The Slight Edge Report Year Eight

The Slight Edge Report Year eighthA summary of the whole year is always a big task, even more so, when it was a year like the last one. I’ll try not to drop any ball.

CAREER

Business

Revenue of Resurrecting Books grew by 82% in the last year! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I calculated this number. The average from the last 12 months was higher than the highest value from the previous 12 months! In fact, the monthly revenue was lower than the max revenue in the previous year only three times.

My book sales remained stable. They increased by about 5%, which is a good result in the competitive book market. Quite a lot of this impressive result I credit to the new book, 99 Habit Success Stories, launched at the end of November. We (I co-authored the book) sold almost 1,000 copies in the first month.

The growth of my business didn’t happen in a void. My expenses increased too. But more about it in the Finance part of this report.

Day Job

Working only quarter-time was a huge blessing. It brought more balance into my life. Despite chasing so many opportunities (book writing, book marketing, coaching, speaking, and running my own business) I work relatively few hours -30-50 a week, depending on the week. I can dedicate more time to my spiritual practices, my family, health (I sleep longer!).

Since my wife is forcing me to stick to the day job, I tried to find new responsibilities in the organization, more in line with my newfound side hustle experience. I was denuded of those hopes by the highers that be in the HR department.

Great! The most taxing thing in wearing many hats is the distraction of the mind. Since that happened, I separated myself from my day job completely. I’m doing only the minimum required and I’m looking forward to the moment when my wife will finally realize that my business creates a totally different lifestyle possible for us.

Speaker

I didn’t exactly see that coming. I was interviewed on podcasts multiple times this year. What is more, I rarely looked for an opportunity to be interviewed, people were looking for me, not the other way around.

And I got paid for one gig! Bellevue University hired me to talk about a personal mission statement to their clients’ employees. It took me about a split second to confirm I’m interested 😉 I gave the webinar for them at the end of January.

Also at the end of that month aired my interview for the biggest Polish business podcast. How did this happen? Well, in September I was invited to participate in the beta program of Quora in Polish. I didn’t hesitate for a second too.

I wrote a few dozen answers in Polish. The podcast host read some of them and was impressed by my progress, my habits, and my knowledge about them. He invited me to his podcast.

Providence allowed that in November and December I went through the presentation skills training in my day job. So, I had been far from being a pro when doing the webinar for Bellevue University or giving the interview, but I was much better than before the training.

Blogger

The feedback from this first Polish podcast interview audience was so favorable I decided to start doing something in the Polish market too. I started a blog that mirrors Expand Beyond Yourself in the overall concept and design.

At the time of writing this report, my Polish blog isn’t a big success. I’m getting about 100 visits a month. The hopeful indicator is that 20% of this traffic comes from the organic search. I’m also getting several thousand views a month on Quora in Polish.

Following the initial success, I got interviewed in two other Polish podcasts and I’m probing for more.

In June, I started the Tiny Habits mini-course in Polish for my subscribers. BTW, I have a funny story related to that.

I intended to send a notification about this course to about 10 Polish subscribers I had back then. This was the first email broadcast I sent from a new email management system and I messed up. Instead of sending the email to 10 people, I sent it to everyone: my English subscribers, prospects, and customers of Resurrecting Books… every frickin’ single one of them!

It turned out to be a great event from the engagement point of view. I never got so many emails back! Some of my English subscribers even took an effort to translate the message and were interested in going through the Tiny Habits course.

At the beginning of 2020, I failed to follow my publishing schedule on Expand Beyond Yourself. I caught up only at the end of July. It didn’t affect my readership a lot. EBY is still getting about 100 visitors a day. I credit it to the fact that my content has been constantly viewed on Quora. In the last 12 months, my answers got almost two million views.

