I don’t have to do anything
At the end of 2021, I had the pleasure of attending the BNI National Conference. It was an opportunity to reunite with old friends from the organization, meet new managers and directors within the structure, strengthen connections with my team from Lodz, and be inspired by the speeches of entrepreneurs from BNI Corporate Connection groups. These experiences not only prompted me to make changes in my business but also led me to write this article.
I embarked on the journey from Lodz to Cracow in the company of Katarzyna Radziejewska, the area director, and Agnieszka Cyniak, the regional director. The trip turned out to be twice as long as expected. First, the girls were an hour late before we left. Then, we made an unplanned stop for dinner only five minutes into the journey. We later had to search for a petrol station because, of course, we had too little gas, and we spent time choosing wine, snacks, and wandering around for reasons nobody quite understood. We eventually arrived at the Hilton a little before midnight, a two-hour delay, but fortunately, no one was waiting for us. Our schedule was simply disrupted, or rather, my schedule was disrupted because the girls are not bound by such time constraints. At this point, it’s worth highlighting that we are quite different in many ways, and I’m still amazed at how we not only get along but also collaborate effectively and productively.
The first speaker was Adrian Stachura, the owner of Barel company, who talked about how he reached his current position among the wealthiest Poles and the most profitable businesses. We are all familiar with stories of individuals starting with nothing, often in a basement with friends, struggling for a long time without much success, and then, one pivotal moment changes the course of history. In his case, although not in a literal sense, a similar transformation took place, which didn’t particularly pique my interest. However, the host asked Adrian questions that directly and indirectly revolved around one central theme – what constitutes his recipe for success.
As someone who loves to ask this question to others and frequently writes about it, I sat still, scarcely breathing, waiting for an answer. The owner of Barel pointed out that his success was the result of twenty years of hard work, seizing opportunities, and consistently making the right decisions in pursuit of his goals. He discussed what his typical day looks like and stressed the importance of rising early. He emphasized that achieving success requires persistence, tenacity, discipline, combined with conservative principles and a refusal to give up.
I learned from his speech about the “hockey stick effect,” which, in simple terms, involves consistently working towards the same goal over time, with results slowly climbing the chart until a significant peak is reached – a spectacular success that is not a coincidence but the outcome of sustained efforts. I compared it with the performance of my own business and rubbed my eyes in amazement when I noticed a shape resembling a hockey stick on the chart.
Adrian also encouraged building one’s own brand and highlighted that out of all the actions he took, only 10% led to the success he experiences daily, while the remaining 90% were comprised of failures and attempts to achieve that success. It might not have sounded as powerful during his speech, but let me add that without those 90%, he would not have had a chance at the 10%. It was the failures from which he learned valuable lessons that paved the way for achieving his goals. If he hadn’t taken action and persevered through failures, nothing would have transpired; if he had given up after his first defeat, lacked a strong sense of self-esteem, clear goals, unwavering determination, and humility, none of his dreams would have come true.
The next speaker was Dawid Zieliński, Chief Executive of the management copartnership of Columbus Energy. His story closely resembled the one told by Adrian Stachur. However, I had the impression that while Adrian was content with his results, Dawid is driven by an insatiable hunger for even greater success. He emphasized that for him, this is just the beginning. Despite what others might say about his achievements, he considers them far too little. I admire such enthusiasm and ambition, but it’s important to appreciate what we have already accomplished and not let our lives become an endless pursuit of more success, without recognizing our current achievements. Let’s remember to celebrate our accomplishments and value ourselves.
However, what would we be as individuals without purpose? It’s logical that after reaching one goal, we aim for the next. His ambition also resonated in the company’s values, which he discussed, emphasizing that he makes no compromises and does not delegate but takes responsibility. Again, I’m cautious about the potential overtones of excessive ambition, but on the other hand, it’s difficult to argue against his stance. Compromise is often the least desirable option, as it rarely leads to a win-win scenario. Each side in a compromise has to give up something, and this phenomenon is eloquently described by the well-known psychiatrist S. Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I had the pleasure of discussing this very topic on the emotional channel with Ewa Baszun and the esteemed mentor, lecturer in philology, and mediator, Wojciech Kurzyk.
