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800 KM To…Destination

More or less ten years ago, when I started the French route of the way of Santiago in St. Jean Pied du port, I lived such a strong experience that sometimes it comes back to me as fresh as if it happened yesterday.

On the very first day of my journey we had to cross the Pyrenees and arrive in Roncesvalles for our first stop. Shortly after our arrival I sat at the entrance of the old monastery waiting to register as a pilgrim and I remember perfectly how exhausted I was, to the point that it become monstrous just the simple idea of continuing walking the next day, and the next, and the next, not to mention that I still had 800 kilometres in front.

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Later on that same day, I had a long talk with a very good friend that was doing the way with me, the words he shared, lived long enough not only until we reached Santiago de Compostela but also until today… a warm African Easter night.

We can prepare ourselves as much as possible for adversities and challenges of life, but we only know exactly what we have to do when our feet meet the road and we have to walk our way.

My very good friend, looking at me that evening gave me an advised that saved not only the rest of the journey but probably the rest of my life.

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The pressure we suffer from as many sides as our existence has contact, make us feel that nothing is ever enough, in business, profit is never enough, in sports winning once is never enough, working more hours is never enough, talking smart is never enough, and so on, I guess we all know the drill.

Pressure, can easily be misunderstood with responsibility, but at the same time can also be a great help to wake up every morning and move all our bones in the same direction, but that’s about it.

The most important rule is to truly know yourself and stay in harmony with your inner voice, mind and soul.

The way of Santiago (or any other way) does not exist, it is (re) created at every new step taken forward. It is up to you were you want to take yourself every day, how far and how fast.

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We truly have the power to redesign our life every step of the way, one step at the time, the so-called power of now, one minute excellence or if you prefer because today we celebrate the victory of life over death, the infinite capacity God gave us to resurrect every time we are down, tired or sad as far we connect with true Love.

Easter is a special moment of the year to redirect our life journey and after doing more than four different routes of the Way of Santiago I can assure you that are many ways to reach the same goal, all we have to do is make sure we live fully the present, one day at the time, loving our existence unconditionally.

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You probably wonder what was the advise?

Simple…a pilgrim does not walk what he wants but what he can, meaning that every time you “walk” what you can you always reach your final destination.

 

I wish you all a peaceful Easter and a good journey

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The (high) cost of Freedom

Last night, while trying to fall asleep I end up opening the photo gallery in my computer. Without noticing, looking at different pictures, my mind start travelling hundreds of miles into different locations, hearing different sounds, seeing different people, in minutes I saw myself far away from my room.

A picture always has the power to trigger unique experiences, small parts of you and the ones that shared a specific moment.

Interesting phenomenon is the perspective build over time. A distance that works silently like an artisan, a perfectionist and his masterpiece.

What we see today is not exactly what we saw years before, in fact, I was shocked with the differences.

Let me share with you several types of pictures that passed trough my eyes during the night.

Some pictures became more beautiful over the years and every time I see them, I find new angles, new details and emotions, as if the elements on the picture continue to live in a parallel world. Tears of joy.

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Other pictures, are still hard to stare at it, they hit pretty hard in the face and it hurts. I look at them like challenges that are there to remind me of my human nature, my limitations and my capacity to overcome them.

Another type, are the pictures that seem incomplete, the ones that you know, that something is missing, they request intense time travelling, but after a little effort, the emptiness makes sense and if you close your eyes, a secret picture arises before you, only for you.

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I also saw pictures, that I finally made peace with, it was good to see that they don’t bother me anymore, they fulfilled their role and teach me a lesson (or two).

Finally, I looked at some pictures that define the time you live in, an invisible reality between ordinary and eternal, between courage and cowards, between love and hate, between happiness and sadness.

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A dimension hard to put down in words, something that you can only understand if you have lived trough it, but nevertheless critical for the future of mankind.

Freedom has a cost, a cost that no one can afford unless willing to trade its own life.

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A thin red line that define the substance of our hearts and make us understand that no country, flag, religion or affiliation can be stronger than love that unite us all since the day we are born.

That is the new world we need to rediscover and explore.

Eternal peace to all heroes that bravely crossed that thin red line and enlarge the boundaries of the true love nation.

Thank you!

Searching for Sugar Man

Time to stop, time to think, to be grateful and bountiful.

It´s been a while since my last post, in between, few continents, exciting projects, new acquaintances, and plenty of thoughts not always easy to translate into words.

I guess life is (really) what happens while you´re busy making other plans.

Without much of a warning 2013 slipped between my fingers and a new year suddenly is around the corner.

