0–16 Years

I grew up in a poor part of Belarus. I lived in pretty bad area of my city my whole childhood, went to the state school where the quality of education was pretty supbar. Funnily, we had English lessons but I spoke no English at all after I completed the school.

My family sold our house in the village to afford a small apartment in the capital, but the neighborhood was quite bad, ranked in top worst ones.

At 14, I realized I was not reaching my potential and decided to try something different. I started tinkering with computers and skipping school. I saw school as a scammy conveyor belt that I didn’t fit into and didn’t want to be a part of. I was an outcast and had poor relationships with my classmates. I was also in poor physical shape.

I was also lucky to have a bad computer which had low-end GPU and CPUs, so most games would not run and I had to tinker with re-assembling games, reinstalling different OSes and such. My classmates had much better ones and they spent most of the time simply gaming. I had to push my computer skills to make gaming work.

I also started to realise that you could make money off these skills so I started working for money at the age of 14, producing simple HTML/CSS sales pages and websites to people on the Internet.

At the same time, most people sat down and followed the instructions given in the school and were okay with that. I started to view this as a scammy pre-defined conveyor belt (which I did not even fit in to - I was and outcast). So I tried to follow a different path and started skipping school as much as I could.

At the same time, It was not acceptable to be the outcast. I was in bad relationships with everyone in the school. I was also in pretty much the worst physical shape out of all people in the class. Therefore I had to act. Was I motivated by the pain of staying the same?