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Tag Archives | political change now

Buds, Bulgaria, and B-Real

B-real smoking blunt on the stage


Hey there, I hope you’re having a kick ass day, your plants are thriving, and life is good.

Most people know I spend a lot of my time these days running back and forth between Bulgaria and the United States.

When I’m in America, I’m usually either working on taking Advanced Nutrients base nutrients and supplements to the next level—and in life, there’s always a next level— or I’m chilling with friends, family, growers and hydro-store owners, and enjoying good times and the freedoms that a lot of us take for granted each day—myself included.

Now, I do a lot of that same stuff when I’m in Bulgaria, but while I’m here, I’m also working hard to create change in a country that so badly needs it. And I’m often asked why am I fighting to create change in Bulgaria, and not in the U.S.?

Well, I am fighting to create change in the U.S. when it comes to marijuana laws, and have done so for many years. But when it comes to things like hunger and poverty, there are already plenty of good people fighting that fight in the States, and plenty of money to help fight it—although, I don’t think the money is always used all that wisely.

A family sitting on a dinner table

Mama’s Boy

And while there is plenty of corruption in the U.S., in Bulgaria, it’s on a whole-nother level. The guys in office here make the dudes in Goodfellas look like straight-up mama’s boys. And sure, Joe Pesci’s character, Tommy Devito, was one helluva momma’s boy in that flick, but the Bulgarian oligarchs make him flat-out look like Mr. Rogers.

In Bulgaria, corruption is a way of life. And the shady deals and crooked politicians that run rampart in Bulgaria affect every single citizen, every single day, in ways most people can’t even fathom.

Now, I originally came to Bulgaria because the Bulgarian Academy of Science was low on funding and letting go of a lot of their scientists. And I thought, hey, what a great opportunity to set up a new R&D branch of Advanced Nutrients.

So I teamed up with a handful of BRILLIANT Bulgarian scientists, received one of only three licenses in the world from a national government to legally grow cannabis for research purposes, and set up shop.

The culture, the people, and the natural beauty of Bulgaria soon captivated me.

However, there were things I witnessed I just couldn’t understand. Bulgaria’s economy, education, and healthcare systems are among the worst in Eastern Europe. And behind it all, the greedy and corrupt hands of the politicians pull selfishly at the strings and tear life, hope, and promise from people’s hearts.

Now, my mom was born in Estonia and my father in Latvia, and both were lucky enough to escape their communist countries. And in 1991, at the end of the Cold War, I travelled with my family to Estonia, where we were able to reunite with our lost family members. I witnessed first hand as Estonia—once ruined by communism—rose high from the ashes of impoverishment and ascended to greatness.

So, years later, when I moved to Bulgaria, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why had Bulgaria not done the same?

BigMike taking photo and smiling with B-real

Chillin’ with B-Real

It broke my heart to see what my Bulgarian scientists, friends, and their families and loved ones, were being forced to endure everyday, and it soon became clear that the corrupt government was wholly to blame.

So, I made the decision to dedicate myself to helping to create massive change and rebuilding Bulgaria from the ground up.

We even started an official political party here, called Nova Bulgaria, that morphed out of a movement of 220,000 Facebook members, and has now gotten so large we have the oligarchs in charge shaking in the very same boots that they walk all over their citizens with. Seriously, these dudes are scared…scared of losing their money, their power, and their control.

I’ve even had countless threats against my life, and need to be escorted 24/7 by a heavily armed Special Forces security team.

I’m serious, while I’m sitting here in Bulgaria organizing support for the party, growing Advanced Nutrients, and enjoying a few delicious bong rips at the end of my day, I’m surrounded by hardcore ninja-type dudes in bulletproof vests, armed to the teeth with fully automatic weapons.

But it’s a small price to pay for helping to create such profound change in a country that so badly needs it.

And it’s so cool to see how much support Nova Bulgaria has been getting.

In fact, my buddy B-Real from Cypress Hill was here recently and he’s endorsing the party. Check out these videos from his visit where he talks to a few members of my team about politics, legalization, and change…

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And if you’d like to learn more about the kinds of conditions the Bulgarian people are forced to live in, and what Nova Bulgaria is all about, I urge you to read this story as well as our strategy for fixing the country.


Read The Entire Eye-Opening Story HERE

Summary the road to a new BulgariaRead Our Strategy Report HERE

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When people ask me why I’m working to create change in the Bulgarian political structure and not in American, it’s because at the moment, in my heart of hearts, it’s where I feel I’m needed the most.

I’d love to hear your comments below.

Talk soon,
Big Mike.

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How Something Great Came Out of The Time I Was Kidnapped

Man with handcuffs

A tied man to a chairSometimes in life we need to be broken down before we can get to the next level.

The following is a true story.

Early morning, British Columbia, 2005

Just like I did every morning, I was spending quality time with my daughter—eating breakfast, playing, having meaningful conversations in toddler gibberish, and reading storybooks to her.