The celebration of the spirit of love, brotherhood and compassion is the perfect time to bring the all family together, not only the ones that make it to our house but also the ones that live inside our hearts.

The essential of Christmas is more than a celebration, is the challenge to become Christmas everyday and re-tribute to the ones around us the same love we seek for our life’s. (thank you Richard Warrell for pointing that out).

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A new year will always be an opportunity for a fresh start, for a clean slate, a “tabula rasa” of good in our lives, it is a great opportunity to see things with a different perspective, dont hesitate to use it.

 

I guess my New Year reflection started earlier in November while in South Africa.

In Johannesburg I was deeply touched by the presence of “The Mandela Spirit” in everyday reality of such a bright nation.

While there I had the opportunity to learn a little more about the sacrifices that so many people went trough during so many years to bring a new hope and a more equal society into light.

 

Despite the human imperfections of human work, South Africa stays in my heart as an example of our capacity to achieve a higher purpose when the sum of all parts is greater than the whole.

Specially striking was the fact that few days later I learn while back in London about the departure of Madiba. Among so many powerful words he left, one that resonates stronger inside of me.

 

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I guess there is no better way to encapsulate the coming days when across the world many people think about what needs to change in the coming year.

In this last week of the year, looking at the empty vineyards from my office window in Portugal, a powerful thought crosses my mind. The unstoppable value of life

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In the coming months the silent landscape in front of my eyes will turn into a vibrant field with different colors, new forms of life and the hope for a great harvest. Despite all the challenges ahead even the powerful “general winter” cannot beat reality. Spring will come.

But when we talk about human actions, we know that certain achievements cannot be measured in a time scale because they last beyond time, beyond the action itself.

Let me share with you a precious gem (thank you Nick Ahnen).

If you have the time in the coming days, try to watch the documentary  – Searching for Sugar Man – an inspiration, a blessing that helps you believe that everything you do, everything, has an impact in other peoples life…even if it is across the ocean and takes you 30 years to notice.

I guess thats why I still dream of one day becoming a full time teacher.

 

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Before the year draws to an end I want to wish you all a good closing and a peaceful landing in 2014.

A year full of happiness, health and plenty of opportunities to have a positive impact in other peoples life.

A special thought to my family, friends and students out in the cold squares of Ukraine. Be strong and keep building your future everyday, life is unstoppable, spring will come!

João

 

 

 

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Time for a Feedback Check Up ?

Nothing makes me more anxious than lack of feedback.

When I played Sports, the absence of comments or remarks from my coach carried always a bad feeling, it made me think that I was doing something wrong, or worst, that in his mind I was not counting anymore for team.

The opposite was also true, I knew when I was told about my individual and team performance what needed to be improved or celebrated. The consistency of this exercise helped me and the team to improve game after game.

We understood the power of feedback.

Winning started inside ourselves and slowly spread to one another around the team until reaching a tipping point where we felt truly unbeatable even when we end up loosing the game (we lost plenty of them).

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The same situation I recall with my parents, friends, school or even girlfriend, when people take the time to give you feedback and do it in a open and honest way, I always knew what needed to change, improve or keep on doing.

Once you receive feedback is up to you to take action or not, and then face the consequences and rip the benefits.

The problem, I may say, happens when feedback is not given, not properly understood or ignored.

When feedback is absent it becomes the source of all doubts.

When feedback comes too late, it becomes the medicine of a patient already dead.

When feedback is not structured it will not build the necessary trust.

When feedback is not consequent it will not lead to your highest potential.

But, if feedback is clear, on time, structured and followed by actions it becomes the strongest agent of change, innovation, productivity and effectiveness in your professional and personal life.

In the end of the day, it helps each person finding is own path of happiness. But you have to look for it.

Top of my mind, I can think of few things I regret in life because either I did not ask for feedback, it was not given to me in a proper time or I did not deliver it to others in a structured way.

Feedback can be powerfully devastating. Look at what planet earth is telling us recently in Philippines. Maybe the pacific is too far away and abstract compared to your life and the place you live, but if you understand what happen in Tacloban, there is a message waiting for a clear answer.

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Feedback abscence or feedback presence is everywhere.

I have been recently involved in a set of projects that focus on restructuring teams and organizations and let me tell you, I have seen this “movie” before many times.

The lack of structured feedback and structured follow up is ruining to many good projects, companies and careers.

It is time to stop that!

Feedback is like a currency, the more you have it the richer you become, if no one is giving you what you need, you have to go out and get it by all means.

