Unstoppable: How Chris Jankulovski of Remote Staff Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With Dysesthesia

Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine
Published in
10 min readDec 28, 2022

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I have a physical limitation I personally had no idea such limitation would even have a name. Such as my challenge looking to my left, the doctors call this limitation Dysesthesia. However, others limitations can be seen like my balance issues when I walk or my limited use with my left hand. When some noticed my limitation, they think I am drunk, some don’t know what to make of it, some think I am mentally disabled and immediately put up a wall. Ether ways it gets uncomfortable sometimes, I do myself to make light of such occasions.

As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Jankulovski.

Chris Jankulovski is the Founder and CEO of Remote Staff, a recruiting company specializing in remote working placements. Remarkably, he was able to build and grow this thriving business while battling cancer, failing kidneys and several brain operations.

Throughout these challenges and more, Chris was able to find a way to transform his life from one of fear, struggle and self-doubt, to one of empowerment, success, health and happiness. Chris is the author of the soon to be released “Near Death Lessons.”

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

My background story is unique because at the age of 19, I was diagnosed with a hereditary condition that caused tumors in my major organs and was told that I’d be dead by the age of 30.

I cried for two weeks after that experience. I was devastated. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I did my best to ignore it. I became an angry young man who gave up on his future. I didn’t think there was any point to living. All I thought was to let myself have as much fun as I possibly could.

As I was having fun and living my life, I was wondering why having a career or some type of meaning and purpose to my existence was something I felt I needed in my life. The problem was I had no idea what to do. I had no idea what I wanted in life. I would run away the moment things become too challenging in life. I had no idea at the time, I was living as a “victim” of my diagnosis. At the back of my mind, I was always making decisions with this diagnosis.

One day at the age of 25, I quit the idea of being in a job I didn’t like to do. I decided to become an entrepreneur. I have always been entrepreneurial in naturally; I did not even know the word entrepreneur existed until I decided to become one. I’ve had numerous successes and failures, but 25 years later, I am enjoying the fruits of that decision.

I’m now 49 years old. I’m still living with a lot of uncertainty but I still live life to the fullest every year while I can. At the moment, I live between Sydney (with my Filipino wife and my two sons) and LA. I run a business in the offshore staffing industry, supplying Filipino remote working talent to businesses who want dedicated support.

Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you became disabled or became ill? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you”?

I officially became disabled with numerous adversities after my 2nd brain operation in September 2016, during an operation to have two brain tumors removed, one of the tumors burst, I ended up having no control of the left side of my body. Even my speech was affected because the left side of my tongue did not work. My vision was affected. I couldn’t breathe properly. My balance and mobility were affected. My right side of my body had other type of side effects like little temperature sensation. I could put my arm in boiling water, and would not feel it burning. I was completely deaf on my right ear. Nevertheless, my mind was fully conscious and capable. It took me 8 months to relearn how to walk and talk after that adversity.

What’s fascinating about this adversity was that I was bed-bound for 3 months, and around the 2nd or 3rd month, I realized that I couldn’t change what had happened. I just had to accept what happened. The moment that I accepted what happened, it allowed me to shift my focus and to what I can control and stop wasting my time obsessing about my disabilities, my concerns, my problems. I just tried to preserve as much of my energy to make baby steps progresses every day.

In the beginning, I needed someone to swing my leg in front of me like a doll in order to fire off new brain pattern formations. It was very raw.

In the first 2 weeks after my brain operation, I thought I would be better off dead than to go through the things I had gone through. It was no way to live. I was spiritually, mentally, and emotionally shattered, broken into little pieces. I had never been broken to such a level.

Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness?

I have been able to help thousands of my fellow entrepreneurs by providing cost effective remote working staff from the Philippines our clients could truly count on and rely on to become a real extension of their team without breaking the bank paying for expensive local wages. This allows my clients to have more flexibility and agility to grow their business, take on more clients, better service their customers, gain more time with their families etc.

I have also impacted thousands of people from a developing nation like the Philippines by providing remote working jobs since 2007. When you can give people a stable, remote job, you help bring families together, you can help people avoid a 3 hour commute each day.

Another accomplishment is a personal one. A year after my brain operation, I was back in surgery to have 6 cancers removed from my remaining left kidney. Now, I live with half a kidney. The 6 cancers exploded in growth in my remaining kidney because I had been bed-bound. Who would have ever thought that being in bed could be so dangerous?

Before I had that operation, I remember being in the pool, rehabilitating to move my body, I was praying and contemplating about the proposition of what’s ahead of me. The doctors said after the kidney operation, my kidney function may become very limited, I might only have 1 or 2 years of life with my original kidney. Because my tumors grew so fast there was a risk, I might have cancer battles all over my body. Or after the operation, I might wake up on dialysis. Or if I got lucky, everything would have turned out fine.