Author

At the end of November 2019, I published 99 Habit Success Stories. It’s a follow-up volume for 99 Perseverance Success Stories. I joined forces with Jeannie Ingraham again. This time, we reached out to our networks and got dozens of stories from Quora users and our friends. It allowed us to leverage their contacts during the launch. I don’t think the difference was significant. Maybe it made the book stickier. It still sells 50+ copies a month, nine months after the launch.
The slight Edge report year eight
We sold 1,000 copies in the first month, mostly thanks to the network of self-published authors who shared the release with their audience.

Coach

And I still have my three paid coaching clients. I also had quite a practice in accountability in my mastermind. For the last several months I kept accountable one to a few guys every single month.

HEALTH

I improved my health quite a bit in the last 12 months. It all started back in August 2019 with a challenge from my accountability partner, Matt. When I complained how overworked and moody I recently was, he interviewed me about my physical activity and concluded I should dedicate an hour a day to walking or other cardio.

I ridiculed him. There was no way I could free up an hour a day. But we settled for half an hour a day.

For the first month, he kept me accountable. And Matt was so right with his diagnosis. Because of my shoulder injury, I couldn’t work out as vigorously as in the past. So my physical activity had scaled down to a single moderate series of exercises. That wasn’t enough.

First, I was surprised by how staled I got. A 30-minute brisk walk was actually a challenge for me. After the first few days, my feet hurt. Matt was also right about the mental benefits of physical activity. Practically right from the start, I got some big ideas that created breakthroughs. It was on a walk when I connected the dots between the puzzling performance decrease of my customers’ ads. Thanks to this minor enlightenment I requested the change of how we calculated customers’ results.

Shoulder Rehabilitation

In 2019 and January 2020, I had plenty of rehabilitation sessions. They seemed to help a bit, but I think what helped the most, was taking it easy. I abandoned my pushups habit and replaced it with some exercises for legs and abdominal muscles. I did pushups just a few times a week and never to the extreme, I had done it before.

At the end of January, my doctor concluded I can go back, slowly and gradually, to my exercises. I still can feel my shoulders are not in the same shape as a couple of years ago, but I do pushups more regularly and intensively. Well, not as intensively as before, but I can do 100 in a row and won’t suffer shoulder pain for the next two weeks. I also checked once where my new limit is and did over 125 pushups in a row.

And from time to time I do pullups and chin-ups, mostly to check how much I could still do. Despite the 2-year hiatus, I am still able to do 33 chin-ups or 29 pullups in a row!

Weight

the slight edge report year 8In February 2019 I went back to my habit which helped me to lose excess weight in 2013 – I kept a food journal. I exceeded 148 pounds and I was supposed to keep my weight in the 138-144 lbs. range. A year ago I weighed about 144 lbs.  For the next several months, I kept my weight in a range of 142-146 lbs.

The main reason for my weight struggles was downsizing my day job to quarter-time. Being around my wife all the time I couldn’t fast as much as I did in the past. I had to skip breakfasts to keep my weight under 146 lbs.!

The lockdown helped me with this issue. I had more time, so I walked and biked more. And after Easter, I paid more attention to my diet. My weight is now at 139.5 lbs. and didn’t exceed 143 lbs. in a month or two.

Tracking

When I restarted my food journal, I started to weigh myself daily. It wasn’t a good strategy in 2013 when I easily got sidetracked by head trash, but it was a good idea in 2019. I had an immediate reality check the next morning. Thanks to this my weight has never climbed back over 148 lbs.

Soon after Matt challenged me to move more, I downloaded a step-tracking app on my iPhone. Soon, I started biking regularly and started using a bike-tracking app. It gamified physical activity a bit for me. Many times I did some additional exercises/walk in the evening to up my step count.

sleep - the slight edge report year eightAt the end of March 2020, right before the complete lockdown was introduced, I bought a Huawei smart band to track my activities. I had some fun comparing the iPhone applications with this new tracker, the main advantage however was that I got a continuous data feed. I no longer needed to look for my phone. Well, I bypassed even the small hurdle of unlocking the phone. One glance at my wrist would tell me all I needed to know.

