How Growing Up in a Communist Country Made Me the Leader I Am
Formative years in 1970s Poland impacted every aspect of my life, and taught me lifelong lessons that continue to enrich and empower.
I was born in Poland in 1971. Shortly after World War II, the USSR forced communism upon the nation, and it was basically under Soviet control. Essentially, anything extra that Poland produced was sent to Soviet Russia to line the pockets of or otherwise empower the elites. Meanwhile, the common people often hovered on the edge of starvation. This existence marked the first ten years of my life, and being raised under communism is something I’ll never forget. In part, the experience drove me to become an entrepreneur and a leader.
Lessons I learned from those formative days:
When life gets hard, work harder
By the time I was 10, I’d witnessed five years of my parents struggling under that oppressive system. Times were always tense, and for many, quite unhappy. We worried about having enough to eat, and there were no gifts at birthdays or on Christmas. When I was about 7, I had to go to the store in the early morning to stand in line, and there were frequently adults fighting around me. At times, it was terrifying.
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