Principle #1 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business

1. You Are Your Business.

So, you need to make self-care your #1 priority. It doesn’t just apply to solopreneurs. For any enterprise, if the owner or the CEO is the driving force, it applies just as well.
In fact, it applies to any business which will be gone if the owner or CEO will disappear for three months. Or forever, we are all mortal.

I see people ignoring this principle all the time, everywhere. People are looking for a silver bullet that will solve their productivity problems, but they are ignoring the basics.

It is as damaging in case of a housewife, an employee, but in case of an entrepreneur it has a frightening compound effect.
If you don’t take good care of yourself, it’s not just you who suffer. It impacts your family, your customers, your employees, your bottom line, your sanity – everyone and everything around.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

Your body supports all your efforts to improve your life. Or gets into your way, if you don’t take care of it. We all know what we need to function at the optimal level, but most of us choose to ignore it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.

Eat clean, sleep enough, hydrate yourself properly, be physically active- those are the basics. If you don’t have a fundament, how can you build a house?

Nine Universal Business Principles
Principle #1 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business
Principle #2 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business
Principles #3&4 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business
Principles #5&6 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business
Principles #7&8 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business
Principle #9 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business

Originally published in Medium.

9 Universal Principles Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business

Photo by Olia Danilevich from Pexels.

What does it really take to be successful in business? There is so much noise nowadays. Some claim it’s a brilliant idea, others say it’s about solid business tools, and others say it’s hard work.

Some claim it is such a complex matter that it is impossible to tell. I heard Brian Tracy on a podcast episode when he quoted a huge research on entrepreneurship. Scientists tried to determine what makes some entrepreneurs successful, while others must close the door after a few years. The research lasted for decades and studied thousands of entrepreneurs. The conclusion was that the successful entrepreneurs did only two things differently: they got started and kept going.

Success leaves clues.” – Tony Robbins

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn

Yet, like Tony and Jim, I believe there is a finite number of timeless universal principles which allow for success in business.
I tried various ventures in the last decade.
I failed at some.
I succeeded at others. I also had a unique insight into businesses of my coaching clients.
And I found what separates successful entrepreneurs from those who went out of business.


Not all the successful businesses stick to all the principles.
Not all failed businesses ignore all the principles.
And at various stages, there is different level of importance of each of the principles. #1 is absolutely crucial for solopreneurs, while #7 will do not much of a difference for them.
#7 is extremely important for matured businesses, while #1 (at least when it comes down only to the owner) might have been no issue at all.
Continue reading

Turn your Dumbphone into a Smartphone Again: One simple habit to protect your mind – and sanity!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

There is no greater misnomer than a “smartphone.” The device in itself is not smart at all; it’s just a thing. It is as smart as a vacuum cleaner or a hammer. And smartphones make 99.99% of their users dumber, not smarter.

Yes, there is an incredible computing ability. Yes, you can access with your smartphone the Internet – the biggest knowledge database ever created in human history. Yes, you can leverage incredible applications to track your habits or finances, to do your daily tasks more effectively, to manage your calendar or a to-do list.

So what?!!

This device also bombards you with a zillion notifications beeping in the least desirable moments. When you pick it up and check one thing, you are mysteriously drawn into opening another app, then scrolling through its feed, watching funny videos, then reading another thing. Now, you are not only distracted, you actually wasted several minutes of your precious time on this planet.

That’s not smart at all. That’s dumb. Thus, this device deserves a more apt name – a dumbphone.
Continue reading

Every Human Can Be Grateful All the Time

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

People have a really hard time when trying to develop a gratitude practice. Quickly, they “run out” of the things they are grateful for.

I say, we are like fish who don’t notice water around them. We have the whole ocean of things to be grateful for.

Earl Nightingale said in his cult classic, The Strangest Secret,” that people take for granted everything that is free and don’t appreciate the most valuable things in their lives.

Like air. Without the air, you will suffocate in a few short minutes. Yet, who appreciates the free air? Maybe, once in a blue moon a tourist in the mountains or at the sea, who notices the difference between those environments and the smelly air of a big city.

And the same goes with water, food, shelter, clothes, and other everyday items.

Well, shelter is not especially free, but recall how much you’ve appreciated your home when the Great Lockdown had been introduced. However, we rarely appreciate our homes on a daily basis. We take them for granted.

An Infinitive Source of Gratitude: People

Going back to fish and the ocean – this morning I realized I do not notice and properly appreciate people in my life. One thought was enough to start the avalanche of gratitude:

Isn’t it amazing that I have about a dozen people working with me, supporting me and helping me out with my writing and business?”

You see, at the beginning, the only people who supported me on my life transformation journey were doing it unwittingly. Like my wife doing household chores – I didn’t have to do them, so I had time to write. Like my employer – they paid me, thus I had funds to invest into my writing venture. Like my co-workers, who picked up my slack in work when my mind was focused on my stuff.

See what happened in those examples? They were all following their agendas, but it helped me with mine.
After several months, a more purposeful support started to organically emerge. My online friends cheering me up on my writing journey; thanks to their encouragement, I got the mental energy to continue. Chris Bell, who volunteered to edit my fifth book; he did a great job, and it became my first bestseller.

Nowadays, I have the support of a multitude of others. I especially cherish the support of those who do it purposefully to support me and my endeavors.

My two Filipino part-time VAs, who are doing the time-consuming stuff. My American proofreader, who painstakingly corrects my English. My family members, who help me out in my book advertising business.

Including my wife, who purposefully took over most of the household chores, so I could work more hours in my business. About a dozen people who helped me with my books production – formatters, editors, cover designers, audiobook narrators. Well, and dozens of beta-readers too.

My mastermind buddies and accountability partners, who carefully observe my journey and call me out about my BS.

Even More People

And there is the whole huge crowd of people providing their support while following their agenda.

A dozen or so people who purchase my books; new people every day.

Another dozen or so, who download my free books. A few dozen of my advertising service customers. About 40 people a day who visit my blog. A few hundred people who read my Medium articles. Over a thousand people who read my Polish answers on Quora. A few thousand people a day who read my English answers on Quora.

Several thousand people help me and support me every day.

Every. Single. Day.

Wow. And I barely notice, acknowledge, and appreciate them. The human fish in the ocean of people. I’m so blessed!

You Are Blessed Too

You don’t have to be an author or business owner to get the support of others. In fact, you are getting it all the time, around the clock.

This is what I mean by the human fish in the ocean of people – every day dozens, or even thousands people, follow their agenda, but they support you while being busy with their lives. People, whom you may never meet. People, whom you don’t know about or don’t normally notice.

How many people are working right now to provide water, electricity, and Internet for your home? Someone is working hard right now in a sweatshop in China, or in Cambodia, so you can enjoy your electronic device or a piece of clothing a few months down the road.

But why look for people so far away? Right there in your county, people hustle, so you can live your life. The gas you tank, the roads you drive on, the groceries you consume – every single good you utilize and enjoy is a fruit of labor of many.

Remember how we appreciated supermarket cashiers at the beginning of the COVID? Tap into this sense of wonder, and you will never run out of people you can be grateful for. They are everywhere around you.

They always have been there. They will always be there to support you.

Fish cannot live without water, and we cannot live without others. Do notice this. Do acknowledge it. Do appreciate it.

Be grateful for them.

Originally published at Medium.

10 Simple Habits to Greatly Improve Your Social Skills

10 Simple Habits to Greatly Improve Your Social SkillsThose habits are simple indeed. However, they elevated my social skills from the level below zero to a point where people who meet me for the first time think I’m a social butterfly.

I consider their biggest benefit that for half of them you actually don’t need cooperation from others at all. You can practice those habits in the security of your own mind.

1. Notice Other People

Start recognizing the people around you. Look at them and think about them.

