Kerim Arsanov is an entrepreuner and founder of Cipher Writer.
1. Tell us about Cipher Writer
Initially, I started blogging on Cipher Writer to share my opinions, poetry and excerpts from my novel. Over time, I started to openly speak about my personal failures and how I derived my lessons from them to help others find the good in every bad situation.
2. Who is a person that you considered as a role model early in your life? How and why does this person impact your life?
My role models always were and still are my parents. My father has been a very powerful figure for as long as I can remember. I never once heard him complain about a single thing, and whenever I had any problem, he would say “don’t pay attention to it”. As a child, I took his advice lightly but as I grew older, I realized that his words gave me the secret to psychological freedom. Whenever something bothers you comes up, just don’t think about it. Occupy your mind with activities and thoughts that you can control, and can change. In other words, choose your battles.
Similarly, my mother taught me what a real empowered woman looks like. She taught me that a real woman, against all ailments, would go out of her way to do anything for her children. She stood steadily by my father living through the worlds of “thick and thin”.
3. How do you spend your weekends?
I usually plan my weekends throughout the week. I enjoy exploring and trying new activities such as visiting haunted places, rock climbing, hiking through unmarked territories and the list goes on! I love spending Fridays and Saturdays with my friends and we try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, going to coffee shops, for example, is not my cup of tea.
4. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?
A lot of people mistake my kindness for weakness but regardless, it is absolutely important for me to give respect, honour people and lift them up.
5. What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I wanted to work in law enforcement and specifically in the military. I wanted something that gives you the authority and the means to defend other people, in ways from which most refrain.
6. What is your physical and mental well-being routine?
I would rather refer to wellbeing as a lifestyle than a routine. From a physical perspective, I exercise during the day and monitor my food intake. On the other hand, I am conscious of what I can and cannot control. This helps be build psychological resilience. For example, I simply do not allow other people’s problems to personally affect me. This in return enables me to help them objectively, as well as, take control of my own tasks.
7. What is the most important characteristic that every leader should possess?
In order to lead, you should know how to follow. You should be able to communicate and give people a sense of purpose. A leader should also have the courage and extreme ownership of their mistakes.
8. What is your favourite quote? Why?
George Orwell said, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. I think this applies to the world we live in today.
9. What’s your philosophy in life?
The most important thing in life is to offer acts of kindness every single day.
10. What’s your favourite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Extreme ownership by Jocko Willink. It is one of the most important qualities that one can have in life. It takes great courage and confidence to own up to your mistakes.
11. What is a relationship (whether professional or personal) deal-breaker for you?
Lack of honesty.