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#HugeThingTalks – Kamila Sidor

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#HugeThingTalks – Kamila Sidor

Marta Janczewska-Bażak
Communication specialist with a soft spot for startups. And in free time - big healthy lifestyle freak.

The worst advice a founder may get… Outsource your core business.

In your opinion what’s the thing that people most often forget/don’t pay enough attention to while running a business/startup… At the beginning of a business, many people are more focused on ideas and products rather than on the people for whom and with whom they will build the business. 

Entrepreneur! It is good to ask yourself this question: Do I want to do it because I feel it or because it is trendy now? Startups require a lot of work, stamina and a certain kind of imagination. You better be good at it and love it, otherwise, you may end up exhausted, frustrated and broken. Think twice.

If you were to give a piece of advice to someone who just starting their first business what would it be… Be brave but not crazy. Be open-minded but focus. Learn from mistakes as fast as possible. Take care of yourself and pay it forward.  In peacetime, prepare for war. 

One book everyone should read… “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg is a great book with instructions on how to work with people and be kind. If most of us read it with understanding, the world would be a better place. 

A tool/app/program that’s making your life ( work-life/ personal-life) easier/better… The list of my favourite apps is the same for years: Google Calendar, Facebook Messenger, Google Docs and Google Translate. My latest discovery is a web program DeepL.com which can translate even big documents in a few minutes. The quality of translation is way better than the other online tools.

Pivot or a failure that has taught you the most… I have abruptly changed my career a few times in my life. I left my safe work at a bank to join a new VC company, and then without having too much money I started a social project named Geek Girls Carrots. When I was successful but also, unfortunately, burnout, I decided to step down as CEO of GGC and became a mindfulness and life skills teacher.

All of this has taught me that there are many alternative ways to thrive, contribute and make money. Even if you fail or give up there are always some other possibilities to have a meaningful life. 

This gives me inner freedom for a change.

What’s the habit, belief or behaviour that improved your life the most… Telling the truth, I have many habits and rituals which structure my days and even life. What has improved the quality of my life most is mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation takes up to two hours of my day. It is a great tool for developing self-reflection and kindness. And it also allows me to observe the world from a little bit more distance, which makes me less anxious and calmer.

The best investment you made ( any kind of investment – money, time, energy etc)… I come from a poor village in the east of Poland where I could only count on my intellectual capabilities to achieve something. It is why from the very beginning I have perceived education and travels as the best investment in my life. When it comes to money, the best investment was financial support to my ex-partner in his ideas for businesses and investments. He is a brave visioner whom I trusted and this brought me a very good return on investment. 

And last but not least, time invested in meditation and on loved ones is priceless.

Quote to live by…. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Kamila Sidor is a social entrepreneur, public speaking teacher, speaker, and soon also a mindfulness teacher. In 2011, together with a friend she came up with Geek Girls Carrots which executed technology projects for women in 15 countries all over the world. Kamila became an investor in the Motivapps technological startup. For a few years, she worked in a large bank and a VF fund. In 2017 she participated in a prestigious American program for social leaders – IVLP. In 2016 she was listed by “Brief” among the most creative Poles. In 2014 she was listed on the “New Europe 100” – a list of innovation leaders in Central-Eastern Europe. Kamila also runs, cooks, meditates, reads books, and travels around the world. Since 2018 she lives in Berlin.