7 deadly mistakes in sales that small business owners must avoid. PART 1/7

#1 You prioritize delivery of ongoing projects over consistent sales habits then scramble to get new sales after the projects are delivered.

The jury’s out on sales and marketing being the most important component of a business and it is precisely for that reason most CEOs have a background in Sales. We’re not talking about tech companies, but yeah, if you’re talking about Tech Founders then sure. Trust us, those nerds are sales freaks!

In this 7 part series we are going to tell you what not to do and how not to sell.

There are a lot of books and courses and resources out there that can guide you on how to sell . There’s Jordan Belfort these days, Hubspot’s free courses, Steve Schiffman and then there’s a whole bunch of them on youtube.

However, whether or not you have time to read them or follow them or even if you already do and are a pro at sales, it helps to keep in mind what not to do. If those habits have crept in, make sure to weed them out asap or your sales will plunge; big time.

No, no, not scaring you at all. Just telling you the facts. Sales is a lot like sports. If you get into the wrong habits, you get the yips. Once you get the yips man, you’re pretty much screwed no matter what you try or how you try it because if you’re a small business owner, there may not be anyone above you or along side you to point out what you’re doing wrong.

That’s why it’s tough for small business owners without a background in sales to actually go and get ‘sales stuff’ done in addition to all the operational and administrative tasks they have to perform.

Sales is tricky but sales, if handled properly and executed with the right mindset is the most exciting part of owning a small business.

If you’re a small business owner or an Entrepreneur, you probably know that in addition to whatever your core skill set is, you need to double up as a sales rep, sales manager and VP.

The biggest thing people forget about selling is that it’s a science. It’s very simple but make no mistake, it is simple but hard.

As a business owner, if you’ve been in business for more than 5 years you probably know a lot about selling now even if you had no clue about it when you first started. In fact, even if you have worked in sales before, running your own business teaches you to look at sales in a whole different dimension.

If you’re a new business owner then it’s probably time you picked up your game and got serious about selling because it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, if you can’t bring in sales, your business won’t survive. Sales keeps businesses alive and all the businesses that close down, close down because they weren’t able to sell. It’s really that simple.

We’re not kidding. If you can drive sufficient amount of sales towards your business on a consistent basis, even if you don’t have the right project management or execution skills, you can build a strategic partnership with a company that has the technical chops, outsource and manage to stay in business for a long long time.

We’re sure you probably know at least 3 people who run multiple businesses doing just that.

We’re also sure you know extremely talented people who had to shut down their businesses because sales dipped in a rough patch and they didn’t know how to get them back up.

Then, you must also know people who knew nothing about sales but then they started a business and then learnt the trade ground up without any proper training and are killing it right now.

Here’s where most small business owners err early on:

  1. You focus on doing projects you get well and actually, since there aren’t many projects in the initial days, there’s a tendency to become a bit of perfectionist.
  2. After you’re done with the project, you start focusing on getting more sales again but that is actually a gamble because the market isn’t always the same and you still have fixed costs.
  3. Then you dig yourselves into a hole because new sales sometimes just don’t come in that fast and out of desperation, you under charge and over deliver hoping desperately for repeat business.
  4. This sucks big time because what is happening essentially, is that you’re moving your business into a downward spiral in terms of profits and efficiency. You’re consistently desperate for sales because you’re never regularly engaged in the process and every time you launch yourself into a crazy selling frenzy after a project has been delivered, you’re either quoting too high or too low to cover your fixed operational costs.
  5. This affects your ability to expand and get economies of scale. This affects your ability to grow very hard and you end up frustrated, tired, burnt out and desperate.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to understand that the most important thing about effective selling is consistent selling. It’s a habit that you need to engage in on a consistent basis. It doesn’t matter how busy you are or if Reebok and Nike are both simultaneously your clients, the golden rule you need to understand as a small business is that you begin to lose your clients as soon as you get them.

What?

Well yes! As a new business you really can’t be sure of the direction you will scale in and what clients will move with you in that direction. You can either follow the client’s lead and just go on servicing your biggest clients or you can follow your vision for your company and essentially what you got into business for.

Did you start your business to recreate the last job you were in? Being at the beck and call of a top client all the time? Servicing clients and basing your entire business around them?

If it’s a particular section or demographic that’s different. That means multiple customers or at least a few hundred ideal matches with your ideal client persona in a pool of a thousand or hundred thousand.

But when you’re just focused on retaining your top client, you’re killing your company and your dream in the process by giving away your bargaining power. This is why software companies come out with updates regardless of the number of customers still on an outdated version.

Hey! We’re not going to stop innovating just because you’re too lazy to upgrade. A good business shows the clients what to expect and want and experience not ‘tailor’ their processes and services around them.

The biggest example?

Nokia.

Nokia was once one of the biggest mobile brands out there until the advent of the smartphone. After the smartphone came along, the most popular choice for smartphone makers was to shift to an Android based OS.

Nokia for some weird reason, decide to pick Windows for the same and instead of throwing out Windows as its preferred OS when the combination evidently wasn’t working, it stuck with the OS well beyond the point of no return.

All Nokia had to do was shift to an Android based OS. With the amount of brand awareness and widescale adoption and trust it enjoyed in Asia and specifically South Asia, it was only a matter of time that loyal customers helped increase its sales.

Well, that didn’t happen and Microsoft bought Nokia and well, Nokia is pretty much history now.

Moral of the story?

Be in constant contact with the market at all times. No matter which stage your business is in, if taking a myopic view of your business can undo big companies, as a small business you could be wiped out inside three months. Which is basically what has happened to a lot of small businesses out there in this pandemic!

Selling should be a top priority for any small business owner at all times. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call prospects one hour a day.

  1. All you have to do is run a campaign every few days to have new leads flowing in.
  2. All you have to do is attend one conference or meetup every month.
  3. All you have to do is have one conversation every other day in a group on Linkedin or Facebook every other day.
  4. Your customer is very important but no customer is more important than your business. Make sure you don’t end up with 3 bosses instead of the one you left behind in your last job! Remain proactive and keep on reaching out and selling to new clients every single day. FIRST thing in the morning.
  5. If you can, hire someone good in a permanent presales role. It will help you out a lot. However do keep in mind, you will probably need to be the one to close a lot of these deals and that still requires discipline.
  6. If that’s not possible because of financial constraints, you can leverage the power of digital marketing, social media marketing and/or buying leads from a trustworthy source to ensure you keep the counter clicking every day. Sales is just a numbers game. Get that straight. Find your numbers and hit your numbers that’s it.

It’s really that simple. However a lot of small business owners don’t do this and end up paying a huge price for it in the long run.

Don’t be one of them!

Check out our Kindle Ebook written especially for CEOs & Founders.

You can also check out our Sales Coaching Courses.

