An Entrepreneur’s Story
Published: 29 January 2015
If you’ve never heard of Eugene Isayev don’t feel like ‘The Lone Ranger’ because few people outside of Russia know who he is either. However, you can probably expect to hear more about him in the future because he’s one of Russia’s newest, fastest rising and most fascinating MLM entrepreneurs. He presently runs one of the outstanding new rising sales teams in one of Russia’s new MLM companies and not has accomplished a lot so far but still has even bigger dreams for the future.
For those of us in the MLM business, his story should be an encouragement because he wasn’t always so successful. In fact he comes from rather middle-class roots in Russia and has worked hard for everything he has but he is also quick to point out that his story should be an encouragement for anybody who might be wondering if or when they’ll find the success that they know they’re capable of in MLM or any other business.
Eugene was born in 1981 in a city that, although it is reasonably large now, most people not familiar with Russian geography would not be familiar with. For that reason, and also because he doesn’t like to ‘slight’ other Russian cities which undoubtedly also produce their share of successful entrepreneurs, Eugene doesn’t even like to mention the name of his birthplace. Most people still don’t know where it is.
He says his parents were kind, loving and very hard-working. His mom was lucky enough to have a pretty good job as an accountant and his dad worked in the construction business. He says that mom worked very hard though and always brought work from the office to the house to do at night.
His dad had a pretty good job, for those times, as Deputy Head of Construction although he started at a very junior level in the company and worked his way up the ladder rung by rung.
This was back in the 90’s and Eugene says he remembers that his family seemed to be better off than many other families in their area. It was only later that he realized that they were indeed blessed not only from above but also he was blessed to have parents that set such a good example of working hard.
Visualizing his early childhood years is one thing that keeps him motivated. He says he remembers the view from his bedroom window and that it definitely was not a ‘picture postcard’.
On one side was a swamp, on the other side was a high school football field and school and road, and beyond that was a forest which was very beautiful in the Spring and Summer but not so pretty in the Winter.
Eugene remember that as a kid in school he knew what his parents did, i.e. he knew they worked hard, but he also knew that most of his friends’ parents didn’t live so well even though he didn’t understand why at the time.
He say he just knew that his family seemed to be a bit better off and perhaps a bit more fortunate than others. Now of course he realizes that his parents worked hard and sacrificed for everything they had and everything they gave him.
In the early 90’s his dad started his own construction company. It wasn’t big of course but Eugene could tell that dad was proud of it and that he enjoyed the challenge. In fact, in the early years of his company his dad did pretty well with it.
Their family bought a car, not Russian of course, but a European model, and actually became locally famous and admired for having their own automobile when most other people were riding bicycles or taking the public transportation that existed at that time.
Still, they were part of their local community. All the neighbors knew each other and got along fine. In those days, neighbors trusted each other. In fact, Eugene remembers his mom’s bedside table where she would sometimes even leave stacks of money, still in the bank wrappers, simply because everybody trusted everybody else in our neighborhood.
Yes, those were the days of childhood innocence and comfort. When you’re young, life is an endless summer that you think will never end, right?
Eugene says it seemed like it took forever but in 1997 he finally finished high school. He wasn’t one of these ‘bookworm’ kids who excelled in school but he had average grades so he did get a diploma and that’s all that really counted to him.
After high-school, his parents helped him get into a technical university but in order to attend he had to leave his little provincial country town and all the friends of his youth and move to one of the largest cities in Russia.
Naturally that was somewhat of an adventure for him as a young ‘country kid’ but he enjoyed the experience initially. That was in 1998 which was also the year that Russia experienced a rather serious financial crises.
The real world began to impress itself upon Eugene because things got tight for him at school too. There were many days when he had to choose between taking the tram to school or having the money to buy a bowl of soup in the student cafeteria. It was one or the other but very seldom both.
Eugene’s parents were experiencing tough times too and it eventually got to the point where they could no longer support his studies on a regular basis. He almost had to drop of school but luckily he had met some kids who seemed to be doing much better than me and I discovered why.
It turned out that these were kids who had jobs with a US international trading company. Eugene says he’ll always remember how ‘cool’ everybody, including himself, thought they were because they used to wear blue shirts that said “Ford” on them.
Ford of course was one of the products their trading company represented and the shirts were promotional items from Ford but those kinds of things were highly prized by Russians because they weren’t common in Russia at that time like they were in the US.
But these other kids, at the trading company, always seems to have plenty of money and they didn’t struggle financially from day to day like Eugene had to. That really got his attention and he wanted to see if I could get a piece of that kind of lifestyle.
