Motherlode

aka Blog

Yes, my dear BUSY entrepreneurial friend, you read it correctly, everything starts with you - all the successes and failures as well. Improve yourself and spread that positive change among your employees. Don’t be scared, and I will start with the basics...



Be kind AKA don’t be a jerk


If you have problems with staying cool after someone irritated you/hasn’t accepted your deal/rejected you/made a mistake, etc., please repeat after me while breathing in and out slowly…


I inhale PEACE


I exhale LOVE


Feel free to exchange the words to anything that calms you down, feels super sturdy, or simply speaking, makes sense to you.


Ps. If someone approached you, for example, on LinkedIn/via an email, offering something you are not interested in - thank them, be kind, and practice the newly introduced exercise:) They might be your potential customer or a future employee, just so you know.



Treat your body with the necessary respect


Warren Buffet and his dietary habits ( sugary soda, junk food, and limited vegetables) have reached legendary status. Follow his strategies on how to make money (compound interest effect), but forget about eating crap - your body will thank you.


Simple techniques to feel good, energized, and ready for all the adventures of the day:

  • Always have a glass of water near you: when you wake up, while at work, and drink it even when you are not thirsty. It will keep you hydrated and invigorated. It will take the headache away. When you feel tired - drink water.

  • Move your body EVERY MORNING. You can go to the gym, run around your block, or the house (even you can start with 10 minutes and increase the time as you go) or do some squats or pushups in your bedroom. If you claim you don’t have 2 minutes for a few pushups - I think you didn’t plan it well.

  • Learn how you feel when eating a particular type of food. Carbs might make you feel sleepy (don’t try to negotiate a new deal after a heavy lunch). Alcohol can decrease your immunity and make you feel tired, eating lots of processed food might result in shortages of vitamins and microelements - believe me, you need to be in good health to run a company.

On top of it, would you fill your company with toxic or unqualified people - why do you stuff your body with junk food, then?



Be conscious - everything starts within you


You are the brain of the operation. You created the company, starting from the ideation phase, testing, failing to making sure everything goes in the right direction.


If something in your company doesn’t work as you wish it would, start with a fundamental question:


‘ What can I do to make it better?’


People tend to search for some external circumstances to justify the failures, while at the same time, they eagerly assume all the glory after a win. That’s how our psychology works; the key is to be aware of this tendency and adjust your behavior accordingly.


If your salespeople don’t sell your product or service, you might want to investigate where the problem is. Here are some of the examples:


  • Wrong people, which translates into… you or your HR team not being able to recruit best, most suitable talents

Potential solution: talk to your recruiters or refine the hiring process. Ask for referrals and call them, make sure people you hire are not only skilled but also believe in your vision, like the product or service they are supposed to be selling, etc.

  • Lack of conviction/belief, which is a reflection of the company's policies, transparency, and/or culture

Ask your employees what they think the problem might be. Sometimes it might be a trivial thing like not understanding fully the real value of what they sell or something much bigger like not BELIEVING in the product/service.





The fish stinks from the head


When there are issues in a company, it begins with leadership. The failures in leadership work their way down the rest of the company. As the person in the leadership position, change needs to start with you.


If you have a feeling that things are not moving in the right direction at all, can sense chaos in the air, or see a lack of results, although everyone seems to be working at their capacity, you should pause for a second. And think. You might want to:

  • evaluate if everyone is on the same page in terms of their quarterly, monthly, weekly goals

  • if they know what and why they have to be doing daily

  • who to ask for help if they get stuck with something


Moreover… if you feel you have issues with following your schedule, being organized, or serving customers the way they deserve, don’t be surprised your people struggle in those areas as well.


When you run a for-profit business, everything must be aligned with your BIGGER VISION, which translates into reaching your financial-related goals (revenue, number of new customers, churn rate, etc.). Ensure your people know where they are heading to and show them how things are done.


Lead by example.

