I was born in a small city in Romania, called Ramnicu-Valcea. Years later, the city became famous as “Hackerville”. A bunch of kids decided to start doing a bit of cyber-crime and in a few years they became quite skilled at it, penetrating a few servers and doing a lot of black hat hacking. Add to this the usual sensationalism of mainstrem media, and that’s how the surname of the city was created. Truth is, Ramnicu-Valcea had one of the highest (if not the highest) concentration of informatics engineers and educators per square meter in Romania. In 1987 I got admitted to an informatics class at my high-school, from which I also graduated as analyst-programmer.
In 1987, I repeat.
In case you didn’t understand, I repeat once more: in 1987 we were playing with Z80 processors and we were writing software. So, it wasn’t necessarily that in Ramnicu-Valcea were more hackers than in any other Romanian city, but the overall informatics-savvy people were way, way more than in other cities. So it was probably the same proportion.
Fortunately, as a kid I knew nothing about this and I had a great time spending my summer holidays at my grand-parents, in the countryside.
Unfortunately, I soon realized I was living in a very disempowering time, namely a totalitarian communist regime led by a dictator called Ceausescu.
Fortunately, it turned out I could use my mind in a constructive way, so I decided to attend a college in the main city, Bucharest.
Unfortunately, I picked the Faculty of Letters, which didn’t have a lot of perspective.
Fortunately, I got in the second, after an exam in which 600 people were competing for 100 places.
Unfortunately, after getting in, I had to pay my duty for the country, in the form of military service, which, at the time, was compulsory.
Fortunately, because I was alredy enrolled in college, my service time was only 9 months, instead of 27.
Unfortunately, during my service, the Romanian Revolution happened, which turned to be quite a chaotic and bloody event. Basically, a war.
Fortunately, I got out of it alive.
Unfortunately, the country was left in chaos and it took a lot of time until it reached a decent level of living.
Fortunately, I was a student, so living light and being flexible allowed me to enjoy these chaotic years a lot.
Unfortunately, these years got to an end when I finsihed my college and I had to start doing something with my life.
Fortunately, finding a job was easy if you were willing to put in the work.
Unfortunately, I picked a job in mainstream media, as a radio anchor.
Fortunately, it paid well.
Unfortunately, it was eating me alive. I didn’t feel good at all doing it.
Fortunately, after 7 long years, I got the power to leave mainstream media and found a job in a digital company.
Unfortunately, my skills were insufficent for a senior position.
Fortunately, my position gave me the time to learn. So I learned a lot. I learned C from scratch and bought a desktop computer.
Unfortunately, even with a new level of skills, my perspectives in that company were quite limited. So I quit.
Fortunately, I knew what I was doing, because that’s how my first company started.
Unfortunately, I soon found out that being an entrepreneur is way more difficult than being an employee.
Fortunately, it paid off.
Unfortunately, after 9 years, I felt quite tired and bored, so I decided to sell it. In 9 years I created 21 different portals, with 2 of them becoming number one in their niches.
Fortunately, I was able to sell just weeks before Lehman-Borthers happened.
Unfortunately, I put (almost) all the money in real-state. Which translates in pretty much losing (almost) everything.
Fortunately, I started this blog.
And that’s how the whole thing you’re reading now started. Feel free to start from the first article if you want to know more about me.
Warning: there are more than 1.000.000 words in here. So take your time.
Meanwhile, here are few facts:
- Self-published author, with 10 titles on Amazon, Kindle and iBookStore.
- Honored (and pretty pumped up, to be honest) to be a translated author in Korean. 100 Ways To Live A Better Life (and its counterpart, 100 Ways To Screw Up Your Life) are now available in Korean.
- Made it 3 years in a row, since 2014, on the top 100 Personal Development Blogs at Start Of Happiness.
- Sometimes I’m a regular contributor to Lifehack.org, check out my articles there.
- Some other times I also write on Medium, find me here.
- And some other times I get interviews or other people write about me elsewhere.
- If you speak Romanian, I occasionally write in Romanian on my other blog.