Learn how to demand feedback! Keep it and work out clear solutions and actions for change.

When things  go well, in business or personal life, you dont really have a clue about what are you exactly doing right, because life goes on.

When difficulties arise, either financial, physical, relational or just lack of satisfaction about the way things are going around you, it might be a good time to make a feedback check up.

When was the last time you heard (or ask) about what people working above and bellow you think of you? Are there parameters related with you performance that you should be aware?

When was the last time you ask feedback to your kids, wife, brother, sister, parents or friends? Can you become better? Do you want to become better?

If you answered yes, continue reading, if you answered no, you should stop here.

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How to you perform a feedback check up?

a) List key areas of your life (personal or Professional) you want to learn more, skills that are crucial to perform your role, personality characteristics that you known for a long time to be hard to stand for the ones around you, etc.

Examples: do you deliver what you promise to do? Are you a team player? Do people know they can count on you? How is the quality of your work? Do you deliver?

b) Listen to what others have to say in silence, dont interrupt. Listen really. If difficult count until 1000, but keep listening.

c) Write down clearly what they said and keep your notes. Agree on the date for next feedback session and put in the calendar.

d) Based on what you heard, define a clear road map to change/measure the key aspects that need improvement, do it for yourself and when possible together with the person that gave you feedback.

e) revise your own progress regularly (not longer than a month distance)

f) Enjoy the process of progressing and keep a journal.

g) show up in the agreed date for a new feedback session, bring your previous notes and go back to point a)

g) repeat until you are 100 years old, you should be able to see a great deal of improvement by that time.

Maybe in a future post we should talk about how to give feedback.

I will tell you a secret. The best way to start something , is to start now!

Have a Great week.

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What to do when you block?

Over the past two weeks submersed in work and more work I end up blocking, to the point that I was not even sure when I would be able to write another post on this blog, true story.

Usually when I block it is not something related with a specific moment, it is not fast, is a process that never happens overnight.

Being somehow an organized person, I tend to know what I have to do and when I have to do it, I believe I once shared about my 30m and 45m working sessions as a tool to improve my creative diversity output.

I know my blockages, they have a pattern.

Every time I feel that I am falling behind on good ideas or my work output in the end of the day does not satisfy me I usually tend to “punish” myself with more work and more deadlines the next day.

The extra pressure is good because it keeps me on my toes, when the mind is hitting a “wall” I tend not to turn my back on it and continue to “drill” my way trough. Many times that’s my best secret to defeat procrastination and usually, after a while life goes on.

The issue becomes a problem when after few consecutives days the wall does not come down and the will to proceed becomes lower and lower, It seems that every reason is a good reason not to finish what I have to.

And that’s when I Know, I am blocked.

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When becomes official I notice that I hate everything I write, I cannot finish a decent strategy, papers start flowing directly to the trash bin and I even start to delay to reply e-mails, which for me is an act against my religion :)

Days pass by and I start feeling that my head is about to break trough the roof, nothing, literally, nothing seems to be able to help me, until the moment I realize it and accept that I am blocked.

I feel defeated and I stop pushing, that’s it.

When I am blocked I usually call a day off and this is the way it goes.

I go for breakfast with a friend, usually I pick someone that will tell me exactly what he thinks about my mental blockages, after a couple of hours, you understand that being challenged is the best way to start the day, it makes you more humble and ready to see things beyond your perspective, choose wisely.

Next, I visit another friend, this time, someone I haven’t seen for a long time, catching up makes you disconnect from what is dragging you down and puts you in the perfect position to travel back and forth trough the years of friendship, when phones are out and you start showing to each other pictures of the kids you understand that after all you are not alone in this world.

Next stop, lunch with my brother and sister, rolling straight down to memory lane, nothing can stop you from enjoying every single moment. I notice that my body starts reacting differently, I can think again!

Suddenly in the afternoon, the first couple of new and fresh ideas start flowing again, some people call it mojo and prefer to think of it as reconnecting with your soul.

Next stop, offer yourself a one hour massage, with your brain totally off, every single brick starts falling into place, just like playing Tetris, you start passing level after level and going for a new high score.

Once the body is reconnected with your mind, it is time to have fun.

Pick up your kids from school as soon as you can and rush them to the candy store to choose a bag of gummy bears, you get to have one as well.

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On the way home, roll down the windows and put the music as loud as you can, singing with the rest of the gang at full power, after all it is Friday and Friday I’m  in love.

