Monday, September 15

✔ 5 lessons I learned from my mom - and how she shaped my life

I'm literally writing this post to brag about how awesome my mom is. And to remember that I want me and my wife to be like that to my kids. My mom shaped my life in so many ways that it's hard to describe. But I'll try. There are five life lessons I learned from her. Here goes:

5 lessons I learned from my mom - and how she shaped my life

Last year I wrote about my entrepreneurial parents where I mentioned how my mom, despite having obtained a demanding career as an architect, switched her jobs several times in her life. But there's a lot more to her. Today I want to share with you the things I learned from my mom so that you might hopefully learn something from her as well:

Friday, September 12

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [part 2]

Note: This is a 6th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 2) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapt 2_2

When you're only motivated by money - you will lose

Everything was going as I had planned. Then suddenly one competitor showed up. And another. And one more... and my unique "business opportunity" space started getting crowded.

And these other guys were building a better product than mine! And with more features! Better design, offer, whatever the bottom line was, I started to lose ground.

The thing is, if you're only motivated by the money, you're going to lose interest quickly. This is what happened to me. I started giving up. It was supposed to be an easy business! I was supposed to be rich and famous! What gives?

Friday, September 12

✔ Confessions of a manager

This my editor's note from Productive! Magazine No.22. If you are not a subscriber of my monthly mag, please, check it out and sign up for the newsletter or download the iOS or Android app and read it whenever and wherever you wish.

Productive! Magazine 22

The top two challenges

Between 2003 and 2013 RainmakerThinking, Inc. conducted a survey among 37,419 managers. They asked, "What is the hardest thing for you about managing people?" 87% of responses fell into one of ten most common challenges. As many as 43% of responses pointed to one of the top two challenges facing managers: "Not enough time..." (24%) and "Giving negative feedback..." (19%). I would have probably responded the same.

Tuesday, September 9

✔ Will a new 5,5" iPhone convert people to not only #iPadOnly, but more #iPhoneOnly?

I'm a big fan of working on iOS devices. I co-wrote a book about working ont the iPad and I'm actually writing this blog post on my iPad. I've gotten used to working on both the iPhone and the iPad - I really use these two "computers" all of the time. I carry my iPhone with me at all times... and my iPad most of the times. I hardly ever use my Mac. Now, tonight Apple will supposedly unvail two new iPhones. According to John Gruber, one will be 4.7" and the other 5.5" and the bigger one might have kinda iPad-like features. Will it mean people will use the iPhone even more for their every day computing?

Will a new 5,5" iPhone convert people to not only #iPadOnly, but more #iPhoneOnly?

I switched to using iPad and iPhone for most of my daily work tasks 2 years ago

Yes, the moment I got the 3rd generation iPad (with Retina display and 3G connection) I started migrating my work to the iPad. Started using my favorite apps and loved it. Later I upgraded to 4th gen iPad and now the iPad Air.

I've been hardly missing my PC anymore. I write all about it in my #iPadOnly book. However, recently I noticed I could get lots done on my iPhone as well. I've had all the generations of the iPhone, and my newest, iPhone 5s with the touch ID is really amazing. The screen is big (compared to the iPhone 4s) and the battery life is OK... and the touch ID is cool now that it works pretty reliably. Now, what happens if I get the iPhone 5.5"... is that I imagine using it even more for work. Here's why:

Friday, September 5

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [Part 1]

Note: This is a 5th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 1) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapter 2.1

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." - Donald Trump, investor, author of "The Art of the Deal"

Money makes the world go around... kind of.

Money rules the world we live in right now. No doubt about that. But it's not what it's all about. Money is just a means to an end - a happy, fulfilled life.

It sounds nice in definition but the media want us to believe otherwise. In the consumerist world we live in, it's all about the money - it gives you power, cars, houses... the media wants us to believe we can buy ourselves a way into happiness.

The same applies to the startup world. Young, aspiring entrepreneurs are reading high-profile tech blogs where they learn about other young guys cashing it big time with huge company valuations, amazingly big venture capital rounds and fantastic financing opportunities where millions of dollars are just laying around there to be picked up.

These big sums of money only make young startup founders blind. They have very often never even seen more than a few thousand of dollars at a time, yet they seem to subconsciously redirect their motivation towards "getting rich quick... or die trying" (as the rap star 50cent would say).

I was like this when I graduated from college. I wanted to make it big for fame and fortune. And I failed several times to finally understand that to be passionate about money you need to approach it from a totally different angle.

Thursday, September 4

✔ Donating to Charity and my #ALSIceBucketChallenge - Productive! Show 79

Today I want to focus on donating money to charity. How we can help others, create our own "charity fund" and how we ca actively and generously participate in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. At the end of the video I'll share my own ice bucket challenge (being nominated by @karolzielinski) and I'll nominate @simongrabowski, @alexpl and @wiktorschmidt.

