If you only can watch one thing this week, make it this. Maybe I have too much feels today, but this talk by amazing Tina Roth Eisenberg really touched me. 

It is also quite amazing that I happen to be a speaker at Creative Mornings in Warsaw, I use teuxdeux.com on daily basis and I also ordered Tattly. All gave me great experiences, all came from the one person and I didn’t even knew about it until now. In the moment when I learned about this, it absolutely “clicked”. 

In love with the idea of labour of love. 

How to be Polite

I’ve read an amazing essay today. Recommended for everyone. Click here

Umwelt means environment in German, but as it was borrowed into English it took on a more subjective meaning. According to the OED:

noun (plural Umwelten) “the world as it is experienced by a particular organism.”

Your sense of candy-apple red is part of your umwelt. So is the feel of your clothes on your skin, the shadows and sounds more likely to scare you at night, the music that makes you feel brave, and the tastes that transport you with pleasure. You will live you whole life trapped in your umwelt, with only a few glimpses of what other people’s umwelten might be like from immersing yourself in the media they create, and employing your imagination. You will spend your entire life totally alone in your umwelt.

If I want to reach you, all I can do is make impressions on the surface of your umwelt, like a hand pressing against a window. We communicate with each other, but to some degree, we will always communicate like astronauts, tapping helmets together to pass sound waves through our spacesuits.

It is lonely to think of ourselves this way, but it is also true, and humbling. Everyone you pass is having a world of their own, as rich and deep as yours, seven billions lives right now, all infinitely strange worlds. We have to make assumptions about everyone else just to get through our days.

Universe got me thinking

This Note from the Universe landed in my inbox today:

Has anyone ever told you, Ola, that you have a knack for making people feel special? 

Important? Like they really matter? 

I should know. 

Note from the Universe is always sweet and all, but it really got me thinking today. Do I? 

I don’t really know. Maybe. It’d be awesome if I *do* make someone feel important. 

So, here is a new goal: make at least one person feel special every day. Sooo looking forward to that! 

The folks who keep doing little things, expecting BIG results, especially when circumstances seem to indicate that tomorrow will pretty much look exactly the same as yesterday.

These are the world’s movers and shakers.

The People

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I just came back from EuroPython filled with great memories and feelings that make me warm inside :)

Most of all, I am pretty sure that we started something much much more bigger than we are and that we empowered a lot of people by doing really small things. This is something I am really proud of and most importantly, thankful to everyone for their generosity.

I travelled to a lot of conferences before, but this year one thing particulary hit me: I’m really going to miss all of these wonderful people so much! I left with tears in my eyes and I am not even a person who cries easily. This year I finally had time to have all this long conversations, play stupid games, really get to know someone and make some good friendships. The whole week really allowed us to make meaningful connections.

I only saw two talks and it was easily the best conference I’ve been too. 

But I think there is one particular group that I have to be thankful for that: Django Girls. Amazing energy, motivation, hard work and sense of adventure that we went on together made us feel really close. I didn’t do much during the workshop: just made sure that everyone has internet, power and food to go through the day. But it still gave me so much! I learned a lot from every wonderful woman who came for our first workshop. The energy and excitement coming from both attendees and coaches was like nothing I ever seen before. 

The whole thing made me realize how many awesome people there are in our community. It made me feel like I am a part of the family. 

You know, it’s all about the people again. 

Epiphany

I don’t have to be the kind of person other people think I should or supposed to be. We’re all in the process and I am not a final version of myself yet. I forget about it far too often.

There is a difference between having to be THE best and simply giving your best.

Let yourself fail

This post was first published on Medium, but I’m reposting it here because it’s nice to have everything in one place, right?


Admitting to fail was the hardest thing I ever had to do. At the same time, it was the most valuable and learning experience in my entire life.

I’ve always considered myself a very lucky person. I started my first company kind of by accident at the age of 15. Now I run three companies, all of them co-founded with the best friends. I enjoy the journey very much, I’m healthy and young, I have great family and friends.

Not that long ago, I wasn’t used to failure.

At the age of 18, I thought: let’s make something even bigger. Let’s create a global product, get investors onboard and make it huge. I read on TechCrunch that this is what cool kids are doing these days. MyGuidie started at 1st Warsaw Startup Weekend. Amazing team, great idea, big vision… We built a product, we got some traction, we won international startup competitions. I was already a well-known polish entrepreneur at the time, so we got a pretty big coverage and we gained some investors attention. We even sold 1% of shares on the auction and that got us a lot of hype and coverage in press or national tv. We were on the top of the world for a while but at the same time we didn’t stop working hard on getting more traction.

And we still failed. From the very top all the way down.

I closed this startup more than one and a half year ago and it was single, most learning experience I had in my life. I’m sure everyone who failed can say exactly the same.

We’ve tried everything, we poured our hearts into this idea, we talked to customers, investors, friends, we’ve done everything by the book, we’ve tried some totally crazy ideas, we pivoted a couple of times, we’ve got so much press that people are still reminding me of headlines (guys, it was 2 years ago!).

And then I’ve grown enough to admit the failure.

We closed the website, we thanked people who supported us, we’ve talked to investors, we thanked our customers and we even explained our reasoning to the press. It was all very public and hard. I was so afraid and sad about every single step of this process. I felt like I disappointed A LOT of people. But at the bottom of my heart I knew, that I just need to show my integrity and that was a right thing to do. People who supported us on the way DESERVE to know why.

You can’t imagine how afraid I was that people won’t trust me anymore, but to my surprise, it turned out to be something exactly opposite. Just two weeks later during Jerry Colonna’s talk in Warsaw, he said to me:

“Girl, you’re the person I’d invest the most because you know the feeling of failure, the feeling of losing someone’s else money and moving forward.”

The reason failure is so valuable is it gives you COURAGE. It’s much more terrifying if you haven’t done it before. People who have been fired once aren’t so afraid to be fired again and that gives you freedom to make strong decisions, to move fast and break things.

Failing shows you that in reality… it doesn’t hurt so bad. Yeah, some people will be angry or disappointed. You’ll have to explain to your grandma why it suddenly stopped working. You will get a couple of sleepless nights. But once you move forward, it will go away and you will LEARN a ton.

It also teaches you to take a lot of RISKS. Once you know it isn’t so bad, you’re starting to make bold decisions and it usually pays off.
If you know that the worst that can happen is actually learning something, you’re not a slave of a failure anymore.

But probably the most important thing: Failure gives you a lot of time to THINK. When something is just working, you don’t have time to think why, you have to go do the next thing because there is no finish line in your todo list. Failure makes you really think about reasons why it isn’t working and what could you do better. Only by failing you can actually learn something about yourself. Once you know your boundaries, you start taking on bigger challenges, and this knowledge last a lifetime.

Ultimately, failing makes you a better person. So fail a lot and fail hard.

Hey there, what’s up?

I have so so so so so so much stuff do get done, but I’m back on the top of my life roller coaster, so it’s all good. I’m learning to let go of some things, stop try to be so perfect and just, generally, be more chill, enjoy sun, berries and summer, because it’s going to be winter soon and we will have to do this all over again. 

I can also play the verse part of You and I on ukulele, which is super awesome! And I sing a lot and very loud while driving alone. People are probably giving me weird looks, but it’s not like I even care. 

XOXO!