Mike’s story

Updated at: 28 November 2019

I was born in a small village in the midst of Poland. The whole Kuczek’s family was working in the public field to promote healthy living. My dad was running a printing shop (mainly printing health books and cookbooks) and my mom (a medical doctor) was teaching about health and chronic diseases prevention. Amid all that was I, an evidence for how a child can not only survive but thrive on a vegan diet. That’s true, to this day I haven’t eaten any meat in my life.

Left school, yet finished school

My mom was an advocate of public school system, she has gone through it successfully, whereas my father was rather skeptical of the validity of methods used to teach children, he suggested homeschooling. Eventually my mother pushed her way and I went to the first class of Elementary School. I have enjoyed the contact with other children at school, but my parents soon realized how much time is wasted at school and they took me into homeschooling.

Family friends argued that to be a very bad decision. How can a child get social other than by going to school? – they said. Time went by and people started to observe a strange thing, not only wasn’t I anisocial, actually I happened to be the one that always tried to be around other people. So I turned not only to be a proof for a vegan diet, but also for homeschooling.

Unfortunately my mom wasn’t so thrilled, I was a very tough student, it wasn’t easy to make me learn. After the sixth grade she gave up (and right so), she said that I am going to the public school. But this time my dad hold his stance hard and decided that he will be the director of our homeschool. I have to point your eyes to the word “director”, because that was exactly what he became. I had no teacher. All I learned was by studying on my own by reading and researching with the help of Google. Throughout all Middle School I did not have any tutor. It’s needed to add that I was spending around 3 hours daily learning school stuff, not 7 hours that are usual for regular school students.

After passing a state exam after Middle School with the rating that was better than 95% of all students in Poland that year, it was clear that the public schooling system is a fraud, robbing children from their so valuable time.

Soon afterwards it was time to decide whether I want to go to High School or not. I have decided that I will go, to have an experience of a regular student, so that I could see clearly what is better and why.

Getting to know Stephen Covey and other business leaders

Although you may have been thinking “What a child! – doing so well without school or even a tutor.” – I had my flaws. I didn’t do chores, I hated going anywhere with my parents, I had been spending some days playing online games and didn’t exercise enough.

When 13, my dad gave me a book called “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and it has turned my life around. When I got the book I didn’t want to read it, my dad tried to read it to me but I didn’t like that either. The book went on a shelf.

One year later when I was tidying my room and rearranging books on my self this one has opened, it opened in a particular location, where I’ve read “This book shouldn’t be read by parents”, as you can probably tell, that gripped me, and I read it to the end. I was enlightened. The book showed me how by taking responsibility on myself I can reshape the world around me. As every boy I also liked winning, that’s why I was playing computer games. But after reading that book my orientation shifted to the real world.

Soon afterwards my dad has made me an offer I couldn’t resist – that I could take over his blueberry plantation.

Learning business through blueberry farming

Blueberry farming is a rewarding job. People love eating blueberries. I haven’t met a single individual that wouldn’t like blueberries. In consequence people love you – ’cause you have the berries!

But as any kind of business farming has it’s own challenges. You have to find workers – especially during summer, you have to trim the plants, turn watering on and off, fertilize the soil and everything has to be done on a schedule. You also have to find customers to buy your fruits.

So I learned how to find people that would be good to work with, care for them, market the product of our work and give account to my father.

My giant no pesticide no herbicide blueberries

While I was learning about management, leadership and farming I also got interested in art, in the next part I go through my struggle for creativity.

Crave for art

It’s highly probable that if you are creative you can’t focus on anything else than creating. Creativity is a blessing but also a curse. Especially if you have other responsibilities.

I got interested in painting at the age of 15. I wanted to paint things like this:

Hot air balloon in front of a mountain
Hot air Balloon artwork

I earned some money and bought a Wacom tablet.

Why psychology?

What’s to come?

Autor: Michał KuczekMichał Kuczek

Founder of Biiird Studio, UX designer, business philosopher, psychologist, and conflict mediator.