I donated $100 to each of these charities: - ALS: DIGNITAS DOLENTIUM - STOWARZYSZENIE 'DAJMY DZIECIOM MIŁOŚĆ': PIOTR RADON - POMORSKIE STOWARZYSZENIE OSÓB Z CHOROBAMI REUMATYCZNYMI

In this episode you'll get all the details and see me really get wet & cold :-)

Please post your comments below, thanks!

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Friday, August 29

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion [Part 2]

Note: This is a 4th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion, part 2

It's all about passion - chapter 1.2

There are several types of passion

Passion shows up in many shapes and forms and you just don't get to be passionate about one thing or one aspect of your company. There are many types of passion and over here I'd like to comment on the ones I have discovered and that have played the major role in my success.

Ready? Let's dive into this and hopefully inspire you to build your passionate startup.

Friday, August 22

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion [Part 1]

Note: This is a third excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 1 - 7 types of passion

"Passion is not something you go after as an end in itself. It's rather a symptom of your engagement with anything into which you are fully immersed. It's also not something you usually know you have. Others notice your full involvement with something and they call it ‘passion’. I just call it doing what I feel like doing."

David Allen, the originator of Getting Things Done

It's all about passion - chapter 1.1

How my dreams came true

I discovered the Internet in 1996 (half-way through high school). Wow. Being able to connect from the comfort of my home to a person on the other side of the globe was magical. With this, I thought, anything was possible.

I started college in 1998 and began to understand how business could be done over the Internet. Going through the "Internet bubble of 2000" I discovered the concept of a "startup" and of course, a few months later a concept of a "bubble" and "a failed startup". Somewhere in between there was another concept of "new economy" which I never understood so let's just leave it at that.

Even though most of the Internet startups failed at that time, I was lured into a dream of running a company that could exist only on the Internet and offer products or services to people all over the world digitally. I thought it wasn't a "new economy" but it most definitely was a new "paradigm shift".

Friday, August 15

✔ It's all about passion! - Introduction [part 2]

Note: This is another excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Introduction - continued...

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." - Oprah Winfrey

It's all about passion - intro 2

My first .COM

I got us the cheapest web hosting account I could find, my very own .COM domain and started coding away. We used old-school FTP to transfer files, chatted over ICQ, sent emails back and forth — the online collaboration was at full speed and we were making our new project a reality. When I wasn’t in my dorm room, we’d send text messages on our mobile phones. Just think about it, it was the first time I got myself my very own mobile phone! Yes, I was amazed how much Victor and I could get done although we weren’t physically in the same place or working at the same time.

We also chatted with our friend, Simon, who was already a successful Internet entrepreneur at that time. We got lots of inspiration from him and were blown away by his small Poland-based company making it big in the USA. We wanted to be like him. He is still my mentor to this day.

It was on the eve of dot-com boom when we launched our product — a small, social email reminder service. We started to charge $5 a month for it. Got a few first customers… and then we discovered such reminder services are offered free from most of the major Internet portals. We didn’t manage to get many more customers. Our product was great but not many people wanted to pay for it. Bummer.

Thursday, August 14

✔ How I implemented Slow Carb Diet, lost 8kg/17lbs in 2 months - tips and tricks for beginners

Wow, I'm overwhelmed how many of my friends started to ask me about my diet/fitness transformation earlier this year. I lost more than 10% of my body weight, I'm very fit and people started to notice... and they want the same! I think it's great. This article is for anyone who wants to lose weight without feeling hungry (and no counting calories!) and who is capable of spending 2 months for that. Here's how I did it:

Slow Carb Diet results

Why Slow-carb diet - why is it different?

I heard about this diet a while ago but the word "diet" discouraged me to give it a try. I didn't want to count calories or feel hungry. Then I read the book Why we get fat and realized, I could give up carbohydrates and still eat until full... and lose weight! Well, I decided to give it a try.

Sidenote: On the photo "before" I'm about 74kg, on the photo "after" I'm about 66kg. You can still see the difference (my face, neck, etc..) but I have to admit that three years ago I weighted up to 80kg! So I'm about 14kg/30lbs lighter total than my last record :-)

Anyway, I read the book and learned about the slow-carb-diet on the Internet and in the 4-hour body book by Tim Ferriss and his blog post on Gizmodo and knew where to start. I liked that this diet lets me have a feast every 6 days and eat whatever I liked (more on that later) so I wouldn't feel like I'm really missing out on life. I was on the diet from mid-January to mid-March this year and not only have I stayed lean but I also lost additional 2kg after my diet ended. Here are my best tips and tricks:

Tuesday, August 12

✔ Interview with Crystal Paine "Money Saving Mom" for the Productive! Magazine No. 22

Today we're launching the summer (July/August) issue of our Productive! Magazine. You can browse it free or get our free Android, iPad or iPhone apps. Thank you!