What things do you have in common? What things in them spark your interest?

2. Observe Other People

Stop digging lonely in your own mind. Look at the people around and think about them.

How do they behave? How they are behaving toward you? If you had to praise a specific man or woman, what would you say?

3. Mind Games

Once you notice people around you and think about them in the positive light, imagine striking conversations with them.

Visualize how you approach them, say “Hi”, start a conversation and tell them about that nice good thing about them you’ve noticed.

4. Eye Contact

The first step of the conversation is to make eye contact. Stop avoiding other person’s eyesight. If you don’t notice them you won’t talk to them. After breaking eye contact give this person a minute of reflection.

What things do you have in common? What things in them spark your interest? If you had to praise him/her, what would you say?

5. Smile

The next important factor in your becoming sociable is using your smile. Often we are so locked in our fears and insecurities regarding other people that we don’t notice they have their own difficulties. We all are so isolated in our fast-paced society and the simple act of smiling can knock down the barriers between us.

So, make eye contact and smile. You will be surprised by the mix of responses you will get. Some people will flinch, wince or recoil: “A stranger smiling at me? This is so unexpected!”

Many people will look away to break the eye contact, plainly feeling uncomfortable. Many will look at you incredulously: “Is it real? Is this person smiling at me?” They will take a quick peep around looking for the person who you are really smiling at, then get back to you, realizing that they are the receivers of your smile.

And I love best those handful that smile back at me. There will be such people in your case too.

6. Say “Hi”

Or “How do you do” or whatever people in your culture say to each other when they start a conversation.

If you made eye contact and smiled at them and they smiled back at you, it’s a no-brainer.

That’s it. You don’t need to do anything else. No obligation to discuss life and death matters. A simple “Hi” is enough.

7. Praise

Everybody likes to be praised. I’ve never met with the reaction of rejection when I praised a stranger. No one has ever told me “Get lost!” when I praised him.

The range of reactions is wide and mixed, but it always stays in the positive spectrum.

So praise. Look at the stranger and think what you could praise — an image; their clothes; a cool tattoo; maybe certain behavior?

Starting a conversation with praise is rarely as rewarding as talking about the purpose of life, but it’s an order of magnitude easier.

8. Ask about Them.

This is powerful. Everybody loves to talk about themselves. And people think you are so smart and likable when you make it all about them!

I have some contacts with really high-profile people, millionaires and the like. Those folks have a truly magical ability to make me talk.

A hack to make it work: be really curious about them. Reflect that in your language: “That’s fascinating! Can you tell me more?”

Listen with Your Body.

Master a few simple habits which signalize you are listening to the other person. Lean into them. Look at them, preferably right at their face. Make small head movements indicating that you are trying to listen to them with all your might.


This is huge. You may have a habit of asking deep insightful questions, but if you don’t listen to the responses of others, you could’ve as well ask no questions.

It’s a common struggle. We all love to talk, especially about ourselves. Especially when you ask a question, shut up and listen carefully to what they say. You may add another habit on top of that – ask another question at the end of their utterance:

Is that all?
What do you mean by that?

or simply repeat their last words with a questioning tone encouraging them to continue.

Some helpful tips to cultivate this habit:
-make sure you always speak less than the other person,
-say fewer words than the other person,
-shut up; use grunts and gestures to communicate;
-use twice as many questions in your conversations than you use declarative statements
-never give your opinion in a conversation unless you were specifically asked for it

There are more social habits, but the above ones cover the basics. Master the basics and other skills will be easier to practice.

How to Build Willpower, Self-discipline and Perseverance?

How to Build Willpower, Self-discipline and PerseveranceOne can build willpower by eating only a millet for two weeks. One can build self-discipline by taking cold showers 10 times a day. One can build perseverance by maintaining the same workout regime (e.g. a 5-mile run) every single day.

There is zillion ways to build those traits, however 99% of them are not really applicable for average mortals. Thus, let’s talk about some things that can help you starting with little to no willpower, self-discipline or perseverance.