I got one additional benefit using the smart band – sleep tracking. I have kept tracking my sleep since May 2013. Yet, using the band made it so much easier. I didn’t need to remember to look at the clock right away after waking up or check the hour when I was heading to bed. The smart band and its application were doing it for me in the background. I could afford to forget about tracking for a day or two because the sleep data were stored in the application.

I discovered I sleep a bit longer than I thought – about 7.5 hours a day, including naps. Since I bought the smart band my sleep remained stable.

Sickness

I was under the weather for about 10 days in November 2019. I tried to push through my weakness to no avail. Then, I let myself to get more sleep and cut work hours for a few days and it was enough to get better. Other than that I have been healthy as an ox.

SPIRITUALITY

I had no specific goals for this year, I just diligently kept my habits. In March, just before the lockdown, I attended a Lent retreat.

I met there with my childhood friend. Last year, we became spiritual accountability partners. I already had my church community taking care of this aspect of my life, but this partnership added one additional layer to it.

Thanks to my walks and bike rides I stopped struggling with finding time for prayer during my days. I also kept the habit of giving an intention to every single task in my day. This is the one discipline I really struggle with. When I am immersed in work on my business, it’s especially hard to pause just before another action and recall the specific intention. Sometimes an hour or two passes before I notice I set no intention for many actions I’ve just taken.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Every year, I repeat that it’s hard for me to pinpoint my personal development progress. It’s my ultimate goal, yet I don’t set specific measurable sub-goals in this area.

Well, in the last year I got reminded multiple times about my progress thanks to feedback from others.

I took a presentation skills training in my day job. The trainer, Piotr, was a seasoned actor and presentation skills coach. It’s enough to say I work for PwC and he does training for would-be partners preparing them for a presentation in front of the board of partners.

Piotr gave me a few pieces of feedback. At the very beginning, when I introduced myself to the group and admitted after the first mini-presentation (the training was very on-hands) that I overcame a crippling shyness, he was amazed:

“You’ve done extraordinary work on yourself.”
Multiple times he told me:
“You are a natural. You are very likable and it works to your advantage.”
It reminded me of the feedback from my friend, Chad Jeffers, after I gave a talk to his college class.
I got the exact feedback from a coach who I met in authors group on a weekly Zoom calls organized by Susan Friedman and then again from a new member of my mastermind, who coaches executives for a living.
When I got interviewed on a couple of big Polish podcasts, the listeners told exactly the same thing. Ha! The host of the biggest Polish business podcast said introducing me: “Wow, what a man!”

The last part of the presentation skills training was a one on one consultation. I prepared myself for giving the webinar for Bellevue University. I asked Piotr about his consulting fees, if I needed his services in the future. He got uneasy: “You know, when I do those high-end gigs for partners I charge north of $200 per hour… But I could take less from you…”

I told him to not worry and that I pay just for membership in a mastermind $500 a month. Piotr remarked:

“Wow, you invest quite a lot in yourself.”

I didn’t think of my mastermind in such terms, but it was true. In the last few years, I invested 10% of my income on average into my personal development.

I remember listening to Brian Tracy’s story about a guy who took to the heart Brian’s advice to invest in his personal development at least 2% of his income. The guy did that for some time, saw great results, and after a few years decided to scale the threshold to 10% to see if it will bring him even a greater return on investment. And it did. He met Brian 10 years later and he was a millionaire spending $100k+ a year on his personal development.

Huh, I have been spending 10%+ of my income on personal development since 2015…

Covid

Now, it’s time to point out the elephant in the room. Covid. I went through all the stages, like everybody else.

First, it was dismissal. I thought it’s another media stunt. Who cares about Chinese dying thousands of miles away?

Then, it was denial. We had a trip to Greece scheduled for the end of March. I was convinced we would go, no matter what media frenzy happens. Then, a week before the trip, the lockdown was announced.