What is ‘Mindful Eating’?

It is not about what we eat but instead how we eat it. Our digestion starts in the mouth way before the food has entered our stomach. It starts with chewing so I invite you to take these tools with a pinch of salt and observe them today…

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The Author Twesha Khanijow, is a Business Consultant and Yoga Enthusiast.

Should you buy or generate your own leads? Part 3/7:”Social Media ‘scrolling’ is like ‘flipping’ magazines. Go there!”

So you’re all set you think with a healthy supply of leads per month guaranteed to you by a third party marketer. Right?

The salesmen are all on the floor. They have targets, they have phones and a guarantee of 100 leads per month or “as many as they need” and you’re just going to figure out the ‘numbers’ and scale your business! Right?

Wrong.

You see you believe that probably because you have no clue how the internet works. Mostly it’s just a lack of technical knowledge and that’s ok.

What’s not ok is that this shows a lack of sales knowledge as well.

Too many sales managers out there are shouting at their teams for not being good enough when the truth is the internet has changed everything.

And especially now in Corona times, you bet the whole game’s changed.

Companies that were a little iffy about working with remote companies our outsourcing are way past that tipsy point.

For them it’s just the same if they’re going to work with a company through online meetings, they don’t mind working with another company 2000 miles away if it also means a profit of $2000.

Yes, the protection provided by local laws is a bit of a cushion when working locally but Paypal ensures you can file for refunds easily on overseas transactions.

Also, social media is so powerful these days, that if you’ve done your research well before starting work with a company, chances are they’d be walking on a tightrope to ensure that whatever happens, you don’t end up slandering them over social media.

Simple reason?

If you’ve researched an overseas company well, you know they’re registered and been around a while. If you’re deciding to go overseas with your project then obviously margins would be the #1 reason. Which means wherever the other company is based, they probably lag behind you on currency value.

Your positive review is what would make their business and a negative review or negative publicity by a company could potentially destroy it.

Anyway, I digress.

Point is, there’s so much competition out there to be ‘heard’ that you don’t have a chance to re-make an impression.

Most email marketers you see, are forced to work with a number of email ids because a lot email marketing, the way most people do it at least, is ‘spam

These are unsolicited emails being set by the thousands to people randomly picked out without any research at all.

You have no clue how many email ids these people go through on a monthly basis. It’s almost like living outside the law! Lol a little bit at least. Damn that email marketer probably thinks himself a lot more badass than you think!

Imagine a way of making leads that involves the following:

  1. Constantly changing IP addresses because they tend to get flagged by email service providers for originating spam.
  2. Constantly changing email addresses because they too tend to get flagged by email service providers.
  3. Not answering back for a period of 3-4 hours on an average upon receiving a reply.

You see the point?

In the time span between which that receiver responded to the email copy and when a sales rep contacts him/calls him from a different email id or a completely unknown number…

The respondent has most probably forgotten all about it!

If this was a person who contacted you on your website however, after filling a form or getting an email id, he would remember you clearly. (Search Engine Optimization)

If this person clicked on some ad while searching for something for the nth time in a day, yes he would probably remember less.. but he would still remember. (Search Engine Ads)

If this person clicked on an ad while browsing social media, they would still be able to recall you because such is the nature of social media. People clicking an ad on social media is like people flipping through magazines in the 90s.

Remember that? remember how we used to flip magazines in our time? When there was no social media, no internet, no smartphones?

Yeah. That’s what social media is to people now..

That ‘scrolling’ thingie we all do in our spare time, that’s the exact thing we did when we were ‘flipping’ through magazines.

And now darling… that comes with videos!

People are generally in a better mood on social media and with digital advertising as a whole, internet marketing is so damn easy, you can literally pick someone who went to a particular school as a qualifying criteria and the ad will be shown only to them.

Even then, most digital advertising campaigns usually have a conversion ratio of 25%

And now you wonder why these so called ‘warm leads’ don’t work.

Gimme a break!

Should you buy or generate your own leads? Part 2/7: “Speed Dating & Door to Door Selling”

Have you ever gone speed dating?

If you have or you haven’t here’s how it works:

You have one to two minute conversations with a number of suitors in quick succession and if you get a phone number, it’s awesome and if you don’t, despair not, there are tons of suitors to follow.

Everyone’s in the same mindset so no one takes a rejection personally and everyone is thinking there’s probably a better one after this one.

Imagine now, if you were to send a friend on a speed date and he was able to let’s say get 10 phone numbers.

He comes back, shares those phone numbers with you and says: “Well I know you’re a stud bro you’ll probably be able to set a date with at least 4 of these women. Woohoo”

If this doesn’t sound weird to you man you have a problem.

If it does, pray tell me why do you expect your sales reps to do the same in response to email marketing leads you’ve purchased from a third party!

And there are countless sales managers walking around the floor today shouting at their sales reps for not being good enough because they can’t even close ‘warm leads’.

Sure..!

This mentality is the reason most businesses fail.

The fact that you take the prospect not as an individual but just a ‘number’, a robot almost on auto pilot, that is the reason most businesses today shut down before they even start.

If you cannot reasonably expect and let’s say you and your friend are both equally good looking and even have the same set of skills and salary, values etc… even then.. would it be reasonable to expect that you could date 4/10 of the women he got the phone numbers from on a speed date?

Let me tell you something, if Brad Pitt can pull those numbers off I’d still be surprised.

Maybe yeah, let’s say a girl you matched with on tinder and had a decent conversation with, is waiting for you in a café and instead of you Brad Pitt shows up. She’ll be crazy psyched it’s Brad-Pitt and would obviously want to continue on a date with him but it may not necessarily be because she sees in him a potential partner.

It would be most probably because he’s friggin Brad Pitt!

Do you understand the difference?

If you don’t I feel sorry for you and you better stop objectifying women asap. I’m deeply disappointed in you in fact. You sir, need some counseling.

If you did then you get the point.

A ‘Yes’ is not necessarily a yes for the ‘service’ or product on offer.

A ‘Yes’ could simply be a yes because you reached out to the person in the right way at the right time and it made him look at his current needs differently.

His needs may not be the same if someone else came along offering the same thing at a different time of day in a different way when he’s in a different mood and using different words..

It’s a lot easier to build trust in cold calling, even though I do concede it is slightly brutal as not many people take cold calling that well. The rejections etc et all.

Trust me though, done right, the rejection ratio in cold calling is way way less than what you will have to go through crappy ‘warm leads’ you got fed by email marketing!

Think of it like this.

You’re a door to door salesman let’s say.

I speak from experience as I’ve done this too. Yes sir.

Only thing different was that it was educational institutions not homes but hit 10 institutes in a day and you’ll quickly realize rejection is rejection.

So let’s say you’re a door to door salesman.