Eventually Eugene had quit technical school to work. He had to. It was just too much strain to work and go to school at the same time. During those years Eugene got a thorough understanding of ‘the working man’s life.
He had all kinds of jobs: freight loader, clerk, taxi driver, lower level management jobs, advertising sales, festival organizer…. he even did some street-musician work with some friends for a while(he used to play guitar).
Eugene was glad to have the work even though it was hard but he soon realized that this wasn’t the long-term lifestyle he wanted or was worthy of. Most days he worked 16 hours days from 6:30 in the morning to 11:00 o’clock in the evening… and only for around 100 Russian Rubles@day (and keep in mind that a pack of cigarettes at that time cost 34 rubles).
He says that he knew this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable long-term and his mind kept going back to those guys he’d met who worked for the trading company… and he wondered…..if…..
He had no car, no degree, and no experience but he was ‘hungry’ (for an opportunity) and he believed that in life, ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog’ that makes the difference. So he approached that company even though he knew that he didn’t have the qualifications that company usually required. He figured he didn’t have anything to lose by trying.
So, he applied and after numerous telephone follow-up calls and office visits and gradually ‘wearing them down’ with his persistence, they hired him and gave him a chance, on probation, in a job that was supposed to last for three months at $US100 a month. That was big money back in those days!
He did well too. He was driven for succeed no matter what the cost. In fact, he worked with such great enthusiasm that after a few weeks of working his ‘territory’, calling on store owners, selling the company’s products, his shoes were actually ruined.
But all his efforts were not in vain because he passed his probation period and got the full-time job. That’s where his business career started.
He eventually got a better job and at the end of 2005, when he was 25, he got a new job as commercial director of a company that sold stationary. And the salary was excellent too.
But it was by this time that he was beginning to understand that the real road to wealth was to own your own business. It was about this time that he discovered the network marketing industry.
Eugene still says that to him, MLM seemed to be all the good points of capitalism and free enterprise all rolled into one with virtually none of the headaches. To him, MLM just seemed to be the right way to do business because whether you were in the company or owned it you still had all the upside potential and almost nothing to lose.
His enthusiasm got him into the business but that’s where he found out education doesn’t come just in formal schooling. Like many people who get into MLM who have no money and very little credibility, he wasn’t successful at first. Lots of people told him, “no”.
But luckily he found a mentor. Under this mentor’s careful tutelage, over the next 6.5 years Eugene learned the business and enjoyed growing success.
Eugene didn’t give up his full-time job though but even though he had two incomes, it was still difficult to make ends meet. The reason was that he didn’t know how to manage his money. He was ‘noveau rich’ and he ‘blew it’.
He had gotten married by this time (2013) but was still living from month to month in a less-than-opulent rented apartment mostly because he didn’t know how to handle his money.
In fact he still remembers the day he wanted to make a gourmet scrambled-egg dish (it was all he had in the fridge at the time). The dish was actually for his young son (and his wife was expecting another) but he remembers that he accidently dropped the egg, it broke and he cried out in absolute frustration because he actually had nothing else in the house to eat at the time.
One of the reasons Eugene understands the desperation of some of the people who come into his group at WIC now is because he experienced those same frustrations himself. There were times in those early years when he had to borrow money from friends or from loan-sharks who charged terrible interest.
He says he’ll never forget the people who took advantage of him in those years nor will he forget the kind friends who time, time, and time again did believe in him when he promised he’d repay them when he got going again. At one time his debt-owed amounted to over $US400…. a lot of money at that time.
Eugene says it seemed scary at the time but he realizes that perhaps it was a tempering process, like making steel. He learned to control his fears and uncertainty but he says that most people could avoid having to go through the same traumatic learning experiences he had to endure if only they would learn how to handle money (as well as how to make it).
What kept him going was his dream. He knew he could become truly successful. He knew that God expected more from him and would empower him to do more with a better opportunity. He just had to persevere. His dream was to be making 30 to 40K Rubles a month and for him it was ‘do or die’.
Through it all, his young wife was always his most trusted partner, confidant and loyal supporter. Some other women would have long-ago packed their bags, taken the kids and gone back to ‘mom’. But not his beautiful bride.
In addition to his wife, who he now delights in treating like the ‘Queen’ that she is, Eugene remembers that his parents, even though they weren’t able to provide him any financial assistance, were always supportive of him even in his darkest hours.
There were a few others and that’s why today Eugene is known as a very good friend to his friends who supported him back in those early days of his ‘life education’. Some of them have had their share of bad times too and he’s been able to repay their kindness by helping them when they needed help (and was happy to do so).
