Saturday, April 19

✔ Yes, I'm a Christian (Roman-Catholic) and I believe Jesus Christ to be my Savior

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you like my special post for this Easter weekend. Well, last year I launched our 10-Steps to Ultimate Productivity Course where in the 8th lesson about the "Weekly Review" I admit to being a Christian. I also state it clearly at the end of my "about" page. I didn't think it was really such a big deal... until I started receiving very nice emails from my Nozbe users and my blog readers. In this blog post I'd like say why I believe it's important to openly share your belief system with people you're connected to.

Yes, I'm a Christian (Roman-Catholic) and I believe Jesus Christ to be my Savior

I was really blown away when I started getting messages like these:

"I wanted to send you a quick note today to let you know I appreciate the you boldly sharing your faith, and I want to encourage you on the journey!" (Dave)

or

"What really captured my attention was in your course video on weekly review where you stated that you are Catholic and that you begin your weekly review with prayer. (...) It seems that our values are aligned in wanting to help individuals and organizations thrive and be as productive and healthy as possible." (Brad)

And I got many more emails like these. And from people of different nationalities. What really captured my attention was the fact that folks were surprised I was so open about my belief system. I think everyone should be doing this, here's why (and how):

Wednesday, April 2

✔ Why We Get Fat? by Gary Taubes - (audio) book of the week

It's been a while since I posted about a book of the week and not because I wasn't reading anything. Far from it. I've been listening to quite a few books lately so I'll try to post more about it and today I want to start with a book that completely changed my life in the last 3 months... and it's about eating, dieting and health... and its contents are contrary to the popular knowledge. The author really explains why we get fat:

Why We Get Fat? by Gary Taubes - audiobook of the week

When I summarized 2013 I noticed I wanted to lose weight. About 10 lbs (4-5kg) this year to achieve my "perfect bodyweight". You see, three years ago I got chubby. I gained about 10kg (22lbs) to a really alarming weight of 80kg (176 lbs) which at my height (1.68 cm / 5'4) is starting to look pretty bad. I didn't feel great. So I got to work. Over the last three years I started getting in shape: I'm running regularly now, I do fitness training, I eat healthier... and I started to feel I was in the best shape of my life... but I only managed to go down to 74kg (163lbs) and not much below that. Of course, with fitness training and running my muscles got heavier, but still, I could tell I had still too much fat in my body. Then I read this book "Why We Get Fat?" by Gary Taubes... changed my habits and in 2.5 months of 2014 I managed to achieve my perfect weight of 67kg (147lbs), which is about 13kg (30lbs) less than where I was 3 years ago. And I keep maintaining this weight. Here's why this book changed my eating habits so much:

Tuesday, January 14

✔ 2013 was great and for 2014 I intend to keep running in biz & life :-)

I know I'm late to the party. It's third week of the new year and I'm talking about NY resolutions... But I had a very hectic beginning of the year and now I finally have the time to think, summarize and last year. You can find my 2012 summary here.

2013 was great and for 2014 I intend to keep running in biz & life

Last year was very mixed for me. I've grown and learned a lot. Here goes:

Friday, December 13, 2013

✔ How to never forget to pay your bills (thanks to Nozbe)

Just recently a friend of mine called me up and asked for advice regarding bills, she said: "I usually pay all the bills on time. Especially when I receive them in the mail - they're easy to process - I get the bill and I pay it right then. Recently many companies start sending me e-invoices (via email) and sometimes I slip and pay only when they call me to say my payment is overdue. How can you help me set up my payment reminder system so that I will remember about all these bills and be able to pay them on time? How do you deal with that?". Here's how I do it:

How to never forget to pay your bills (thanks to Nozbe)

I use Nozbe to track all my bills. (duh!)

As Nozbe founder I use my own software for managing projects, communicating with my team and other business-like tasks... but I also use Nozbe for these small administrative chores like paying the bills. What David Allen says in GTD (Getting Things Done), it's important not to think about something... until you have to think about it. This is why I set up my bills in Nozbe and I'm being reminded about them only when I need to deal with them. Not earlier, not later. Here's how my setup looks like:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

✔ Moral compass. On being honest and what I'm doing every day to make better decisions.

Recently I read the book by Dan Ariely called "Predictably Irrational" and I think it was a fantastic book. I'll blog about it later but today I wanted to focus on something that really struck me there and influenced how I approach my work every single day. It's about moral compass and prayer and being a better person. Here goes.

Moral compass. On being honest and what I'm doing every day to make better decisions.

As you know I'm Catholic. Having said that, daily habit of prayer has always been something I've been struggling with. It turns out being able to talk to God is a skill and it's not that easy to make it regular, honest and not boring or repetitive. Following advice by Michael Hyatt I was trying to read the Bible every day using the "One Year Bible" Kindle book. The problem was, the habit of reading a piece of Bible every day wasn't sticking with me... I'd read one day... and forget... or "not have the time" to read the other... until I read Dan Ariely's book and found out about an experiment that changed my point of view dramatically:

Monday, July 29, 2013

✔ How my entrepreneurial parents inspired me to start a company

Whenever I get a chance to speak at a conference or have a Q&A with an audience, or get interviewed for a podcast, people always keep asking me the same set of questions: "What made me start on my own? Why after college did I pursue my own company instead of a career in a corporate world? What were my parents thinking of my choice?" Well, I always respond that it's actually my parents who are to blame here. They are entrepreneurs themselves.