Stage three: panic. Overnight, I was required to work from home. Being closed in four walls with my wife and three kids didn’t make wonder for my mental state. The same applies to the frantic following of coronavirus stats in my country and in the world.

Yes, I absorbed a lot of interesting and educating facts. But I also allowed the media input and all the trollish comments from the Internet. And it all happened in the midst of a political war in Poland next to which American fights between Republicans and Democrats look like a childish quarrel in the sandbox.

It was like drinking sewage to absorb water. It didn’t improve my mental state one iota.

It took me three weeks to recognize I became a mess, and another two before I put myself together. Which makes a great introduction to the scrutiny of the next area of my life:

RELATIONSHIPS

The lockdown period was a great eye-opener on many different levels. First, thanks to being 24/7 with my family I recognized how our family life degenerated. We practically spent no time together. We even ate separately. My kids are grownups or close, so they prepared their own meals other than dinner. But we didn’t even eat dinner together!

Needless to say, the realization about the pitiful state of my family didn’t improve my mood.

When I finally admitted I was in a miserable state, I started to reflect upon what happened. To my surprise, I concluded that I owed quite a lot of disintegration of my life to the fact that I was banned from meeting with my church community. It was the most stable element of my life. It appeared in my life before I was even married.  I joined my church community when I was 17. The longest periods I was away from my brother and sisters were a few 2-week vacations.

During the lockdown, this fundament was gone and my every ritual crumbled. I broke almost every single habit streak during the first month (all but my morning ritual and writing). Some rituals, like commuting, were completely gone and I needed to replace triggers for some habits.

I abandoned at one point, or another, all my tracking activities but my writing log. I was very hectic with accountability coaching for my clients and friends. My productivity went out of the window. I think I worked barely 3 hours a day on the worst week and not much more on the not “worst” ones. BTW, I skipped tracking my time in the 12WY calendar for a week or two.

Oh, and in Poland, they restricted church gatherings to five people during the Easter season! A week before Easter, I didn’t attend a mass first time since… as long as I can reach with my memory. On the Easter morning, I stepped to the church only for a confession and communion and listened to the mass outside of the church’s building.

Regaining My Senses

In that tough time, my masterminds and accountability partnership with my two friends were my stabilizing points. Everything else disappeared from my life, but they were still there once a week to share their thoughts and support.

And we all were going through the same mess. We were locked down everywhere – in the US, France, UK, Greece, and Poland.

But surprisingly the turnaround moment for me was a chat with my supervisor. We admitted to each other that we are not our usual selves and we quickly got on a phone call. We confessed to each other what we did and didn’t do and exchanged some tips.

This conversation heightened my awareness around the subject of the emotional reaction to the Covid and lockdown. I talked about this in my two masterminds and with my accountability partners. It was like the whole world was lost in the mental fog. No one acted normally in this abnormal period.
I saw one thing my supervisor hinted all over the place: namely, that we fell back to our default coping mechanisms. Both for me and her those mechanisms came from the era in our lives when we weren’t especially enlightened. So, we acted like crazy (for example following and engaging in idiotic Twitter wars) even though we knew better.

 

Somehow, this knowledge gave me a weapon against my self-destructive behaviors. I didn’t bounce back in a single moment, but in about 2-3 weeks I was back to normal.

Isolation Is the Enemy of Excellence

People are strange animals. We take for granted the status quo, but if we are deprived of something or someone we suddenly start to appreciate it. This is how I felt during the lockdown.

I started appreciating my church community so much more. I didn’t lose my mastermind interactions, but I appreciated them more since they were my only substitute for the human connection outside the circle of my family.

Thanks to often long walks – the only activity that wasn’t forbidden – I had a lot of time for phone calls. I reached out to my family in Ireland and was in frequent contact with my spiritual accountability partner.

So, ironically, the Great Lockdown taught me a lesson about appreciating the existing relationships in my life.

FINANCES

The last 12 months were a very good time financially-wise. Our net income grew by about 30%.

