Blaz Kos – the author
Hi there, my name is Blaž Kos. I’m a data-driven personal development author, life strategist, personal coach, startup enthusiast and online entrepreneur.
My current life mission is to help people live the happy and successful life they want and deserve. There is no greater bliss for me than helping people unleash their hidden potential or teach them practical life management skills we should all master.
From the moment I wake up and all until the late evening I read, think and experiment with different personal development and psychology techniques. I always go for the best knowledge, I make sure that the things I teach actually work by testing them myself, and I always deliver more than I promise.
I successfully coached many people around the world. I wrote more than 250 articles on personal development, psychology and productivity that people love. When it comes to knowledge, my first question is always: what’s the best way to implement it.
I’m empowering people with personal development knowledge through free articles and downloads on this blog, premium online courses, books and personal coaching.
In all my content, you will find several new approaches and ideas for personal development that lead to faster and superior results:
- The use of advanced psychological tools in everyday life: I study, test and logically combine the knowledge and tools from different psychological branches (psychoanalysis, CBT, transactional analysis, NLP etc.) and strive to popularize them by describing them in plain and simple language, adding many practical examples and providing exercise templates for immediate implementation. These are the exercises that helped me advance in life the most.
- Manage your life like a startup: I study the best business practices, especially contemporary theories like the lean startup, agile management, extreme programming etc. and experiment with how they can be used in personal life for achieving higher levels of success and productivity. That’s also where the name of the blog comes from.
- The data-driven approach: I’m constantly innovating with new ways to quantify life, measure real personal progress and understand the environment. I’m obsessed with creating models that can help you make smart data-driven decisions for long-term success. In the end, you want to make big and small life decisions based on evidence and actionable metrics (data), not merely based on your intuition and even less by mimicking what the majority is doing.
By combining all three new approaches, my ultimate goal is to provide a more holistic, scientific and systematic body of knowledge and tools for managing one’s life. It’s all about providing you with a system that actually improves your odds of success by taking a scientific approach to personal development.
I do have a degree in entrepreneurship, but I graduated 10 years late, because I’ve always been a passionate autodidact.
Reading, learning, experimenting, helping other people and creating new knowledge was always my biggest passion in life, especially when it comes to personal development, productivity, psychology and business.
Knowledge is my BMW, it’s kind of my personal mantra. Many of my friends tease me that I’m a walking encyclopedia of self-management techniques.
I don’t have a medical or psychology degree, so I don’t give any medical advice or help people with serious psychological disorders, but I absolutely do excel as a coach and teacher, and thus I can definitely help you become more productive, successful, and happy in life.
Here is the main reason why …
Why I can completely understand how you feel and what you have to face in life
I probably have the most complex personality in the world. That’s because I was raised in an extremely complicated environment.
Not only did I never have a home as a kid, I had four completely different homes – my grandparents’ place, my mother’s place, my father’s place (my parents got divorced) and my other grandparents’ place. I was moving from one place to another on a weekly or sometimes even daily basis.
All the family members who raised me were incomprehensibly distinct and very incompatible – a “dark triad” father, altruistic and empathic mother, intellectual and wise grandmother, technically skilled grandfather, extremely organized father’s second spouse, and I could go on and on.
Among all of them good intentions were there, but unhealthy attachment ruled. That’s what made the environment extremely complex and arduous.
The good side of being raised in such a complex environment was developing the rich inner world that helps me relate to many different people, personality characteristics and life situations. I can easily understand how you feel and all the tough situations you have to face in life.
The bad side, on the other hand, is that with an unstable, complex and critical environment always come heavy inner tension, troublesome mind that needs to be tamed, and many internal battles to be won.
Besides home complexity, there were many other things that helped my inner tension to thrive, and at the same time I experienced many different life situations and settings that helped me slowly develop wisdom.
Here are only a few major ones:
- I was born in a country that was communist back then, and there’s nothing I liked about it; not that the world is currently going in the right direction with hyper-consumption and fake news. Consequently, I started to study social systems, market paradigms and social psychology.
- I was raised as a Catholic and I took religion very seriously, but soon found some inconsistencies in their sermon (gluttony is a deadly sin but many priests are obese is one example). As the result, I dived into different religions and spiritual practices. I read many books about Zen Buddhism, Stoic Philosophy, Daoism, and even astrology and other spiritual practices.
- I was quite poor during my upbringing until I started to make my own money. I know how it feels to be poor and I know how it feels to be involved in big transactions worth millions. There is still a special love-hate relationship I have with money, which needs to be neutralized.
- On top of everything, I was ultra-obese. I was the guy in class who couldn’t catch a ball. That does a lot of psychological damage to a boy growing up. My posture was so bad I couldn’t sit straight for 10 seconds. Now taking care of my body, healthy diet and regular exercise are some of the most important values in my life.
- My first job was as a manual worker on construction yards working for land surveyors. Not the best job for an unfit guy. It took me years of hard work to develop my talents and to earn a decent salary beyond minimal wage.
- During my teenage years, I smoked a lot, I drank a lot and I was constantly pissed off. I took zero care of my health and thus I was constantly ill.