All of a sudden, I hear loud voices from outside yelling, “Michael Straumietis, get out here! Come out here right now, Michael!”

I peek out the window and see Canadian Royal Mounted Police Officers standing out the front gate of my property.


I open the front door and ask, “Yeah, what’s up?”

A kneeling man held by nomad peopleThey immediately handcuff me, toss me in the back of their car, and tell me that they’re taking me to the border.

You see, four years earlier—in 2001—I was charged with growing marijuana.

The Canadian Government had frozen my bank accounts, seized over $1 million in assets, confiscated both business and personal records, and completely disrupted both my own finances, and the finances of Advanced Nutrients.

But since they had no case, the charges were stayed and my property was returned. In fact, to date it’s the largest forfeiture return in Canadian history.

And because of this, the feds were so pissed they actually decided to kick me out of the country.

HandcuffsSo here I am, being thrown into the back of a cop car and taken out of the country completely against my will. I don’t know what you call it when you’re dragged away from your child, forced into a car, and taken away from your home and loved ones—with no arrest warrant mind you—but I call it kidnapping.

Fortunately, my housekeeper was home so she could stay with my daughter for the time being until her mother got home.

I tell the officers that they can’t just take me out of the country, because I have a young Canadian daughter to care for, that taking me out of the country could be detrimental to her welfare, and that the law states that they have to put the best interest of the Canadian child first. I ask them to please take me to a judge so we can get this all straightened out.

“Mr. Straumieits, we’re not going to be taking you to a judge, we’re taking you to the border.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

When we get to the border, the two officers pause for a moment and look at each other, just like Thelma and Louise did before driving over the cliff.

One cop says to the other, “Should we really do this?”

The other officer just sits there for a moment—knowing that what they’re doing is wrong—and says, “Yeah, we have to.”

I’m taken over the border into the United States and handed over to U.S. border agents—separated from my family, my home, my friends, and my business.

This REALLY bummed me out at first. But if I know anything, it’s that feeling sorry for oneself leads nowhere.

I saw two roads. One where this destroys me, and one where I use the situation as rocket fuel for bigger and better things.

A move scene from Rocky 3I became determined to turn this around into something good—to make life better than ever.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I moved my family to Washington for a few months and then to sunny Southern California.

I doubled-up my efforts, learned everything I could about business, marketing, and making an impact on the world and I networked like never before.

I began working harder, longer, and smarter. I devoured books and courses like sumo wrestlers devour sushi. I resolved that I would use this experience—along with every seemingly negative thing that had ever happened to me in my life—to help others.

Sure, there were still lots of obstacles in my way, challenges to overcome, and dark nights to walk through, but once you get it in your gut that you’re going to do something and that nothing is going to stand in your way, life lines up to help you make it happen.

Look, we all go through our fair share of stuff. None of us are immune. And the more great things you set out to do, the more tests and trials will be thrown at you.

Shelfs with advanced nutrients productsIn the following years I took Advanced Nutrients from a $5 million a year company to an over $100 million a year company.

I started a charity program called Holiday Heroes that feeds thousands of hungry families each year.

I began a movement in Bulgaria called Political Change Now which has actually  grown into a major political party called New Bulgaria.

New Bulgaria is working hard to root out corruption from within the Bulgarian Judicial System, turn around the economy, and help the impoverished citizens of Bulgaria live the kind of life they truly deserve to live—a life where every Bulgarian stands equal in the eyes of the law, and can be prosperous, thrive, and follow their dreams.

I lost over 60 pounds of fat and committed myself to making health and fitness a priority in my life.

And now I share my experiences on this blog with people just like you, who can learn from the challenges, setbacks, and victories from my life.

Very green big BUDSI honestly believe that being kidnapped by the Canadian Royal Mounted Police and thrown out of Canada is one of the best things that ever happened to me—it’s what helped catapult me into the life I have today.

No matter what you’re going through, you CAN turn it around if just decide to, and get busy working to create change.

Napoleon Hill once said “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

If you can live your life with this in mind, and look for at least some aspect of good in everything you see and experience, life will reward you in GIANT ways.

And often the biggest gifts come from our biggest challenges.

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What you go through makes you stronger, wiser, and more understanding…IF you become determined that it will. The other option is to live an unfulfilled life of fear, suffering, and regret, which in my mind is no option at all.

Just like a muscle needs to be broken down before it can become stronger, sometimes we need to be broken down before we can become stronger as well.

A man rising his hands after workoutThe happiest, coolest, and most successful people I know—the ones who live the most awesome lives—are almost always the ones who went through the most stuff to get where they are today.

Like Bruce Lee said, “Do not pray for an easy life but pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

My sincere wish for you is that you take your struggles, losses, and challenges and turn them into gold—mentally, emotionally, psychically, spiritually, and financially.

And if this blog post helps you do this even a little bit, then I’ve served my purpose today.

I’d love to hear your comments below

Talk soon,
BigMike 🙂


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