First thing I got home, went up to the office and wrote down during a couple of hours all the solutions for my blockages, that’s it, I can see things clear and next week challenges are just around the corner with a handful of great solutions at hand.

Time to celebrate the unblocking, open a bottle of wine and lets drink to life.

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To wrap up the evening, a great bath and get your wife and kids out for Pizza, after all no one wants to cook tonight.

With everybody in bed, take the hand of your wife, the person that supported you throughout a very hard week and say thank you, without her I wouldn’t  be writing this.

If you do happen to block next week, use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, write down what helps you move forward, what works better with you and I can assure you one thing.

Next time it will be easier.

Make me a favor and have a great week!

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Do you want to bet with me?

My return to the white city was filled up with good energy, plenty of optimism and great moments for which brave entrepreneurs are directly responsible for.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure to be invited by Antonio Lucena de Faria to be one of the mentors at Energia de Portugal one of a kind event that during six months involved hundreds of people across the country.

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The final selection brought together fifty teams to learn, test ideas and prove why we should give them our money.

This type of events are critical to grab the attention of large masses of people with different impact waves in society, hats off to the team that for the second year puts such a show on the road.

Last week, the 15 finalists, did their investors pitch in order to grab the money left on the table, in this case 90.000 Euros to be distributed among the best five teams.

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The winner, a truly inspiring idea, proved once again that we can challenge our world every day, and in this particular case, many times per day. Take a look at www.betapp.co and start challenging your friends or your boss to see how long it will take until your next salary raise or until you get fired. Make your bets.

I was very fortunate to have the chance to share my experience and advices with a very talented team, their name – outworks, their objective – to solve the lack of productivity inside corporations. The solution – smart outsourcing. Check them out at  www.outworks.eu and who knows, you might be ordering some work from them soon.

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Few days later another great entrepreneurial project based in Lisbon – Startup Lisboa – presented its demo day, a pleasant evening, 14 business ideas, 400 entrepreneurs and investors, proving why more than 5 million Euros have been invested already there.

Our host, Joao Vasconcelos, guided the event in such a way that remind me of any other similar event, from Y combinator to Techstarts, I am very happy to see that Lisboa is again on the map, and looking at the number of foreigners that choose to develop their business ideas here, for all the good reasons.

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Later in that day, during dinner,  while discussing the next steps with my partner João Alvim about a new company we will be launching in the last quarter of the year, I understood better few things and this is what can I see from here.

It seems that techniques and skills to create new business, shifting from a inspirational Eureka moment to a scientific process, are becoming more widespread and available in a matter of days or hours to the whole world.

It is also clear specially when looking at different investors presentations in different countries, there is consistency in the air, there are patterns to follow if you are looking to increase the odds of success.

The way to present an idea, the rhythm, the speaker skills, the data you want to show and the one you cannot show, the words and punchy taglines, all of this is visible in every single presentation.

Just try to beat this guy in less than 2 minutes

The knowledge that once was a competitive advantage is becoming either a lifestyle or a commodity, nothing good or bad with that, but a question still strikes me every time I hear a new idea.

What truly makes me excited about a product or service, why do I want to buy something, access more information or become willing to invest?

I know we don’t usually ask this to ourselves, but give it a try.

Next time you hear about a new business idea, ask yourself, despite you are a potential customer or not, what makes you excited about it?

The better we become at understanding the problems and needs of everyday people and companies, even when they are not aware of it, the higher the chances to develop solutions to fit that gap.

That’s what makes me excited. And you know what?

It does not really matter if it is technology based, hand crafted, high end or low cost, as far as your product or service bridges that gap, that’s it.

Time to start testing and see how good and how fast you can be.

Do you want to bet?

I bet that at least 50 people will log into www.betapp.co following this link. I will ask my friend Miguel Mira da Silva to be my referee (by the way, he was the mentor of the group in Energia de Portugal)

Back home for the week and looking into the fields, I can already smell the new cycle of nature in the horizon, and that also makes me excited.

If we manage to work well during the coming months, spring will show us great results, just like my neighbours do with their grapes, vegetables and fruits.

Make me a favour, have a great week!

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What can I see from here ?

I guess it took me six months and 23 posts to understand why I needed to start writing a blog.  Not bad! I can take much longer to recognise less important things in life.

Literally “forced” by my wife, I initiate earlier this year the regular sharing of events, business thoughts, favorite places and the different people I am fortunate to meet along the road.

My biggest concern when I started was the fact, that I could not identify my value proposition (clearly), What I was writing and to whom? So I decided to do, what I usually do in business and share in my classes – test it!

