Life will change only when you start challenging yourself

Debesylian stories

How to become happy? Hmm... There are many recipes. (Maybe even too much.) I might share my method here. But I know you're not interested in another "take a look" wish.

Today's interviewee is a specialist in advertising and other creative activities Simon Urbonas - will tell you about his method.

In recent years, he has:

  • A few months lived without telephones, internet and computers, despite the fact that his work is mostly online...
  • Absolutely gave up alcohol despite the fact that even some ignorant friends had to be changed because of it...
  • For just a few euros toured Europe and, at the same time, did stunning promotion for your business in 100 days...
  • Took care of my 2 children during paternity leave...
  • Created by several TV shows, published Cutler's Card...

...And more, more, more. About all these challenges and how Simon managed it - in today's interview!

🤺 Hi Simon! Who are you?

Hello, my name is Simon Urbonas, although I am usually called Saim in close circles. Anyway, I would add work responsibilities, but I am currently in the middle of my challenge (paternity leave). As for challenges, I just like to challenge myself in different situations.

The first challenges: months without internet, without a computer and 45 days without a phone...

🤺 Pala... Why?

During the year 2015, I noticed that I am completely addicted to the phone, computer, internet...

From the operational point of view, in order not to fall out of the whole system, it is necessary to use technology, because every unanswered call, letter, missed event can turn into a lost customer and, most importantly, lost trust. It would be crazy to give up your phone these days, unless the time is right…

...So, I decided to take advantage of my paternity leave and during my family time, abandon technology.

In all these years, I lived without the Internet for a month, 1 a month without a computer and now 45 days without a phone are just ending.

🤺 And how do you feel after these challenges? What did you learn from them?

Although you feel a little old fashioned, you are finding joy in the simple things again. Although it is difficult to get used to it and for the first few days you feel like you are missing some part of your body, later on it becomes easier and easier.

Like it or not, I had to remember how important agreement and keeping one's word is. If you agreed to be in a certain place at a certain time, you will be there anyway and you will not take the person, no matter how much you don't want to or how lazy you are. And everything is simpler with the phone - it's very easy to lie by text, right? 🙂

Of course, if you and your challenges get in the way of other people's jobs, it becomes much harder for your colleagues, family, and partners than for yourself.

Second challenge: 3 years without alcohol...

🤺 And why this one?

My last name is Urbonas and it is like coding for the word "urban", so I classify myself as a person who loves urban culture very much. Nightlife was an integral part of my free time before starting a family. When it became a routine and a daily habit, the red sign came on for me with the inscription "something needs to change!".

It is clear that alcohol is inseparable from night fun. Well, everyone knows why and for whom 😉

So here I decided to try something different. I stopped using everything that has at least a few degrees, including kefir. 2 The duration of my entire ordeal is 3 years.

🤺 How did you do with this challenge?

You know what the first question is when you say you haven't had alcohol in three years? Well - "what's wrong with your health?". Or everyone decides that you were an alcoholic and it was bad for you.

It used to be insulting, but over time it became simply funny.

And everything started simply. I decided to cleanse my body and not drink alcohol in the winter. I thought - as long as it lasts, that's it, but I really won't taste anything for a couple of months!

After some time, the need passed, apparently, the body produced enough alcohol by itself... But I never gave up bars. Of course, I preferred new places that make delicious cocktails without alcohol, or I discovered new options in old "my" places.

The hardest part of this whole challenge was overcoming cultural habits. After all, in a bar, you trust the person who drinks with you more. After that, I stopped saying "no, I don't drink" and stuff like that, I just drank my non-alcoholic virgin cuba libres and no one asked any questions.

In those three years, I lost a few friends, even a few of my clients, just because I kicked the habit, but it has paid off SO much I can't even begin to describe it.

It changes your weekends, your entertainment, your friends and only later you realize that everything is only for the good. During this time I lost 17 kg of extra overweight, I think this is a perfect illustration of what we are doing with our body. 3

I wish to try, but it is better not to try alone. I think the project would have been shorter if my wife hadn't been on this path with me. Thank you, Eve! 😗

The third challenge: Expanding the business to a third of the world in 100 days...

🤺 Let me guess - this time you broke your old business habits?

All internal management was inseparable from work activities. I am a creative person, an advertiser, a person who likes to dream, generate ideas, and the most beloved thing at work is unconventional solutions in both creative and public relations.

So my "no alcohol" project just merged with the work project
"Conquer the world in 100 days."

I came to a small company that sold wood products. The team had already decided to abandon the Kaziuk fair and set an important goal (which is what forced me to come) - that the whole world would sell their products.

There was not much time, so a project and a new challenge were born in a few weeks.

Even though my wife was 4 months pregnant, but being extremely understanding, she let me go on the adventure of my life. Part of my decision may not have done any good, but…

🤺 Did it benefit?

Yes. My colleague and I, whom I had known for just two weeks, loaded a trunk full of wooden coasters and other products, and we just left. We gave ourselves exactly one hundred days to reach the goal.