You are selling a new tablet without an upfront down payment, purely on credit card installments.

You walk up to one house you get rejected, you walk to another you get rejected and let’s say you keep getting rejected for three days straight until you finally hit a new neighborhood and end up making a sale.

Let’s say you make three sales in the next three days and one week into the job you end up making a sale on 4 of those 7 days.

What did you learn?

Trust me, if you ended up making a sale on 4 days out of 7, you probably can look at house’s door and get a decent idea if the guy is going to buy.

If not in 7 days, trust me, in a month at least you’ll develop a pretty great idea about who buys and what your ideal buyer persona is.

When you’re calling so called ‘warm’ leads bought from third party email marketers, this isn’t the case.

Why? Most of the time you can’t see what was said to get the response that you got that made the lead ‘warm’ in the eyes of the marketer and your sales manager.

Quite often, you can tell just by looking at the website/ business details that this is the opposite of the ideal buyer persona but you must still pursue him because the reply reads “Yes please, I’d like more information”

Email marketing leads are meant to dumb a sales force down.

You know why?

Because the management either knows nothing about sales, can’t afford good sales people or is too insecure of building the business on the foundation of an excellent sales team comprised of excellent sales reps.

I’m not kidding!

I worked with a client who didn’t want to hire exceptional sales reps even though he could afford them just because he didn’t want to build the business on the back of ‘skill’ that could not be replicated.

I said that’s a good point John but can you tell me what happens in the future when you’re stuck with a business that does nothing exceptional but caters to the standard and the average?

When your entire team is psychologically conditioned around getting by on meeting quota and doing just enough to avoid being cut?

He didn’t like it.

I said it anyway because my job as a consultant was to tell him the truth.

Maybe in a new business that is up and coming in a new field such as let’s say electronic vehicles, this could be a viable business strategy.

In a highly competitive business operating in a highly volatile economic scenario such as these times, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Sooner or later, if you are operating in a saturated or competitive business landscape, if you’re not doing what you do much much better than the competition, the client has no incentive to stay on with you as soon as he can afford more.

It’s that simple.

Should you buy or generate your own leads? Part 1/7: “Is email marketing a scam?”

To be honest I hate sales.

Lol I’m serious. I hate it. I love marketing though and absolutely love copywriting and client servicing. This is why I have done so well over the years as a marketing consultant. Sure I’m very passionate about sales coaching but marketing is something that once you begin to understand it, you fall in love with it more with each day.

Sales is more volatile even with the best skills, marketing is more linear if you’re working well on staying ahead of the game.

However, being an Entrepreneur means you need to do everything and know everything.

Let me be frank here, no digital marketing agency with any level of marketing in this world, no matter how solid can drive revenue if your sales game is weak.

People just don’t get it.

Sales alone will not bag you the clients that you want. Yes it ensures the scoreboard keeps ticking and revenue keeps coming in.

But sales alone won’t bag you the clients you absolutely need to keep your business running for a long time.

For that you need the power of marketing to dig them out from a vast crowd of blurry faces and sometimes not even that. Most marketing agencies fail to understand that effective campaigns are designed around the client persona’s ‘key habits’. You have to get into their psyche and tap into what mediums they use, where they go for entertainment, what they search for on their smart phones or tablets or PCs because it varies from segment to segment

Superior marketing ensures you get your marketing messaging, your targeting and your marketing collateral absolutely right so that when you do strike a conversation with a person who fits the persona of an ideal client perfectly, you close him.

It’s that simple.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know sales people work really hard and I speak from experience because I’ve effectively been doing that in some way or another for the last 10 years at least.

The fact that sales people work so hard is what motivated me to get into sales coaching in fact because I really felt this was something I could do just by being myself. Problem though and this is what I realized mainly as a Marketing Consultant.. the problem is that the rot runs deep.

I see core sales teams in startups and growing companies that have almost kind of outgrown their startup tag and profile.. playing small.

So many startups are lulled into believing this absolute lie that email marketing leads are a viable marketing strategy to ensure your sales team is well fed.

Oh god, nothing could be further from the truth.

Just because a lead is ‘warm’ doesn’t mean it is consistent with the ideal client persona your business seeks to partner with to grow.

And yet founders are not thinking about this many times.

It’s almost like they hire sales teams and give them these so called ‘warm’ leads through email marketing just to keep them busy.

Sure as hell that is what it feels like.

No talk about client quality at all.

You’re so desperate you are ready to start work with anyone as long as they cash in.

Why so insecure? Why so desperate?

Also, am I being judgmental?

Well, if you’re building a business solely on a month to month cashed in basis you’ve got your priorities mixed up real time. I have no respect for you because if there are flimsy ways to make money, this is one hell of an inconvenient way at that!

You see, this attitude will further dictate everything around your organization.

The product/ service developers will resort to often questionable and unviable practices to impress clients as fast as possible because guess what? Clients that don’t match your ideal client profile won’t stick around for a long time.

When you create a client persona of the ideal client, you do so by focusing on lets’ say complementary strengths. It’s almost as if you’re one piece of the puzzle and the ideal client represents the other piece.

While it may not always happen that perfectly, if it does, you quickly know in which direction to expand as a trusted client will rather work with you for a new service rather than a new guy.

Yes, putting all your eggs in the same basket is never the best idea about from a management perspective. However, sideways integration and backwards integration into the product/ service is often the most popular point to start diversification for a company.

What does that mean? It means that if I sell donuts, it makes a lot more sense for me to make the dough myself as well, tailored to my needs and saving me the extra hassle of ordering from somewhere and then anticipating what the quality of the dough would be like each time a new batch arrived. This is an example of backwards integration.

Sideways integration means if I’m already selling donuts, I might as well sell coffee and bagels as people are going to probably want them together anyway.

In the same way, if as a company you’re only focused on providing your sales team with a healthy supply of ‘warm leads’ to call irrespective of whether or not they fall even broadly into the client persona that your company wants to target, you are setting your organization up for failure.

You think that you’ve done your job by hiring a reputed lead generation services company or a ‘reputed’ email marketing company but really, you’re not allowing your business to have a foundation before guaranteeing a failure.

This failure may not come within a year or even ten but the first moment that your client finds a better fit for his needs, you’re going to lose him. Market fluctuations, economic volatility, every damn factor that can have an effect on your sales pipeline will have an effect and adversely most of the time.

So what was I saying in the beginning of the article?

I was saying I hate sales.

Let me complete the sentence..

I hate sales but when I do have to sell however, I prefer it to be direct and brutal. I prefer cold calling any day of the way over calling a lead purchased from an email marketer.

Why is that?

For starters, a “Yes” makes no sense at all and shouldn’t even be considered as a sign of ‘warmth’ if it is coming to the wrong question or statement.