Crystal Paine tells the story behind her MoneySavingMom.com which is one of the top personal finance blogs in the US with over 1.5 million visitors per month. She also explains why intentional money-spending and setting strict money-related rules is worth investing the time and how to compromise with your partner or spouse when it comes to managing your home budget.

Question: Are you a saver or a spender? Are you trying to "marry" your personality with the way your beloved is?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

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Monday, August 11

✔ Next Actions and Holidays: How vacation planning apps can teach you to get organized...

We're half way through the Summer and I'm going on a vacation next week so today I'm going to write about "next actions" and holidays... inspired by my step 3 of my "10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course". Let's start with your actual next action: planning your holiday :)

Next Actions and Holidays

The holiday should be an inspiration for work

I go on holidays because I want to relax, recharge my batteries and get inspired... I want to have some rest from everyday routine in order to get back to it later with more motivation and power. To make it possible, the apps that help me have a good time and not forget about anything should make me reflect on the work-related tasks. Here's how they work for me:

Friday, August 8

✔ It's all about passion! - Introduction [part 1]

Note: This is an excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!"

The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - cover

Introduction: My first passionate startup, Part 1

"People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you're doing. It's totally true. The reason is, because it's so hard and if you don't, any rational person would give up. It's really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don't love it, if you're not having fun doing it, you don't really love it, you're gonna give up.

It happens to most people actually. If you look at the ones that ended up being successful in the eyes of society and the ones that didn't, often times the ones that were successful loved what they did so they could persevere when it got really tough. The ones that didn't love it, quit. Because they're sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don't love it. So it's a lot of hard work and it's a lot of worrying constantly and if you don't love it you're gonna fail. So you gotta love it and you gotta have passion."

  • Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple

New college, new passion-seeking adventure...

The fall of 2000 in Germany was chilly, but it wasn’t unbearable. I showed up a few weeks before the new college year started to get to know my new school, new dorm and new city. There I was, a day-long drive away from my home town in Poland, excited to be able to continue my management studies abroad. Just this summer, right before the big move, I finally earned enough money to buy my first laptop computer - a 266 MHz Pentium II Compaq Armada. With my all-new PC, a German dictionary and lots of hopes and dreams, I was ready to start my new adventure and learn new things at this foreign university.

When I settled in my student dormitory and connected my laptop to the local University network, I was literally blown away by the speed of the Internet. Being used to a dial-up modem at home, it was like entering a different league. The applications I immediately downloaded and started using were the Opera browser (the fastest browser on earth at that point), Napster (free music!) and ICQ (to chat with fellow students as well as friends and family back home).

How do I find my passion? My calling? My raison de vivre?

You see, at high school I was miserable because most of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives (they wanted to become doctors, lawyers, teachers... you get the idea) and I had no clue. Even worse - I was a very good student - I basically had grades A at everything - but I wasn't "great" at anything. I was just a very good all-arounder. It may sound cool now, but it wasn't helping me decide what I wanted to do with my life.

Wednesday, August 6

✔ Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard - Gadget Review - Productive! Show #77

Do you work on the iPad and need to type longer texts sometimes? Watch my short presentation of Logitech Ultrathin keyboard that I have bought recently. It has some new features that will surely help you work effectively and comfortably.

Question: Which is your favorite tablet keyboard?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

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Monday, August 4

✔ Teleworking in Nozbe - why we all work from home, from anywhere, without any office...

Every year I'm posting pictures and videos of my home office. If you feel nostalgic, feel free to check it out: 2008, 2009, 2010 (video), 2011, 2012 and 2013. Why home office? Well, because my home office is indeed my only real office. Even when running a company of over a dozen of full time people.

Teleworking in Nozbe - why we all work from home, from anywhere, without any office

I always wanted to work from anywhere...

Back in the day when I was in college I was amazed how much I could get done together with my friend. We built a web app together in early 2000s. He was living and studying in Poland and I just moved to study in Germany. There was no Skype back then, no Github, he was on a dial-up connection... it was crazy, yet we built something (you can read more about it in my book "It's all about passion").

I was so amazed by it that I wrote my master thesis on virtual companies and teleworking in 2003... and the main premise of it was:

"work is not a place to go, it's a thing that you do".

Now I'm running a successful company called Nozbe and we all work from home. I'm living my dream... and here's how we're doing it: