The Story of a Polish Publisher and How “Finding Your Element” Changes Everything

Peter Miller and Aleksander Baj during the London Book Fair 2019

When I was 21 years old, I was studying law and I hated it.

I couldn’t imagine being a lawyer for the rest of my life, but I didn’t know what else would give me joy and fulfillment. I was always a good student, I had good grades, did well on tests and always had my homework done on time. But I didn’t feel I was particularly talented in something and there was nothing I really loved doing.

At this point a friend of mine had sent me a link to Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, entitled: Do Schools Kill Creativity? I loved it! I was deeply inspired as it touched exactly those problems I was having in my life. I wanted to learn more about Ken Robinson and I found out that he had just published a book called The Element. How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. The title said it was exactly what I was looking for, so although there was no Polish edition, I ordered the original version, which was sent to me from United Kingdom.

This book changed the way I was thinking about myself and it lead me to certain decisions – I decided to suspend my law studies and start looking for my calling elsewhere. The book didn’t show me my Element, but it showed me the way to find it.

I wanted a few people close to me to read it, so I decided to translate it into Polish. When the translation was ready, I thought I could find a publisher, but the first attempts I took appeared frustrating. However, as I had some savings of my own, I thought I could start a publishing company and publish the book myself. Being so young and with no experience it was not easy for me to get the license for a Polish translation, but finally I managed to reach Peter Miller – Ken Robinson’s New York literary manager. We met at the London Book Fair and discussed my proposal with Sir Ken. He decided to give me a chance.

When this book was published, a local newspaper wrote an article about how a young law student had started a publishing a company. My father was very proud of it, so he scanned the article and e-mailed it to many of his friends. One of them e-mailed it further to his family, and his daughter said she would love to read the book. So I left a copy to my father with a little note for this girl. A few weeks later I received a text message from her. She wrote that she loved the book and that she would like to invite me for a cup of hot chocolate to say thank you.

It appeared we live in the same city, so we met, soon she started helping me with the publishing company and today we are married, have three children and still run the company together.

That is why we are so eager in spreading Sir Ken Robinson’s work – we know it can truly make a change in people’s lives and help many people find their Element.

Ken Robinson’s book You, Your Child, and School : Navigate Your Way to the Best Education is available in Barnes & Nobles, and online on Amazon. Click below to find out more!




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