In September 2019, I was on 1-week holiday on Crete with my wife. We had a great time. I didn’t even take my laptop with me. I checked the email about once a day and checked on my coaching clients a few times. This was the week when $1,000 from Bellevue University for the speaking gig arrived at my PayPal account.
Crete - the slight edge report year eight
When I was enjoying my time on Crete, my team was busy cranking out ads for our customers. That holiday really opened my eyes to the fact that I can work anywhere in the world. That we can live anywhere in the world.

In July 2020, my wife went for a week to my sister in Germany. I bought her the 1ts class train ticket. A few days after she was back, she went for a week at the Polish sea with my daughter. Those holidays weren’t any stretch for our budget. In fact, they made a huge dent in our normal monthly budget, that’s all.

Having three kids, we have an incredible amount of laundry to process. It’s especially bothersome in the winter season. Our home is only about 1,000 square feet big, there is not a lot of space for drying the laundry. So we bought a dryer machine. Just like that. As soon as my wife decided on the specific model we ordered it. It was at our house the next day.

Our TV set broke this year. We had bought it over 5 years ago. Instead of trying to fix it, which would be troublesome during the Covid pandemic (and the output would be doubtful), we purchased a new one.

My wife’s car didn’t go through the yearly checkup in December 2019. I paid $200 for replacing the brake lines.

Since I started biking, I invested some money into my old bike. My wife jokingly said the only original part from the old bike is the frame. She is not far from the truth. More than 50% of parts are new: both wheels, a handheld, a saddle, and some accessories. The front wheel was replaced twice this year because I had an accident and it was broke beyond the point of repair.

Peace of Mind

The financial peace of mind is incredible. We have no financial headaches (other than 1st world problems like how to get another $10k to cobble our backyard). We have no problems with paying monthly bills.

All the above expenses happened next to living our normal life and stacking more savings away.

My wife has about $5k in her renovation fund. We were about to wipe the fund out in spring, but then the Covid came and we decided to postpone any investments.

We have no debt other than our mortgage. In the last year, I paid off an additional 2.4% of the mortgage next to the 1.4% paid in the usual mortgage schedule. I used a fraction of my business income percentage for this goal. It seems we will be able to pay off more than 4% of the mortgage a year. Well, that’s the minimum estimation.

In 2020, I needed to pay the business taxes for the first time. I got an unpleasant surprise. Because I started a business, I couldn’t get some family tax benefits. So, instead of getting over $1k in the tax return, I had to pay about this amount.

It still wasn’t much of a problem. I had the money for tax stacked away. I dipped into our savings, $300 or so and the accounts were set. I also adjusted my Profit First tax threshold, so I won’t be surprised the next year.
Because of the unusual nature of my income, I also decided to start another just-in-case tax fund to cover my royalties income, if necessary. If it won’t be necessary, I’ll have a nice bonus left, maybe a vacation fund, after paying my taxes.

Years of hustling finally bore the fruits. We didn’t eliminate all the financial worries, but even getting rid of that basic 80% (groceries, bills, mortgage, health and education) brought us more peace of mind than I ever imagined would be possible.

Bits and Pieces

There were also some 1-time events and underlying all-encompassing processes, which had an impact on some or all of my life’s areas.

12 Week Year

The slight edge report year eight - 12 week year trackingFollowing the 12WY framework helped me with everything. I mean, whenever I followed it well. The couple of weeks during the lockdown when I all but abandoned 12WY tracking were horrible.

My productivity improved, when I decided to establish 1-month goals instead of quarterly ones.

Whenever I got lazy about setting 12WY goals or about posting my progress in the 12WY accountability group created by a few members of my mastermind, my productivity plummeted. And I neglected both more times than I care to count. But when I set the goals right and diligently kept track of my progress, the results were inevitable.

Tracking Again

Speaking of the devil… I realized long ago that tracking is a semi-magical tool for growth. Yet, going over this report I realized how many marginal gains I got because I kept tracking my metrics, introduced new tracking methods or tuned the old ones.

