Taking Flight after Failure: The American Success Story of Gregory Grishayev

If there’s one person who knows failure all to well, it would be Gregory Grishayev. But that also makes him the best person to ask about success.

After all, he’s worked his way from failure so many times and now, he’s becoming a force to be reckon with in whatever endeavor he chooses to invest in.

The story behind the man

Gregory Grishayev didn’t have an easy life. Being the son of immigrants, his family moved to the United States as refugees to escape the chaos in Eastern Europe that ensued after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Being thrown in a completely different environment at such a young age became a huge challenge for Grishayev. His parents had to work hard to put food on their table and provide for the family.

After 7 years of being immigrants, Grishayev and his family finally became American citizens—but that didn’t make life any easier. Growing up, Grishayev had to work while going to school so he could help his parents. With his hard work, he became an assistant manager while he continued to save up for his future.

The highs and lows

When an opportunity to start his own business with best friend Michael Tolmach came up, Grishayev knew he couldn’t pass it up. At 18, the business partners started selling clothes on eBay that they sourced from the Garment District in New York and eventually, from a Chinese manufacturer where they learned all about product development.

“I learned a lot from that first business, and I still use all those lessons in my businesses today,” Grishayev said.

But after four years of success, both partners saw a decline in sales because of the highly competitive market. They eventually decided to close the business and look for new ideas.

With his mother being a long-time smoker, Grishayev started a vaping company called Eonsmoke. Being one of the first brands in the vaping industry, Eonsmoke picked up steam very quickly and earned Grishayev and his partner millions in the process. But that meteoric rise also experienced a meteoric fall with the company closing within just a few years due to many issues regarding its trademark.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow, but business was getting harder so we decided to close it and move on,” Grishayev said. He eventually ventured into other businesses establishing Greg Michaels in 2013. “I got into the leather handbag business that went well at first but eventually closed down due to the stiff competition,” he explained.

Relentless, he invested in Glidekicks in 2014, which made light up shoes that became an instant hit and earned him millions in revenues. But like the handbag business, he was forced to close it down due to a plummet in sales.

The climb to the top

After several failed businesses, it’s easy to assume that Gregory Grishayev would already wave his white flag and just stop his dream of being an entrepreneur. But that’s not who he is.

After figuring out what he really wants to do, Grishayev began to establish more businesses and is now also an angel investor. When asked what makes him so relentless, he is quick to answer: “I’m just not a quitter. I’ve had a hard life since I was young and that motivated me to keep going no matter what the circumstance.”

It’s probably safe to say that Gregory Grishayev has seen the worst, but it also made him one of the best in the business. While he has his skills and experience to thank for being able to establish successful businesses, he gives most of the credit to the lessons he learned from all the failures he experienced.

“Failing has never been easy. I’ve had to deal with more than just losses but also losing people who I’ve worked with for years. But I’ve also been through a lot in my life and that made me strong not only as an entrepreneur but also as a person,” Grishayev explained.

Learning from risks and failures

Risking above failures is one of the things that Gregory Grishayev is most proud of because it’s made him who he is now. Although he admits that he still has a long way to go before he could get back on top, Grishayev is more determined than ever to work hard so that he can achieve his goals.

But more than anything, he is also determined to help young entrepreneurs get a headstart in their own businesses with the lessons he’s learned from his own experience.

“I would like to tell young entrepreneurs to never give up, no matter how hard things get. It will not be easy, especially with the pandemic. But as long as you work hard and innovate, you’ll get through anything,” the entrepreneur said.

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