graze my food. This was the bifurcation point with which I then walked, walked, and after that there were no stops. This was the key, but it was understood when I was a shepherd. What happened later, I believe, was already a continuation of the path. You know the law of physics, if you took a step in the right direction, then the second correct one is 50% easier for you to do, because there is inertia. From a standing position to change direction requires double efforts. I think the most important thing was to realize that I was not born for this.

Someone said that there are two important moments in life. Then when a person is born and when he understood why.

Probably, here I got it so that this one was born, but I did not understand why. I then answered for myself that it was definitely not for this. I went intuitively on the principle of denial. The ancient Greeks had such a technique, when from the opposite, I still do not know why I came to this world. But I know for sure that it’s not to graze my food. And since then this phrase has been in my head. I often use it, because even when you make billions for the sake of money, then in fact you graze the same sheep only in large numbers. That is, you work for your food. It is very important to understand that you do business for the sake of your food or you do business as art, two different things.

Self advice to an 18 year old.

I’m a bad advisor, I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I was never afraid to make mistakes, I was never afraid to change my life abruptly, I was never afraid to take any action, and there was always a minimum gap between my plans and actions. Therefore, in this regard, I am very happy with my life.

Cool !!! Perhaps for students to succeed more in life.

I would say so from the qualities, it is self-esteem, self-respect. Such a person cannot be stopped. He sets high goals for himself, he achieves them himself and he maintains discipline due to the fact that he respects and appreciates himself, he thinks that he is cool. This person cannot be depressed, the tough person cannot fail to achieve goals. This is the internal motivation of a person. It all comes from high self-esteem and self-esteem. Often I am asked a question, but how to achieve this, I answer – in small steps, you need a series of small victories. With every small win, you trigger feedback. Each small victory increases your self-esteem and self-esteem, and each time you set a little more goal. It is important to set a goal, plan it, achieve it, praise yourself, encourage yourself. Because of this, you raise self-esteem, self-esteem, set a little more goal. And after 3-5 such cycles you will have the concrete confidence that you are the kind of person who will break through any wall.

Cool, very interesting, life hack in fact, because many people, on the contrary, do not set a big goal, then it is difficult for them, and they burn themselves.

Up to 99% of mistakes are made by the entrepreneur himself. Where does it come from. This is a certain paradox, the older a person is, the less his life remains, but the less he hurries and the less he sets goals for himself. And the younger a person is, the more his life is ahead of him, the more he is in a hurry, sets more goals and he does not have the patience to listen. It seems to be a paradox, you are young, you have your whole life ahead, 80 years or 70 years of still healthy life, set fewer goals, do not rush. And young people are in a hurry and break everything. You yourself are probably surprised by the elderly, they are in no hurry. And why they are not in a hurry, but because they have accumulated experience, they understand that hurrying things cannot be helped.

Qualities to be developed in children

The same as in yourself, because you will not wish bad for yourself, therefore it can be distributed to children. Both high self-esteem and self-esteem, for this they must be taught from childhood. It sounds rude, like asking small puppies, doing something, doing something – a reward. Not necessarily in monetary terms, you can pat the head, you can say what a fine fellow you are, how obedient you are, you are cool, you are a fine fellow, and so on, so you need to be encouraged from childhood, you need to hammer one thing into his head that he is just a beast and When you are the educator of such a child, he will achieve everything, there will be a terrible achiever, he can break a lot of firewood. People will take offense at him, it will be obligatory, somewhere they will make mistakes. But it’s okay, the second quality will already work there – this is not to blame anyone, not to blame and to learn from your mistakes. This triad will lead him anywhere.

If a boy or a girl don’t care?

This applies more to boys and girls who want to achieve something, but there is a category of girls, and, probably, boys too, who do not particularly want to achieve anything. They want to live a quiet life, it is important here to teach the child to do what he loves. If a child has high self-esteem and self-esteem, he will resist public opinion, and the opinion of his parents, and he will say no, I want to be a doctor and that’s it. And he can stand his ground, that is, here it is not necessarily directed at, then in order to achieve something, it is important that he can defend his point of view. Roughly speaking, do not reckon with other people’s opinion, because it has its own.

Your biggest business so far.