It’s crazy just how many sales reps out there are calling just how many ‘warm’ leads only to hear that “We never contacted you!”

Next part tomorrow!

Need help with digital marketing?

Meaning and Importance of the Solar Plexus-Manipura Chakra- Part-1

1. Mantra: ‘Ram’ (Pronounced ‘Rum’)
2. Location: Below the rib cage above the navel.
3. Color: Yellow
4. Position: Parallel to the Earth/ Perpendicular to the Spine
5. Rotation: Clockwise
6. Corresponding Planetary energy: Mars
7. Corresponding Number: 1
8. Corresponding Mudra: Rudra Mudra

Across cultures, a lot of importance has been laid to the solar plexus. The proverbial ‘fire in the belly’ is quite related to the concept of the solar plexus, the stomach being the center of vitality of the human body. The stomach is directly related to the mind it is said. This region in fact, of the solar plexus, above the navel and below the rib cage in the front; lumbar region from the back, is the center of stability.

This is where almost all of your most vital organs are situated from the pancreas and kidneys to the spleen, stomach and liver.

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The desire to establish your will in the world. The desire to shine, be recognized and seen. The color yellow is associated with this chakra. Yellow, same as the sun. When is the sun at its yellowest? In the noon! When it is out there for all to see. Yellow is again a color associated with gold, the color associated with divinity and brilliance. Across cultures the associations with the color yellow and gold have been made to the divinity.

As was written in the previous article, our difference in what we desire and what we truly are, helps in giving us our identity (the solar chakra). Your identity is shaped by not only the things you choose to integrate within you but also the things you release or refrain from. That is so natural if you really think of it. That’s how it is with the food you eat and how it builds you up the way it does isn’t it? What you eat is how you think, how you look and what you don’t eat has an equal role to play in this process that shapes your identity.

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It’s not what happens to you that separates you from the rest. It is what you do about everything that happens to you. How you react to things, how you keep believing in yourself when others can’t see it because they won’t.. it’s your dream. It was given to you.

Don’t lose confidence because people can’t see what you see or they can’t see in you what is special about you. This is the key to unlocking the power of the Solar Plexus. Learn to shine! Teach yourself to connect with your soul’s desire and let it empower you to move ahead through life. There will always be tons of challenges to face even if you do what is safe. Even if you do what is easy you will ultimately realize it is not that easy after all. It isn’t. It isn’t easy being dead long before you’re buried because there’s a lot of pretense involved. Just be you!

Chakra artwork credits: Olga Nikitana

Empower your mind….set it free ( contd.)

Empower your mind….set it free ( contd.)

If you read the previous post you must have been able to figure out by now the common connection between all the great people I talked about.

It’s the freedom of their mind and their thoughts that made them so powerful that it lead them through the long road of obstacles and opposition to achieve what they desired.


Freeing your mind, is like unlocking the gates to a dozen bulls at the Pamplona bull run. You unleash a power that is beyond you… in all senses of the word. It’s like unlocking the very force that can run or ruin your life. For what if your mind goes of on a destructive tangent and nothing is the same anymore? What if your view of your universe changes irreversibly? What if you know so much you can’t fit in anymore?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.

Albert Einstein


That’s exactly, why societal conditioning in the modern era have emphasized the so called importance of what is right, what is wrong, what is immoral and what is unethical. Hear me out here, it’s not what you think. The principles of peace and humanity exist but the concept of morality is very closely tied to the intellectual capabilities of the society at the time. In the time of Copernicus, it was ghastly to think that the Earth revolves around the Sun. At the same time, not very long ago, the minimum age to get married in societies were just unthinkable, they were at the pre teen level and that was perfectly normal and acceptable.

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Is it in the best interest of the higher good, for raising the general baseline levels of societal functioning and thought by enforcing uniformity or is it to orchestrate better control?


And somewhere all of these mechanisms, became interspersed with religious adaptations and that was the end of the ‘free mind’ as could have been known to man!

A very important question to ask is what is ‘freedom’ to the average person? By the definition of the word, it is the ability for a person to choose form themselves. Those independent choices may or may not be in coherence with the general consensus. However, let’s say in these modern times, (and I’m giving the example of a friend) I as a female am happy performing household chores and looking after children and helping my husband stay organized, it is my freedom to be that way. Theoretically, you could be a feminist and decide working a full time job isn’t for you. Practically, this becomes difficult because you’d probably end up lonely. Other ‘feminists’ just won’t like your idea. They may feel you’re letting them down. It’s the same way for any other non conformist.


Setting your mind free is not about that though. It’s about accepting that YOU are what your mind IS and your mind is what you ARE. Simply put, your thoughts build your self and your self builds your thoughts!

You do not have to control or ‘break in’ your mind, that’s alienating it from yourself. You alienate it from your self and your mind will never fully work for you even if you are able to pipe down the thoughts that pop in unwanted or get it to focus on things you want.

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They could unleash the true power of their mind.
The true power of their thoughts.

Because they weren’t afraid!

Don’t try to tame your mind into submission, it’s like driving a Bugatti Veyron at 40mph!!!
If anything, learn how to drive that Bugatti. It’s the greatest gift you could have ever had. You don’t know it for the moment perhaps because they’ve convinced you otherwise.

Why is it that very few people are able to realize this power in this lifetime?

Some answers are so simple you never really think about them. You keep on looking out instead for something complex to fill that gap while the answer you needed was staring at you in the face all the while.

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Power of’Why’?

Back when I was a kid in the 90s, we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t even have cable in most households here in India and yet people were flocking from India to the States every other day, building companies that were coming up there.

Interesting isn’t it?

The products of such low exposure being in so much demand the world over especially in tech and research. Only recently have Indian tech companies become strong enough to start acquiring assets overseas and those times India as a whole lagged behind. This was before the BPO revolution btw, as shortly after the BPO revolution the paradigm changed and some of the biggest Tech Services companies in the world are Indian.

So back then, all we could do to acquire knowledge was read. The biggest incentive to read were exams which were notoriously tough. Every year tons of students would hang themselves in their bedrooms right before the fearful ‘board exams’. Ultimately the governments successively changed the education system to incorporate things like self paced learning and learning beyond the classroom.

So I grew up in times when I absolutely knew there was little else to hope for in life if I didn’t know everything there was to be known. All my childhood was spent pouring over books of all kinds. Sometimes I’d get bored and try to make sense of twelfth grade electronics books.

One of the things I loved to do was memorize quotations. Oh yeah! Change the system as much as you will but rote learning will forever remain the go to method of learning in formal educational systems here in the East.

And two quotations in particular stand out for me that defined my life:

Don’t judge a man by the answers he gives but by the questions he asks

~ Voltaire

This is the first one and just reading it made so much sense to me that I launched into a collision course with the system for the better part of my youth.