How my entrepreneurial parents inspired me to start a company

When the communist curtain fell in the beginning of the 90s, my parents were "intellectuals" (meaning, they had a college degree) with lousy jobs. In the communist times in Poland the "physical workers" were promoted and were earning better salaries than the college graduates. My parents were barely making it paycheck to paycheck. However, the fall of the communist dictatorship made it possible for people to start their own "small companies" and my parents ceased the moment. They started their own companies, here's how it went down:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

✔ Take the blame. It's really your fault. Learn from it.

It's not natural to take the blame. It feels better to blame the other guy... like when we are late - to blame it on the traffic, nanny, the kids, iPhone's reminder, whatever... whenever we screw something up, we try to come clean and say it's not our fault. Well, it really is our fault. In this short post I want to tell you why learning to take the blame is critical to your success. Learn to accept it's your fault... to really learn something from it!

Take the blame. It's really your fault in the end.

We're moving to a new house with my wife and while searching for houses we had to make appointments with many real-estate brokers. One of them was Joan (not her real name). She was a very warm, driven and motivated person and she was about to show us the house we'd ultimately decide to take... but it wasn't all that easy.

In the first meeting I almost crossed her (and the house) out completely because when we showed up for our appointment in front of the house to visit it, she said she didn't have the key! I was like "Seriously? How do you want to show us the house without the key? Why did you drag us down here at an appointed time... totally unprepared?" and then it all started...

She started telling me this story where the neighbor had the key but she talked to her and agreed to get the key in the morning, but then she had to buy groceries, and then her assistant wasn't in the office, and then... - I stopped her.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Combating Resistance - the 10-step productivity course recorded!

A few months ago I announced on this blog I was planning to record the video course: 10 steps to ultimate productivity!. It took me a little while to get the recording going but finally we started recording last week and yesterday we finished the recording process. It was a roller coaster of an experience... but definitely one of these moments you feel you're alive.

Combating Resistance - the 10-step productivity course recorded!

As I mentioned in my last post I was scared it wouldn't work. We had only a little over a week to record an 11-unit course (Intro + 10 steps) in 5 languages. It was the first time I hired a professional recording crew, it was the first time I had to use tools like tele-prompter and speak for almost 12 hours straight into the camera... and do it every day in a different language... and wearing make-up (crazy!). It was the first time I had to record myself speaking Japanese (luckily for me - Zofia, our Japanese "Happiness Officer", recorded most of the course in Japanese... which was a "first time" for her as well :-)

The "Resistance" was with me at all times

I wanted to give up several times while recording the course, here are a few examples:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

An interview with me - Michael Sliwinski's story - it's all about passion!

A few days ago Apple accepted our Nozbe iOS apps and I celebrated 6 years of running Nozbe. I can't believe how time flies. I launched Nozbe on February 1st 2007 and although 6 years have passed, I feel like I'm just getting started! To celebrate this anniversary I wanted to write a lengthy blog post summarizing what happened in that time... but I decided to do it a little differently.

An interview with me - Michael Sliwinski

I'm very happy to report that the story of Nozbe has served as inspiration for many young entrepreneurs and startup founders who (like me) are dreaming of making a small dent in the universe by running an app that serves thousands (if not millions) of people all over the world.

That's why I'm quite often humbled to be asked for an interview - mostly in English (a few examples: Firepole Marketing, Startup Success Podcast, Productive Superdad, The Daily Saint, Work Awesome, Daniel Gold or Take Permission Media) as well as in my mother tongue - Polish (like: MamStartup, Megafoni, Produktywnie, Mediafun or AK74).

That's why, to celebrate my 6th-year anniversary of running Nozbe and to create a resource where hopefully you can learn more about me, my story, the good, the bad and everything in between... I decided to publish this as an interview with myself. Enjoy! Here goes:

Monday, January 21, 2013

My fitness summary for 2012 - running, exercising and losing weight

If you're following my Instagram feed or my Twitter profile you know I'm and avid runner. I also exercise wherever I can. Getting back in shape was a decision I made about three years ago when I found out I was getting quite chubby because of the nature of my work and my eating habits. 2012 was the best year for me as far as my fitness is concerned... and I think 2013 will be even better.

My fitness summary for 2012

When I confessed to my friend Miguel Guía that I felt I was getting out of shape a few years go, he said that I was enjoying a fit body in my twenties and I took it for granted... and now I'm in my thirties and need to do something about it. Especially when my daughter was born I stopped doing any sports (I was regularly training Karate Shotokan and basketball before) and gained 10 kg (20 lbs) by the time my daughter celebrated her first birthday.

Gradually in 2010 and 2011 I was trying to exercise more, my wife convinced me to start running... and I felt better. I was losing weight, gaining some muscles and feeling I could get in shape... but it wasn't until 2012 came along that I finally put my habits in place and made the biggest difference. Here's what happened: