Professional optimization of your car’s engine
Automotive software development, engine control unit reprogramming or, in other words, automobile chip tuning. Today we are going to speak exactly about it. Vitalijs, the founder and inspirer of a car service JVK PRO, shared how he from being a programmer became a company owner.
Can you tell us about yourself and your business? How did your career start?
I am 36. I was born and raised in Ogre, where I lived until I was 18. Then I moved to the capital, where I started my studies at the Faculty of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Latvia. I successfully graduated from the program acquiring a bachelor's degree. Still, while I was studying in grades 11 and 12 in secondary school, I was attending a pre-university course in programming at the Transport and Telecommunication Institute. During those two years, I understood that I was not willing to bind my professional life just with the IT field. Furthermore, I have always been interested in cars. Finally, it appears that my passion for IT and cars can be combined and a ready-made product - JVK PRO - can be obtained by adding my education in economics to the combination.
I have three daughters and an amazing wife, who supports me in everything I do. In my opinion, it is disgusting behaviour on the males’ side when being in divorce, they say: ’I am the one who has achieved it all, why should I give half of it to a wife.’ I can claim that a wife is present in the process of shaping the personality, thus success is achieved by both. To become successful favourable conditions are needed at both work and home. Wife - it is love, care and cosiness.
I am quite demanding of myself and others. However, I manage to do things gently and imperceptibly. I cannot stand weakness, indifference and betrayal.
It is impossible to avoid turning points in life. What turning points have you experienced?
Speaking about turning points in personal life, December 21, 2019, has to be mentioned. I just had returned from vacation where, of course, the daily schedule had not been observed, I had had some drinks and eaten everything. I was sitting in the changing room after the training, grasping air when I suddenly felt blood in my mouth. Even today I still remember that my heart was racing so fast that it seemed it was willing to jump out of my body through the mouth. At that moment I decided that it is enough of these carousels where waiting for vacation, holiday changes with returning to reality. I understood that something should be changed. I said to myself that starting from today I would not be the previous me, a new and ambitious person was being born at that moment. I repeated it loudly as well, so my friend could hear it. I am not sure if he paid attention to it. I have been observing a strict daily schedule since that day, and I still do it for 99.8%.
Speaking about business, I have managed to grow a team in our child - JVK PRO - that at the beginning consisted just of one successful specialist - me. The company was founded more than 10 years ago, however, our brand has become more widely known in public just in the last year. It can be called a turning point. We can have this talk in a couple of years, then I am sure I will have more stories to share. Now we are at the early development stage. Our clients know that our product, as well as service, is outstanding and we truly try to do our best. We always try solving problems by ourselves, if only it is in our power.
Where do you get ideas, and who does inspire you?
It is quite hard for me to imagine, thus I train this weak “muscle” by visualisation and meditation. In this way “NO.NO.YES.”, some useful ideas become clear.
The reading of autobiographies of well-known and famous people helps me to find new ideas. By reading autobiographies, I can get into these people's heads and understand what they think and how they react in various situations.
At work, I observe my competitors and analyze how they work. I quite often make notes during conversations with interesting people. The more information I process, the higher possibility of having new ideas. Afterwards, it all depends just on courage, persistence and discipline.
I visualize a lot, and a new idea sometimes sparks. The more you move, and observe the process, the more ideas you get. The main thing is to learn to catch these moments.
Also, the environment and people you are meeting with are highly crucial. They should be ambitious people and your hearts should beat at the same pace. You can always share ideas with them and exchange advice.
What are your favourite books (movies, celebrities)?
My favourite books. I love reading autobiographies of eminent people: Steve Jobs, Will Smith, Elon Musk, Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, Conor McGregor, and Taison Fjuri.
Speaking about literature, I prefer self-help books. One of my favourites is the bestseller “The 5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma. This book is a perfect collection of methods that, as it appears, is an excellent life model for me to move forward.
Considering philosophical literature, I advise reading “Thoughts” by Marcus Aurelius. In my opinion, this book is very useful and it is surprising how relevant his discussed questions are still today. Also, another amazing book is “The Peaceful Warrior’s Way” by Dan Millman which describes the behaviour model and attitude toward life.
I have read many interesting books that have positively influenced me. In the pages of those books, a considerable amount of self-development methods are collected, and various personality types and reactions in different situations are described. The main thing is that I have started to understand that all eminent people are the same as the remaining of us - they also have their fears and weaknesses. Persistence, hard-working, passion, discipline and self-belief are the only characteristics that differentiate them from others. In the world, everything becomes possible by understanding it, putting effort and forgetting about laziness.
I am deeply inspired by people who make their way to the top of the mountain instead of just falling there from the sky. However, when so-called “lucky people” are studied closer, it always appears that a huge amount of work stands behind luck. Luck is the moment when preparedness meets opportunity. The main goal is to learn to notice the opportunity, not to be scared of it, be ready for it and be full of energy to go till the end.
How would you describe yourself?
Workhorse (laughs). Also, I like the compound “peaceful warrior” from a book by Dan Millman.
Can you share what is your biggest achievement and the most epic failure?
My biggest achievement, without any doubt, is my family. I am endlessly grateful to the Almighty for having such amazing daughters and my wife. At this point, any other achievement cannot compete with this one. Of course, in time rivals for this achievement will appear, but for now family is my biggest achievement.
I cannot remember any epic failure, my brain refuses to do that. Each failure is a lesson.
Once there was a situation when I wanted to sink into the ground. It happened in the first year when I owned a cutter. My wife and I swam to Jurmala by a cutter. I had an idea to take my wife to see a sunset and have dinner at the restaurant “Laivas”. Previously, I had been there by my water bike quite often. A pier was right to the coast. Considering my captain's abilities, I was sure that I could easily approach the pier. When we approached the restaurant I noticed that the pier was not there anymore. However, I saw an artificial landing stage around the corner. So no problems at all, I had an experience and knew that I am capable of doing that. We had just gone behind the corner when I noticed an enormous yacht that looked like it could cost a couple of millions of euros. We were drifting right on it. Suddenly a security guard, a bald, middle-aged man, exactly like from the 90ties, ran out and started yelling that we are not allowed to go there. l was shocked by an expected turn of events and was stressfully manoeuvring backwards. I crashed into the pole. While trying to turn around, I rubbed off all the metal pins of the landing stage by the right side of the cutter. It was a complete fiasco!
Of course, today I would react differently, but I will always remember the experienced shame. It is a pity there was not a video to upload on Youtube, I would have earned good money by it.
Have you been pushed to betray your principles in business?
I am not a person of principles, however, of course, I have my persuasions. I try living according to my conscience and my own rules. Definitely, there have been situations when I have betrayed my principles, but currently, it is in the past. I can remember more situations when I have had to reject appealing offers because of my moral persuasions.
What does happen in your business? What are the plans?
We are at the early development stage. My team and I are very passionate about what we do. Each day I think about new strategies and study various methods that have brought success to others. When I meet a stronger person than myself, I do not envy this person, but instead, I admire and accept him or her. If the person has a characteristic that is relevant to me or inspires me, I start practising it using my opponent’s experience. Thus, we are going to grow and prosper.
Our clients know that our product, as well as service, is outstanding and we truly try to do our best. We always try solving problems by ourselves, if only it is in our power. We are not planning to stop, this is just the beginning.
What do you like doing in your leisure time?
I will tell you about my hobby. I am a crazy mountain fan. Mountains can “cut me off” from my daily routine, they fully re-charge me and give me a moment to be with myself, as well as allow me to enjoy sceneries and breathe the fresh and clean mountain air.
I adore off-road and adrenaline, however, I maintain a clear mind. I feel complete freedom and unlimited possibilities when snowboarding down the mountain. I love nature in all its expressions, my second hobby is a bicycle. Cycling is an amazing way to keep me in shape and enjoy nature. I love cycling in the mountains.
Since childhood, I have been a huge admirer of fights, especially mixed martial arts. I have practised free fights, karate, boxing, and kickbox. I have participated in competitions at the amateur level. In 1999, I was Latvia’s champion in the category “Super Flyweight” (weight till 44 kg).
I am motivated and inspired to wake up in the morning, 365 mornings per year, by people who have achieved peaks in mixed martial arts and boxing. My wife and I often attend UFC (flagman of MMA) events in Europe. Once we even flew to the USA to see Khabib Nurmagodev and Conor McGregor’s fight. At those moments I feel like a child who has been taken to Disneyland.
In my leisure time, once a week, I allow myself to have well-deserved smoke from a water pipe and watch a fight. Time with a family is time with a family. I do not consider it free time. I have booked a considerable slot for a family in my life’s schedule.
When did you experience your first success?
My greatest achievement is still ahead. But let's say that the first was 2007 when I quit my job to take full responsibility for moving my life ahead. I have to admit that those first years were hardly successful.
What has been the hardest for you?
The hardest part was getting used to waking up early in the mornings, however, the thought of it helping me in my development was stronger than the desire to lounge in bed. I made it into a habit and now late waking up distresses me more than early. Furthermore, this victory helped me to believe that even the impossible can be done if you have enough motivation. At that moment, I got rid of the miserable word “impossible” which almost all people use to stay in their comfort zone.
Do you have a motto or mission?
Do impossible things - the remaining will be done by others. Never give up and you will see how others do that. All that does not happen is for the better.
My mission is simple - I want to bring up my children properly; I want to find harmony and balance within myself. I want to earn enough money so my family and loved ones are well-off and I have enough money to donate it easily to those in real need of it. Of course, money does not bring happiness, however, it gives us freedom of choice, and does not limit us. Furthermore, we can become happy by making the correct choice. In my opinion, this is a formula for happiness.
What would you never do?
Well, never say never, however, I would never behave vilely. I hate obvious betrayal, sexual harassment, and paedophilia. I cannot imagine myself any close to these things, I think it is the lowest place a man can fall.
What do you dream about?
My dream is to earn 100 000 000 (one of my mentors taught me to name the exact sum instead of just mentioning some approximate amount). I want to maintain respect, discipline, and health. I want to be a loving husband, an outstanding father and loved son. I want to continue doing sports and work that I love. I dream to inspire my daughters - and I have three of them - to live life fully and not to lose it in unimportant things. I dream that my parents will stay healthy, feel needed and present.
What does bother you and what does help you to live?
My ego bothers and helps me simultaneously. I always fight with it. On the one hand, my ego helps me to move forward; on the other hand, I am sometimes exhausted from trying to calm it down. It is good when someone notices my ego exaggerates and can point me at that.
Of course, I daily face hardships but they are part of life. If you see hardships as something special, they can burn you. If it happens, then the best formula to use is a combination of discipline, sports, a healthy diet, and self-confidence. Practise this combination daily, and, believe me, it will get easier to live.
What would you like to wish readers?
I want to advise readers to do sports and believe in themselves. Maintain your personality, do not be afraid to take risks, always study, never give up and learn to step out of your comfort zone - do not be afraid to experience new things. Make sure that you are surrounded just by successful people because they motivate you to move forward. Surrounding is crucial. Get rid of people who do not believe in you and always try persuading you that it will not work out. Get rid of party friends - people who you meet just on weekends to have a drink. Remember, any person comes into our life with a particular task and for a particular period. Be healthy and ambitious. I wish you all the best!