Thursday, June 11, 2015

✔ What did you think about my book "It's all about passion!"?

Note: This post is a transcript of my "Passionate Productivity" newsletter which I sent to people who read my book "It's all about Passion!" - if you want to be receiving emails from me in the future, get the book by signing up - thank you! I received lots of amazing replies and I'll try to share some gems with you here later!

Hi there, I'm Michael Sliwinski and a little over a year ago, to celebrate my 35th birthday, I published a book about 7 types of passion I discovered when running my productivity startup - Nozbe.

Remember my book? Thanks for taking your time to read it! I appreciate it so much! More than 6000 people got to read it and you're one of them!

passionbook

I asked you to give me your email address... but I never actually got back to you. The typical excuse: I was too busy running my company.

Well, now I decided to start writing to you. To establish a conversation. To get to know your passionate stories... and to tell you what I'm doing with my life to keep uncovering hidden passions in me.

Friday, March 13, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - The End

Note: This is the 26th and the last 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 have been publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the last weeks here every Friday, so that you could read it bit by bit (I knew you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I've been 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 - 26

Passion in Education

While the focus of this book has been passion in business, we can’t forget that in order to succeed in life we need good education. Nicholas Moon, my daughter’s teacher, after reading the first draft of this book, wrote to me about his passion for education. In the chapter about passion for the product I write about “seeing it through the eyes of the customers” and he said this reminded him of the main theme in a book on education called: “Visible Learning”, where a model of “visible teaching – visible learning” is when teachers see learning through the eyes of the student and when students see themselves as their own teachers.

“We rarely talk about passion in education, as if doing so makes the work of teachers seem less serious, more emotional than cognitive, somewhat biased or of lesser import. When we do consider passion, we typically constrain such expressions of joy and involvement to matters unrelated to our teaching.

Friday, March 6, 2015

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

Note: This is the 25th 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 - 25

Steve Jobs was right

In this book I quoted Steve Jobs a couple of times. The impact he’s made on me and millions of other people is amazing. My friend, Grzegorz, shares his story and pays tribute to the late CEO of Apple:

"Steve Jobs used to say it's really essential to have a job that you really love. And you know what? He was right.

Thanks to my blog I am having a professional adventure of a life-time at the age of 39. Seriously. If in 2006 someone had told me that in a few years time I was going to visit half of the world discovering the most interesting technologies available on the market and that the chairmen of the biggest corporations were going to read my scribbles and that I was going to have my own company and team, I would probably laugh in their faces.

Friday, February 27, 2015

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

Note: This is the 24th 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 - 24

Find your passions

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

What are you passionate about?

Money, status, cars, luxury items... are cool to have, but they don't inspire people. Passion inspires people. Passion attracts people. In this materialistic world we're living in, passion is what sets us apart and it's what we all need. That's why it's so important to be passionate about something. It's so crucial to really find your passion and now it's your turn to discover your 7 (or more) types of passion.

It's all about passion!

I've been running my own company for more than 10 years now. I've failed several times at first to finally succeed with my productivity application because I followed my passion. I first discovered it and later followed it all the way.

Over 7+ years of running Nozbe, I discovered all these types of passion that drive me today. Hopefully this book will inspire you to find your calling, your passions and your drive... and I assure you, you'll live a fantastic life, just like the one mentioned in this quote:

Friday, February 20, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 7: Synergies [part 3]

Note: This is the 23rd 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 - 23

Passion 7: Synergies [Part 3]

"Creating and conveying a vision relies on passion. If a vision doesn’t engage people emotionally, it won’t be a powerful motivator…" - Stever Robbins, podcaster as “The Get-It-Done Guy”

Even the "big fish" will talk to you

This struck me on one of my trips to Japan. My application was gaining traction there and I wanted to visit this country to get to know the people, meet my customers and make new friends. I didn't realize as much that these fantastic Japanese folks wanted to meet me as badly.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 7: Synergies [part 2]

