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Lucia and personal success

16 Aug 2015 | Posted Under Attitude

Lucia and Flatt 44  Moscow, Russia


I'm sitting at this bar with a friend of mine in Moscow Russia. it's an interesting bar, a two-story building, it's a cross between McDinton’s Irish pub in a regular two-story house. It’s in the old historic section of Moscow and it's called flat 44. We’re sitting at the corner of the bar and we're doing shots drinking beers smoking cigarettes and having fun with the people around us. We are clearly the only two Americans in the bar.

We're drawing a fair amount of attention to ourselves and just really having a blast and there's a band playing in the background and the band has a piano a clarinet a violin and an accordion and your sandwiched in a space the size of the bathtub and they're playing music called Jewish jazz.


After being at the bar for about 30 minutes a lady walks up and taps me on the shoulder and asked me if I'd like to dance? Of course I'd love to dance so we go out on the dance floor and we start doing little swing dancing

 Over the music I ask her what's your story and in discernible and broken English it was she tells me “I own this place” I start laughing well it doesn't get any better than this


We Chatted for about 10 minutes and then she had to go her way and I went my way back to my friends at the bar her name was Lucia.


We did agree to make arrangements to meet have coffee a few days later I wanted to find out more about her story and I was drinking up every Russian experience I could get!


There are several very important dates in recent Russian history. Two of the most important however are 1989,the fall of the Iron Curtain and the geopolitical changes brought about to the Soviet Union. and later in 1998 Russia defaulted on virtually all of International Bonds. Creating internal bankruptcy of the country.


After the fall of the Soviet Union Much of Russia was exposed for the very first time. An incredible amount of freedom and within that freedom people started to travel become more mobile .One of the other things that happened was the divorce rate in Russia skyrocketed


In a short period time jumped divorce up to over 60%. There was no social service to support or protect the person who was financially victimized in the divorce. In many cases it was both parties.


Lucia was one of the casualties of divorced left with two small children from different fathers she now felt alone in the world.


 A few years later in 1998 when Russian financial Crisis hit the value of the Ruble fell to about 10% of its original value. It didn't matter what your job was or how much money you had you woke up one morning literally out of work underpaid and devalued and broke. Lucia was no different.


Lucia was a hotel bartender at the time. She had two other friends that that were in the same situation. Each with a single child divorced and broke.   


One did nails one did hair at the same hotel salon.


Dealing with an incredibly difficult situation these three adult women in their four children moved into a flat and shared expenses.


Lucia would go every day at this point and from her view of a bartender study how bars operated.


The other two girls started to train their friends on how to do nails and how to do hair. They took their knowledge and shared it in the era of free for all in Russia.


The three working lived on the income of one person. They took all of their wages and all of their tips and put it in a pickle jar that they placed on the dining room table.


After scrimping and saving for three years they opened their very first nail and hair salon called My Fair Lady. They now operate a chain of salons throughout Moscow operated by the women they trained.  


They leverage the relationships of the people they met at the salons.


The money generated from that effort lead to the opening of Flatt 44.


 The week after we were leaving they were having a grand opening of their second flat 44 on the other side of town.


This was the most unusual story I have ever heard about overcoming obstacles.


I asked her in total amazement how in the world did they accomplish this?


Lucia told me we didn't know what we could do and we didn't know what we couldn't do we just knew we had to do something. And this is what we wanted to do!


 So when things get difficult and they will! Keep your eye on the goal share what you know and overcome the obstacles on the road to success.


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