Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

43 and I get to choose what I want to do


Welcome to my long-overdue birthday blog post. I turned forty three almost a month ago but never got around to writing what this age means to me. Considering my personal and business situation, the post-pandemic world and the war in Ukraine, it all comes down to one thing: I get to choose what I do from now on! Below I’m explaining what I mean by that and which choices I’m making:

43 and I get to choose what I want to do

Freedom to choose what I want!

At 43 I consider myself a lucky guy. I have a great home, a loving wife and three fantastic daughters. I have built an amazing company and I’m in a great shape physically.

This all means that I don’t have to do anything.

Yes, I must take care of myself and my family but it’s not like I must do this or that to achieve it.

I get to choose what I do going forward.

I must nothing. I can be picky. I can choose how I spend my life going forward. I have enough. I achieved more than I ever hoped for. At 43 I’m free to choose what I do next.

That feels great.

But as always, with great power comes great responsibility. And with the power of this choice, I need to be very deliberate what I do with my business life next.

Choice 1 - Nozbe becomes a truly great business!

Nozbe turned 15 this year and we’ve finally announced that “Nozbe Teams” is the “new Nozbe”. We have a clear vision for the product.

What you might not know is that until now I was Nozbe and Nozbe was me. My business was run as “sole proprietorship”, even though I have a team of 20 people onboard. I was running my company like this, because that’s how I started and then “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” thinking kicked in and I just kept it all these years.

Well, now I chose to finally “separate” myself from the company and convert Nozbe into a company with limited liability which in Polish is called: spółka z o.o.

This means a new chapter for Nozbe. I will remain the majority owner and will hire myself as the CEO. In practice not much will change, but I feel like this symbolic “separation” of me and the company will help me focus working on the business more.

I want Nozbe to remain a “boutique company” with a worldwide impact. In 5 years I want both the team size to grow to around 40-50 people (2x) and the revenue at least 10x. We must embrace the shift from being just a productivity company to being a true team collaboration app.

Working on business means not only finding new ways of selling our software, but also internally on making the team better. I must make sure everyone’s better than me for the position they were hired to do. And I must provide them all with as much resources as possible to be able to perform at the highest level.

This also means I finally need to hire a world-class VP of Marketing. Until today I was the designated and self-proclaimed chief of marketing at the company. I need to finally fire myself from this role to focus on my main role as the CEO. This will be a long journey but I’m hoping to ultimately find someone much better than me for this role in about a year or so.

I still believe that with Nozbe I can help millions of people get organized and work together in a better way!

Choice 2 - finish and ship the #NoOffice book

The first draft is complete and you can read it online for free. However I’ve never got around to finishing the book and truly shipping it: with a launch date, launch team, press outreach, etc.

I strongly believe this book could start a global movement.

A movement where adults are being treated as adults by other adults and where:

Work is not a place to go, but a thing to do.

Choice 3 - appreciate every day I have!

I want to end this post with some stoicism. Looking at the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine, I appreciate even more what I have. And that it can be taken away from me in any moment. Just like 5 Million people who died of covid and Millions of Ukrainians who lost their homes because of the crazy Russian dictator.

Nothing is for granted. Nothing lasts forever.

Let’s enjoy life and choose things that really matter.

Thursday, June 16, 2022 /forty3/