First, it will be amazingly useful, if you can shift your thinking about those traits. Normally, those traits are considered something above-human, difficult and tiresome.

In reality they are simply character qualities, like any other (picture self-confidence, patience or diligence here). What is more, it’s much easier to develop and maintain them than to struggle through life without them. Take a closer look at below chart:

How to build willpower, self-discipline and perseverance?

The Slight Edge chart

Continue reading

4 Simple & Effective Ways to Conquer Your Fears

Conquer Your FearsFear seems to be a constant companion for every human being. We quickly learn to fear physical pain and almost as quickly, we start to be afraid of social pain: loneliness, ostracism or banishment.

However, 95% of our fears are not sensible. We fear them for the sake of being afraid. They serve no real purpose other than occupying our minds.

You can call the small fears worries, but it doesn’t change the mechanism. You still dwell on something that will never happen, and it robs you of your current moment. You could’ve enjoyed this moment or utilized it to create a better future for you.

Instead, you fret, worry and fear.

The Eerie Characteristic of Mind

When it comes to what can go wrong, human imagination is inexhaustible. You can fret over trivia – why your spouse looked at you with anger in the morning, or if you paid that due bill for electricity. And you can imagine the wildest scenarios, murder and mayhem, bankruptcy and starvation, all with the same serious attitude.

But when it comes to imagining positive scenarios, we are hopeless. Many people can imagine fairytales when they think about abundance: fancy summer houses, trips to exotic countries, expensive cars, wild sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll. However, all of those stories have a taste of something unattainable, something straight from a Hollywood movie that cannot really materialize in our lives.

Imagining small daily successes that will improve your daily life? It doesn’t come as naturally as vivid scenarios of even the smallest fears coming true.

So, how to avoid this default option?

1. Name Your Fears.

Admit what scares you. Make an inventory of all your fears, or simply focus on those recurring on a daily basis. Those are the funniest, by the way. If you worry about losing your work every day, but you’ve kept it for the last couple of years, doesn’t it strike you as an oddity?

The truth will set you free. Say aloud what scares you. Don’t allow it to lurk only in your subconscious mind.

2. Think Them Over.

Thinking is your best option. If you don’t take a rational action, if you don’t examine your fears, take precautions or dismiss them as unrealistic, they will bounce randomly inside your skull. When you analyze your fears, you realize how irrational most of them are.

Quite often a worst-case scenario is coming back to your mind again and again. But when you name it and actually think about the slim chances it has to become true, you stop worrying about this nonsense.

3. Write Them Down.

Keeping your fears in your head, even when trying to consciously think them over, is a losing proposition. You are on the territory of your enemy there, and you need to proceed with triple caution. Your subconscious mind can get quiet after one lost battle with reasoning, but it will keep hammering you back with its fears and repeat silly arguments about the end of your world.

Take the battle where your opponent is the weakest. Write down your fears and arguments, why you really shouldn’t have been worried about 99% of them. Write down the arguments of your subconscious mind as well. When they land on paper, they look like what they are – silly ruminations of a primitive creature. They almost never have anything to do with reason. They are a pure game of raw emotions.

Conquer Your FearsOnce you capture your subconscious incoherent blather on paper, its attack in your mind will be much less vicious. When anxiety appears, you will be able to state, “Oh, this is that nonsense again, I’ve already discussed that with you; there is nothing to worry about.”

4. Face Them.

Often, we fear so many abstract things that it’s downright impossible to face your fears. Those are meant to be written down and dismissed. Right now, I’m fearful of going from full-time to half-time in my day job and increasing my commitment into my business. You know, the usual stuff: failure, poverty, and my wife will dump me. Maybe I’ll even start to console my nerves with alcohol and degrade into a tramp.

I have nothing to act against this fear. First, I need to transition from full-time to half-time, which is still a couple of months ahead of me. Then, I need to fail and use up all of my funds that are dedicated for the transition period. Only after a year or so, those fears may come true. That’s why reasoning, clarity and a written action plan is a much better solution to deal with this kind of elusive terror.