In addition, we wanted to push ourselves out of the comfort zone, so we had 1 euro for each day and no bank cards. We filled a full tank of the car, which was enough to get to Warsaw, and we took with us the most important things - stubbornness and faith.

When we don't know where we will start and where we will sleep tomorrow, we are comforted by Napoleon's phrase: "first you have to enter the battle, and then you will see".

🤺 Wow! ...Oh, sorry, that's not a question. Please continue.

So in order to continue our journey, we had to sell our products. In each city, we looked for small shops that wanted to sell our wooden products, or we simply sold them on the street.

We received various reactions: faces of indifference and indignation, but we were mostly greeted with warmth and interest. 

Sleeping in parks, stations, closed reserves, in the car, under bridges or pitching a tent at a height of two kilometers, we successfully picked our way forward.

Thanks to our persistence, we went to the Erfinderhaus office, perhaps the largest design house manufacturer, where we not only received invaluable advice for the design solutions of our products, but thanks to them we shared the impressions, goals and optimism of our trip on a local German radio station!

Thus, selling on the streets, offering goods in various design shops and making acquaintances, we traveled to fifteen countries, overcame 9168 kilometers, we visited 192 interested stores.

At the time when we were running around Europe, our colleague was working on a computer and phone in Lithuania for the same purposes. Sent within a hundred days 3200 letters and did even 25627 calls.

In one hundred days, we exceeded not only our expectations, but also ourselves. We achieved amazing results.

We found as many as 113 potential customers in foreign countries, and when we returned, we felt sales growing. After fifty days, they increased even 300 percent, later even up to 800 percent. And now that small company has become a whole group of companies.

In short - we turned business into a game, and the game, in turn, a business. We have proven that everything can be achieved with backpacks on shoulders and a good attitude and great motivation! When you move forward, you are rapidly approaching your goal, and a successful business did not require a lot of money or other large investments.

Travel expenses per person amounted to 800 euros for 50 days. Apparently, I learned how to save once when I was creating my first TV show "Makaliaus Ketyvias" 🙂

And the fourth challenge: Paternity leave...

🤺 Didn't you run away?

I knew this project would have an end, and with an end always comes a new beginning and new challenges. So my last challenge, which I have been enjoying for two years now, is a vacation with my two children.

Of course, this is again a phenomenon that does not meet the standards of our society, because we are used to seeing mom making porridge, but I had to try it. And you know what? This is a must try for every dad.

It is a school of patience, understanding, peace and all kinds of qualities, which, unfortunately, you will not finish in any other way. You become much more caring and responsible. This is a simple example: everyone can somehow "soapy" the day at work, but with children you will never be able to do this, because they simply will not allow it.

🤺 What have you learned from your children?

The following thought was born from the experience: "A baby wakes up every day with one mission and goal - to destroy itself."

Children have qualities that disappear over time. They know how to accept, they know how to reach the goal despite the falls, they are always persistent, completely free and unrestrained, very loving, naive, true and untouched by lies, although with a strong ego, and many other qualities that you will find very little in yourself now.

They are uncorrupted, and being with the uncorrupted is a rare opportunity in a rather polluted world.

🤺 ...Let me guess, that's not all?

Of course, just "going on vacation" would be too much of a luxury, so I did a lot of interesting things during this period as well. I created several TV shows, released my first work/product "Katlerios Kortos" to the world, founded the creative house "Legal Guns" with good friends.

I also continue to experiment in order to improve my quality of life and give up bad habits.

I decided to give up meat until the first day of September – to try vegetarianism for yourself. I wanted to see how my body would react to it, what would change.

Also, this is the third time I've completely stopped drinking alcohol - this time I've added new rules to the challenge. I also stopped drinking non-alcoholic beer, visiting bars and similar places. Instead, we meet with friends more often in parks, in nature.

And finally, in the autumn, after finishing the experiment with vegetarianism, I will simply quit smoking, which will be extremely difficult, because if I lived with meat for 30 years, I lived with tobacco for 15 years. There will be new challenges!

🤺 Thank you very much for the interview, Simon!

It seems to me that I will really need to try some of Simon's challenges... Maybe, for example, giving up meat too... 🙂

...But hey, I hope you enjoyed reading! And if that's not enough, here are some articles and interviews you might enjoy:

  1. How I drastically changed my diet and got rid of 20kg of bacon
  2. How I crossed the 800km Santiago road in 25 days
  3. What is a Crazy Goals List and why do you need one?

I also wish to set a challenge. Just try it! If you don't try, you won't experience. You know that. 🤺

  1. Daniel: a month without internet I have tried too!

  2. Daniel: such a one-year challenge Ona from Ebesy was also accepted!

  3. Daniel: Audrius from Debesy also gave up alcohol and lost more than 20 kg of excess weight!

  • Unrealistically, besides our challenges coincided, until autumn I gave up meat, which I had eaten all my life. Good luck Simon, keep driving!

  • Good, since I had to communicate with Simon live, I will say that I was impressed by his whole family. Challenges are necessary in life. Difficulties harden us.

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