I guess my last trip was the turning point I was looking for. The moment you turn your hypotheses into facts usually coincide with the moment you know that you can proceed, just like in business.

Maybe because I am missing home so much or just because time insistently continues to move forward I am afraid I did not noticed that the week passed above my head.

Thursday night before leaving to Kiev, I went down from my room to the first floor at the UCU Collegium in Lviv, there is a tiny beautiful chapel usually empty late at night, one of my best hidden secrets which for the last year have seen me as a regular visitor.

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When you come from the light to the dark, your eyes get lost for a while, and it takes few minutes to get used to the different shadows, forms and notion of space in general.

While sited on a corner, leaning my back against the wall, I felt so relaxed, comfortable and at ease with my soul and my body, that almost automatically I start revising the week and the days ahead, it is easy when you let the “true light” enter your life.

My third week of September started with a new master students group of Innovations and Entrepreneurship at LvBS, an exciting handful of bright and courageous young man and women, their passion and enthusiasm for learning made me miss them even before leaving.

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Looking at the way they were throwing paper airplanes into the air I could see they were close to their element, I was very proud to see that.

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I can see that every new generation coming up, despite some challenging habits, is focused in being happy, which brings me so much hope for this world. Lets see how happy they will be with the amount of work I am going to give them between now and next spring (sorry…could not resist to laugh out loud after writing this last sentence).

Wednesday and Thursday I went to another planet, literally another planet. My mission was to provoke and energize some top professionals at Softserve, an IT lighthouse in Ukraine, in order to ignite the rethinking of what and how they are doing things today.

I had a blast with this group, especially when I observe the way they were working in groups or individually, damn smart people which happen to be engineers but that easily could have been anything else they wanted.

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At Softserve I tasted the incredible power of emergent economies in the knowledge sector, when I think about their new business ideas, only one thing crosses my mind – watch out world!

Their reactions on the carrousel scene from mad men, made me confirm the theory that there is a man or women behind every engineer :)

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Some very good things are cooking there, I just hope they manage to dare taking their potential to the next level.

A critic or a compliment (you choose)  I had the chance to share with a very brave entrepreneur I meet for dinner, Taras Vervega, who happens to be one of the very first visionaries to help bring Softserve to the world. The stories he told about the early years of the company are worth a movie with a million pictures.

I still had a great challenge waiting for me in at the end of one of the working days, a session with faculty and staff from Lvbs. Teach teachers how to teach? No, the approach was actually very different, using the words of Yarka Boychuk, was more of a tour behind the curtain. This are those moments you have to walk on wire, risky indeed…but I am sure some of them will keep their paper airplanes in a special place.

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Business meetings all done, classes and trainings done, I even got the chance to be student for a couple of hours with inspiring Andrian Slywotzky at Lvbs, thank you Sophia Optaska for inviting me.

Friday I was already back in Kiev to give my first working sessions at Kiev school of economics (KSE), their new location and the help of all staff made my weekend very easy and pleasant.

It is always good to see a room full with people that are not there by chance or by mistake. The high level of students from MA in Business and financial economics and economic analysis impressed me very much…a tough audience thou, it took me more than 45 minutes to get them to smile. But I am almost sure that some of the things we talked will remain for a long time in their heads and hearts.

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Hearing their ideas was the best way to close my teaching, thank you all for giving me so much. Thank you Pavlo Sheremeta for inviting me.

Before departing, still time to have same great cheese and wine with my friend Andriy Fedoriv, which continually “conspires” in favor of our world with is unique way of developing business, just take a look at Slam Stop.

I respect him very much for putting is name at the door of his company (fedoriv.com), just like Leo Burnett did 78 years ago, there is no higher stake for an entrepreneur, and only the ones that dare to do it, know that.

Returning back home, first to Madrid and after to Lisboa, I was still not aware that two big surprises were about to happen.

Looking from the window of my 17f seat I saw for the very first time in my life a group of whales swimming while we were descending to land, could not take a picture with my camera by I can assure all of you, that it will remain one of the highlights of my life, and I guess I was able to see them, because I took another perspective to see things.

Entering home I had the cherry on top of the cake, my youngest son Misha, prepared a little art gallery with all his school works at kindergarden, and suddenly, magic!

All pain and tiredness of the trip disappear, everything makes sense. My life makes sense because I know that my presence in other peoples life make them feel better. Starting from home…

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I guess I understood that my “small nothings”, my achievements and failures, dreams (and sometimes nightmares) that come true, and my genuine attempts to be better every day can help others and can help me, that’s why I write my blog.