Recently, co founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak commented on twitter that Indians care only about money and not so much about creativity and asking questions. (Tweet later removed)

Although leading Indian tech magnate Anand Mahindra responded valiantly, defending the average Indian innovator at the same time accepting to an extent the existence of this mindset, we all know what the truth really is.

If you are an innovator you sooner or later need to find your way to the Silicon Valley. Everybody knows that. It’s not going to change anytime soon either no matter how much call me out for being ‘prejudiced’ or indulging in ‘stereotypes’.

It’s just a fact, successful products are built by people with an open mind, an inquisitive mind. You need to be able to question things and the basis of key explanations to standard questions for the process of creation to make sense. You can’t grow up in a culture of ‘it is what it is’, ‘everything doesn’t have an answer’ and expect children to suddenly create the next iphone. #innovation #entrepreneurship

The second quotation isn’t really a quotation, it is a teaching of the Buddha. You see, the concept of ‘God’ isn’t really there in Buddhism as much as the concept of self realization and self work. It comes as no surprise therefore that most people on the spiritual path find themselves intrinsically drawn to Buddhist schools of thought such as Zen and Tao.

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My idea of heaven and hell may not be the same as your idea of heaven and hell and therefore I am not really likely to fall in line and accept your views on right and wrong; am I?

This assumption that other people think in the same way we do is the basis of widespread intolerance all over the world. As long as we’re living in society as ‘inmates’ of a system not ‘co creators’ of a framework, the so called security we seek to create for ‘everyone’ is just three wolves and two sheep voting on what to have for dinner. #society #justice #activism

We see now this whole thing blowing up with people debating on whether or not this pandemic is ‘real’. Press says it’s just a conspiracy or people going crazy because of all the stress the pandemic’s put them under but well, this was just an issue waiting to blow up.

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It’s when you can’t do anything else that you’re finally being made to sit down and work through the issues your life and society has that you had just learnt to ignore on a regular basis.

So, you’ve got to learn to ask questions, you’ve got to learn to follow your heart in feeding your mind the curiosity it needs to grow. That’s the true narrative of ‘innovation’ we need to live by.

Why must you ask questions?

The eternal search of mankind, amplified curiosity has led to innovations through eras. It stands today, just as rudimentary such as an intelligent scholar; Decoded by scientists, imitated by artists and objected by cynicisms. 

Is conflict always a prerequisite to innovation? A start-up that is “disrupting the market” or idiosyncrasies such as can you be an engineer and intelligent? Can you be the poorest country and still be high in happiness index? 

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Clarity in Confusion

What do you think is the one thing that allows us to connect with ourselves at a level that only we can fathom?
Don’t we go on and on about ‘Being true to ourselves?’
What is the concept of introspection at all?

Okay, forget about all these questions and think.
Seriously think

How does one arrive at a question?

What leads you to seek out an answer for something?
Is it the presence of clarity that leads us to look at things and question them in this way?
Or is it the presence of confusion that overwhelms you with an urgency to seek answers?

If you think about it enough, you probably won’t find it surprising that what lead Siddhartha, a prince, to renounce all worldly possessions and comforts in search of ‘the truth’ and transform in to the Buddha, is also what lead
Kalidasa, a rustic, illiterate, stuttering lumberjack to leave home in the search of knowledge and brilliance; after his wife (a princess and a scholar), threw him out of the bed chambers on their wedding night, mocking his stupidity.

And probably it was the same force that drove ‘Adi Kavi’ Valmiki to give up the ways of a bandit and embrace the path of piousness as a path to his transformation.

If you haven’t heard the story of the first Sanskrit poet in history, it makes for the most amazing story of transformation that you are ever likely to read anywhere.

There was once a cruel bandit who would loot and kill travelers as a means of subsistence for himself and his family. He had no other skills, or knowledge other than to loot kill and snatch. That was the only way he knew how to look after his wife and kids.

One day, as legend has it, his path was crossed by Narada Muni, a Vedic sage, famous as a travelling musician and storyteller, who carries news and enlightening wisdom. Now vedic culture in itself is strife with tons of stories and literature that go on and on so if it catches your fancy you might enjoy looking Narada up. However, it would suffice to say that his role is described as an extremely learned sage gifted with the talent of traveling anywhere instantaneously. The paradox he represents is that his warnings ensure events taking place rather than helping people avoid them.

So Narada ran into Ratnakara one day and upon being apprehended he was most surprised at Ratnakara’s ignorance who seemed to know nothing at all about Narada, the concept of god etc.

So in trying to save himself, (which was obviously a pretense as Narada could travel anywhere at will) Narada tried to reason with Ratnakara, who at that moment was wearing a necklace of severed little fingers around his neck.

“Why are you doing this?” enquired Narada.

“What do you mean? This is all I know.” retorted Ratnakara.

Aren’t you afraid of the punishment waiting for you in the other world?

What punishment? Why should I be punished. I am doing what I can for my wife and children. Fulfilling my duty, this is my karma.

And what about the wives and children of those you kill?

Well, the sin isn’t mine alone to bear. I’m doing this for my family.

Oh really smiled Narada. Are you sure? Would your wife say the same?

What do you mean? Of course laughed Ratnakara.

Okay, I’ll wait right here for you why don’t you go home and ask you wife and children if they will bear the burden of your sins in the next life or even this one.

How do I know you won’t run away before I’m back.

I can assure you I won’t run away.

Ratnakara returned after a long while and found Narada waiting for him patiently by a rock.

So then Ratnakara. What did your wife have to say?

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So Narada smiled and showed Ratnakara the path to self realization through immersion in God. He gave him the name of Vishnu’s 8th avatar, (incarnation) Lord Rama and asked him to go on repeating it day and night until he reaches enlightenment.


However, so cruel a bandit had been Ratnakara that when he sat down in penance chanting ‘Rama‘ he could only at most bring himself to chant ‘Mara‘ ( Meaning ‘To Kill’) but with the simplicity of a bandit wanting to change, Ratnakara kept on chanting of the same name whichever way he could and it lead him to something else: maRA MaRA MaRA Mara.

(Noticed something here?)

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Valmiki’s tongue let forth a flurry of poetic verses that surprised him.

Maa Nishada Pratistham Tvamagamahsāsvati SamaaYat Kraunchamithunaadekam Avadhi Kaamamohitam

His curse literally meant “Oh Hunter! May you not get respect for eons for you killed one unsuspecting ‘Kraunch’ from the pair when they were excited making love with one other.”

Valmiki was barely coming to terms with his automatic flow of poetry when Narada appeared smiling knowingly.

“You seem to have turned into a poet my friend” he smiled.

“I’m afraid so” replied Valmiki.

Good, this is as was meant to be. Now you must write the story of the prince of Ayodhya, Lord Rama.

