Hi! I am Pawel Kaczynski. I currently work on price comparison engine Black Monkey Deals which shows particular products at the lowest price across different BJJ, MMA and Muay-Thai shops. I moved to capital city in 2006 to pursue my biggest dream at the time – study social psychology at University of Social Sciences and Humanities, which was seen as the best in Europe regarding my fields of studies. My choice was made 5 years before. Lies, manipulation and mind-reading, doesn’t it sound appealing? Yeah, unfortunately they didn’t teach me any of these – so disappointing. I must place a complaint. They should give me my money back.
My career started as a financial consultant. Those were rough times. My salary was 100% commission based. I often finished work at 11:00 p.m. and later. However, it didn’t go for nothing. It really taught me what ‚there is still something you can do’ means.
It helped me to get my next job at top-tier advertising agency Ogilvy. To be honest, Ogilvy didn’t give me much knowledge. I understood that ‚Big Brand’ is often empty word. Expertise of people I was working with was as poor as salary company was paying. The same year I tried to get to Procter & Gamble. I passed the competence test, but failed after first of two interviews.
I also happened to work in real estates consulting company. They offered a service of outsourcing complete real estate development process. It included sales and marketing of properties where I fitted in. Promotion and sell process of high value product is whole different story then of regular consumer goods that is mostly debated in industry media.
In 2011 I applied to P&G again. This time I prepared like my life was depending on it. I foresaw 90% of managers questions and rocked the interview. There were 2800 candidates to P&G that year and I was one of 4 who made it to marketing department. I was so proud of myself. Despite difficulties I finally achieved my goal. ‚Hard to get tastes better’ – as lonely virgins used to say.
Previously the same year something else happened that had huge impact on life, universe and everything – I saw a Facebook post. Sounds pretty stupid, huh? Friends of mine who owns advertising agency and won Silver Lion in 2010 posted her picture from Cannes with plush lion souvenir with comment like: ‚everyone from the industry should go to Cannes Lions at least once to feel the energy here… and get such lion :-)’. I like to see myself as funny guy, so I commented: ‚OK, I will go to buy that lion’. After few seconds I was struck with a thought: ‚This will cost you only about 2000€, your half-year salary and you will end up broke and maybe even in some debts with my family – why not?!’. The very next day I had my ticket bought.
Cannes Lions was the best trip of my life. Last night at 2 a.m. I made an interview with Michael Kadin creator of Darth Vader Volkswagen ad. I met Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook; made interview with current Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Mayman and was offered a job from Mark Holden, Worldwide Strategy and Planning Director at PHD Media. My true aim for Cannes Lions was to approach Will.I.Am and make interview. First part went quite ok, second not exactly as I planned. I went on stage after his speech and I told him I am blogger from Poland, would he give me an interview. He was quite surprised, as his bodyguards, so once spoke, he just replied: ‚plane is waiting for me right now. I think I will be next year in Poland for concert’. So obviously I asked him for his phone number so we could hook up and make this interview, but he said nothing and walked away. At least I can’t blame myself for not trying.
After I finished working at P&G I was deliberating my next moves. I was hesitating between taking the job at PHD in London I was offered, getting into Boston Consulting Group and working for some international company in Australia, renting a house on the beach and going for a swim everyday before work. So I chose ungrateful fate of entrepreneur. With no money left (all of them were in Cannes) I started brazilian jiu-jitsu gym, sport I have been doing since dark cold winter of 2001. I named club Chaos Gold Team – neat, isn’t it? It was opened in 14 February 2012, Valentines Day. Bloody Valentines. Coincidence? Don’t think so! Let’s be honest, it wasn’t planned as a fancy gym for lazy bastards. It was blood, sweat and tears all through. Something like fight club with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. I achieved profitability after month. There is nothing more motivating than perspective of going bankrupt.
My second business emerged from depths of mind in December, 2012. Black Monkey at first meant to be clothing apparel for fighters, but I soon dropped this idea and pushed positioning toward dynamic sports in general. Base jumping, surfing, waterskiing, downhill, mixed-martial arts – this sort of stuff.
Now since I’ve got my Black Belt, Master’s degree and two companies my journey is about to begin. I honestly can’t stand those guys who write some stupid shit about how marketing should look like while they have never conducted any campaign themselves. Everything I write on this blog is 100% field tested. I believe it might be beneficial for both of us: you will avoid my mistakes, I will have a chance to rethink and maybe gain some insight or valuable from you.