Solopreneurship Is a Myth

This is how Michael Gerber titled his famous book: The E-Myth (entrepreneur’s myth): I will do it all by myself.

Nope. If you try to succeed that way, you will burn yourself out. Your business growth will be capped by your own abilities and capabilities. Most likely, you will become the bottleneck of your business.

Humans are social creatures, all humans, including entrepreneurs. We want to believe in the lone strong wolf myth, but heck! – wolves are social animals too.
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Principle #2 Separating Successful Entrepreneurs from Those Who Went out of Business

2. Slow Down to Speed Up.

Your mind needs as much rest as your body. Or even more.

In the pursuit of productivity, entrepreneurs often fill their days with tasks and their minds have no times off. It kills creativity faster than anything else.

If I got a dollar for each time I heard an entrepreneur saying during an interview that they are getting the best ideas during their off times – on a walk, taking a shower, or working out – I would’ve already paid off my mortgage.

Oh, and if you don’t have a system to capture your ideas when they are coming during those off times, you are doing just marginally better than those who have no ideas at all.

I swear that for my clients the main advantage of my coaching is that they are forced to have one hour a week to pause, think, ponder, and reflect instead of chasing yet another task.

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.

Quitters Never Win

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Shawn Achor, in his book Big Potential (which is one of my favorite books) tells the story of taking part in the study as a guinea pig.

He was informed that the study’s objective was to learn how the elderly fall. And that he will get a $20-dollar stipend for participating. So, for the next three hours he was going over and over again through the pitch-black corridor filled with traps, and he repeatedly fall. He wanted to quit badly, but he wanted his $20 even more.

However, he was tricked. The study wasn’t about elderly’s falls, it was about resilience in relationship to economic gains. He was the only one who persisted the full three hours. Oh, and he could have quit at any moment and still get his $20. Shawn Achor summarized this story in those words:

Quitters sometimes DO win. Defense, resilience, and grit are valuable, but only to a point.”

Why I’m telling you this story? To demonstrate how outlandish and artificial circumstances and stories need to be invented to make the above sentences right.

Think of it for a moment: where in the real life (not during the fake study with false assumptions) quitting is ever rewarded?

Quit your job, quit your relationship, quit your school, quit the competition, and what you will gain?

Nothing. Always nothing.

The best you can count on are benefits coming from alternative costs. You might have gained a better job, relationship, or education. But quitting alone doesn’t guarantee nor provide any of those benefits. You have to first invest in the new job, relationship, school or sport. Even if you “win” the cost will be higher — because the time and resources spent on both endeavors (job, relationship, etc.) will compound into a single reward.
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Live Like No One Else

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If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
― Dave Ramsey

November 2011

I lived like everybody else. I woke up at 5:30 am to get on a train at 6:10 am, so I could be on time at work. Walking to the train station, I prayed I could stay at home with my family. I plugged through the workday without much interest, wishing I’d have been somewhere else. On a train back home, I usually napped fighting off the sleep deficit.

I spent a few precious hours living my life, taking care of household chores, and playing with my kids. I stole a couple hours from my sleep reading or playing computer games.

I had a life of an average Joe, living from paycheck to paycheck. Saving a few percent of my salary was a constant battle. I never tried to explore the life outside my small social bubble. My health was OK-ish; other than an infection about twice a year and murderous allergy during a pollen season, I was fine.
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War and Your Circle of Influence

I live 500 miles from Kjiv, and the best I can do is to avoid media.

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The war in Ukraine was no surprise to me. I’m Polish. I know history well. My whole life, I expected nothing good from Russia. I was surprised whenever a Russian behaved like a human being. Barbarian mayhem, lies, deception, zero honor, and killing kids? No surprise for me.

Needless to say, the start of the war didn’t soothe my nerves. My home is 500 miles from Kyiv, less than 200 miles away from the border with Ukraine. The week before the war, I was scrolling through media headlines every morning. I did the same on the 24th of February. I spent that day, probably like most of us, trying to live my life while frantically checking the news in media.
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Your Beliefs Create Your Reality: The simplest method to discover your subconscious beliefs

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Your beliefs create your reality. There was a time in my life when I had sneered at such statements.

Pshaw! Beliefs! Anything else? Maybe a Santa Claus or a tooth fairy?

