The worst advice a founder may get….. Never give up. Sometimes you just have to give up what you’ve been doing in order to change the direction. It can be a pivot or even a decision to close the business. Never give up mindset may cause burnout and significantly lower your self-esteem as you keep trying to succeed in a field where chances are negligible.
In your opinion what’s the thing that people most often forget/don’t pay enough attention to while running a business/startup… Many founders forget about doing a solid, well designed qualitative research, such as individual deepen interviews. This is something you should do all the time, no matter how successful you are with your current version of a product or service.
People’s needs change, competitors change their products, regulations change etc. – you will learn about it during interviews before you will notice it in your analytics tool.
If you were to give a piece of advice to someone who just starting their first business what would it be…. Go out of the office and talk to your clients. Don’t try to convince them to your idea, don’t be defensive when they criticize your project. Just ask what they think, listen and make notes.
One book everyone should read… I could name tens of them, but if it has to be just one, I pick “Good to great” by Jim Collins.
A tool/app/program that’s making your life ( work-life/ personal-life) easier/better… Todoist (or any other to do app) helps me not to think about tens of things that have to be done. I can focus on something for hours without being interrupted by thoughts like: “what I have to do next?”.
I also use Nebo for iPad and Apple Pencil. It converts my handwriting into digital text. During meetings I prefer handwriting as writing on the computer makes me feel uncomfortable because the person I meet may think that I’m doing something else than listening. It also solved my problem with paper notebooks which aren’t searchable so they easily become useless. Now I can store and search all my notes whenever I need.
Pivot or a failure that has taught you the most… I haven’t experienced any spectacular failure or pivot. As an entrepreneur and manager, I’ve made many smaller mistakes and minor pivots. If it comes to failures, I think that we – my co-founders and I – have always avoided conflict and that wasn’t good. Some time ago we talked about it and we have changed it. Now we disagree much more often and we are experiencing a significant improvement in business efficiency.
What’s the habit, belief or behaviour that improved your life the most.... In my case, it was a behavioural change. I started to listen more and talk less. I try to ask more questions and let other people solve more problems and come up with more ideas. It’s mutually beneficial because they have more impact and satisfaction and I feel less pressure and get more good ideas.
The best investment you made ( any kind of investment – money, time, energy etc)… The best investment I’ve made in my professional life is the investment in knowledge and attitude. I spend a lot of time reading, listening and talking to smart and kind people. I also try to find the time to sit and think without interruptions. I want to be the best thought partner for my teammates and clients as possible.
Quote to live by…. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable” by John Wooden, a great basketball coach.
Miłosz Wójcik is an entrepreneur and manager operating in the field of ICT. Since 2011, he has been managing Appchance – a software consultancy working for clients from all around the world. In Appchance, he is responsible for new ventures and relationships with key clients.
Miłosz actively supports start-ups as a mentor in international acceleration programs in Poland and Germany.