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Lessons from big changes

June 24, 2015

Posted in Live Interesting! June 4, 2014 


Three years ago, we boarded a Moscow-Paris plane with a one-way ticket, with a three-year-old daughter and two suitcases, in which there was by no means money.

Years of a successful career, a stable life and a solid coast are left behind. An experiment called "Let's try to live where we like and do what we believe in" began. It's time to make your long-cherished dreams come true.


I always tell my clients: geography, money, profession - these are just the conditions of the problem, the main thing is to know that the problem itself is solvable.

Our initial conditions looked like this: Roma is a project manager in trade marketing, I am a talent manager, Egor is a senior student, Anya is just Anya of three years. We have a stable job in an international company, we live in Moscow, we travel a lot around the world and in general everything is like  people.

What we swung at: to exchange all this stability at any rate for a life that we choose for ourselves. With Roman's choice, everything was clear from the very beginning - all his life he dreamed of becoming the chef of a French restaurant. My new role was drowning in uncertainty, but I was sure that I would figure it out along the way. There are no connections in Europe, there are reserves of money for about a year, so as not to work, while living on a budget and getting a good education.

And the era of Great Changes has begun for us.

Today I am writing to you from Monaco, from the window I see the Prince's Palace and the spectators gathering for Formula 1 races, Roma has been meeting with suppliers in a restaurant since seven in the morning, Anya is reading a French book nearby, she has a vacation. Our eldest studies and works in St. Petersburg. I declare the Epoch of Great Changes closed, the Time of Results and Growth has come. Ready to share with you the Main Lessons of Big Change.

Lesson 1

If you think of something big when you are already “over 30”, there will never be a suitable time. There will be more inappropriate and less inappropriate.


After 30, we all acquire connections, houses, circumstances, we have already built into a certain course of things, and they themselves will not ideally develop in such a way as to take and rebuild everything. The conclusion is simple - once you decide, you have to do it.

Some people ask me, what about fears, because you need to somehow dispel or overcome them, and then start. And I I think this is a useless exercise. Fears and worries are normal, but I don’t want to put them at the forefront and generally somehow celebrate them.

An example on this topic from life. Here is a pregnant woman. If she had appointed the day of childbirth herself, having first come to a state where she was not at all worried, then such a day might not come. And then at least be afraid, at least don’t be afraid - if the inevitable time appointed by nature has come, then you give birth, whether you are scared or not. So is with changes. If this day is inevitable (well, and  that you yourself appointed it), then you will not analyze fears, but do what is necessary.

Lesson 2

At first, everything you dream of seems impossible. But there is a bridge from an impossible dream to an ordinary plan - this is the first step.


Even the smallest, but it will mean that you have already crossed the line from the past to the future. As Napoleon said, the main thing is to get involved in the case. In our case, it was a letter to the culinary academy LeCordon Bleu Paris about the opportunity to study as a chef. Then visit there. And now we are looking for an apartment in Paris, we find out at the consulate about a package of documents, we are preparing our successors at work. And we no longer talk about the distant and unrealizable, but simply take this distant, divide it into understandable parts and move on.

Lesson 3

In a new field of activity, the main competitive advantage is when you seriously ignite what you have undertaken.


Today I talked to Zhanna, she is such a tired, tired advertiser in the restaurant business (according to her, she "got lost in the restaurant business"). I listened to Jeanne and remembered Tolya, whose eyes are burning on this same restaurant business. During the year of working on his new career, he managed to get involved in the business so actively that he held several sensational events in Moscow and a couple of them in cooperation with newly acquired French partners.

When you do something with passion, you develop in it much faster than anyone who does it simply out of obligation. Because jumping up at night and writing down a new idea, or reading a book a day on your own topic - it's not annoying, it's energizing. Roma can spend half his day off inventing a new salad dressing and never get tired of mixing all the ingredients in twenty variations. Now imagine that such a passion for your work competes with the usual, that is, the normal attitude of people who are not so enthusiastic? Who are you betting on? That's it, that's how it works.

When you are very interested, you stop thinking about conventions, you fly, say, to London for the right seminar, and you don’t care that you can’t afford a good lunch there yet. It doesn't give me a headache at all.

Lesson 4

When there are 20 cents left in your pocket, things will go faster than when there are 20 thousand. Difficulties mobilize and pump qualities that atrophy in predictable well-being.

We had some rather dark days, but after the first such day we stopped being afraid of them and concluded that being at the bottom means being on a solid surface from which you can push off and swim up.

Once, our hands dropped, because after several months of signing a contract in Monaco, Roma was refused approval for the position of chef, because one high official did not see in him the potential to become a chef of a local restaurant, due to nationality and lack of experience. As I remember now, we sat on the floor in the kitchen and were silent. The paper with the refusal lay between us. Then we looked at each other, habitually pulled ourselves together and came up with a plan to convince this person.

At the start, after all, no one issues a warranty card for a happy ending. You just have to plow with enthusiasm and wait for the right opportunities. For example, we never considered Monaco as a destination. But the opportunity arose, and we were ready for it.

Lesson 5

Everything that happened before is not in vain. Even when it seems like a complete start from scratch, it is not a complete start from scratch.


It would seem that in the kitchen of a restaurant, knowledge of trade marketing is not very applicable. But Roma managed complex projects, led a team and learned how to achieve results, and in  restaurant all this turned out to be very useful.

And about me in general a special story. At first, I thought I wanted to be a writer. And during the first month in Paris, she even wrote half of the novel, a detective story. Of course, it was about office life, and the office maniac's first victim looked suspiciously like my boss. I  also learned to write about travel and shoot professionally. And I was sure that my 15 years in areas of work with personnel ended along with my office life.

And I found myself very close to the place where I lost. One day I realized that I constantly advise people (just like that) about work. That everything that I study, what I'm interested in - it's just about career change, about how others do it and what success depends on. When it dawned on me that this is what gives me my pleasure and my meaning, I found my focus. And I realized that I want to become an expert in this, and help others in finding themselves and do it faster and bolder. And here I overestimated all these 15 years, which have now become a good foundation. And writing is implemented in the blog, which also came in handy.

I told you about five of our personal lessons. And at the end, I want to give just one piece of advice. You don't have to leave ANYWHERE. You have to go SOMEONE. Then everything works. We went to another country not because everything was bad with us. Everything was fine with us, but we had plans. If  plans were not French cuisine, but yoga, then we would go to India. Geography has nothing to do with it, it is important to know your answer to the question “why”.

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