If you don't like reading about yourself, don't proceed;)


1. Lack of clarity

2. Misalignment between what you believe in and what you pursue

3. Lack of commitment

4. No confidence

5. Blaming the circumstances


Lack of Clarity

You don’t know what you don’t know. There is much confusion related to what people believe in while searching for a new career. First, you need to figure out WHAT it is that you would like to pursue. Lack of clarity in terms of what you are good at, what culture/environment/company’s vision resonates with you, or what lifestyle you would like to be living doesn’t help at all. 


See a few examples below:

If you are a rebel or creative mind who loves questioning the status quo - don’t go for a traditional/established company where things have been done in the same way for decades. You might not last long or feel exhausted about battling the system (done that/been there).



On the other hand, if uncertainty scares you to death, you need a lot of guidance and encouragement to do your tasks or come up with new ways of doing things - a startup environment might not be the best match for you. 


If you want to start freelancing or running your own business and you can not embrace an idea of not making any money at the very beginning or not receiving a paycheck on the 1st of the month - please do not do it to yourself. 


Get to know yourself first, then go on the job hunt.



Misalignment between what you believe in and what you pursue


Take a look at some of the real quotes of individuals seeking a career change and reflect on whether there is anything off in this way of thinking:


‘I work for a winery in the marketing department, but I don’t drink wine at all’ 

‘I do photoshoots for a fashion brand, and at the same time I believe that the industry is wasteful and snobby’

‘I design brand strategy for startups I don’t believe in’

‘I am not excited about working as a real estate agent, but I guess one can make money this way, right?’

You can fake many things: pretend to be someone else on your social media, embellish about your previous experience or preferences at a job interview, you name it. What you can’t fake is being genuinely engaged in what you do at least 8 hours per day. 


Think twice before you accept an opportunity you dislike from the very beginning.



Lack of commitment


Searching for a new job is a project (or a job itself, if you wish). You need to do the research, pick strategies you want to pursue, plan all the activities, and finally execute them. People fail as they believe that all it takes is sending a few applications here and there, and a flood of recruiters will surge. Nope, unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way in the majority of the cases.


Commit to your job search and design a plan for each position/industry you are interested in.



No confidence


US market is very competitive, which I am sure you know already, and nowadays it’s no longer about what you know, but also how you can package and sell it to your potential employer.


You need to be confident about you being THE BEST person to fill the position or THE BEST person to join a company and bring a MASSIVE VALUE to it without fulfilling 100% of the requirements. There is no need to be perfect, but you need to believe that you can be useful, committed, proactive, and continue to overdeliver.


If you lack confidence and belief in who you are, what your value is, and how you could be a game-changer for the company, don’t expect others to see it in your resume or believe in you at your interview. Everything starts within you.



Blaming the circumstances


The feeling of not being able to change the situation or not having any influence on the results you achieve is the biggest and most common blockage professionals who search for their next big opportunity face. You are in charge of your career and life. If you believe that there are no opportunities in your field in the market, I am 100% sure you haven’t evaluated all the options, or you have been doing something wrong.


‘It must be my resume - I don’t know how to write it so that it pops’

Potential solution (one of many): Talk to a professional and have it reviewed and corrected for you.


‘I don’t have the required experience or knowledge’

Potential fix (one of the hundreds): Get trained. Accept an entry position in the industry. Go back to school/get certified. 


‘I don’t know anyone who could make introductions for me…’

This is my favorite one...:) Yes, some people get jobs because of their connections ( no need to cry over it, it’s better to embrace it), but as an immigrant who arrived in the US with literally zero contacts, let me tell you one thing. If you want to get a job or a new client, you will make it happen, although your uncle doesn’t work for Apple, Disney, Versace, or New York Times. Some people see problems; others search for solutions. Be the one who sees solutions and people who can connect you with your next big opportunity EVERYWHERE.


Option number 2. is to start networking. You don't know people? Go out of your shell (and comfort zone) and start making the necessary connections.


‘Something is not working, and I don’t know how to get unstuck’

Potential remedy (especially if you have tried doing it yourself for weeks or months): Get helped. Invest in yourself. Work with someone who knows the drill - no need to reinvent the wheel.