I started tracking my weight daily in February 2019. It didn’t went especially well, but at least my weight didn’t get completely out of control. Using the step tracker and cycling tracker gamified my exercise experience and made wonders to my awareness about my daily portion of exercises.

During the Covid slump, I broke all of my habit streaks but one – writing. Why? I kept tracking my writing exactly as I should do with my other activities.

I let myself to keep in my head tracking of my other daily activities, most of which are firmly ingrained into my days and my constitution. Yet, doing an action and immediately marking it off does wonders to my self-awareness.

Profit First

I used this system even before it existed. It’s the envelope system translated into a business setup. Yet, adjusting my actions to the letter and the spirit of the P1st system gave me additional gains.

This year, I changed the Profit First thresholds a few times. First, because I needed to come up with some figures for the start. Then, reality verified my assumptions. I needed to grow the business expenses ‘envelope’ and shrink some others. I was withdrawing funds from reserves every so often.

Finally, I decided to categorize the cost of ads as a fixed cost. It’s not really fixed, but not so volatile and I have to pay for them each month. It stabilized my P1st thresholds. The final adjustment I made was changing the tax threshold after discovering I no longer can use some family tax privileges.

A week or so after introducing the lockdown, the Polish central bank slashed the interest rates almost to zero. Keeping money in saving accounts stopped to be profitable. And I discovered that my other bank gives a special feature – the envelope system within a bank account.

I withdrew most of my reserve funds and put them into those “envelopes.” Now, I can see at one glance how much money I have for specific purposes. I think I may quit on savings accounts in the nearest future and keep there only the funds that are really untouchable, like money for taxes.

My Polish Career

In September 2019, I got invited to the beta program of Quora in Polish. I accepted without hesitation. It took a few months till they fully opened the market and I already had a score of answers there.

My thinking was that it doesn’t cost me much, I write daily anyway, and I might have just been discovered on the Polish market.

Wow, I was never so right! In January 2020 the host of the biggest Polish business podcast, Mała Wielka Firma, invited me to his podcast. We recorded the episode next week and because he has a free slot the episode was out there before the end of January.

It was a great hit. The episode got several thousand views on YouTube and God only knows how many downloads. Almost all the comments were very positive. Thus, I decided to double down on Quora in Polish and to start my own blog in Polish.

It took me some time, especially that I placed my blog-building 12WY plan in April during my Covid slump. But at the end of May I caught up with the content schedule.

Right now I have posts scheduled till the end of October. I reuse my Polish Quora answers for blog posts, and my sister helps me with migrating answers from my Quora account to my blog. So, it takes me 15 minutes or less to schedule one blog post. The Polish blog doesn’t get much traffic, just 2-8 visitors a day, but it’s a good bargain for the workload.

At the end of May, I got on another big Polish podcast. This time, I already had a blog and a way to capture people’s email addresses.

In June, I translated the Tiny Habits training into Polish and trained several of my subscribers in this habit-building framework. I learned a lot myself.

A Pro Podcaster 😉

How do you find this setup?
the slight edge report year eight - home office

It looks really sharp, doesn’t it? When I showed my presentation skills coach my first interview for the Polish podcast he immediately recommended I change the background. It was cramped, messy, distracting.

My home office is small, under 100 square feet. But my innovative wife found an easy solution. We simply moved the desk from next to the wall to the front of the window. The wall behind my desk is covered with a nice neutral grey wallpaper. Having the window in front of me makes the lightning conditions so good that even my crappy laptop camera provides a great image.

My wife also bought me the mike for the interviews. It’s a cheap SPC mike, but it sounds well enough and looks smashing. Everybody who sees me for the first time in this setup remarks how pro I look. “Wow, you have a cool pro mike!” they were literally the first words the Polish host uttered when he saw me for the first time.

