Sometimes “overnight success” takes many years of hard work and dedication. That’s what Mike Koshatko discovered when he moved from Ukraine to the United States with just $300 in his pocket. The only food he could afford to eat was ramen noodles. Today, he is a serial entrepreneur with successful businesses like Ofirio, an innovative real estate website.
Mike Koshatko exemplifies a modern day “rags to riches” story beginning with the chaotic start to his life in America in 2014. He initially settled in Denver and moved cross-country multiple times in search of a better life.
His journey included living in North Carolina, where he and some friends hitchhiked and walked for seven hours to reach a commune. A stranger helped them find a safe place to stay and allowed them to pay later. Then came North Dakota, where he lived and worked on a farm. Unfortunately for Mike, his isolation triggered a depressive episode. He then moved to Key West, where he started out as a salesman and soon moved up to a managerial position.
But he never allowed himself to get stuck in a comfort zone. It turned out that this restlessness was his biggest advantage in business. Moving around and looking for new and better opportunities inspired Mike to seize every chance he could get, all the while learning lessons and skills along the way.
He soon realized that if he couldn’t find the opportunities he longed for, he would have to create them for himself.
Things finally started to turn around for Mike when he moved to Miami. He met a real estate agent who encouraged him to get into the business. He took an expedited real estate course and became a licensed realtor just two weeks later. Mike jumped at the chance to work with international real estate management clients in Europe. Always looking for the next opportunity, he launched a vacation rental management company.
But the true start of Mike's financial independence began when he launched his first e-commerce company. This allowed him to learn marketing, SEO, sales, conversions, and online business through courses and on the job. Most importantly, he applied everything he learned.
After achieving success selling on Amazon, he met Jurgis Plikaitis, through a real estate listing. The two became friends and they decided to become business partners. In-depth research revealed that there was a gap in the arts and crafts market. That prompted them to start Arteza, a company that sells art supplies. At first, they started selling better quality pencils. Arteza later expanded to carry all sorts of arts and crafts products. The company grew by a whopping 7500% and landed in 32nd place out of 5000 arts and crafts stores - a massive win early in the company's career.
Mike and his co-founder Jurgis were working 12-hour days to keep Arteza up and running. Eventually, Mike found himself in the hospital for burnout. This event was a big lesson for him. He learned that he needed to achieve more balance in his life by incorporating breaks, taking family time - and also taking time out for himself to have some fun.
Mike exited Arteza in 2020 and started dabbling in stocks and real estate. He quickly realized that there was a gap in the market for helping investors and individuals work out a property's potential long-term value. This led to the startup that Mike is currently working on, Ofirio. Ofirio provides in-depth information that allows investors and individuals to look at the rental properties available and immediately see their value, the return on investment and other financial metrics. Ofirio allows people to make the best real estate investment decisions to achieve their goals.
There are many lessons in business – and in life - that can be taken from Mike Koshatko’s story. First, it takes focus and applying what you've learned to achieve success. According to Mike, to succeed in your business career you need to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable,” and trust the process.
Another takeaway is that removing yourself from your comfort zone and seeking better opportunities for yourself is what creates a better life. Mike could have chosen to stay in many positions, but instead he opted to venture out and reach for something better. He truly believes that comfort zones breed stagnancy, and stagnancy is what kills your dreams.
Mike believes that there is no such thing as overnight success. True and sustainable success takes years of hard work. It has been eight years since Mike Koshatko began his journey. He believes in his future goals and that he still has many opportunities in front of him still to come.