The third speaker, in stark contrast to his predecessors, exuded a calm and stable demeanor. He is the renowned Polish investor, January Ciszewski, known for his association with JR Holding. His impressive portfolio includes companies such as Columbus Energy, All in Games, One More Level, Nexity, and Beskidzkie Biuro Inwestycyjne (which is more widely associated with Friz and his company, Ekipa). He emphasized the importance of persistence as a key element of success, but he also stressed the significance of giving ourselves a second chance and not dismissing the opportunities that come our way. He illustrated this principle with the example of Friz. Initially, he had no intention of meeting with him at all. When the meeting did eventually take place on the advice of his assistant, he didn’t take the YouTuber seriously. It was only when he encountered a second chance that he recognized the potential for both of them. This underscores the importance of maintaining an open mind and adopting a fresh perspective on the world, free from limiting beliefs and prejudices.
January further explained that in his business endeavors, he avoids large and unwieldy structures, which can be difficult to manage and risky to maintain. He firmly believes that the most critical aspect is people and the relationships he forges with them. He emphasized that being cooped up in an office, glued to a monitor and a desk, can stifle business growth. This is something I strive to remember daily, but it often feels daunting and goes beyond my comfort zone, making it a challenge to embrace.
As for the overall event, one notable observation was the impeccable appearance and eloquence of the speakers and attendees. They held diverse opinions but had the ability to respect differing viewpoints. Their physical fitness and graceful posture, along with the ability to make eye contact and actively listen, were truly striking. They exuded self-assuredness, yet remained humble and content. It was an absolute pleasure to be among such a group. It goes without saying that one is influenced by the company they keep, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to be part of an organization composed of such individuals. It’s important to note that each individual is unique, but the conference was attended by leaders from various regions and organizations. It was a gathering well worth being a part of, both in the context of business and on a personal level. These were individuals who have been shaped by experiences and possess knowledge that we can draw inspiration from.
The entire day, filled with networking, lectures, and training sessions, concluded with an evening gala during which awards were presented. We savored delicious food and drinks late into the night (or early morning for some). However, the most significant aspect was the sheer joy of celebrating together and being in each other’s company.
The next morning dawned as brisk and joyful as the previous one, and contrary to appearances, only a few were nursing hangovers in their rooms. Most of the entrepreneurs had breakfast as scheduled and set off for planned meetings or their journeys back home. Kasia, Agnieszka, and I had our breakfast, packed our belongings, and were ready to depart by 9:00. However, a small hiccup occurred when our parking card was demagnetized at the exit, preventing us from lifting the barrier. This led to a minor traffic jam at the exit.
In a rush, I stepped out of the car and approached the driver behind me, commanding, “You have to move back a bit to give us room to maneuver and pull over to the side of the road? Then we can unblock the exit.” To my surprise, the driver, who happened to know me but whom I didn’t recognize, replied, “Ola, I don’t have to do anything.” My initial reaction was, “What an audacious guy,” but I soon realized he was right and responded with a broad smile. This incident encapsulated my experience and underscored what I had already discerned – I am fortunate to be among individuals who don’t feel compelled to act, who possess a sense of freedom, independent and critical thinking, and for whom problems are not insurmountable obstacles but rather intriguing challenges and adventures.
After obtaining a new parking card, I observed the other drivers waiting to leave. What struck me was their collective composure; no one exhibited impatience or rolled down their windows to demand I move. Quite the contrary, many rolled down their windows to ask where we were headed, wished us a safe journey, and one participant even recommended an audiobook for the road.
Organize your life.
The first publication in the Untold product series, created to share methodology for organizing everyday life, cultivating systematic discipline, and developing proper habits. Drawing from the author's experience, knowledge, beliefs, and commonly available coaching tools, she aims to inspire you to take action and present you with a straightforward approach to achieving fulfillment and building self-esteem. Written in a simple way, it contains examples from everyday life, practical tips, exercises, and beautiful graphics. Available in e-book and audiobook.