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In early September 2018, I adopted this homeless young dog guy above, ‘Jorro’, following on from 2 new kittens in June & August 2018, Yana (we are 8 animals at home now, 7 of which were homeless when we adopted them):
Who are you Terry Kyle:
I’m an Australian entrepreneur living in Eastern Europe and CEO/co-founder of WPX Hosting, yes that is the world’s fastest WordPress hosting company, the only one recommended by Thrive Themes and with an average support response time under 30 seconds.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve created many products and services like Backlinks Forum, Traffic Planet, Homepage Backlinks, Backlinks Hydra, SEO Masters Academy, SEO Traffic Hacks, Cloudboss Pro, Bluechip Backlinks, Wayback Rebuilder and Monster Truck SEO.
Before that, among other things, I worked as a copywriter and creative director in Sydney, Australia, for brands including Pepsi, McDonald’s, Thomas Cook, Commonwealth Bank, IBM, Kellogg’s, Panasonic and Coca-Cola.
While doing a BA at Griffith University in Brisbane from 1992-1994, I wrote and directed the truly awful science-fiction TV movie, Terrain, which was screened on the Nine Network in Australia in the late 90s.
I was also one of the original expert trainers on Warrior Forum’s 2016 ‘The Vault’ project:
Where exactly do you live?
Though I’m originally from Australia – I grew up in the Brisbane suburbs and spent the last 9 years in Australia in Sydney – today I live in Sofia, Bulgaria, with my wife, Julia, and 4 cats, Sasha, Misha, Gigi and Yana (added June 2018) plus a golden retriever girl, Joey and a homeless dog called Rina adopted in October 2017 (she is in the pic with Joey above).
You can read my thoughts below on what it’s like for an Australian to live in a former Soviet-bloc Eastern European country like Bulgaria.
In early 2016, my then staff of about 24 (now 45+) and I moved into a new office adjacent to this street in Sofia, Vitosha Boulevard, it’s kind of the main street of Sofia:
We are about to embark on a big renovation of this office space and move there by the end of 2018, going up to about 450 m2 (I will post the ‘after’ photos when the reno is done, pretty gloomy at moment), still in the center of Sofia:
Previously I lived in North London from 2004 to 2012.
Here are my first 2 ‘daughters’, (ginger) Sasha and (black & white) Misha, they’re awesome cats by the way and I’m a born dog lover, they’re that damn good, seen here with baby Joey:
I still can’t believe that the puppy above above turned into this food-obsessed beast here:
What do you do on a typical weekend?
On Saturdays, I’m usually on a big mountain walk with my wife, Joey, Rina and now new boy Jorro – note the epic mountainous scenery here in Bulgaria, truly fantastic:
And on most Sundays, I walk shelter dogs at the largest dog shelter in the country (1,500+ dogs there):
On average, the dogs at this shelter are lucky to get ONE 30 minute walk a MONTH so they really appreciate a walk, play, affection and some better quality food.
Inevitably, you get very attached to some dogs at the shelter and this lovable ‘bear-girl’ that I called Ira died in June 2018 from liver trouble, terribly sad and she was the gentlest, sweetest dog, despite her appearance:
and this quiet, lovable fella here with Joey, we used to walk a lot with him in our main nearby park:
wound up in a cage at the shelter where he may spend the rest of his life unless we can get him adopted:
‘Foxy’ was another one of my favorites at the shelter, he’s moved on now, beautiful dog and nature:
Same for the truly wonderful ‘Jenny’, I have never met a happier, friendlier dog:
And somewhat grumpy ‘Georgie’:
They’re all individual, different, funny and awesome in their own way and just waiting for that lucky break of finding a great family, getting out of a cage in the shelter.
What motivates you in business?
In the case of WPX Hosting, it’s moving hosting forward significantly and delivering ridiculously fast site speed like this:
and industry-leading support speed like this – yes, WPX AVERAGES around 30 seconds support response time, according to Live Chat Inc’s independent stats:
and that’s hosting support that actually fixes things for you instead of arrogantly sending you to a knowledgebase article and expecting you to fix the problem yourself:
What about in life?
I’m a huge animal lover and would love to set up a place like this or this one in Bulgaria where they have a big homeless cat/dog problem and animals have a much harder life here than in Western countries.
Our first major WPX Hosting-sponsored project was on a former Socialist era ex-industrial site called Kremikovtsi, a 25 km2 site on the outskirts of Sofia, where roughly 300-350 homeless dogs ‘live’, in pretty awful circumstances.
Thanks to the truly heroic and tireless work of the Dana Foundation here, the dogs there were getting some food and medical care. In November 2016, WPX Hosting started substantial financial contributions so that all the dogs could be fed daily and medical care significantly improved.
As of December 2018, WPX still sponsors food and medicine for these dogs.
Our long term goal is to move all the Kremikovtsi dogs to our own no-cage, no kill dog shelters in Bulgaria, away from here:
We also replaced their dog food delivery vehicle as the old one was beyond broken:
Given our aging populations, I am also a passionate believer that we must all take full financial responsibility for our own lives and not rely on the flawed hope that governments and pensions will be a viable option for comfortable living later in life.
Why do you help animals?
Because I can’t not help them.
To me, they’re all individual, funny, playful (usually!), interesting and lovable.
What’s a Bulgarian winter like?
The coldest winter I’ve had in my 6 years here so far was minus 25 C and the hottest summer so far was + 46 degrees C – that’s quite a range throughout the year, unlike Australia!
But, you do get used to it and Joey, Rina and Jorro are total snow-mad, winter dogs.
Summer here is pretty hard on them.
Plus, Bulgaria is a largely undiscovered gem of astonishing natural beauty, particularly in winter, let’s take a closer look:
and we often run into homeless dogs on the mountain…
that we feed and then join us for the walk together:
How do Joey, Rina & Jorro get along with each other & 5 cats!?
In fact, the cats like the dogs more than each other and Gigi is probably some kind of reincarnated dog e.g.
Joey and Rina have an incredible bond and clicked together as soon as they met (Rina was a homeless dog wandering in South Park, one of our main walking areas).
Joey will not play with any dogs except Rina or Jorro now and on a big mountain walk, they all play together constantly, awesome to watch:
What about homeless/stray dogs – aren’t they aggressive & dangerous?
Joey, Rina and Jorro’s best friends are all homeless dogs and they join us for walks together all the time.
The only time I have had to deal with aggressive dogs, they were pets with irresponsible owners who were clueless about how to handle their aggressive dogs.
Here are Joey, Rina and Jorro’s homeless playmates from South Park (they are probably all too old now to adapt to life inside a house/apartment):
Isn’t Eastern Europe scary – what’s your life like over there for an Australian in Sofia?
Bulgaria – for better or worse – is part of the EU so it is rapidly modernizing and there are also many HUNDREDS of software companies in Sofia where I live including HP (the city’s biggest private employer), IBM, SAP etc here now so the competition for good tech staff is now FIERCE.
Before Sofia, I lived in London for 8 years so I’m pretty much Europeanized now and Sofia is roughly about the size of the city I grew up in: Brisbane, Australia.
Gigi (black and white spotty cat like our Misha as it turned out – another Daddy’s girl in training):
Two of the girls chilling with Daddy:
2 hours drive from Sofia is Bansko, a major Bulgarian ski resort that is still beautiful in summer for a weekend getaway, photos don’t get remotely close to capturing the scale of it:
15 minutes drive from home in Sofia is the forest of the Vitosha mountain range so my wife and I like to get up there for a big walk with the 3 dogs most weekends (good way to switch off from computers!):
What have been your biggest business mistakes so far?
- Not being more ambitious sooner
- Not embracing email marketing sooner (and losing out on a ridiculous amount of money in the process)
- Not taking the Internet more seriously sooner
- Becoming too emotionally attached to one product as ‘the one’ to succeed – an entrepreneur’s loyalty should be to her/his success (within ethical boundaries) and not any one specific product or service
- Trying to develop too many projects at the same time
Things that bug you?
- Cruelty to animals
- The utter failure of education to prepare today’s kids with proper financial knowledge for their future
- Excessive taxation
- Celebrity gossip
- Bad manners
- Pointless, insanely expensive wars
- Mediocre businesses
- Obedience to ideas or beliefs that clearly don’t work
- Endless IM launches of deeply flawed products
- People who make money online only by teaching other people how to make money online (with promises of work-free, insane wealth)
Things that you celebrate?
In no particular order:
- The East Sussex coastline in the UK – nothing better than a walk on the South Downs on a clear, sunny day)
- The jumping and climbing ability of cats and their playfulness (depends on the cats – ours demand up to an hour of play with us every day!)
- Thai stir-fry food
- Actor Jeff Daniels’ recent work
- The way that the Internet brings together like-minded people in countless interest areas from all over the world
- Golden retrievers – hence Joey!
- Musicians who sing (well) with just a guitar and nothing else
Favorite film/book/TV show/band?
Anything witty, ironic and/or really good, whatever the genre of anything – from early Coldplay to No Country For Old Men to Vince Jones, the under-rated Australian Jazz singer to the script for Edge Of Tomorrow.
Best concert ever?
Marty Wilson-Piper from The Church doing a one-man show in Newtown, Sydney. Superb.
Current favorite business books?
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink
What is your life ‘motto’?
I have 2:
- Treat everybody in business and life how you would like to be treated.
- Trying to help a big problem everywhere can seem impossible. Instead, choose to make a big impact somewhere. I chose here.
How can I contact you Terry?
You can email me on private(at)terrykyle.net but be aware that I get a daily flood of emails so sometimes I’m slow catching up with them – nothing personal.
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