And that is how we’re told that the first edition of the epic Ramayana was written.

In the same way, the Buddha found what he was looking for, attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. He later established the Eight Fold Path.

Gandhi became the great he became after returning to India. Mandela found the way to build the rainbow nation after forgiving his captors of 27 years.. 27 years!

Everyone who sets out to find something returns having found it. You either find what you are looking for or find out it doesn’t exist. Either way, you find what was lost all along to you…
You find yourself!

And THAT is what is known to us as CLARITY.

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Confusion is that starting point where an artist is figuring out how to bring the masterpiece in his imagination out on the canvas wading through the colours, brushes, charcoal, oil and rough edges, water colour et all.

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Then you realize an urgency to discover the answer, a pressing need to be able to make sense of everything.

Then you realize what you need is clarity, to be able to listen to yourself, your thoughts, your fears, your views.

When you realize where you lack clarity, You Get It!

So the next time you are unsure, that you find yourself hopeless and confused, understand that it is probably your path to clarity.

And clarity is the path to discovering yourself!


All the great people that ever walked this planet have learned how to look for that which calls out to them. Truth is, all you have to do is wipe out from the frame everything else getting in the way.

Great people don’t see ‘confusion’, they see an opportunity to use all of the mental energy that builds confusions so they can channel it to ‘see’ clearly.

Michelangelo was once asked how he was able to sculpt such immaculate pieces of art with minuscule margins for error. His simple explanation was that he could see the end product already in the block of stone, all he did as a sculptor was remove the extra stone!

Take the example of some of the biggest achievers in the world. They all started from a point of unrest, mental or otherwise. All that struggle, lead them to their destiny. Here are a few:

Henry Ford: His early businesses failed and left him broke 5 times until he finally came up with innovative ideas for assembly lines and cars.

Charles Darwin: Gave up on a medical career and was mostly a failure in his early days. His father thought he will not amount to much as he was lazy and dreamy. A tour on the HMS Beagle sometime later changed all that as this was where he conceived the idea of ‘Evolution’.

Abraham Lincoln: Was mostly a failure at everything he tried, most of his life until finally in his old age, until he began to succeed as a politician.

Great people keep their heads even when they are surrounded by complete pandemonium. Because they KNOW when the storm subsides, the rainbow appears!

“Rain is good for me. I feel like I achieve clarity actually when it rains. The longer I have to sit and wait, the clearer my game becomes to me.”
-Venus Williams

Meaning and Importance of The Sacral Chakra-Swadhishthana-Part-1

1. Mantra: ‘Vam’
2. Location: Between the navel and genitalia.
3. Color: Orange
4. Position: Parallel to the Earth/ Perpendicular to the Spine
5. Rotation: Clockwise
6. Corresponding Planetary energy: Jupiter
7. Corresponding Number: 3
8. Corresponding Mudra: Dhyana Mudra

Now from root chakra we come to Sacral chakra. The place from where our ego, our identity starts to grow. We want to express ourselves. We want to create something (can be a child too, keyword sexuality).

This chakra is the heart of creation and expression. The womb is also at this chakra (where we all were made). This is also the place where our desires start to surface. Whatever they are, whether sexual or material. Good food? Good clothes? Luxury cars? All desires come from here.

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Our difference in what we desire and what we truly are, helps in giving us our identity (the solar chakra). But it is also true that our creations are a true representation of who we are at the moment. Alfred Nobel invented the deadliest weapon that changed the course of humanity forever but one day due to an event he realized the error in his ways. He decided that he wanted to be remembered as a good person.

The event being the local papers mistakenly printing that Alfred Nobel “The angel of death” had passed away. The mistake was later corrected but it left an impression on Alfred Nobel and he decided he doesn’t desire to be remembered as the ‘angel of death’ that the newspapers wrote him to be. So, he announced one of the most prestigious prizes known to mankind, the Nobel prize of which one is the Nobel peace prize as well. Long story short, he made a decision that all his money will be used in rewarding the people that create great contributions for the growth of mankind.
Also never forget that you are but the medium for creation. Never let the false sense of pride take you over that you are the only creator in this world. The moment we begin to think that way our connection from the higher self is severed.

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The river of life will flow, with or without your conscious contribution. Even by not making a contribution you are unconsciously affecting the outcome. So the flipside is to understand that even by not creating you are still creating and therefore isn’t it better to create consciously from your higher self?

Growth is in expression, creation and remembering who you truly are at the core. A song bird sings her song irrespective of who hears it or doesn’t.

Don’t suppress your inner artist for fear of judgement. This is the key to unlocking the power of the Sacral Chakra. On the flipside, indulge your senses in the creation you are surrounded by but don’t lose yourself. Remember your true essence extends far beyond what meets the eye.

Chakra artwork credits: Olga Nikitana

Make peace with your childhood, discover the real YOU!

How many of us are actually where we wanted to be as children?

Sure, we’re all in the journey to self realization but even this realization that it is a never ending journey wasn’t all that pleasant to begin with. Was it? As kids, we thought you grow up, you do this you do that and that’s it, you’re ‘there’. You realize though after you have everything that now there is still the task of maintaining it.

This isn’t a very happy realization and the inner child is sulking at a corner in the room nodding her head at how you tricked her into believing one day homework time ends and you get to play outside. Now you tell her it never ends?

How many of us can recall childhood events with a fondness that lingers? No, not the fondness followed by gloom of what ‘is no longer’.. but once was. That’s your inner child hurting, crying for help. That’s what needs healing.

We kept telling the inner child “I’ll sit with you”, “I’ll help you work through these things that you’re struggling with.” “I got your back. I’ll hold your hand through this.” Then a ‘soulmate’ came along and you abandoned your inner child for what your ego wanted. Every time it was something else. Who made the compromise? The inner child.

Your inner child was begging you for attention and you shifted your focus from one complicated goal to a more complicated goal and to an even more complicated goal because in your ‘adult’ world, nothing is ever ‘enough’ is it? The inner child has always wanted simple things from you and you’ve always had more important things to do with your time.

No matter where you come from, the East, the West, the Subcontinent or from the far north. No matter what sort of life your parents were able to afford you, where you went to school or what your childhood was like, there’s healing to be done.

Most of us, somewhere deep down, consciously or otherwise; are carrying resentment in one form or the other.

It could be from the fact that you feel you grew up too fast or rather had to embrace maturity beyond your years because that is what your situations demanded. Or it could be that you had to sacrifice your childhood dreams for more ‘practical’ things, the ‘safer’ options in life. It could be a lot else and lot different from all this, the bottom line stands:

You need to make peace with yourself and you owe an explanation to yourself why you did what you did and how it all came to pass.