Oh, my old, ignorant, stupid self. A tooth fairy may share a lot of features with beliefs — nobody saw them in real life, they belong more to the imaginative realm than to the physical one — but there is a striking difference between those two entities: A tooth fairy is a fictional creature; my beliefs are very real mind protocols stored in my brain.

They are as real as habit loops, and their influence is as real and as pervasive too.


So, what are beliefs? According to the dictionary definition:

an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof

When it comes to the beliefs you hold, the “proof” part is totally irrelevant. When you cling to a specific belief, you can be showered with ironclad proofs and still hold to it. You will just interpret those proofs in a way that will keep your belief intact.
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Every Human Can Be Grateful All the Time

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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.

Getting Bored with Habits vs. Living More Spontaneously

Getting Bored with Habits

Hi. Meet reality. It looks like this:(The Slight Edge chart)

Only what you do consistently over a long period matters.
The consequences of your spontaneous actions are irrelevant in the long run. Today you spontaneously decide to sit on a couch and binge-watch a series on Netflix. Tomorrow you spontaneously decide to go for a bike ride. In the long run, those one-time actions mean nothing.
But develop a habit of binge-watching on a couch or biking, and you will relatively quickly (in weeks, I suppose) see the difference.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” ― Gandhi

So, Mr. or Mrs. Bored, the only long-term effect of your spontaneity, in the long run, will be a more spontaneous lifestyle. We always get more of what we practice. BTW, it’s been proved at the neural level, not just the philosophical one. That’s why Gandhi’s quote is true.

You Lie to Yourself

We are habitual creatures TO THE CORE. We share the parts of our brain where habits are formed and stored with reptiles and birds. Habits are as primal as an adrenaline rush or pangs of hunger.
Scientists determined that about 40% of our daily actions are habitual, completely automatic. Whether you decide to be more spontaneous or not, almost half of your actions are automatic. But if you decide to not develop good habits, guess what kind of habits will stick?
The bad ones. They are easier to sneak into your life because they use the immediate reward system of your body. You scroll through the social media feed and your brain is bombarded with dopamine. You inhale cigarette smoke and you immediately feel how your system is soothed.
Thus, you don’t notice you formed a habit before it is solidified and starts weighing you down.
But for 99.9999% of people who choose the ‘spontaneous’ route, end up at the downward curve.

The Game Is Rigged

You cannot change your biophysical structure by the decision you are going to be more spontaneous. Bad habits will glue to you along the way. You will feel free like a bird and spontaneous like a leaf moved by wind. But you will finish at the destination of the downward curve: failure.

(The Slight Edge chart – the downward curve)
“More spontaneous” is a nice narration for your lazy brain to not use your willpower and energy.
Another quirk of the subconscious mind is that it always tries to save your energy and BS stories you tell yourself are the cheapest way to avoid any effort.
Be a human. Smartly exercise conscious control over your actions.
Decide what habits you want to have and put your attention, time, and energy into building them.
Without direct access to your bodily reward system, you need to supervise the process with a plan, determination, and giving yourself rewards of your choice.
Or be spontaneous and slide down. Your choice.

How Will Good Habits Give Me Benefits in the Future?

Extrapolation based on experience

First of all, thanks to my good habits I will have a future worth looking forward to.
Habits compound. Bad habits lead you into a worse future. Good habits led you into a better one. This is the reality:

(The Slight Edge chart)

By the way, this is how I discern between good and bad habits:
Good habits are the ones that provide good results after ten years of practicing them.
Bad habits are the ones that provide bad results after ten years of practicing them.

My Story

In 2012 I read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. The book’s message is based on those two principles:

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” — Jim Rohn
“Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” — Jim Rohn

A Few Examples


2013 vs 2010
I shed excess weight. My look improved. My self-confidence improved. My health greatly improved. My chronic allergy almost disappeared and I was getting sick once in two years, not twice a year.

Some of my books

Habits Are Not a Silver Bullet

But they are close to it. Despite all the successes I enjoyed in the last years, my family life has been troublesome. My kids have problems with depression. My marriage too often reminds me of balancing on a rope over an active volcano.

Habits Are Holistic in Nature

When you build a good habit you don’t improve just one area of your life. You improve yourself.

Good habits will provide good results in my life in the future.