How I wrote my book about my migration story its a story by itself…
I was working at a factory for just I’ve £250 per week when got to provide the national insurance number (NIN as per local work regulations) if I would want to continue working there. It was the best work I had so far and I wanted to keep it. Knowing my passport is fake, I decided to still give it a try with a hope it will pass.
I was arrested at the job centre and put in prison for thee months.
After the three months I was released on bail and had to come to authorities every week to sign reporting where I live, just waiting to be deported when they get all paperwork ready.
Getting back to my country, to the old life, at the time form me was similar to suicide (taking all my journey that I made to arrive here and the debt I had to pay back) so I decided to move to London and dissolve in the crowd not to be found and find something to do.
Now any encounter with authorities or giving my finger prints anywhere is a risk to be arrested again and placed in prison for double time now: for the fact that I’m illegal, and also for that I have not attended the signing procedure after my first arrest.
I started working at building site through a friend Michal who found me a place working with him. But sun there came an opportunity to earn more with fraudulent activities – it didn’t take much for me to make a decision as my risks being arrested at work and at the new activity is the same. I am illegal in both scenarios, so I went for where was paid better, which always is a factor of growth and help towards the desired dream goal.
That is how I came across my Nigerian friend, no name here as he used a fake name anyway. Like being a tourist in a foreign country you find people who speak the same language or interest, equipped with a fake passport and ready for any money making venture, you find people who have the same interest. I wasn’t looking for specific guy who offered a specific opportunity – it just came along.
I had a task to come to a specific currency exchange kiosk in a specific airport where i would show my passport and ask for a specific amount of funds that would have been waiting for me there. Those funds would be shared 50/50 between me and the “contractor”.
This was the fraud attempt I was imprisoned for…
When I look back at those times I remember the exact feelings I woke up with every morning. It often reminds me of the story of Henry Avery form the book “The Republic of Pirates” by Colin Woodard, the first recorded pirate who found himself and his ship true stranded in Spain in about 1694, abandoned by their country for the king disposal to “pay them or gang them if he pleased”. They went wandering the La Coruna streets gathering up men form the other English sips in the harbour in order to find company and a way to escape and go to their wives and children. First they raided ships to gather enough goods and a good ship to get home. Few raids and a rich loot later, they realised that they could take advantage of it, plus the gang grew bigger, powerful and more hungry, which later turned in, as per the C Woodard book, what we now know pirating. This is how a person cornered into no option but to rebel transforms into a criminal or bites like that stray cornered dog fearing for his life!
At the time, those opportunities were the only ones that I seen – there was no examples of successful people to learn form, just those who stole the most and started on some legal venture. Anyway, the idea was to do whatever I can in order to gather some funds and start something good. Something that will provide for future. Especially now since I found out that Margarita is two months pregnant.
I’m in my cell walking it long and wide crying on how stupid all this went “what will Margarita do now, pregnant, visa coming to an end, and only £30 left to spend. She doesn’t know how things work here, not even depositing cash in the back account. How will she manage?! If she will go home or will be deported, who knows when I will see her and my soon to be born son? If I will be deported, how and when will I have a chance to meet them?” There was a big and painful dilemma…
I met margarita about a year prior and ever since. I met her in London while she arrived for a couple of months to study english. It became, at least for me, into the love of my life and the mother of my beloved son Alex. We could not spend an hour of our life without or at least contacting each other. She was teaching me manners, how to behave in the non orphanage sportsman environment and always was aiming for me to get out and meet smart people. She was very happy and supported me at every step when I set on the self development journey – she never mentioned our financial needs although we were broke most of the time. Broke but not poor – we were happy with what we had
As I was locked alone in the cell for weeks, the story of my journey was running through my head and I realised there were moments that were not as vivid anymore so I had the idea to write it down.
So I did.
Soon I had 20 pages down before my remand time expired and I got sentenced with allowed me to get out of the cell for lessons, exercises and classes so forgot about the writing.
After 2 months I stumbled upon the manuscript and sat down to read it.
Surprisingly for me than, I was tempted to know what happened later to the “guy I was writing about”…
After a visit home and two months before the expiration of her visa, Margarita took a chance and returned to London. Despite the stress of not being able to return to london if deported after the sentence while her overstaying her visa, trapped in London by the newborn son.
She made an effort, and visited me in prison on couple of occasions. It was a long 8 hour journey from London to Edinburgh and a challenge for her being over six months pregnant. The minutes os seating there in the meeting area expecting your guests are the happiest minutes I had in my life at the time. It is a celebratory venue when you are called to the visit time – expecting who would that be. Like that dog pet waiting at the door for the guest or owner. Sometimes no one arrived for any reason, and I was just sitting there watching others meet their loved ones, which still was a bit of change from the routine. But when she arrived, I do not remember what we talked about, surely about how is she doing outside and how is she feeling, but I remember those were some amazing moments – although we were not allowed to touch, the energy flew through and around us creating warmths. I often shed a tear after she was leaving and whenever I thought of her or about our soon to be born son.