Note: This is the 22nd 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 - 22

Passion 7: Synergies [Part 2]

"Go ahead and be original, because it’s the people with passion, guts, and daring that will win. Not just because going through life with passion and guts beats the alternative (which it does), but also because it's the only way to be successful. Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable." - Seth Godin, author, blogger

Meet the crazy

I work from home. I love my work. I'm passionate about it and every now and then I need to share my passion and make sure I'm not the only weird and crazy out there. Everyone needs this kind of validation and a little bit of social support. And as mentioned earlier - if you're passionate about something, you want to share it.

That's why when I moved to a new city I started searching for meet-ups of people who are alike. Of people who'd share my passion and who'd understand me. I needed a reason to leave my home office and spend some time with folks as weird as me. I found and attended these kinds of meet-ups. And I had a blast each time.

Friday, February 6, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 7: Synergies [part 1]

Note: This is the 21st 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 - 21

Passion 7: Synergies [Part 1]

"I would rather die of passion than of boredom" - Vincent van Gogh, painter

Passionate people attract passionate people

No. This chapter is not about being attracted to an opposite sex and falling with them in a passionate love. It's about sharing your passion with others and how your passion attracts and inspires other passionate people.

People who are passionate about something want to share their passion with others. This gives them great energy to be passionate even more. And the best of all is if they share their passion with someone who's also passionate about something. Anything. These can be totally different passions. It doesn't matter. Where there is passion involved, there is love and love is all we need and are supposed to share, right?

Friday, January 30, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 6: Help [part 3]

Note: This is the 20th 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 - 20

Passion to Help, part 3

Passion to help is even more surprising

When you solve your own problem by building a startup you never know if you're this weird person who just happens to have this stupid issue with something or are there more people struggling with the same thing and can be helped. When you realize there are thousands (if not millions) of people who also need help through your solution, it's a surprise that brings a smile to your face and makes you feel great every morning waking up.

Friday, January 16, 2015

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 6: Help [part 2]

Note: This is the 19th 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 - 19

Passion to Help, part 2

Helping in trying times - Earthquake in Japan

In this chapter I'd like to share with you my personal story of how my passion to help got ignited by some really passionate people in very trying times... and how my software was helping a lot more than any amount of money would.

In Japan just in time for the biggest Earthquake

As my application became popular in Japan I decided to visit the country to get to know my users. It was March 2011 when I came to Tokyo and spent a few fantastic days getting to know people and the country. I felt three quite strong earthquakes while being in the town, but Japanese people assured me that it was "normal"...

Our plan involved doing a road-show tour by visiting two more cities: Osaka and Fukuoka. On Friday, March 12, we began our journey with the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Osaka. The train stopped 30 minutes from Osaka and they announced a big earthquake.

It was THE earthquake. The biggest in Japanese history, but we didn't know it then. I remember thinking: "What's the fuss all about? After all they have earthquakes here all of the time, right?". Boy was I wrong.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 6: Help [part 1]

Note: This is the 18th 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 - 18

Passion to Help

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Your mission is to help others

As we discussed in the previous chapters, businesses are being created to solve problems. To help others do something more efficiently and easily. That's especially what the Startup businesses are all about. I created Nozbe to solve my own time-management problems.

By solving my own problem I found out there are other "Michaels" out there and many more folks have the same problem. Now, every day I know there are thousands upon thousands of people and companies that rely on my software to manage their lives. I literally make their lives better by providing this service. This feeling is incredible. And when I receive emails from the people saying how thankful they are for my solution, I'm the happiest person alive.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 3]

Note: This is the 17th 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 - 17

Passion for Growth, part 3

Be passionate about growing as a leader

You are not born a leader. You become one. To grow your passionate startup you simply need to grow to become a great leader. You need to learn to lead people as it's the only way for them to do a great job and help you grow your startup business. You can't make people do great things. They have to achieve all this by following their leader. It's your job to do that.

