My name’s Oleg Barmin, thirty-five years old from Severodvinsk, near Arkhangelsk (in the Arctic north-west of Russia,) and a graduate of St. Petersburg’s Marine Technical University.
Despite not working for anyone else officially until the grand age of 28, my working life began at the age of fifteen, when I set up a car wash, then started a tyre center, then another one. After having sold them, I bought a smoke house and began to smoke dry and cure fish, primarily herring and mackerel.
Then came the moment when my heart became set on selling cars, not smoking fish. So, at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, I opened a car dealing center in Arkhangelsk. First, I was flogging Skodas, Volkswagens, and Toyotas on the black market. Soon enough, I managed to land a contract with the American brand Chevrolet on car distribution and official car care. With Opel, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai following suit, and later on, Volvo, Land Rover, and Honda to add to the variety. After seven years of operating, the company had grown from merely one person to a personnel of four hundred and fifty employees, with a turnover of one hundred million dollars and up to five hundred cars sold per month.
By that time, the business developed with an ad agency named VeryWell, a lifestyle magazine named LiveJournal (little did I know that there was also a blogging page with the same name). There was no legitimate cafe in the whole of Severodvinsk to go out to, thus I was inspired to open a cafe there.
The credit crunch of two thousand and eight plunged me into complete bankruptcy. In two thousand and nine, I moved to Moscow. I needed a place to tell the story of my ruin, so I started to blog. It's only then when I've found out that it is home to the number one blogging site in Russia, named LiveJournal (what a surprise!). Soon the massive influx of the Intenet users' interest to my blog made me assume I know how to write.
Three years of blogging a diary of how I've run two businesses: a florist and a honey shop. One day, the director of LiveJournal asked me if I could stop by their headquarters, just to chat, you know. After an hour of talking, he offered me the position of Marketing Director. The next four years, we were shedding blood, sweat and tears into LiveJournal. Within a year, the reach increased significantly to forty percent. When I arrived, there were about seven million blogs at the platform. It was about eighteen million when I left.
And last but not the least, I was invited as a blogger to support an event of a telco in Kaliningrad. I was standing by the door of the sales office with an active man who was handing around balloons, so I joined him in action. The man appeared to be the CEO of Beeline, Vimpelcom Russia. To make a long story short, he engaged me as his councillor, following which I took the post of Chief Social Media Officer and took the lead of the External Communications and Social Media Department.
In addition, I've recently published a book about my rises and falls. It's got lots of positive feedback, was compared with Kotler and Ogilvy, neighboured Steve Jobs’ biography on the shelves and, to my sheer delight, promptly became a bestseller. It's sold out now, so the publishing house Mann and Partners is about to produce another circulation.
So, in a nutshell, I am a businessman, a blogger, a Beeline Chief Social Media Officer, and a brand new author. Thank you, thank you.