Don’t wait for favorable circumstances. Create them. Don't have the money to pay for professional services? Make it. Borrow it. Save it. Propose a barter, if possible. Get creative, and don't be a stinge when it comes to your future or well being.


Love, Klaudia


PS. Leave the comment below, share, like (or dislike?), tell me if you disagree. Stop caving - I’d love to hear your thoughts!



There are those stories passed on through generations – we have them today, we did since the dawn of times. In the past, we would call them legends, folk stories, myths. Communities that passed on the narrations derived wisdom from them. Based on the stories, some behaviors and patterns were deemed 'priceworthy', while the other ones ‘to be condemned’. Those stories gave foundation to the development of the personalities of individuals and allowed families and groups of people to bond and to share some common beliefs. Sounds pretty noble, right?


With the time passing, I discovered more of those stories being apparent in my life, and I have to admit I wanted to let go of many of them. They didn’t serve me.

There are multiple layers of the stories we have heard from our parents, peers, authorities, people of the same nationality, or gender. Those stories become our stories, and hence we believe them to be coming from within. If something arrives from within, we typically treat it as an enlightened truth, which might be misleading…





Here are some of the stories I used to say to myself.


Being smart guarantees success

I remember being told from a very early age that I am smart. I picked up things quickly at school, whatever sport or craft I decided to pursue, I very quickly was able to take it to the level of proficiency that other kids could not achieve that quickly. Then, I usually dropped every new passion, quite abundantly. Why? When I faced some obstacles, I stopped going to the practice to abandon the craft soon after. No one told me that to master a skill, I need to work hard and that there will be challenges – not that there might be some challenges, but that there WILL be challenges, for sure. I just though that it’s enough to be smart and be picking up things quickly. It wasn’t enough.


The story: To succeed in life one needs to be smart and knowledgeable.

Lesson learned: Being smart and knowledgeable help, but only by taking action and through repetition one can master a skill, grow their business and become successful.


If you don’t have money, you just don’t have it.

I remember my father’s response when I asked if I could get the money for an English course I wanted to attend as a kid - It’s always was the same – ‘no, we don’t have the money for that’. It made me believe that we don’t have the money and that it was a normal thing for my family not to have enough money, and that’s something I should get accustomed to.


The story: To progress in life, you need to have the money. If you don’t have the money, that’s it – you can not improve.

Lesson learned: If you want to progress in life and your idea/business/dream requires money to get it started, you will find it and will proceed with anything you wish. If you want something hard, you will find the way, despite the lack of money.


PS. My dad is an awesome man - it's just his perception of money that was problematic..;)





Your cultural heritage (or baggage) defines who you are

As a kid, teenager, and a young adult, I traveled a lot, all despite what my dad was saying about us ‘not having the money’ for literally anything I wanted to do. Whatever country I arrived in, I was immediately classified as ‘something’ after announcing my nationality.


In Canada in early 2000’ me and 20 other kids from a choir I sang in were treated as ‘poor kids from Eastern Europe’ (for which we would receive a a lot of money in donations back then...).
In Germany, I would always hear that Poles are thieves.
When I moved to London and was continually being asked if I was a cleaning lady – as that was an image of a Polish woman in the UK.

In America, I usually hear two types of connotation with my nationality, Polish = religious (thanks to John Paul the II, a fantastic person, BTW), or Polish = has something to do with Auschwitz. Sometimes, people have a very vague picture of Poland as a roughed-up country in Eastern Europe that took hits from all neighbors possible (and hence the entire nation is being identified as those poor little ones who deserve pity, rather than admiration and recognition for the deeds).


The story: Your nationality defines you. Depending on your country of origin, you were born to show up in a certain way in the world, to be doing certain things and to identify yourself as one of many others to repeat the same patterns coded in your subconscious national mind.

Lesson learned: You choose to follow a pattern you are familiar with or to break it. You decide who you want to become, despite your national history passed through the generations.


I sometimes catch myself repeating some other stories – the key is to identify them, as only then, one can assess if they are accurate at all.

What is your story that you want to let go of? :)