I always liked the non-conventional path

In high school I created an affiliate website that brought in $50,000 before I turned 20.

When it was time to get an internship, instead of standing in long lines at the career fair, I targeted one company.

I created a custom marketing video for them and stood out from the competition by providing value when everyone else only offered their well-crafted resumes.

And when I graduated I decided to bet on myself and double down on copywriting and online business. 

I don't say this to brag because my accomplishments are not that impressive. I didn't create a life-saving drug, build the next Facebook, or create a $100k/mo lifestyle business (yet).

I only say this to show that I knew that:

Non-conventional success was possible

I always believed there was a way to do things better than the de-facto path most people took and all I had to do was discover it. 

But discovering that alternative path can be hard because there's too much noise out there.

Too many people selling BS courses based on books they read 10 minutes before recording. Selling magic pills that don't work. Making simple things complicated so people buy their course. 

My goal is to be the opposite of that. 

I want to document my journey, provide information based on my own experience, and yes, eventually I might release a course or two, but only if I'm confident in what I'm teaching and have the experience to back it up.

If you've ever read anything by Nat Eliason, David Perell, James Clear, Taylor Pearson, Scott Young, and the WaitButWhy guy then you know what I'm going for.1And if you haven't, I recommend checking them out ASAP! David for writing, James for habits, Nat & Taylor for business stuff, WaitButWhy for stuff that makes your brain explode, and Scott for stuff on learning and memory.

Anyway, I've had my fair share of successes, failures, and learning experiences since I started this whole "online business" thing, but I don't want to overwhelm you with info so here's a quick dropdown menu for questions you might have.

Who is Ilya, Really?

What was your biggest business failure?

I was overconfident after my affiliate marketing successes & launched an animated video creation agency. 

I hired too many people, didn't spend enough time on sales, overestimated the demand, my abilities as a leader/manager, and much more.

Some personal stuff also got in the way and I ended up closing it down after a year with significant debt. 

What was your first website about? 

I created my very first website in 8th grade as a guide to an old Russian in-browser video game that never made me any money. I did get some traffic though which was cool. 

But the 2nd site I made takes the cake. I thought there weren't enough sites about making money online on the internet (no seriously, that's what I thought!), so I decided to create my own.

My logic was: I haven't stumbled upon any MMO sites, so the niche can't be that competitive, right?

Even though that site was in a high-competition niche and was about crap like SwagBucks, InboxDollars, and other low-paying survey sites, I still made some money with it and even had 80 email subscribers at one point!  

How'd you first make money online?

My very first dollar came from one of those old survey sites where you'd spend an hour and get paid like $2 for it.

Then I made some money through small affiliate programs with survey sites, but my first taste of passive income came from Amazon affiliate. 


How many languages do you speak?

I've lived in the states for more than half my life so I'm fluent in English and Russian. I'm very rusty at Spanish & French and tried learning Japanese for a month, but dropped it. 

Notes

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    And if you haven't, I recommend checking them out ASAP! David for writing, James for habits, Nat & Taylor for business stuff, WaitButWhy for stuff that makes your brain explode, and Scott for stuff on learning and memory.
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