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How workcation worked for me and why you should try it too.

 

We have just spent a week on the Polish seaside in Sopot in gorgeous summer-like weather. I realized that this was my first workcation this year. Workcation is a time one is spending in a place of one’s choice doing some work. You can pick a place and workload, but effectively without disturbing your workflow, you can spend more time with friends or family. I did not know what workcation was until I read the “The Upstarts” by Brad Stone and learned how Uber is doing this.  

I used to travel extensively in corporate jobs and party in the evenings. This was not quite the same, as the people you met were not necessarily the ones you cared to spend time with. Since I decided to strive for independence, the life design process took me out of corporate structures in 2015. I am free to make decisions on how and with whom I spend my time. This type of freedom bears enormous responsibility, as we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with according to Jim Rohn’s explanation of the law of averages.  

We picked the place and time to be able to have plenty of significant interactions. Right after the long “May weekend” in Poland, when hotels were not overcrowded, and people I wanted to meet were not vacationing abroad. Ania and I had a swell time together with our twins. They were learning to swim, discovering sandy beaches, climbing out of high chairs during breakfast.  Suntan is several shades from the winter grey, and most importantly I had a workplace with a sea view which inspired me to write this post.

What I have achieved in this short week was also amazing:

  • Breaking off negotiation on a merger. This was the hardest decision to make for me in a long time and the sea-side made thoughts much clearer.  It seems to me now that the MobileMed team has a different idea how to develop the company than I did. I am genuinely impressed with what Małgorzata Woźniak, the CEO, is doing with this business.

  • First Supervisory Board meeting of Nais – we discussed how we want to help the company. We had an in-depth discussion on how to operate as a board to help efficiently in this exciting new venture

  • Super stimulating conversation with a venture team from one of the major global corporations. I was invigorated by the way ideas were flowing among us in this initial call. More on this in the future posts, as this is a developing opportunity.

  • Advising Piotr Kania and the team of Spokey on the next phase of business transformation, as they are moving the company into an entirely digital enterprise.

  • Advisory Board of Grupa Pracuj on Innovation and Strategy, done remotely. We were able to identify a new area of growth for the company and set a plan to execute on this opportunity.

  • Remotely finishing the renovation of four flats and prepping them for tenants in mid-May. Using a skillful rental property management company like Mzuri makes it so much easier.

  • Helping INSEAD Alumni Association Poland launch an event on “The impact of digitization on democracy” with Costa Vayenas and Harri Tiido, Ambassador of Estonia in Poland as the main speakers.

  • Working with The Nets on my new blog at Filipkowski.io

  • Some smaller tasks that surprisingly got finished without effort while I was able to gaze at the sea. 

I would like to thank:

  • Agnieszka and Łukasz for a great conversation on packing up and changing geography with the whole family including twins. You are a constant source of inspiration for us with an 18-month head start on what the little rascals might do to our lives.

  • Kasia and Michał for a truly YPO style dinner with forum-like conversations that only members of one chapter can have. I want to thank you for reminding me of the joys of living in Sopot – I did live there for the first four years of my life, and I appreciated being reminded how great of a place it is, especially out of the hectic tourist season.

  • Barbara Piasek for inspiring me to rethink my business model for the next ten years. This was a knock out conversation. In a week since I filled out a notebook and a half with new ideas.

  • Ania Kopek for the discussion on the future of the corporate travel industry and real estate opportunities on the Polish coast in the era of Booking.com, Airbnb, as well as – surprisingly to me – OLX.pl

  • Witek Jaworski – as always – for conversations on life in general and more interestingly on life in particular from sunset to sunrise.

  • Anna Wróbel for the skillful nudge of an executive coach and helping me to put a meaning to all of the above and structure to all of my extroverted thoughts that week. I am fortunate to have these conversations with Ania daily.

If you can plan your life and you can be independent enough – why not try a workcation and see if it works for you. I know I will repeat it soon to make time for writing a new post on getting the financial freedom you want.