The list could go on and on and on. My preset destiny was not very bright. I was extremely angry, bitter and pissed off. Actually, I was at the bottom several times in my life. The cards dealt to me were quite shitty.
And it took a hell of a lot of hard work on myself to stir all the tension and struggle in a positive direction. Luckily, I had two cards up my sleeve that enabled me to do a complete turnaround.
Why I can help you build the most superior life strategy
You can never succeed alone in life, you always need some form of support. Doing a turnaround or achieving a completely new level of success would be an even more impossible goal to achieve.
You always need some kind of a personality forte to rely on, strong emotional drive, support from at least a few people around you (a coach for example) or a big lucky break to get you out of the worst life situations.
Having at least a single shoulder, opportunity or strength to rely on in tough life situations is what leads to grit and resilience.
I always possessed two such strengths. I have a strong analytical and very curious mind. No matter the challenge, I was always able to get madly educated very quickly and immediately started seeking the best solution to improve my life situation.
I can find the core of the problem really quickly and innovate the best possible next step that leads to a brighter future.
Secondly, I’m an extremely hardworking person, not scared of experimenting with different life settings and solutions. I constantly test and try new things. I want to experience what works and what doesn’t on my own skin, especially when it comes to personal growth.
I want to understand life from as many aspects as possible. Consequently, I experimented with hundreds of different life settings – different types of diets, exercises, revenue streams, jobs, businesses, leadership styles, relationships, everything I could test, try and learn from.
Here are only a few things I experienced or experimented with (bold – what I’m practicing now):
|Diets||Sports||Jobs / Investments / Businesses|
|Religion and spirituality||Revenue streams||Other|
You can read the list of all my past accomplishments here.
I always strive to immediately go to action with small manageable steps, and stir in the direction based on a carefully built feedback mechanism. That’s where the data-driven obsession comes from, and that’s how I gain most of my wisdom.
In the past, that approach helped me to:
- Find the best diet and sport for me and become quite fit
- Dramatically improve my earning potential
- Get rid of negative people and severe cognitive distortions
- Find people that make me happy and we thrive together
- Build a warm and loving home and many deep connections with people
- Strengthen my core, sharpen my mind and stabilize my emotional body
- Develop numerous skills and competences
- Become much more happy, positive and optimistic
- Constantly improve myself and feel much better in my skin
Facing demanding life situations with grit, getting madly educated and constantly experimenting with new innovative solutions is what helped me to slowly get to know myself, become aware of life rules and build the best life strategy for me as an individual.
Now I can help you build a superior life strategy and guide you to improving your success tenfold…
I don’t want to be too abstract, here are more concrete references
Everything up until now probably sounded very abstract, so let me give you some concrete things that I did or experienced in my life:
- Writing: I have written two handbooks in the Slovenian language, one about angel investing and one about building a startup from scratch. I also spent 5 years writing a blog in my native language (BlazKos.com), where more than 1,000 pages are written on the topic of entrepreneurship and personal development. The blog became the most popular business and personal development blog in Slovenia. And on AgileLeanLife blog, there are more than 250 articles published on topics of personal development and psychology. Today AgileLeanLife blog is one of the 75 best personal development blogs on the web.
- Startup ecosystem: I helped establish the university incubator at the biggest university in Slovenia, helped to establish business angel networks in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, I raised a 6 mio EUR seed venture capital fund when I was 26 years old, was in the management board of a technology park, managed two seed accelerators, a co-working space and co-organized one of the biggest startup conferences in CE Europe. I also helped produce a local version of the Dragons’ Den.
- My own businesses: Before finding myself in startups, I had several of my own businesses. I was selling software solutions, imported recycled printer cartridges, owned a photocopying business, co-owned a web design studio, was quite successful in an MLM and had my own TV talk show with successful business people.
- Lectures: Over the past 10 years I lectured at more than 1,000 events across Central and Eastern Europe and mentored over 300 startups. My lectures used to be on traditional business topic like business planning, financial forecasting, analyzing the market, raising funds etc., but today I lecture mainly about new techniques such as the agile and lean startup and how these techniques can be used in our lives as a personal development and productivity enhancement strategy.
- International work: I travelled to more than 40 countries, climbed 11 mountains in the Alps higher than 2000 m in a single summer, and got rid of 20 kg of fat. I worked in many countries abroad, from the US and UK to Germany and Macedonia. I consulted more than 70 companies and coached more than 100 people from all around the globe.
- Diet experimenting: For seven years, I was a vegetarian, and out of those seven years, I was a vegan for two years and a fruitarian for one year. Yes, for one year I ate only raw food. I lived on a macrobiotic diet for 6 months, on a keto diet for 6 months and on the Atkins diet for 6 months. Now I do a Paleo diet with carb cycling.
I don’t want to brag or anything, this is just to show you that I walk my talk. Everything I write or coach I also practice in my own life.
Entrepreneurship and psychology … my two big passions
I was always mesmerized by people starting their own business. Creating something from zero and making the world a better place always had a special place in my heart.
I always wanted to build a big business of my own, but unfortunately, I’m quite a shitty entrepreneur.
