I was born on a beautiful day on May 9th, 1985 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, but I’ve lived most of my European life in Sofia (the capital) so you can say that I come from the big city (biggest we have in Bulgaria at least). Ever since I can remember, I’ve always challenged the status quo and had the inner desire to be different. If all the kids could count to 10, I nagged my older sister to teach me to count to 20. If all my friends had to have allowance from their parents to buy things, I had to be making my own money.
This innate desire to go against the grain, and seeing how one day, my parents ended the years of dissatisfaction with their jobs working for a a national engineering company, and walked out the door to start their own engineering company (in a time and place when almost nobody dared to start their own business) lead to my first entrepreneurial endeavor. I was in 5th grade.
The Young Entrepreneur
After discovering the magic of iron-on sheets (which we thought were the best thing since sliced bread), my best friend and I decided to open a t-shirt design and distribution company. We quickly got some images from the internet, printed a couple of cool t-shirts, made a portfolio of designs and went to the nearest market to try to convince the local clothing stores to carry our designs. Although our venture only ever sold 11 t-shirts (turns out, few store owners wanted to buy custom t-shirts from two 12-year old boys) we learned that our business model was flawed and not scalable so we gave up the dream of becoming the next Marc Ecko. But we walked away with some important lessons in sales, marketing, and business.
At the same time, the Internet was gaining popularity and mp3 downloads were on the rise. To capitalize on the trends my trusted partner and I created our first web-based business. We built a website providing an alphabetical directory of links to websites where you can download different songs and albums. We did some duct-tape marketing by telling all of our friends about the website and posting flyers in our middle school. Our website started getting a decent amount of traffic and we were on our way to world domination.
Unfortunately, one day we realized that providing free links to free stuff is not really a business model, as we were making no money, duh…so we started looking for advertisers to sell advertising space to. Turns out, mp3 downloads weren’t perfectly legal and ethical so no big company wanted to put their banners on our website (at the time, only big companies in Bulgaria were advertising on this new and mysterious thing called the Internet). So after 3 months of operation, our second business closed doors and we decided to go back to being kids, having learned the important lessons of marketing and having an actual business and revenue model.
The American Dream
Fast forward a couple of fun years in high school and here I was a sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, USA, going for my Bachelor degree in Finance. But my entrepreneurial spirit traveled across the ocean with me. It was 2005 and everyone was making money with AdSense by creating and publishing articles. As that business model did not appeal to me, I decided to go against the grain (surprise!). Instead of creating articles, I decided to create an article directory where people can post their articles on. After weeks of research and stumbling through getting a domain, hosting and this new crazy thing called MySQL, I opened my very own article directory called the Fresh Article Directory. Or, as I called it, my one month to a black Infinity G37. Turns out that it takes a bit more time than a month to make that type of cash. But I learned a lot about SEO, marketing, maintaining the inner works of a website and running an internet business.
In 2007, I was growing my AdSense business, when I came across Andy Jenkins and his course on Yahoo stores. I was fascinated by the idea of drop-shipping and with the help of StomperNet and Andy’s little course, me and my girlfriend at the time (who later on became my wife) launched KCPlush.com, an eCommerce store for stuffed animals.
After graduation in 2008, due to the lack of creativity and flexibility of US immigration laws (and to put to use my degree in Finance), I started as a full-time Financial analyst in a New Jersey wealth management firm. Bored to death by having an unpleasant boss, office politics and shifting numbers from one excel spreadsheet to another, I walked out one day and never came back. It was time to be a full-time entrepreneur and concentrate on my AdSense and eCommerce businesses.
The success of KC Plush, coupled with the inability to find good wedding accessories for our wedding (yes, I proposed and she said “yes” so we were planning an international wedding with 130 guests and a bridal party of 20 (don’t ask)) lead to LittleWeddingTreasures.com, a wedding accessories eCommerce store which opened “doors” in 2010.
My websites were dominating the search engines so I decided to put my SEO and marketing knowledge to use for other people. So in late 2010, I started a marketing consulting business. At the time I was already working 50 – 60 hours a week, but I somehow decided that that was not enough so I filled the rest with consulting for other businesses.
At the start of 2011, I was managing 3 full-time business with thousands of customers, a full-time team spread across the globe, and hundreds of emails daily. I had become a master of time management, balancing my business and personal life. And through all these different business ventures, I found my passion: productivity and high performance.
In 2011, my wife and I sold all our businesses, packed our bags and moved to Montreal, Canada. My wife started her MBA and I concentrated all my skills into building a business to help educate and train individuals and businesses on how to become productive and achieve the highest levels of performance.
In 2012, I distilled what I had learned so far about email management into a book called “The Lean Email Simple System: 5 Keys To Master Your Inbox, Get In Charge Of Your Day and Create More Time For Your Goals.” The book became an Amazon bestseller in the Time Management category in the first month of publishing!
I am currently spending all of my time on High Performance Lifestyle, growing my expertise and knowledge in productivity, business growth and marketing. Over the next few years, my number one goal is to share what I have learned with you so that you can have an even better life than I do.