Humble entrepreneur. Business MacGyver. Social media samurai.
Biography written by: Jera Sutton
His approach to life is always head-on and his passion for helping others, a recurring theme. At the age of 17, in an effort to work full-time, he made the decision to homeschool—cue slinging lattes and customer service. Life as a barista helped his once shy demeanor fade into the background. By the age of 19, he received his nursing license; unfortunately, this is where we would like to think his hard work paid off, but in reality his dreams took a sudden detour. A close family member misused his name to commit fraud and embezzlement and as a result, he was stripped of his license by age 22.
Those moments were dark, but he prevailed.
Sleeping on a broken down futon and determined to better himself and his mother’s life, he took every odd job you could imagine. From painting houses and cleaning toilets to renting The Rug Doctor and knocking door to door there wasn’t a job he was above getting done. As shit would have it, quite literally, one of those toilets lead to meeting a very influential friend who was a professional poker player. Not only did this new hand he was dealt create a more comfortable standard of living, but it skilled him in two important keys to business success:
PATIENCE + WELL-TIMED AGGRESSION.
His friend would eventually make him a life-altering bet: Mikhail had to make $4k in winnings in a single month or he would have to choose between getting a job or going back to school. Just shy of a few hundred dollars, Mikhail missed the $4k mark and chose to find a job--always preferring to apply himself in real life than at a school desk. Enter a sales position at a boutique, SEO marketing firm where, within 3 months, he excelled as Top Sales Rep and within 2 years, grew a small sales team of 11 to 120 employees strong. There was just one constant frustration: his work ethic and, quite frankly, his morals did not align with his employer’s questionable business practice. It was time to go back to the drawing board. With his sales and marketing knowledge in one pocket and a great vision in the other, he filed for his first LLC in 2014.
MATTHEW 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.
Taking the leap into entrepreneurship was the solution that not only allowed him to build a company on his terms, but it would serve as the gateway to helping others materialize their dreams of success too. He channeled this passion through Matthew 7:12 Do to others as you would have them do to you, thus 7 twelve was born, a digital and social media marketing agency. Like most ventures, it was not without hiccups. Shortly after establishing 7twelve with his partner, they fell into a lawsuit with a former employer for an inexplicable $2.2 million dollars. This setback, however, only built character, Mikhail’s lead with love philosophy conquered--the lawsuit was dropped in January 2016 and 7twelve officially began to move onward with razor sharp focus.
When consulting a sales team or public speaking, sugarcoating the realities he faced is not in his interest, he talks openly about those challenging times and teaches two things to anyone who listens:
Gratitude met with Perspective is a foolproof recipe for a winning attitude.
From the brand new pair of socks he rewards himself with every paycheck, to never being above cleaning a toilet, gratitude and perspective on every level counts.
7twelve Marketing is now a team of 8 and growing, with offices based in Orange County, CA they are currently one of Entrepreneur.com’s content providers and were announced on Entrepreneur’s 360 Index of the Most Entrepreneurial Companies in 2016.
When Mikhail isn’t in the office or sharing his song of the day on Snapchat--Thrice one day, Bach the other--he’s cohosting The Year One podcast with social influencer, Hannah Moyer. If there’s only 24 hours in a day, you best believe he’s pushing for 30.
Mikhail attributes his success to those who continually push him to be the best version of himself.