September 1

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Upgrading My Business

Since just before I moved to Germany in late 2018 I was thinking about making a turn in my professional career. Nothing like full 180º turn, no. More of an upgrade.

How Do You Upgrade a Professional Trainer?

I’ve been teaching advanced technology courses for the past 13 years now. I’ve trained several hundred people who got substantial raises, got promoted, or changed their professional paths completely.

I have developed tools and techniques to make the largest impact on my Clients during this very limited time I had them in the classroom.

Because 99% of my courses were in-person, live, in-classroom, offline courses.

Advanced Training Solutions

Advanced Training Solutions, a tagline of my company, was exactly what it says from day 1. I’ve entered the training industry with hands-on experience in both the technology itself, but also the stage performance, which helped more than I could imagine.

And it was great. I was traveling the country, and then the world. Started with taking trains, moved to flying around. Started with economy, moved to business class. Started with renting cars, moved to having a drivers waiting for me at the airport.

A career. If you ever seen the Up in the Air movie this is exactly how my career looked like. Fancy suites, good hotels, high quality of life…

…but then a miracle happened

I know it will sound cliché, but just after we arrived in Germany (which is another story for another blog post) my wife got pregnant and we were awaiting our first-born to join our little family.

Did it change much? Not really, no. I was still providing, as usual, just had more on my plate taking care of Ania, who had a tough time going through her first pregnancy.

But then Lena happened. And it changed everything. All of the sudden I’ve started feeling extremely lonely in those 5-star hotels. I’ve started shortening the Fridays just to catch the earlier flight (not that my students didn’t enjoy that part, it’s just something I never did before).

I just wanted to stay home with my girls.

…and then the pandemic happened

So we went to Poland to visit my Parents just before the lockdown. Instead of 2-3 weeks, we spent there over 15. That’s almost 4 months! Thankfully, they have a large house and a private park, were we spent a lot of time, isolated from the society.

All of my courses went online. 100% moved to virtual delivery. Not only commercial ones but also the one I run for government and military organizations.

Was it better? Of course! Instead of spending a week in a hotel, I am home every evening, I am home for lunch break, I am home most of the time.

Or am I?

Working for governments (regardless of the country) is usually long hours, and a ***-load of paperwork, that needs to be prepared, processed, and submitted or reported. It can easily eat up 12 hours of your workday.

There’s no family life after 12 hours of running an intensive training program.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m spoiled. I am aware of it and I am extremely grateful for the way I’ve played it all out (think Snoop Dogg and he’s I wanna thank me speech).

I say I’m spoiled because…

I work no more than 90 days a year.

Not only that, but I also never work more than 2 weeks in a row.

Why?

There is a couple of reasons why I capped my work time on this number. First and foremost is I don’t believe in operating at full capacity if you work five days a week, 9-to-5 every day. Even if you love what you do.

That’s why, out of respect to my Clients (my Students), I get a lot of rest. But then you know how it is – man gets used to good things very quickly.

So, I took a challenge.

A friend of mine, Mirek Burnejko is an amazing serial entrepreneur. He launched a number of offline and online businesses and is paying forward his experience. I signed up for his metacourse (that’s how I call online courses on creating online courses) in its’ prelaunch phase just before I moved here. That’s what you call trust.

So I signed up for it and then (here comes my excuse) the pregnancy and challenges of being a young dad took over. I dropped the project.

But now I did simple math. I train around 18 to 20 courses a year. Each course is 3 to 5 days long. Each class is from 4 to 8 people. Or 12 if you count military organizations.

It means I can impact 150 people a year, by transferring my knowledge and experience. That’s… not a lot. When you think about 50,000+ people who follow me on twitter alone, then it’s really not a lot.

It’s September 1st, 2020 and I will spend next 30 days preparing a course on introduction to databases.

I guess I will start with Microsoft SQL Server since this is something I really enjoy teaching.

If you want to follow my journey – subscribe to this feed (I recommend feedly) if you like reading blog posts.

Async.Life

When I did the StrengthFinder’s test it turned out I’m an Activator, which means I jump straight into new ideas. So I thought why wouldn’t I start a podcast about this journey? The non-tech part, mostly, but it will be documented on Async.Life podcast – with due credit to another brilliant mind and a friend of mine – Andrzej Krzywda, CEO of Arkency who coined the phrase.

So, this is it. First blog post and first podcast episode. No fancy intro, no background music. Because raw is the way I (learn to) like it 🙂


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