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…

5 lessons I learned from my mom - and how she shaped my life


I’m literally writing this post to brag about how awesome my mom is. And to remember that I want me and my wife to be like that to my kids. My mom shaped my life in so many ways that it’s hard to describe. But I’ll try. There are five life lessons I learned from her. Here goes:

5 lessons I learned from my mom - and how she shaped my life

Last year I wrote about my entrepreneurial parents where I mentioned how my mom, despite having obtained a demanding career as an architect, switched her jobs several times in her life. But there’s a lot more to her. Today I want to share with you the things I learned from my mom so that you might hopefully learn something from her as well:

Lesson 1: Never stop learning

As mentioned in my post about my parents when my mom saw that her current career or business was declining she’d never just give up and despair. She started learning and exploring new possibilities. From an architect, to accountant, to ad-executive, to coffee-shop owner, to art-merchant… she kept exploring new possibilities and was always one of the best in the new field. She taught me to never stop learning new things and reinventing oneself.

Lesson 2: It’s never too late for anything

Speaking about learning and reinventing… my mom is a good skier. She loves skiing and she started it… after she turned 40! The same applies to traveling. She always wanted to get to know the world… but when you’re raised in communist times, your travel options are limited (Russia only?). Some people say they’re too old for this or that, she’d never say that. Now she loves traveling and flying planes. She’s also learning Spanish right now :-)

Lesson 3: Always invest in your education

In the communist times my parents were barely making it paycheck to paycheck. As mentioned earlier, traveling was limited. It was a cold war back then. Yet, my mom knew I had to start learning English. She was my first English teacher. I’m literally writing this article about my mom in English thanks to her. She pushed me to learn more languages, signed me up for private classes of English when she couldn’t teach me anymore and a little later pushed me to learn German. I have a degree from a German University right now. Throughout my youth I might not have the best clothes, toys or gadgets, but my parents would never spare money on my education. And later when I decided to study abroad, they’d finance it, as well.

Lesson 4: Don’t be afraid of anything

Yes, she wasn’t afraid to try new jobs. It’s even more - she was pushing us (me, my brother and my dad) to try new things. My father was literally afraid to start a company in the beginning of the 90s… but it was my mom who pushed him forward, supported him all the way and he never regretted this. He did great. Thanks to her.

She always told me I shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown. She made me take the leaps, she made me more confident. I was never afraid… thanks to her.

She’s not even afraid of her illness although many people as sick as she is, are very scared. She’s supporting them and showing them they don’t have to be afraid and can still be OK.

Lesson 5: Love is all that matters

My mom is pure love. My parents are the most loving couple I know. Every day she’s showing us how much she loves us (me, my brother and my dad) and now that today she’s visiting my home I can feel her love even more. As a child I never doubted her love and support, I always knew she loved me. This love helped me overcome anything. Her love for my dad, my brother and me was the biggest support for me. Her love made me stronger, more confident, and ultimately successful… and hopefully a more loving person as well. Her love sets an example not just for me, but for anyone around her. You can literally feel her love when you’re in her company.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today my mom is celebrating 60th birthday. Hope you can join me in wishing her all the best for many years to come. I’m lucky to have such an amazing mom and I’m thankful that today I get to celebrate this milestone birthday with her.

Question: What did you learn from your mom?

Monday, September 15, 2014 /mom/