Right at the darkest time in my life, a few weeks before my kidney operation, I decided to not buy any of the doctors’ predictions. For the first time, I dared to hope of the possibility, what if the best is yet to come in my life. That was an amazing moment, because 8 months after my kidney operation, I went from a $4 million dollar house to $6 million dollar house, now worth $16m and doubled my business and soon about to launch my book.

I’m still nursing a lot of adversities. My balance is affected. My vision is affected. My speech is slightly slurry and affected. The left side of my body is still affected. But it doesn’t mean I am unable to walk, work, create, think, evolve, or do things. I can, and while I can, I’m focused on what I can do. I’m focused on utilizing my energy, my means, and my creativity to create the life of my dreams and help my family, my community, and service those who I choose to help around the world.

What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?

There’s nothing negative about an illness, a disability or limitations. We have our time here on earth. We can still have families; we can love those around us. We can still contribute and create meaning in our life. Our opinions about ourselves matter more than other people’s options.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

That person would have to be my wife, Rica. I am forever indebted to Rica because even in my darkest hours, after my brain operation, when I thought I would be better off dead than to deal with the extreme adversity, Rica was there. She never left my side. She said, “Chris, that might be better for you, but that’s not better for me.” One way or another, her support and her love is what brought me back as a stronger, more driven, more capable, and wealthier person than ever.

Rica and I also work together in the business. She is the polar opposite of me. I’m a typical creative idealist dreamer and Rica is the people-minded, systems-and-operational-minded person who could run the ship and the team. We work as a powerful couple in life, business, family, and every other way.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Living with my hereditary condition and being able to look after my own family is a really big deal for me. Being a father, a husband, being the best version of myself despite the number of adversities I have experienced is a mega achievement on its own.

On top of that, I’m proud to be able to help thousands of my fellow entrepreneurs achieve a new level of success in their business and by employing thousands of people across the Philippines.

My wife and I were able to sponsor 9 of her family and friends to live in Australia. This has made a big impact in each of their lives.

Soon I’m putting my story out there to inspire others going through difficult times in their life. The book is called Near Death Experiences and I know my story can help; I have been through adversities that can best be described as very scary.

Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.

  1. I have a physical limitation I personally had no idea such limitation would even have a name. Such as my challenge looking to my left, the doctors call this limitation Dysesthesia. However, others limitations can be seen like my balance issues when I walk or my limited use with my left hand. When some noticed my limitation, they think I am drunk, some don’t know what to make of it, some think I am mentally disabled and immediately put up a wall. Ether ways it gets uncomfortable sometimes, I do myself to make light of such occasions.
  2. Some view my physical limitation and what I am having to overcome with pity. I don’t do self-pity, and I don’t need pity from others. I wish everyone can appreciate diversity and be intrigued with our differences instead.
  3. We don’t need to be praised or admired for doing minor things like walking up or down tricky surfaces or picking up an iPhone that dropped or for going to the gym etc.
  4. Depending on how obvious the physical limitation might be, we don’t have to always prove ourselves to other people in doing ordinary things like going outside to get fresh air, traveling on our own, going to a restaurant on our own etc.
  5. When my physical limitations where new to me, I originally wanted to hid them from others. Now I use my left hand more and more in public as part of my rehab. Now I don’t let other people’s judgements about my limitations affect me. When people see me carrying a plate and I look very wobbly or hold a glass with my left hand in a robotic limited motion way. I just say, I am ok…all good, I don’t need your help thanks.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

“If you’re going through hell, don’t stop, keep going” by Winston Churchill.

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try” Beverly Sills.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)

There are so many talented and amazing people in America. I loved my first Thanksgiving celebration. Every public holiday should be a Thanksgiving in my opinion. Gratitude is everything, and I just wanted to share my gratitude to America.

Oprah Winfrey, I can imagine having a conversation with her about spirituality and how to access even more of the universal power available to us all. I’ve had 8 near death experiences, and when you’ve had that many, you can’t help but be spiritually sensitive. You can’t help but appreciate your existence that is very fleeting.

Dr Joe Dispenza, his work seems to explain what has been happening to me, energetically and spiritually after each of my near-death experiences. So, a conversation with him would be very interesting.

Kesha, to thank her for her amazing song, “Praying.”

This was the song that I was listening in the pool for 3 weeks before the removal of 6 cancers in my remaining kidney…. this song helped me find my strength. In the darkest moment in my life, this song got me to dare hope that the best is yet to come in my life.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator