- I swallowed the “No Office” bug in college
- After college I just followed my wife… and kept working!
- Can I live like this for the rest of my life?
- The one thing: the Internet changed everything!
I’ve always been attracted to a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Even now with three kids and a wife in a public administration office, we are used to traveling a lot every year. I’ve always loved foreign languages and was always curious about distant places. In college I studied in three different European countries - Poland, Germany and Spain. Traveling around the world and working from anywhere was in me from the very beginning of my professional life.
I swallowed the “No Office” bug in college
Even though I went to the university around 20 years ago, even then I was able to travel with my laptop (good old Compaq Armada) and connect to the campus broadband Internet to collaborate with students and professors from all over Europe on various projects. And I studied on three different campuses in three different countries: University of Gdansk in Poland, Fachhochschule Stralsund in Germany and Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain.
I wrote my final thesis on “Extremely Virtual Enterprise”, that is on how companies can work together even when they’re not in the same physical place. How companies and people can work by being only “virtually” together.
Suffice to say, I fell in love with the concept.
Back then I already believed it was the future.
To back it up, I found quite a few companies that were doing it back then. And what I also found was this quote that stuck with me and that I’ll be repeating throughout this book:
Work is not a place that you go to, it’s a thing that you do.
After college I just followed my wife… and kept working!
After college I got married to my wife Ewelina in our hometown of Gdynia, Poland. We then moved to Germany, as she was still finishing her law degree in Dusseldorf. She’d attend university and I’d ride a bike and use the free internet at the campus to work on my laptop as a freelance Internet Marketing consultant.
A few months later she got an internship at the council of the EU in Bruxelles, Belgium. After a few months in the land of the French fries, she got another internship at the Central European Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. We left the home of probably the best sausages in the world when she got a big-time job in one of the leading law firms in Warsaw, Poland.
As she was changing jobs and we were moving between cities and countries, I’d just follow her. I kept working for my customers, helping them sell stuff over the Internet. My customers were in Poland, Germany and Spain. And they didn’t really care where I was at the time as long as I got the job done.
Can I live like this for the rest of my life?
I loved that lifestyle. Particularly the fact that I kept having the same job while leaving in four different cities. As my wife’s career progressed I could just be there with her and work for my customers at the same time. And they really didn’t care where I was, as long as I delivered the results they expected.
I was so successful in fact, that I started getting too much work and needed to get more organized. This is how my app Nozbe was born - out of my own frustration - to help me get better organized.
Fast forward to this day and Nozbe is being used by more than half a million users from all over the world. We just launched its sibling - Nozbe Teams - to help small teams do great things together.
And my 20+ person team has been working on it from their homes the entire time. But more on that in the next chapter.
So I ask again: “Can I keep living and working like this?”
And I answer: “I can and I have and I am.”.
The one thing: the Internet changed everything!
Thanks to the power of the Internet, most of modern work can be done everywhere and in many cases nobody really cares where the work is done - as long as the results are delivered.
And how are these results delivered? This, my friend, is what this book is all about :-)