Takeaways

Consistency is so important in our lives! Brian Buffini, in one of his podcast episodes, concluded it’s worth well over $100k a year. He based that assessment on the experience of hundreds of his customers who quit on coaching several years into the coaching program.

They already knew what to do, but without the support and accountability of their coaches, they weren’t as consistent in their work input. In the result, their businesses shrank more than $100k a year.

It’s true in the finance and business realm, but it’s true in any other area of life. When I lost the support of my church community I quickly turned into a mental mess. Humans are creatures of consistency. The Great Lockdown was so disastrous because it destroyed so many of our routines overnight. We lost our commuting routines, work routines, school routines, entertainment routines (if they weren’t digital 😉 )…

We are also the creatures of change. None of us is exactly the same as 10 years ago. We evolve. But we evolve slowly. That’s why we need consistency and that’s why it’s so valuable. Put a man into a new situation and he is like a deer caught in the headlights. Or like a child at the railroad observing a fast train approaching with the speed of hundreds of miles per hour. Such a rapid change crushes us.

But if you apply consistency to change, when you create new habits to become a different person in some aspects, the change becomes your ally. A bike is a good metaphor of such a steady change. It takes you where you want much faster than by walking or running. The speed is hardly overwhelming. And you need to keep pedaling or you lose the momentum.

Relationships Are Paramount

It’s what I wrote in my book Trickle Down Mindset back in 2015: people are both your input sources and can influence your interpretation of data. People are change agents like anything else in the world. The worse mess is in your life, the more you need others.

We all cottoned on to this adage in this time of isolation. We were connected via Internet like no other generation before us, but we were also connected to the wrong sources. Media and social media are SO crazy nowadays. The exposure to them turned me into a mess in a matter of days.

And I’m a person who ruthlessly singles out my data sources. People who just consumes whatever appears in the TV or their Facebook feed? They were totally helpless.

Nonetheless, relationships were what allowed me to put myself together. Thanks to the conversation with my supervisor my eyes opened. Thanks to regular interactions with my masterminds and accountability partners I got an external insight and desperately needed support.

The clue is that I cultivated those relationships long before the Covid. Relationships are the deepest and most influential when they last years and decades.

Jim Rohn Was SO Right

“Work harder on yourself than you work on your job.”

I work about 30 hours a week, but I work on myself about the same amount of time. My morning ritual takes me 1-2 hours every day. Walks, bike rides, prayer, my 10-minute habits, meditation, journaling, and various tracking activities take me at least 1-2 hours more.

Since I don’t consider it work, I do all of the above on Sundays too, averaging about 3-4 a day on personal development.

I firmly believe this is the reason I am able to work fewer hours and make more money at the same time.

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

On spot, again. I’m lucky that higher education at public schools in Poland is free. I needed a student loan “only” to survive through university studies. It was a whopping $5-$10k. And I made a good living as an IT guy.

Nonetheless, formal education consumed 18 years of my life.

Self-education beat that by a long shot. I created my first book ad on Amazon in September 2016, less than four years ago. I created the first ad for a customer in June 2017, barely three years ago.

Today, I’m making a small fortune on advertising business. Well, it’s a “fortune” only by Polish standards. The average salary here is about 40% of the average salary in the States. Thus, my $3-$4k a month from Resurrecting Books puts me easily well above the Polish average.

The same applies to my book royalties. All of my books are the results of my own work on myself and self-education I gained as a self-publisher.

85% of my income comes from my side hustle activities, not from my day job. 85% of my income is the result of self-education which happened during the last eight years!

And this is just the beginning!


The Slight Edge report year eight
Do small things every day when no one else is watching you. Do them for a long period of time to let them compound. Consistency is more important than results because it brings results in the end.

Make your wellbeing and personal development a priority. Cultivate relationships. They are paramount.

Keep learning, but at your terms. Self-education will make you a fortune.

This has been my experience for the last eight years.

It works.

If I could do it, you can do it too.

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