I was luckily released in UK. It was a kind of fate situation when all odds played against me being released in the country and it still happened.
I continued writing only two or thee years later after my release, son being born, my intense self development journey and starting the property business. I began writing two hours every day for about 7 months. All by hand on the back of the discarded work contract papers.
In about couple of years after the manuscript was ready, I presented it to the husband of a friend of mine who had a publishing company.
He looked through it and offered to publish it so he asked me to send him the document. I thought he will take the manuscript as it is but clearly that wasn’t the case.
Because at the time I was fully focused in growing the business and hadn’t had my touch typing skills developed as yet, I did not provide him with the document.
We were working 12 hours a day with my business partner to build our property management business. Doing all by ourselves, cleaning, property maintenance, administration. We did not have a team until only after four years. After about 6 years of operation and about 100 apartment units under management, we have a proper team and can afford to spend time on things like playing polo, organising charity events, driving the car we want and traveling. I went on a binge travel right after we assigned a manager who could look after our operations in our absence. It is a great time and I can feel the saying “work hard for yourself or on yourself for five years and avoid doing an unfulfilling job for the rest of your life.
Only years after when I finally got my EU passport and for the first time in ten years got out of the country and realising how easy it is to get back in when you have a red passport, nice car and a white shirt on companying with the same guy ten years earlier. That prompted me to get back to the book and I decided to get back to the offer I was given.
Unfortunately when I got back, the person passed away.
That situation shocked me. With the sad death of my friends husband died my opportunity of having my book published. The opportunity I have not used and that might never come again!
I decided to get on to writing. But could not locate the manuscript anymore.
After exhausting all options, I decided that it is a destiny. Perhaps this book should never be written? No, I will start anyhow.
After about a year after, and although most of the information was quite vague in my head now after putting it down on the paper before, I started writing anyhow.
While I was writing it, the manuscript appeared!
Three months since my start, I was on the second editing part where I was invited by accident by Cheril and Mariam, my coaches form the public speaking academy, to join them to the authors awards at BAFTA in London where they were broadcasting a facebook live video from.
Surely I accepted – I am the YES man )
When joining that crowd of authors, being that they are normal people as any other from my business and speaking events, my book felt close to being completed as never before.
I got to speak with Marina Nani, the organiser and told her about my manuscript. She was very positive and open to chat, so we decided to arrange a meeting.
A usual day just over a week later, while working finalising my second edit Marina and her son Darie contacted with a confirmation of a meeting later on in the day.
That meeting was instrumental in the creation of the book and taking the opportunity was substantial.
As soon as we met, Marina asked me to drop the editing procedure as this is work of a professional editor. We discussed what is the book about and who it is for, decided a name, structure and Marina had swiftly got the design ready soon after I sent her a picture of mine I had in facebook to user for a cover design.
Four hours of our meeting resulted in the book being created.
Just before parting, she asked me for a radio interview which would happen the same evening.
Well, I am the YES man so I surely accepted.
I was in a pleasant shock realising that the agenda for the day did not have this result. Although it often happens to me, this time the twist was substantial. Today I became an author.
I am working away on structuring the book content when I got the interview call.
“Hi vadim …. and you have written a book. What is your book called?”
Shock!!! “What is my book called” So much new information to digest in the past five hours that I completely forgot the name of the book!
“It was something about barefoot migrant, and about millions, but what it was” … the time is ticking, Marina and listeners are waiting for my response and I have no idea of the name of my book! “What a bummer!”
I felt a fraud. At least as stupid as I could forget the name of the book I have written.
I finally got the file form the cover designer which mentioned the name of the book and I voiced it. It felt hours until I got the information.
The rest of the interview went rather sloppy in my view as I was still thinking about the beginning error.
Finally it was over and I got back to my writing hoping if I haven’t screwed this interview too much and I get the next chance. I will try to make it better for the next one.
While working away, I noticed there are about five notifications in my facebook. I never had so many before so I rushed to check it out…
To my shocking surprise, and embracement, the shameful interview was on facebook and I was tagged. Few of my friends and employees have liked it which made the matter even worse.
I felt naked and exposed! All my stupidity and worse interview which I hoped will just go under the carpet, was online and seen by the people.
I felt so bad that i could not get out of the office until everyone left. And I was still in. It was 2am and I was still there.
“I cannot make the people who seen it, unseen it. There is no way back. My embarrassment is out there and it will stay.”
Trying to ease my feelings I found comfort in the words read or listened in one of the Tim Ferriss interviews: “When you find yourself feeling naked and exposed, it is a sign that you re doing something right.” It is because your are coming out of the comfort zone.
After that day, my life was never the same again.
Find and short hand story of the entire book here, or …. while you are here, I would not miss the opportunity to offer you to red my book where I aim to motivate and inspire you to do more, through my six months migration journey to come to new land to find myself.
You can purchase a limited edition signed copy by depositing funds to charity I support which helps disabled children – here
Or just take a simple amazon copy here