My 4-step plan

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Image by Gerd Altmann for Pixabay

January of 2016. Despite successive promotions, I decided to finish my airline career and start my own business in a very different segment. My plan was to open a backpacker hostel in Europe despite knowing that fierce competition was ahead . In just my own city, there were over 80 direct competitors and the failure rate was abysmal.

Only with a deep understanding of who was on the other side of the ring, I could win that fight, and my company could survive.

Fast-forward to 2020 and my business is not only still alive but two times larger. We survived…


And how to delegate better, faster, and with fewer mistakes.

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Photo by Arron Choi on Unsplash

Most of my professional life I spent as an employee in multinational headquarters. Companies where you do not have much skin in the game, as Nassim Taleb explains.

All this changed in 2017 when I started my first business, in the tourism sector. Like any other first-time founder, there were difficulties with funding, planning targets, and establishing challenging-but-realistic goals. Problems that are already discussed in multiple places.

But once your business is up and running, there is a ghost that haunts entrepreneurs. …


With the added benefits of being more eco-friendly and comfy than cramped airplanes or buses.

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Photo by zuhrul Islam on Unsplash

A friend asked me an odd question:

How could you write three books and read more than forty in a single year?

He asked me that in a Whatsapp chat, so I had time enough to think about the answer. Maybe changing the settings of my kindle helped me to read faster and with better comprehension. Maybe by avoiding the addiction engine of social media I had more time to write.

But all these solutions helped me only to gain marginal productivity, resulting in doing more in less time. …


The simple Polish idea that we should copy

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Photo from the author.

The last time I went to the supermarket here in Warsaw, I realized something unusual in my shopping receipt, which you can see in the preceding picture. It has a number (27.63) corresponding to near 50% of the total value spent in Polish zlotys. Above it, there is a phrase meaning Buy something polish. Below the number, there is another message, which translates to We thank your support for the Polish economy.

I was curious about how this started. My first guess was that it was some new law, either from the local or national government, but I was wrong…


After adopting these settings, I read almost 50 books per year, with full comprehension.

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Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Unsplash

To read faster is useless if it damages your comprehension.

So this article is not about skimming pages or cheap gimmicks like reading only the first and the last words of a phrase. These tricks degrade content absorption. This is an article about making reading ebooks more comfortable, reducing the mental and physical efforts, so you can learn more without getting tired.

The recommended settings you will see in the next paragraphs helped me to jump from 22 to 45 pages per hour of reading. …


Why Lebanese expatriate communities outperform the rest everywhere they go.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb — Flickr

During a flight to South Africa, the author of Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner, met Nassim Nicholas Taleb. During their chat, Taleb said:

If you look at ten or twenty or thirty of the richest countries around the world, among the richest people in those countries is someone from Lebanon.

One could argue that this is also valid for other groups, like Germans, Indians, Chinese, or Brits, and this is true. However, the comparison falls short when we consider that all these countries have huge economies or enormous populations. …


Solutions to soar productivity and improve visibility without spending a cent

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Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

It’s not easy to start and manage a business. Sailing the sea of bureaucracy, handling recruitment and training, calls with accounting and suppliers, and all the other necessary tasks are quite time-consuming.

While most entrepreneurs spend enough time to secure funding for their enterprises, they often neglect that money isn’t the only essential resource needed. In fact, in an era where crowdfunding and seed capital are increasingly accessible, the scarcest resource may not even be money, but time.

Some founders think spending more money will save time. This is often a mistake that results in losing both time and money…


And how to use the Impact vs Likehood matrix.

Impact vs Likehood matrix
Impact vs Likehood matrix
Diagram made by the author

A simple but efficient way to assess the risk is the Impact vs Likehood matrix. Often we learn it at business school, but later in our careers and projects, we forget it. Big mistake! This is an exceptional tool for entrepreneurs and managers when assessing uncontrollable risks, so while you cannot suppress a crisis, you can prepare your business to survive (and thrive) on it.

I used it for my business, and it helped us to survive a troublesome year like 2020.

You cannot predict the next crisis, but you can rehearse for it.

Risk analysis is an essential part of an impressive business plan. The first step to use this matrix…


From immigrant influences to regional differences, stadiums describe the entire country.

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Photo by Augusto Oazi on Unsplash

This month, football teams like FC Bayern Munich and Tigres will take part in the FIFA World Club Championship. The event takes place in Doha, Qatar. Representing South America is Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras. Or, as most Brazilians know it, Palmeiras.

Palmeiras is not an strange institution at football. Stage figures like Ademir da Guia in the 70s, the striker Edmundo in the 90s, the goalkeeper and World Cup champion Marcos and most recently the Manchester City versatile forward Gabriel Jesus played there.

I am not a supporter of Palmeiras, but from another Brazilian football club called Santos -sadly defeated by…


A tale around the myth of sunk costs.

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Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

In 2009, Nokia was the 5th most valuable brand in the world. Their elegantly designed phones were an object of excitement everywhere. Around this time I bought a used N80, and even with a few scratches, it looked so much better than the competing brands.

Fast-forward to 2014, and Nokia dropped to 98th place in the ranking. Two other phone makers dominated the market: Apple and Samsung, the first and seventh-most valuable brands of the planet, respectively.

More than half of all profits from the mobile-phone industry went to Nokia in 2007. …

Levi Borba

Former 5-star Airline specialist, Founder of expatriateconsultancy.com, Writer. https://www.amazon.com/Levi-Borba/e/B082X6GSZF

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