Friday, December 5, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 2]

Note: This is the 16th 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 - 16

Passion for Growth, part 2

“Remind your Team about your Mission and why it matters. Say it over email. Say it in meetings. Say it all the time. Say it with meaning and passion. Your team needs to be reminded that what they’re doing matters and that you’re insanely passionate about it. They’re not as invested in it as you are and you need to lead by example. If you’re not insanely passionate about your mission, maybe it’s time to kill your startup.” - Ryan Carson, co-founder of Treehouse

Growing by embracing the challenges

Running a startup business is not a walk in the park. Things don't always go the way you planned... and what's worse, sometimes the technology evolves in totally different directions from the ones you assumed. You may invest lots of time, energy and money in developing a Flash-based tool for mobile devices and then all of the sudden Mr Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. decides this technology is "old-school" and none of their i-Devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods) will support it. You're out of luck and you need to pivot and change your strategy... or die.

Pivoting is hard and painful... and great for you

Big companies usually fear change and do everything in their power to maintain the status quo. They see change as the enemy and employ all of their resources to bring back the "old way of doing things". Don't take this route. Never.

Nozbe was initially built as a web application and with developments of HTML5 and projects like Chrome OS from Google I was confident we should be just improving our web site and not focus on installable apps.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 5: Growth [part 1]

Note: This is the 15th 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 - 15

Passion for Growth

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

Growing for the sake of growing

Many startups which become funded by the VCs have too much money in their bank account and feel the urge to spend it quickly... so they start growing for the sake of growing. They just feel they need to grow their team and company really quickly although they have no clue how to do it. They are passionate about spending money on growth, not on the growth itself.

Friday, November 7, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 4: Industry [part 2]

Note: This is the 14th 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 - 14

Passion for the Industry

Getting better and building personal brand

My passion for the industry resulted in something much more profound than just getting better and growing. People started looking up to me and actually seeing that there is a real guy behind this Nozbe thing and he actually cares. That he cares for the community and cares for the industry.

With my magazine, show, course and personal blog, I managed to build a lot more trust and rapport with my community than I'd have ever done by just running the app.

Many pundits think I do the magazine and show just to promote my app but I do it to learn, grow and gain more trust from my current users. I get to give them more than just an app - I deliver them free, proven advice that hopefully will improve their life as much as it has impacted mine.

I get to show that I am for real, that I care and that I really want them to get more done and be more productive. Yes, by building my personal brand I do get a few more customers in the long run, but it's not that by mentioning Nozbe in the magazine I get some crazy conversion rates. I don't, but I do it nonetheless because I do care. If I based my decisions whether to keep the magazine running or not on just looking at cold hard facts, I'd give it up a long time ago. The magazine doesn't bring me as many users as many think it does... but that never was the point.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 4: Industry [part 1]

Note: This is the 13th 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 - 13

Passion for the Industry

"There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it's the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson." - Tony Robbins, motivational speaker

It all starts with the product...

As mentioned in the opening chapter of this book, by running a productivity application I'm in the "productivity industry". Yes, it is an Internet startup type of company but I'm not in the "startup industry". This made me realize how much I could still improve my personal (as well as my team's) productivity and organizational skills. It all started with improving Nozbe (my product) based on my users' feedback.

Nozbe users keep sending me great suggestions for improvements. My team at Nozbe is listening carefully. Although we never want to clutter our app with as many features as possible, we do learn a lot from our users. It turns out some features we planned can be implemented in a better or more efficient way... and other enhancements we actually never thought about. We keep learning a lot from Nozbe users.

But it went beyond my app. Reading about productivity "hacks" I started learning even more. I discovered lots of blogs with some fantastic ideas that influenced me to improve my life and my own skills. I started to be more passionate about the whole "productivity industry" but not for the sake of it, but to improve my life, learn more and simply grow as a better person and better CEO of my company.