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We forget the simple things that made us happy. The things that we always wanted to do in life. The little things that we would dream about doing as kids until the ‘big’ things came along.

We forget about the things that would make us laugh and the people that would make us smile.
And this, is exactly where we lose ourselves.

What were the things that you loved to do as a kid? How many of them have you done lately?

Tell me when was the last time you RAN? Sorry, dashing to catch a bus doesn’t count. Running just to experience running like you dance! Oh wait somewhere along the line a lot of us became too old to prioritize running at all didn’t we?

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When was the last time you stepped out in the rain and enjoyed it?

Lol, these days it’s the fear of drenching your phone and laptop that stops you from trying most things doesn’t it? Look at the beautiful little prison of golden barbed wire you weaved so immaculately for yourself with the label of success.

Tell you what…

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For those of us who had a difficult childhood, I think it’s time to treat ourselves to the little things of life we never could enjoy.

Never had enough money to buy a gaming console as a kid? Buy one now! So what if you’re 40? Better late than never!

Dreamed of owning football gear of your favorite club as a kid and your pocket money was never enough?
No one’s stopping you now… Buy it off the internet and sleep in it for all you want! (Just don’t turn up at a meeting wearing Gerrard’s Liverpool jersey)

If you wanna be happy in the true sense, make peace with all of those wishes that remained unfulfilled, all of the things that you never could do but REALLY wanted.

Maybe you wanted to go on a road trip with you Dad and he was a really busy man working day in and day out trying to make both ends meet for the family and couldn’t take you.
Maybe when he finally did find time you had gone off to college and then got busy with your life, making a career.

So what? Plan a road trip now!

No, don’t dismiss this idea as just a kiddish desire you had, you’ll be surprised by the fantastic feeling of achievement you’ll get out of granting these wishes to yourself!

Remember, it’s never too late to grant yourself your own wishes! Just the fact that you could make yourself happy with what you wanted, is a big accomplishment in itself.

And things that you can no longer do for yourself, try doing them for kids! And if kids don’t want those things, do it for other people you know who need help.
When you see the happiness on their faces… you’ll feel like you’re in flashback mode with you smiling back at yourself!

Meaning and Importance of The Root Chakra-Muladhara-Part 1

1. Mantra: ‘Lam’
2. Location: Base of the spine.
3. Colour: Red
4. Position: Perpendicular to the Earth/ Parallel to the Spine
5. Rotation: Clockwise
6. Corresponding Planetary energy: Saturn
7. Corresponding Number: 8
8. Corresponding Mudra: Prana Mudra/ All Grounding Mudras

(More points in the second part)

It is said that the tree is strong, healthy, tall, it is all because of its roots. Similarly the Root chakra is our root. If it is strong then only the tree, that is our body can be healthy and strong. Ready to take on the world.
The Root chakra is of Red color which is very primal in nature.

If one thinks about the color red the first thing that comes to mind is the color of blood, the very essence of a human life. Also, another thing that comes to mind is the color which represents danger, anger, violence. It has everything to do with survival.

If you survive then only can you think about other things such as indulgence in the pleasures of the body i.e eating tasty cuisines, dressing up in nice clothes and also to experience total bliss through meditation and learning philosophy your body needs to survive. Think about a wolf when you think about root chakra. It hunts, feeds, breeds and also there is a pecking order (key word healthy boundaries).

Having a healthy and strong root chakra i.e your primal energy, your driving force will most certainly ensure your growth as a human being and as a spiritual being. Even The Buddha realized it after doing extreme meditation that one needs one’s body no matter which route in life one chooses to travel.

Red also has associations with fear and threatening situations (survival remember?). If this chakra is not strong you will have issues with fear, anxiety. One would be defensive and not trusting thus, blocking the energy of the chakras after it.

Which basically means all the remaining 6 chakras.

The sacral chakra which is of procreation and creativity will get blocked. How will one express themselves if they live constantly in fear? Then this problem snowballs into identity issues (solar chakra) then the person’s heart chakra gets closed(very suspicious of others) and then to throat chakra(not speaking their truth), third eye chakra(not seeing the truth), how can the crown chakra work properly when you are so distrustful and run from your own identity? Of course all the guidance will get blocked.

The importance of the roots cannot be down played as only because we exist then can we learn and grow. Our existence , survival is of utmost importance. It is the fact of life.

Follow this blog for the entire series on chakras.

Chakra artwork credits: Olga Nikitana

Stop cribbing! You have everything you NEED.

If you’ve spent the better part part of your life so far thinking about all that you could have had and all that you should’ve got…

Then you probably haven’t been looking hard enough at all the things you never thought you’d have but do and all that you should have had but don’t.

Here’s how we commonly tend to look at things and the people around us:

We tend to ignore the ones that need work and are instinctively drawn to the ones that are ready, although different from what we need.

We don’t spend time working on the relationships that we should be working on only because we can’t make the necessary efforts. We don’t put in effort working for the little time we need to make, for all the things that require our attention.

Even when we are out picking veggies for dinner, we pick only the ripest of tomatoes and lemons and peas, forgetting that the ripe ones will only rot next while the unripe ones will last many a days more, ripening and softening in that time.

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Where we are really, we are perpetually standing on the shore waiting for the tide to come in, on an island that is ours… and ours alone….With all the minerals and all the wood, food and fresh water springs, fruit trees and beautiful caves, along with everything amazing imaginable.

Everything that you could ever need or hope for including an intelligent and friendly native population to give you company.

But all the time, all the while all we want is to get away from there. Why?
Because we lack the will to stay behind and work on making it a little piece of heaven.
We can if we try but we’re too blind to see what we have.

We’re always whining for all the things we don’t and can’t have.

As human beings, we have become so obsessed with the idea of pushing our boundaries that we have completely forgotten the bliss readily available to us within the reasonable boundaries of our existence.

It’s right there staring in you in the face and yet you never consider it important enough to deserve a second glance because you lack the will to perfect it.

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Our life is an island of abundance. Whether or not we choose to feel stranded on this island is our mentality. If you look closely, not matter how humble your origins, you’re surrounded by a sea of opportunities around you.

And yet, we are overwhelmed by the desire to leave it all behind and build a raft to swim off shore and explore what is better…. out there!

Focusing inwards is painstakingly slow process because primates have a natural temperament of socializing and exploration. However, no one can disagree that as the means have increased in the course of human evolution, the disconnect with the self has only heightened.

We are constantly looking for self worth in our external environment and constantly seeking attention in pursuit of excitement from external entities that promise a seemingly better experience than our current situation.

If only we took more time to work on our immediate surroundings and our internal development, we would be able to take a lot more advantage of the gifts we are born with and the resources we are blessed with.

How to change what you want to but can’t

Change..

What does it take to bring about one?

How potent can one of them be when they come about?