I have all the skills an entrepreneur should have (good ideas, organizational skills, sales skills etc.), except one … I care more about understanding things, wisdom and knowledge than I do about money. And at the bottom line, business is about money.
That’s why I’m a great counselor, but not the best entrepreneur. I easily easily seduced by thinking and understanding instead of focusing on building products that maximize profits.
Nevertheless, entrepreneurship was always an important part of my life. I did own several businesses, but more importantly, I spent 12 years helping to build the startup ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe.
I held almost every position imaginable when it comes to the startup ecosystem, from managing the university incubator, technology park, business angel network, to building co-working spaces, and being an investment manager in VC funds and startup accelerators.
- Read more about my business coaching
My second big passion is psychology. I never formally studied psychology (although my major in high school was psychology), but I studied cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis and other branches on my own.
For more than a year, I was going to psychoanalytic therapy to gain first-hand experience and strengthen my inner core. It was one of the biggest financial, emotional and time investments (4 sessions per week for 55 weeks), but absolutely the best experience of my life.
I’m also a big personal development enthusiast, I read more than 500 personal development books, studied NLP, the Silva method, psycho-cybernetics and many other personal development concepts.
I strived to implement as many things as possible on my own. That helped me gain additional knowledge and share the personal development wisdom with you.
After working with startups for 12 years, I feel like I contributed everything I could in this sense. Now I want to help people around the globe become better versions of themselves and show them the self-management tools to achieve a better quality of life. That’s why I decided to go full‑time blogging.
- Check out the awesome productivity and personal development courses
Even though I decided to go full-time blogging, startups are still present in my life today. Soon I realized that one’s life can be managed as a startup and that there are several very useful business exercises that can be used in self-management. That’s one of the key knowledge innovations of this blog.
I’m a very serious person, but I can make jokes on my account
I know I have an unusual name, as does the blog, so let me explain where my name comes from and how to pronounce it correctly. There are three big theories…
The definition I like the most comes from the Urban Dictionary. They define blaz as “hot sexy beasts that nicole wants, the utmost sexiest being alive, unmatchably hot”. Not bad, huh? I promise I didn’t add that to the Urban Dictionary myself. :)
A very similar theory comes from how people sometimes pronounce my name. They pronounce it as the verb to blush (/blʌʃ/). A very obvious connection here is with the fact that all the girls start blushing when they’re in my company.
Don’t stop reading at this point, I don’t have narcissistic tendencies, here comes the fun part …
The third, real explanation of where my name comes from … Well, Blaž comes from the ancient Greek/Latin name Blasius, which means a person who has crooked legs or a person who stammers. I know. What?
It’s not something generally known nowadays, it took me quite some research to find the real origin, and my mother promised me she didn’t know that when she was choosing the name for me.
Later with Christianity, saint Blaž became the patron saint against throat illnesses. That’s why the ancient origin luckily got more or less forgotten. I don’t have crooked legs and I don’t stammer, but ironically, a sore throat is the most frequent common illness I suffer from.
One of the earliest lessons I learned in life is to have high standards, but realistic expectations. Even when it comes to your name.
To end the overture, my name is correctly pronounced as Blaž (/blʌʒ/). It ends with the sound “sz”, like the middle of the word pleasure … And my dear reader, it’s my greatest pleasure to meet you!
Here is how to pronounce my name:
A few more personal details and all the secrets you wanted to know about me
Now that you know how to properly pronounce my name, let me share a few more personal details.
In my everyday life, I am a productivity freak, always working on two monitors. I cannot imagine my life without technology, gadgets and creating new cool products and services. I feel at home in Zen Buddhism and Stoicism, but find them incredibly difficult to practice as I am drawn to extremes.
I prefer to spend all my free time thinking, analyzing, creating, innovating or hiking high up in the mountains. I don’t like watching TV, shopping, small talk, parties and any kind of clutter.
I can’t stand hypocrisy, unfairness, violence and exploitation. I believe that what is happening to us in life and where we are is just a mere reflection of our inner world.
I’m engaged and family is the most important thing in my life. I’m also an introvert.
If you want to know even more about me, you can find additional information about me, my life, work and goals on the links below:
- You can find more about my professional life on my LinkedIn profile (let’s connect!).
- My life vision (what?)
- My personal SWOT analysis (what?)
- List of my past accomplishments (what?)
- List of my biggest failures in business life (and what I have learned from failing)
- List of all the things I am really grateful for (what?)
- List of the things I enjoy the most in life (what?)
- My not-to-do list (what?)
- Personal photos
All the ways we can work together
My main promise to you is that there are no tricks or hidden agendas behind my work. I believe in complete transparency without pushy marketing or shady techniques.
If you feel I can help you advance in life, I would love to work with you.
There are a few options for how we can work together:
- Browse free articles: You can browse more than 250 personal development and productivity articles completely for free on this blog.
- Online courses: You can enroll in one of my online courses. In the online courses, you will acquire knowledge in a more structured, interactive and focused way.
- Personal coaching: I offer personal coaching services if you need first-hand support with implementing knowledge or personal guidance to a better life.
Looking forward to working with you!