Usually done at 37 thousand ft when phones and e-mails cannot reach me, this is what I can see from up here!

Have a great week.

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To be boring or not to be boring ?

Sunday morning walking down in Lviv beautiful city center, I enter in one of my favourite local places, a Cafe named Veronika which is filled with Austrian influences.

There, I sit eating one of the best French croissants ever while Brazilian music playing made me feel proud of my Portuguese language , when I sip on my italian cappuccino I was sure that this was the best I could  get out of globalisation in that moment.

It was an inspiring beginning for today’s journey. A special day because the city was celebrating the reconstruction of one of its oldest church’s, a place connecting 650 years in time making all our daily challenges look much smaller,  by the way an Armenian Church which is the world’s oldest national church.

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Despite all the current challenges, crisis, human stupidity taken to extremes and all sorts of medieval fanatism still visible, it is impossible for me not to fall in love over and over with this beautiful blue planet, everywhere I look, for each bad thing identified I find at least two or three good ones.

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I Left Portugal with 30+ degrees Celsius to find out that summer already left Kiev, with a heavy packed agenda for the following two weeks I was “sentenced” to spend the weekend in between away from my family, which fortunately is something more and more rare to happen, thanks to modern aviation.

The first week, was dedicated to Lviv in western Ukraine, a city I discovered later in life, but that I could easily have adopted as my hometown, not for a minute I felt a stranger here but instead a friend that returns after being absent. I am sure all people at Lvbs and my Lviv friends help me to feel this way, thank you!

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Among the reasons to return, I was able to meet my students from the Masters in Entrepreneurship at Lvbs , class from September 2012.  My task was to given them feedback on their final projects. Those were a special group of people for whom I have much appreciation, but as you know, even roses have thorns.

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Before starting our working session, I ask them which way they wanted me to go, If they would prefer me to give them a “political correct” feedback, strictly focused on what I could see from their presentations, where all of us would leave the room smiling and felling good or if instead they would like to take the road less traveled. Tell us the truth, they asked me.

The price of the truth, probably cost me the “image” of nice teacher (which I would have loved to keep), but honestly, I did the best for them.

Every time we are not afraid of risking based on our beliefs, we increase exponentially our chances to succeed, I guess that’s what I love most in entrepreneurship.

People with ideas, and with good ideas are abundant in our world, but people willing to do the “boring stuff”, meaning; measure progress, set up milestones and know how to prioritise the work, these are rare. And ideas that are not followed by “boring stuff” can become orphans very fast.

From conception to the first breath of your business idea it is not possible to delegate the learning process, you have to do it yourself because success as very little to do with luck but instead with your capacity of following and executing well a scientific process, and here you can follow the one thats suits you better; Business model generation, Customer development or the Lean startup. Myself, I take the best out of all the three.

In a nutshell, you have to transform your key business hypothesis into facts, data, evidence, numbers and figures before launching your company, and you should do that, fast.

All of these learnings will become the confidence that will turn your ideas into a real (and hopefully profitable) business or instead the living prove that will save you from spending millions in time and money.

I am pretty sure I will cross my way again with some of my former students and hopefully for some of them, my hard words will become their most valuable advice, it might take some time to digest the critics pointed at their “allergy” to do the “boring stuff” but I also hope that this will make them extraordinary entrepreneurs and business professionals.

The week went on, welcoming a new executive MBA group mixed with Alumni participants, and let me tell you, they offer me two wonderful days where paper airplane construction and thumb wrestling has never been so much fun, I am looking forward already to see them next spring and how their ideas will become their next businesses.

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On the business side, Thursday I had a very inspiring dinner with a true serial entrepreneur Andrew Pavliv, which by the way ask me to help him find a bright and beautiful female sommelier to head a great innovative wine project, anyone interested? let me know.

Saturday night I still had time to join again one of the brightest Ukrainian entrepreneurs I ever meet; Andriy Khudo, which invite me to watch a remarkable Armenian jazz band at the coffee manufacture, maybe because It was weekend and I miss my family, it somehow remind me deeply of Portuguese Fado, I guess I was hit so hard by Saudade that I am not sure if a tear or two drop down on my face.

And guess who showed up for dinner, one of the projects I am most proud of being part, the wine Bastardo!

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Wish you a great week ahead…and don’t forget, it is the boring stuff that will help you to turn your hypothesis into facts, and potentially your idea into a (good) business.

Usually written at 37 thousand ft when phones and e-mails cannot reach me, this is what I can see from up here!

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