How do we grow?” became my signature when joining new teams.

Decision-makers must have a common language to explain growth — otherwise, the lack of alignment will slow down operations.

If that question is key to better business, is it key to a better life?


How does our product grow?

Grow your career like you grow a product

We work tirelessly on growth models for our companies, focusing on creating sustainable, predictable, and defensible tactics to ensure lasting success.

Yet when it comes to our own careers, we let luck and intuition guide our decision-making process.

If we are evaluating ourselves as a product or business, we are either terrible, or absent, CEOs who hold our own career decision-making process to a lower standard.

Elena Verna, Reforge

I see new year resolution as product yearly planning. Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) as Think Weeks and story points as hour budgets.

The tools and rituals we use for product management can be adapted to manage life as a product.

Life Flywheel

The game I’m playing:

  1. I’m going to do the best that I can
  2. To acquire the resources that I’m good at acquiring
  3. To direct them in the investments that I have access”
Mo Gawdat

Listen on Spotify

Every product can be mapped as a series of growth loops.

On my first Think Week, in 2020, I challenged myself to map my own flywheel, visualize the steps, understand how my actions compound, and prioritize the long-term.

I review and refine this every quarter.

Latest version of my flywheel from Q42022 ft. Alicante

Latest version of my flywheel from Q42022 ft. Alicante

Lead activities

These are the most important activities to nail.

  1. Intentional networking, meeting in person, capturing memories, and generating opportunities.
  2. Pay myself first means managing income as an investor.
  3. Use freedom to plan ahead, get adventures, pursue flow.
  4. Share and give back through a Product Ecosystem.
  5. Grow stronger, and smarter. 1% better every day.

Flywheel tailwinds

There are systems and activities that make the flywheel go faster. I invest in personal branding and feedback loops.

KPI system for personal branding

Any brand needs a mission, a logo, and a plan.
If you don’t define your brand, people will do it for you

Bhavik Patel talks on branding @ Experimentation Elite

I use Daniel Priestley’s Key Person of Influence framework for a long-term vision.

It’s on my Getting Things Done (GTD) to publish a book summary of the actions I took.

The five steps below contribute to every step of my growth flywheel in some way.


Key Person of Influence framework

Feedback loop

Imagine a world where you have four friends grinding in something similar.

Friend number one makes a mistake on Friday and teaches everyone. Friend number two makes a mistake on Saturday and teaches everyone.

You move faster from constantly learning and avoiding others’ mistakes.

Watch this.


The right way to visualize the unfair advantage of growing 1% better every day

Learning curves

You can learn the ins and outs of video editing quite fast. I bet you can master GPT3 and DALL·E commands in a week.

What do they have in common? A fast feedback loop.

It takes a few minutes to know if you got it right or wrong. You adjust fast and get more reps.

Optimize to work with initiatives and environments where you get this type of fast response to your actions.

If you can’t, try working with coaches and creating your mastermind groups.

Work with coaches

I think one of the problems we have today is we don’t have heroes, we don’t have role models and heroes.

Because so many people are interested in tearing down people.

Ray Dalio, interview with Charlie Rose

If Serena Williams and LeBron James have coaches for correction, why don’t we?

Learning and copying from the wise, people who have been there and done that, feel like a hack.

You want feedback from coaches and it must be more reliable and correct than what you’d get elsewhere in the same amount of time.

Standing on the shoulders of giants


Ray Dalio’s Flywheel from Principles


Pockets of three to five friends with common inspirations and priorities.

Lorenzo, Andrea, and David are all about experimentation. Nils, Morgan, PKMs and GTDs. Piotr, Vasco, Renato, growth marketing hustle in Poland.

What is making us smile in the past two weeks? What have we failed and learned that we can share so others move faster?

Those are the right questions.

Reminds me of…Justin Welsh, how to build a great career

How to build a career in 7 steps:

  1. Do great work.
  2. Share it publicly.
  3. Cold email people 2 steps ahead of you.
  4. Talk about your work and trade ideas.
  5. Host events and meet in person.
  6. Become friends.
  7. Rise together.

These steps seem all connected to how I see the flywheel flying.

How do I manage risk?

The ultimate form of preparation is not planning for a specific scenario but a mindset that can handle uncertainty.

It is estimated that the average person makes around 35,000 conscious decisions in a day.

What am I going to wear? What is for breakfast? What time to go to exercise? Watch another episode? What time to go to sleep?

Each tiny decision depletes our willpower budget.

We must save energy for mission-critical decisions, so we rely on mental models.

If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.

James Clear

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John Ostrowski