My name is Nicholas Volinchak and I've got a story to tell
It’s tough to know where to start sometimes.
Life has been a challenge.
There have been many ups and downs.
Sometimes I’ve won.
Sometimes I’ve lost.
The important thing is that every time I did go through something, I learned from it.
Now I am ready to pass what I’ve learned on to you.
So who am I? That’s a question that we all ask ourselves.
I read an article that most people don’t find out their purpose in life until their late 50’s or early 60’s.
I cannot express how happy I am that I figured it out before then.
The only reason I did is because what I have been through.
Let’s take a look at some of the events that made me who I am today:
My earliest memories are that of having a great family around me. My mom’s family, largely Italian, saw each other often, and made many memories. My dad’s family, mostly Ukrainian, was much, much smaller, but still had a close relationship. My mom and dad actually grew up next to each other, which made their families very close. We had a lot of get togethers that both sides of my family were a part of. We did a lot as a family. It was really exciting to think about what my life was going to be like in the years ahead.
My mom died
Out of nowhere. We just got back from a trip to Niagara Falls and we were getting ready to go back to school. My mom tried to get up out of a chair and she couldn’t. She thought it might be gout, a family problem, but still went to the ER. They found her full of cancer. That was it. Within 2 months, she was gone. I was only 8. I understood fully what was going on. I knew that she was gone and not coming back. I also knew that life was never going to be the same from that point on.
After that, things went kind of nuts…
Especially my dad
My dad kind of lost his shit. It’s something we’ve definitely moved past, but my dad kind of became violent and really disconnected with us. I mean, not only did he lose his wife, but 10 years earlier, his younger brother was shot and killed breaking up a domestic dispute. My dad basically stopped existing in terms of what I knew him as from the point of 1992-2010.
My social situation didn’t help
I was kind of an outcast in high school, though some of it might have been self-inflicted. At some point, I got really sit of not getting invited to parties, not hooking up with girls, and not having those memories I thought were going to be so important as I grew older. I started drinking and smoking pot so I could fit in. It worked. I essentially deserted the kids I had been friends with and move on to a new set of people who had the same goals as I did. It was really fun for awhile. That is…
Until my drug use became drug addiction
Using drugs is fun – until you can’t stop using them. My fun quickly became a debilitating addiction that would cost me pretty much everything in my life. I began lying, stealing and cheating on anything I could. I constantly fucked over my best friends at any point I could for personal gain. I agonized over it, but it became easier and easier to do as this new path I was on in life went on. Slowly but surely, everyone in my life started to pull away and that left me in a terrible position.
So why not try to end it all?
It got to the point where I was really just sick of life, but I was honestly too much of a coward to actually take my own life. Instead, I made a few half assed attempts at overdosing and wrecking my car at high speeds. Clearly, neither worked. Things certainly weren’t looking up for me, but I still had a ways to go before I hit my true bottom.
Then I was homeless for a year
After fucking over everyone I could and then having them slam the door in my face when I needed help (as they should), I ended up at the door of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. I had nothing. I was nothing. The only thing that showed up that night was a shell of a human who had no idea where he was going and what he was going to do.
I met a man there
His name was Jesus. I’m not going to discuss him much because he isn’t a business model, so we should not act like he is, mmmkay? Nonetheless, it was a life changing experience for me and something I decided relatively early on that I was going to take seriously. I didn’t really take things seriously at first, so inevitably…
I had to go to jail one more time
While I was just getting started in the Rescue Mission’s program, the US Marshall’s came and arrested me for a battery of things I had done before ending up at the Mission. This resulted in about a month in jail, which was my longest stay. I’d been in probably ten times for 2-3 days before, but this was something that was super tough. It wasn’t the amount of time that was the issue: it was the fact that I was actually trying to shit together and this was a major roadblock.
I played basketball some days. Other days I played spades. Most of the time I talked with my bunkie about getting out and going back on the grind. I got my release, but they lost my paperwork and never let me out. I was super pissed. I told this dude that I was done trying to get right and he should tell his chick to pick me up whenever I get out so I can get high and keep doing what I was doing. Out of the blue the next day, they called my name, and I was about to be off to the races.
God, you better listen to me
As I was taken to the elevator, I knew I had someone waiting for me with drugs and alcohol. When I stepped in the elevator, I had something come over me. I looked up and just said “God, listen to me. I’ve done everything I can do to mess up my life. I’m done. It’s your turn. Prove me wrong.” The guard legitimately thought I was a crazy person. He probably wasn’t wrong.
He proved me wrong
15 years to the day later, I am writing this saying that I’ve maximized my possible results. God did what I couldn’t. I have been clean and absolutely on fire to not just do the most I can with my life, but also to help others realize their dreams and aspirations. If you’ve stuck with this bio this long, you’ve probably at least been entertained. You might also want to know what I have done since then. That would make sense.
Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
One of the first decisions I made was that I was going to get an education. I’d always been “smart” but there is a disconnect with that and actually surviving in the world. I did research on what fields had strong long-term outlooks and came up with accounting. I had my first interview with DFS in my sophomore year and quickly realized public accounting was not for me. I did realize that accounting is the language of business, so opted to stick with it as my undergrad knowing that I would be pivoting into a Master’s degree.
Worked with people who were lost
After spending an entire year getting my shit straight at the Rescue Mission, I then worked there for seven years. They were probably the most fulfilling of my life. Most of the people who end up there aren’t bad people. They are just lost. Really, most of us are just a few bad decisions from being there. It’s pretty amazing sometimes. This is where my real desire to help people came from. I loved watching people come in, listened to their problems and tried to figure out a way to get them headed back in the right direction.
I ran a bunch of companies
I’ve always been a entrepreneur at heart, so it made sense once I got my head on straight that I would look into doing something for myself. I’ve had three major companies. The first was Championship Wrestling Experience, a professional wrestling company from 2007-2011 that ran in Northeast Ohio. Many of the participants now wrestle for the WWE. The second was Research Sports Group, namely ResearchFantasy, a fantasy sports content site, which was incubated in the world’s #1 university affiliated business incubator at the time. The third, and most successful, is CNV Creative, a conversion marketing firm that I own my my wife, the lovely Crystal.
Now you know a little about me
Your likely here because you need some direction. I can definitely help with that. I’d love to have a conversation with you. Here is my calendar to schedule a call with me to see how I can help you reach your goals.