In 2013, Eugene’s life took a turn… this time for the better. Little did he know the outcome of this simple communication from a someone he’d known for only about 6 months. That person’s name was Arcadia Sharov, a distributor with WIC holdings.
By this time Eugene had dropped out of his first MLM but Arcadia had been trying to get him to give himself another chance in the industry that at one time Eugene had loved so much. But Eugene had been resisting Arcadia’s solicitations to join WIC even though he knew that his friend, Arcadia, was doing well and that WIC seemed to be a good company.
However, this time…. something just ‘clicked’...and Eugene said ‘Yes’.
Eugene joined WIC in November of 2013 and within his first 6 months with WIC, Eugene began to realize what a great company WIC was and how capable his mentor and sponsor, Gulnaz Halimova, was. Eugene says she has done so much for me it’s hard to describe.
Eugene says he’s sure he must have seemed a bit hard-headed at times but through it all Gulnaz, and the rest of his upline, have been patient and he now realizes that they really do understand MLM and want only the best for him.
Since that pivotal November 2013, Eugene is a transformed person. He’s overcome all problems that he thought he had and which other people think they have when coming into network marketing. He’s learned how to get around the problem of not having any money, the problem of not knowing anybody and not having any credibility in his market, and the problem of thinking that he had to ‘sell’ very well.
That’s right. Eugene has overcome those problems and now teaches others how to overcome them too. He says that the amount of opportunity and wisdom he has found in WIC is incredible.
Because of what he has learned in WIC and the opportunity he found there, Eugene has been able to pay off more that $US125K in debt.
Eugene says he’s learned that the secret in MLM is to have clear goals, find a mentor (or mentors), pay attention (i.e. don’t be ‘too cool for school’), and give whatever company you hang your dreams on at least a year of solid, focused, massive action to the best of your ability.
It’s not your oratorical skill or your selling skills that makes the difference. It’s the commitment, enthusiasm and belief within you that shows forth and causes people to follow you until they too can stand on their own.
Eugene even today, when speaking to WIC groups, says that it’s hard to teach what to do because everybody needs work in different areas. But everybody also need work on their ‘belief-engine’ and that’s what he encourages them to do...i.e. a mixture of business training and belief training…. and let the pieces fall where they belong in the student’s mind.
One thing that Eugene says everybody does has to do is make up their mind that they don’t want to ‘go back’ to the drudgery of their unfulfilling, dead-end, jobs. He says that’s probably why he said ‘yes’ that second time to Arcadia… i.e. he knew he wasn’t happy and he knew that MLM was the only realistic chance he had to get the life he wanted.
Since Eugene has been in WIC, he says he’s met some incredible people people. And he realizes he’s come a long way himself in his own mental toughness. He remembers the early months sitting in cafes talking to prospects while looking around to make sure nobody came in that he owed money too (that would have been embarrassing!).
He also remembers doing Skype calls and being so tired that he actually fell asleep on the desk, only to be awoken by someone else calling. During it all, he remembers several mentors:
Elena Mishchenko… always energetic, never a lack of energy, a lady who must never sleep, and always in motion toward her goals. Elena has been a constant source of positive energy and it was often her encouragement that kept him going.
Then there was the help and example of Gulnara Knyazheva who taught him not only ‘the business’ side of WIC but also very vital principles of the necessary character and personal development traits to be successful in MLM.
Eugene says he’s happy to be where he’s at with WIC now but knows that there are even higher levels of development and achievement to attain. Someday he hops to function on the level of Arcadia and enjoy the level of success Arcadia has but, until then, he’s going to enjoy the journey because now he truly sees ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’.
The point that somebody new to MLM (regardless of the company or the country) can learn from Eugene Isayev is that if an ordinary guy like Eugene, with no particularly outstanding talents, no particularly high IQ, from a ‘working class’ background in a small town somewhere in Russia ( where sitting on the porch drinking beer was considered a ‘good’ night-out)...if a person like that was able to make it in this industry (and in WIC) and have a bright future ahead of himself, then anybody else else can do it too.
Although Eugene’s income is no guarantee that anybody else’s will be the same or higher or lower, still his example has meaning. His first monthly check in the company was $US4300…. not bad for a simple young man from the provinces, right? And after 11 months with WIC Eugene has earned a cumulative income of approximately $US125K. Again….nothing to sneeze at for a ‘beginner’.
Eugene reminds us that he worked hard. But it was well worth it. The numbers don’t lie. So…. keep on Planning, Doing and Reviewing. Keep on talking to lots of people, being sincere, giving good service when required, giving everybody a chance but letting them make the choice, building a team of like-minded success-oriented believers, and following your dreams.