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Rostislav Gritsenko

Rostislav Gritsenko 31+
0- Born in Kyiv
1- Was diagnosed with Infant Cerebral Paralysis

At the age of 5 – I suggested a business idea to my parents. I asked my mom to go to Poland and buy T-shirts from there and then we would add some prints onto them and sell them. Even back then I knew that it’s cheaper to buy things in Poland.

At 6 – I took my first steps without any aid. I had received Eastern treatment in my childhood.

At 7 – I went to a regular school. First, the doctors didn’t want to give me the needed medical certificates required to enroll in the school, but my aunt, who was only 16 back then, helped me to get them. I am forever grateful to her for that.

At 11-  I had a normal life of a teenager : hanging out in the streets, football, basketball, graffiti, rap, little mischief.

I knew that if someone is bullying you, you have to stand up for yourself.

I started listening to The Offspring, 2Pac, Prodigy and Metallica when I was in the 6th grade. My classmates were so behind these trends but I got the buzz just listening to this music.

I had a thing for sales since schooldays. I used to earn some money selling and exchanging whatever that was possible.

At 17 – enrolled in the university.

At 22 – got my MA in “Banking”, but it wasn’t long before I realized that “banking” and I don’t get on well.. at all. Because in banking things work like this: first you work with clients and only a couple of years later you get to work with documentation. To put it bluntly, I would say that I wasn’t hired to work at the level that I had a potential for and that is for one simple reason – lack of experience. But how could I have experience just right after graduation?

At 23- I attended around 200 interviews in six months. For me, that was a challenge. There were days when I had 2 or 3 interviews. No one would take me on anywhere. Not even at “Sil’po”.

When I was a student, my parents didn’t help me financially. So, during my first year at university I started playing an online game called “Lineage”. In a year I was able to go a level up and I had a chance to sell things that I was adding to this game. Every Friday, on Bessarabka, we had a gamers gathering where I used to sell virtual stuff to the members of the group. Every week, I managed to get 50 to 100 dollars in my pocket without any extra effort while the average monthly salary in Kyiv at those days was 350 dollars. In addition, I used to sell and buy telephones on the “radio market” and I always had very good telephones. Some invest in gold, I invest in telephones.

At 24- After another failure at finding a proper job, I decided to work for myself. I signed a contract with KyivKhleb (Kyiv Bread) and opened a few stands which I had to close down in six months.

2012 – I found a job at an advertising agency. I worked as a consultant for their website, but in a week or two I was offered an additional job at the SMM department.

At 27- I started working in SMM field in outsourcing. By that time, I had managed to work with both big brands as well as with some unknown ones.  I consider Piza Veterano to be one of the most successful projects.

At 25- I had a daughter. Only after this had I realized what real love means.

And I will never recommend her getting a university degree. I believe in our day and age this is completely pointless.

I want everything and I want it now.

I try not to buy clothes in Ukraine. Usually I order clothes from American online shops. Sadly, this turns out to be way cheaper.

I dream of buying a house.

I love travelling to Lviv on the weekends. These trips are my way to recharge my batteries.

I want to open my advertising agency where each specialist is going to have an apprentice coming from socially unprotected layers of society.

My attempts at finding sponsorship for this project ended up in a burnout. But I still hope to accomplish this project one day.

I know that you can’t sit still not doing anything. Nothing gets done by inertia. You set a target, you reach the target, move forward. You achieve success taking baby steps.

I made mistakes so many times.

I want to go to Tibet!

One of the most powerful recent memories is The Maidan events. The first one and then the second. The second was for sure, more emotional.

2014 – I took part in the events during the Maidan revolution but then I went down with flu, after which there were some serious complications with my immune and nervous system. As a result I was paralyzed in my arms and legs. I watched the tragic events of February 2014 with tears in my eyes on a hospital bed.

Before that I was able to run the stairs, play football, basketball, but now I have been lying in bed for 6 months. I didn’t want anyone to pity me or take care of me. I realized that it all depends on me. I started forcing myself to gradually get up. I leaned on the wall and tried to walk.  Then I went out with friends and by clinging to the stadium nets I went around in circles.

My motto in life is that no one owes me anything. No one owes anyone anything! In the same manner I don’t owe anyone anything. The only people I am responsible for are my family.

If you want to help- just do it in action.

I have had lots of great moments in my life, but I simply don’t fully appreciate them because I am constantly aiming for more.

Before the war I used to explain the difference between Russia and Ukraine to others by speaking about bears, balalaika and Borsh. Everyone likes Borsh! )))

I really wish people wouldn’t limit anyone including themselves. I wish people were more simple. If we build so many constraints around us it becomes equivalent to being in a jail.  People should reconsider one truth – change should occur at all times, gradually, in us and around us.