However, many times it’s in your power to face your fears, but you are paralyzed. You act with timidity. You avoid actions that may confront you with your fears. Your life is controlled by fear, not by you.

In that case, you should muster some courage and face them.

A Story of Dealing with Fear

My mentor told a story of a guy who was terrorized by his mother-in-law for 16 years. His mastermind convinced him that he should face her and set some boundaries. He sat down with her and explained to her that her messing with his family is affecting them very negatively. He politely and diplomatically told her to back off.

And she backed off. Her respect to that guy grew immensely. My mentor reported the guy’s disbelief at how much better his life is nowadays and his regret that he hasn’t spoken up earlier.

Dismantling Your Fear

Consider this: your fears, almost always, are not real. When you face them, you rob them of all the power. Your chicken mind realizes that the end of the world hasn’t happened. It starts to probe other possibilities, positive scenarios that can improve your life, avenues that lead to action, not paralysis. And only action can bring you results.


You don’t need to be a hero and face your fears heads on, like the guy my mentor told me about. This is by far the most effective method, but I fully grasp that when you were immobilized by fear for a long time, it’s hard to change yourself.

You can dismantle your fears bit by bit. You can get used to overcoming them slowly and gradually.

My Story

Conquer Your FearsOnce upon a time, I was fearful of one-on-one interactions with strangers. I was terrified, especially when it came to interactions with attractive women. I had butterflies in my stomach, I sweated like a pig, my heart was pounding, and I couldn’t utter a word. Approaching a woman released such a strong emotional response in my body that I literally felt sick!

After many unsuccessful attempts of striking a conversation with a stranger, I decided to scale my actions way down. First, I started to notice and observe people around me. Then, I used my imagination to converse with people in my mind. Next, I started to make eye contact. After making eye contact, I started to smile at them. Within several weeks, I was able to tell strangers “Hi” or give them some minor compliment. In several months, I overcame my shyness completely.

The Greatest Grievance

The worst thing your fears do to you is not the emotional mess you become, however huge this mess can be. It wasn’t sweating, shaking and heart pounding I experienced that created the greatest disservice.

It was inaction.

Fear paralyses you into doing nothing. When you do nothing, nothing can change. You stay stuck in the exact same situation indefinitely.

Your fears rob you of action, the only means that can bring you change, improvement and progress.

It is the main reason why we don’t progress as fast as we could. Passivity is a surefire path to failure. You attempt nothing, so you don’t get anything.

However, when you take action, everything can happen.

I made a couple of new friendships thanks to my encounters with strangers. I became more self-confident to the point that I was completely relaxed on a job interview and got a much better job (the one I’m walking away from now).

Deal with your fears. Disperse them, ridicule them or face them. Stop letting them prevent you from taking action. That is your only way to a better life.

Responsibility and Ruthless Self-Honesty

Ruthless self-honesty

Responsibility and honesty are paired together; they are indivisible. If you don’t know yourself, if you don’t see your deeds and thoughts, you can’t really own them. They are something that happens to you, not what you make happen.

You must consciously acknowledge your thoughts and your actions to take responsibility for them. If you don’t, you act as a kid. If you are a parent, I’m sure you have the experience with “What? That’s not me! That’s my sibling’s fault! It’s him! It’s her!” It seems like exporting the blame is the default children’s behaviour.
Continue reading

“The twin killers of success are impatience and greed.” — Jim Rohn

Impatience is a destructive and negative force. You focus on what you can’t get now, and thus distort the present
moment. Instead of being content or working right now, you think about future and have thoughts full of negative emotion. You ask the wrong questions which position you in the wrong direction: “Why not yet?” “How long?“

What good are they? They don’t bring you an inch closer to fulfilling your desire. They just tease you and put you off balance.

The ‘How long?’ question is especially dangerous.  Continue reading