Firstly, it is not one, but a whole series of them. I am sure that this is not the end of the story, so it is even difficult to single out, they are diverse, different.

For example, what deal did you make wrong or, on the contrary, did you make a decision too sooner or later?

It often happened that I made a decision, quickly overestimated the size of the market, overestimated the quality of the product, the quality of the team, and so on. Since I constantly learn from my mistakes, I spoke at the forum and say that I have never brought such a situation in my life when you have to make drastic decisions. Therefore, there is no such cardinal decision, cardinal fakap. I have a series of medium and small fakups, but not a single fateful one. It is important to never lead to a situation where it is necessary to make a fateful decision.

Focus on one thing or several things at the same time

It depends on which chair you are sitting on. You are either an investor or a businessman. If you are an investor, then this is completely different. The investor is looking for diversification. It should target different businesses. An investor doesn’t have to love business. A businessman should concentrate on his business and nothing else and love it. An investor should not love business, because when an investor loves business, he is like a groom who does not see the bride’s faults. The investor should always look like a parent.

A businessman comes to me and says, let’s invest in a cool business. He sees no flaws, but I see. As a parent, I don’t like his business, but he does. That is, an investor always earns on someone else’s love for business, and a businessman earns on his love for business. This must be clearly understood. Plus, diversification is contraindicated for a businessman. The businessman earns from the operating profit. And the investor earns from the growth of capitalization, these are different decisions and so on, so everything depends on the chair on which you are sitting.

The next question is closer to investing. If you started earning your first little money, let’s say up to $ 10,000. It is much better to invest, probably closer to young people or to an enterprise that has recently been doing something.

I have very simple advice on this and it is reinforced concrete. Where did you make money there and invest. The first principle is always to invest where you earned, the second is to strengthen the strong. In what you are strong, then strengthen. Any other recipe will be a random result.

Next question. And if the amount is more than 100,000.

Also, do not be sprayed on some real estate or shares. Build strong until the moment you love your business. Then at some point you can burn out. Then you have to completely go out of business and sell everything. And then you become an investor. And then something else, there is already diversification, there you determine the maximum risk per investment, they write their own electronic policy, there you already talk with different business leaders. You look, study, there should be a very precise transition as long as you are a businessman. You should only invest in what you made money from.

I made a lot of mistakes myself. I hear and analyze a lot. My analytical work is done very well, I learn a lot from all past mistakes, and I see where people are mostly mistaken. How many times have I said, do not study other people’s success, success is unique, mistakes are typical. One of the typical mistakes, a person earns the first money and thinks where to invest it? I also call this rule differently, why would you change the risks you know to unknown ones. You made money on this, you know all the risks, and you take and invest them where you do not know the risks. The old enemy is better than the new.

How to make decisions in times of crisis?

It depends on whether you love your business or not. If you love something, you do everything to keep it. Because the question is not about money, but the question is whether your favorite business will be preserved or not. You will carry your money from home, you will share shares with your employees, just to keep the business afloat. And if you do not love, you will sit and think how not to lose money and save my business. It doesn’t work that way. There are good times, there are bad times. Difficulties are given on purpose in order not to give success to random people. Success comes to people who go through difficulties and they do not perceive these difficulties as a brake, they go through them like a boxer. For a boxer, getting punched in the face is part of the process. Any crisis, consider that they drove in your face. You are now telling me how I can stay in boxing. The question itself says that you don’t like boxing. And if you loved, you would get up and walk on. A person who loves boxing doesn’t ask me what to do next. If you love, let’s beat, if you don’t love, go.

It is difficult to give advice to every business, because there is a restaurant business, there is a pharmaceutical business, there is still some kind of business, but the rule here is very simple, if you love your business, I don’t know which way, you will find it, but you will twist, dodge, jump out You must understand that there is a problem. A filter that cuts random people from success. You are faced with a problem, prove it, pay the price for this success. This is the price you have to pay for success.

Who is more important in business to customers, employees, partners or shareholders?

Of course the client, because the whole point of any business is the client. And the business itself is nothing more than a value stream for the client. First you have to satisfy the client. And after that, employees, because only happy employees make customers happy. Customers first, then employees, then shareholders, etc.

From new interviews I heard that you had different stages in life and in business, and you yourself said that there were billions and yachts, helicopters. Are you bored and will you buy again and when?

I do not miss you at all. Yes, I had a 71 meter yacht and I saw the cost of this yacht. I spent almost 6-7 million. dollars only for maintenance, not regardless of whether I was on it or not. I had a team of 21 people. They are on a yacht all year round, and I am there for a couple of weeks a year. I thought so whose yacht, mine or not. They get high all year round and get paid. And I have to support her, so I can’t get bored. I have already worked out clear criteria for myself, what is mine, what is not mine. Therefore, one must understand that after all, money, yachts, all this is a by-product. I do not take this as a goal, I was not very happy when I bought it, for me it was such a routine decision. There was a peninsula and a house was on sale for $ 110 million. I wanted to buy a house first. Then I thought, yes, the house is steep, of course, it has a sea view and so on, but it turns out to be motionless. Since I will have a house there, I will have to fly there every summer, spend in the same place. I decided I’d rather take a yacht, which costs 72 million dollars with a pool, with a helicopter. This is the same house, but it changes location. For me it has never been an end in itself, this is such a passed stage in life. If I need a yacht, I will buy it in two weeks.

What floats, flies, is it better to rent than buy?

It all depends on each person, on his tasks, on his interests. For many people, this is not a luxury, it is a means of transportation. Maybe someone’s yacht can become an office. You can live on a yacht, work remotely if you have some kind of IT company, why not, that is, each case has its own interest.

Such a scenario … Someone is in business – the first profit has gone, especially for young people of 25 years old, they began to earn and they earned their first money, a million, half a million. Where is the balance between the fact that you can buy yourself some material goods. Are you investing back or you don’t need to stand out more? Where is this line when you can buy something, reward yourself?

It again depends on the goals, on your attitude to business, if you treat business like a cash cow, then you will think about how much to leave the cow for hay, how much to yourself, and so on. I have always treated business like this – it provided me with a hygienic level, everything else back to the company, everything else for development for development.

How much is the hygiene level?

For example – in youth – this is a car, necessarily your own home, your business, food is normal. Not great, but normal, good. And by the way, I lived on this for a very long time. I invested practically everything that I earned again in the business, because the question here is, the sooner you start milking the cow, the less hay you will give her. That is, the less the cow will grow, it is interconnected. Invest all the time, especially when you are young. Every dollar, especially in youth, is 100 times more effective than the dollar invested in old age. It is very important to strive to ensure that your income does not exceed your profits and or does not take away most of your profits. Even now, at my age, I leave 50% for development and this is the limit. I practically do not withdraw more than 50% of the profit from the company, and this is at my age. It will be 70 years, I will probably withdraw 70%, because life is less, it is necessary to take more. Investing is simplistic, so to speak. You are 25 years old, then 25% of the profit, this is the maximum ceiling that you can withdraw from the company. 75% return back. It’s a simple formula. You cannot exceed, but you can less, the less the better. It greatly influences to survive the crisis, because in times of crises and the standard of living falls. Because you didn’t lift it much.

Live in a city, in a high-rise or outside the city and why?

Definitely out of town. I am a rural guy and for me the city is a foreign environment. I myself am an introvert, although I don’t know. I feel very comfortable in society, just as I feel alone. I love loneliness and have not yet figured out who I am, an extrovert, an introvert, but I would definitely like to live and work outside the city. I even suggested it to my wife. I have a farm on Balkhash, on the lake and I prefer to spend time there. I say why we live in the city, I come here to rest. Let’s do the opposite, we live here, and I go to the city to earn money, for two or three days, it’s better.

Who from the obligatory close staff of the team must be with the entrepreneur? Perhaps this is an assistant, perhaps a driver. You have passed certain stages and you have more experience and understanding. What lies ahead for those who need to go through it. Which of your friends is really very important, you need to take someone, you do not need to take, what are the extra expenses, what is it very effective for?

Depends again, whom to take, a partner, or an employee. You also need to understand that if a partner needs to be approached very carefully, this is how to choose a wife for the long term, you need to understand what he will bring you. If you are emotional, it is desirable that he be stable, if he is stable, pessimistic, then you must be optimistic and emotional. That is, he must complement you, he must compensate for your weaknesses. And it would be better if he would be a desirable person who would strengthen your strengths, this is more important than compensating for your weaknesses. Therefore, you need to be very careful when choosing a partner. And if we take it from hired employees, then it is clear there, for example, I proceed from three basic postulates, these are decency, intelligence and energy. Here are three things. Because if you hire someone who is not decent, but smart and energetic, you are in the biggest trouble you can imagine. And if you take a decent, smart, but not energetic, he will not bring you much money. If you take a decent, stupid, but energetic, he will not bring trouble either, but he will not bring money either, that is, a decent one is the basis. Therefore, when you hire employees, if they are hired people, you take by functionality, accounting there or an engineer, so that there is a specialist, but decency is sure to be number one. Mind, in turn, I divide into two things, these are skills of ability, this is what a person is predisposed to. For example, it turns out well, counting, calculating something, and so on, and skills are what he learned, skills, acquired things, and abilities are what is given by nature. It is imperative to look at the energy of a person, it is desirable to be an optimist. Because when you are in business it is better to surround yourself with optimists, it is easier to go through hard times.

I would not focus on the specialty of people, there are few people who work in their specialty, you need to look at human qualities.

Three favorite cities?

Alma-Ata, no doubt. I treat all cities exactly.

What sports do you do?

For some reason, he always considered himself a lazy person, a braggart and inclined to be overweight. I struggle with these qualities all my life. All my life I am afraid that I will be called a lazy person, all my life I have been fighting not to be called a braggart, all my life I have been fighting not to be called fat. I treat sports from a philosophical point of view. I only do what I will do all my life and that easily fits into my schedule. Walking is what I do every day for an hour and a half, about 12 or 15 thousand steps from morning to breakfast, if you take other sports, it’s golf, hunting, fishing can be attributed to sports. Active pastime. Snowboard has been around all my life. The last three four years I got up on skis. More chess.

Do you come to Ukraine more often now, wrote on Facebook, do you have any kind of cooperation with Saakashvili? It’s even hard for me to ask, it’s just interesting what you would explain to ordinary people who are not in this niche, why do you need this, what are you doing here, what benefit do you want to bring or is it a commercial project, what is it and what result can be

Firstly, I became a partner of Mikhail Saakashvili in the office of simple solutions, partners are such the highest position, we will say it is clear that this is not an employee, but a partner. Why did I start working with Mikhail at all, because I like Mikhail Saakashvili according to two main parameters by which I evaluate people. The first parameter, Islam says, always evaluate people by intention, not by deeds. Second, it is necessary to judge by the actually completed cases. According to the second criterion, there is not a single politician on the territory of the CIS who would have such a long list of completed successful cases, therefore this man is a man of action, so I gladly offered my help to Mikhail Saakashvili.

What I will be doing is not politics, basically I will be engaged in increasing the efficiency of the office itself, increasing the efficiency of the legislative process, increasing the effectiveness of the laws themselves. Because, now the law is considered mainly only from the point of view, so that there is no corruption factor. We also need to look at it from the point of view of efficiency, that is, I would like to work perfectly. How will each law or government agency work and what value will each law or government body bring to its client, that is, the problem of today’s legislation or government service was that they are built on a functional principle. The functional principle is when, there is a boss, there are people doing work, but people do not need those who do the work, but people need those who bring value, some benefit. Now the entire state apparatus works according to the principle – I do the work, and what exactly are you doing. In this regard, I would like to bring efficiency into the state apparatus or into laws in order to smash the stream of value creation. And so that every civil servant always clearly understands what exactly will be, what value it brings. This is a whole technology and in this regard it does not have much to do with politics, it has more to do with efficiency. That is, politicians, they usually determine in which direction to move, what to reform, and so on. My task is to ensure that all this takes place in an effective format and that all adopted laws are effective.

And the last question. Your advice to the younger generation.

I would say so – find your purpose. What you came into this world for. You can start by answering the question – why not. When you want to figure out what you want, it’s easier to start with this elimination method. I definitely don’t want this, I don’t want to be this, I definitely don’t want to be. Find what you came to this world for, what you were born for, to drive, what brings you happiness, form a mission to do everything so that your life is filled with meaning, not money, but meaning. Only meaning gives happiness, when you realize the meaning of your life, you are filled with happiness.

Thank you.