Back To the Kremlin
In the first week of October, I took a business cruise from Athens in the eastern Mediterranean around the Greek Islands to Italy and then to Sicily and Malta.
In the first week of October, I took a business cruise from Athens in the eastern Mediterranean around the Greek Islands to Italy and then to Sicily and Malta. At each port of call, we went ashore for several hours to tour remarkable cities and ruins from antiquities that go back twenty-five hundred years. Perhaps the most impressive was the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, one of the “Seven Wonders of The Ancient World.”
It is in ruins today, but very much restored and fascinating to explore. I walked on the same path that Alexander the Great walked when he visited the Delphic Oracle to ask about his fate. It is said that the Delphic Oracle told Alexander that he could “Have a long life full of peace, or a short life full of glory.” Alexander choose the short life full of glory and went on to conquer the known world before dying of pneumonia at the age of 33.
At the end of the tour, from Malta, Barbara and I flew to Moscow for two days of speaking and meetings with our clients and publishers. Moscow is a booming and exciting city, the most expensive city in the world today.
Fully 70% of the tens of billions of dollars of wealth in Russia flow through Moscow. Beautiful, luxury hotels are going up everywhere. The streets are full of Mercedes Benz, BMW and Rolls Royce.
My client was a company called Infinum, with 500,000 distributors across Russia selling an excellent cross section of products and services for both health and beauty and financial planning.
The company was founded by two Slovenian businessmen who moved to Moscow after the fall of the USSR and began building their business. Their distributors are positive, highly motivated, and eager to learn new methods and ideas to sell more of their products and services to more people.
We stayed at the Savoy Hotel, right around the corner from the Lubyanka, the old KGB building, with the torture dungeons downstairs. When people were arrested by the secret police, they disappeared into the Lubyanka for torture and interrogation, during which they always confessed to something, and then were sent onto Siberia into the Gulag Archipelago, the chain of forced labor prison camps that consumed the lives of millions of Russians when the communists were in power.
Around the corner from our hotel was the Bolshoi Ballet, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. Down the street was the Kremlin and Red Square, with Lenin’s tomb available for viewing. On Red Square is Saint Basil’s Cathedral, reputedly one of the most beautiful churches ever built in human history.
It was built by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. When it was complete, Ivan asked the architects if there was a more beautiful cathedral anywhere in the world. When they assured him that there was none other, he had all their eyes put out so that they could never build another building to compare with it.
All the workmen had their hands cut off so that they could never aid in the construction of a church to rival this one. Unfortunately, this type of cruelty has been a part of Russian history for more than 1,000 years.
Russia has the potential to be a valuable and respected partner and participant in the world economy. Today, it appears to be sliding back into authoritarianism under Putin who has choked off the newspapers, radio and television stations and magazines that were critical of him in the past. Today, everyone belongs to the government party and anyone who speaks up or protests is quickly silenced and punished.
More about what is going on in Europe in the future. Meanwhile, I wish you a wonderful week.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.