We’ve read a lot about what an extremely potent force change is. How even if things and people cease to change, it’s a change in itself.

We have felt time and again that there are things that we absolutely need to change about ourselves. There’s always something that we are inclined to alter or modify from the state we find it in and that’s change! We have been taught changing is difficult and changing is important and there are millionaire coaches out there who make a living out of helping people change.

Helping people change the way they think, the way they function, the way they approach life and handle emotions; all aspects of the word.

There have been revolutions and revolutionaries, martyrs and tyrants, there exists altruism ,selfishness & opportunism, all of it is out there. It’s been out there and will continue to exist because change is the single unchanging fact of life.

But there’s a very small, just a tiny little almost insignificant entity lurking behind that powerful word.

Intent.

You understand this and you understand everything.
While change is like gravity and eventually pulls you to itself, intent my friend, is the force.

No matter how small… (how extremely negligibly and laughably small by the standards of ‘change’ in all its glory) the entire reason that this cycle exists is ‘intent’.

Even when God was creating the universe out of nothingness, he was changing something. He was changing nothingness to something.
Even when man does the opposite of that and more often than not that is what human actions gravitate to, there IS ‘change’ and on top of this entire cycle lays intent.

Intent brings about change. You want to change, you can and you will because with a burning desire to do so, comes 50% of the result you intend.

If there was a single drop that was to remain after filtering this entire ‘knowledge’ of change out of countless books, scriptures and speeches. If there was only a single drop of all that knowledge that would count greater than all of it, with all of it existing in a negligibly small microscopic entity, it would be this:

If you decide to change, If you intend to change with all of your mind and consciousness even if for as short a period of time as would enable one to be able to watch the rays of the sun descend unto earth in slow motion… you have won half the battle in that little instant.

Your inertia has been shaken and everything you think or do after that will tend towards the fulfillment of that single thing. A single state which inevitably must follow this cycle and complete it:

CHANGE.

The crux of this entire article? No force in this universe can make you change and when you have that true intent inside to change, no force in this world can stop you from changing.

It’s you, YOU are the secret ingredient.

Nothing will change if you don’t have the intent to change it.

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 7/7

david-viscott-quote-lbl3r5e

“Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a stone; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.”

The opening quote is a famous quotation being shared all over the internet and the credit for which is sometimes given to Pablo Picasso and sometimes to Shakespeare however this a quotation from a 1993 volume “Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times: A Book of Meditations” by David Viscott.

The paragraph below, is taken from an essay dated 1843, titled “Gifts” by famous lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Interesting to see how two people could reach the same conclusion about 150 years apart. Yes, David could have been inspired by some of Emerson’s work but if you really look at it then Emerson seems to have been inspired by a much deeper thought.

Across different religions, we all seem somehow to reach the same conclusion. Sacrifice. In his theory about Personal Transformation, Carl Jung explains how true transformation for self development always comes at a cost of a personal sacrifice.

It is this sacrifice that drives forward the process of personality development and change in an individual in his quest to attain personal greatness.

Most entrepreneurs will tell you the same quite possibly, that all of their greatest achievements lauded by the world have come at a great personal cost. Quite frankly, if you take the examples of some of the greatest artists such as Van Gough, you could say that the sacrifice isn’t what is required for the creation. In fact, the creation emanates from the sacrifice which could’ve been just a matter of chance such as a personal loss.

Therefore, People who are afraid of doing their best work are essentially afraid of the sacrifice that has to accompany the flow of your best work.

This sacrifice could be anything. It could well be a sacrifice of your own perceived personal limitations and self limiting beliefs. Not all sacrifices have to be bad; a hot air balloon needs to expend weights if it must ascend!

However, what stops people from expressing themselves freely? What is the cause of the negative self talk that most people indulge in? Why do most people have a habit of convincing themselves that they aren’t good enough?

Traumatic childhood experiences and criticism, sibling rivalry, failures etc. aside…

I think upon a deeper analysis, we could say that it is a resistance to give freely and that probably arises from a background of lack.

Where does a lack of self worth emanate? From a feeling of lack. That’s it! Then the feeling of lack amplifies the lack of self worth and the process keeps on repeating itself.

As an Entrepreneur, your work is quite like an artist. You must spend years perfecting your craft quite often in poverty until you have finally succeeded at building something so great that it’s value far surpasses most other things.

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Great entrepreneurs hate that. You know why?

Because they always feel they have a lot more in them still to give to the world.

The shadow self has a huge role to play in how you perceive life and yourself. The biggest reason that most of never really get down to doing what we want is because we haven’t learnt to integrate the ‘shadow self’.

What’s the ‘shadow self’?

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Creation is about reconciling the irreconcilable ends of a spectrum. Think of it.

If there is night there is day, if there is heads there is tails, if there is God there is Satan and so on. All of creation including god (therefore Satan as well) has been done by man.

Yes, there is indeed a higher power at work and I believe so however, these systems have all being created by men to simplify the processes of understanding and explanation.

The truth is that they are both one.

Men have been creating these negative and positive ended ideas for so long to simplify their own lives which has then complicated their lives.

The truth is, there is no night and day. There is always day somewhere on Earth!

The truth is there is no month of year, it’s just a continuum of nothingness.

Now, apply that knowledge to what you do as an Entrepreneur and see what happens:

The truth is there is no good work, bad work or mediocre work. There is just work and what it is all about, it’s about giving away your gift to the world. That’s it.

So although I say that you must aspire to do your best work and not settle for less, the truth is, I’m just trying to sell you the idea that you need to CREATE more.

Somewhere in all of what you create is your greatest gift to mankind but to find your greatest gift you need to start sharing all of your gifts with an open heart!

Don’t take it to the grave with you.

Leave it behind.

Let them put it over your tombstone..

Let them tell the world

that here lies a man

who found his gift

and he lies peacefully

because he gave it away!

Love,

Jay

Thank you so much for your love and support. As always, here’s an audio clip to go with the content:

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 6/7

Obstacles aren’t in your path. Obstacles are the path.

Think of the richest man you know. I mean really know as in you’ve had dinner with them at some point of time.

Now, very honestly pick out a personal crisis you had during the course of your day. Ok?

Now, how would that person react to such a crisis that possibly frustrated you or spoiled your morning?

Here’s the thing now; The richest man you picked out must’ve been an entrepreneur and his way of reacting to the problem that drove you nuts must’ve been of indifference.

You know why that is? You don’t and you can’t get to the top without stumbling, bruising, falling and hurting yourself once in a while. It’s just a part of life and success. Successful entrepreneurs have made these occasional storms in their life their best friends.

Successful entrepreneurs know that time is the most valuable resource and there just isn’t enough time to let anything at all adversely affect your peace of mind.

Now, a lot of these guys may not be the most polite or gentle creatures mind you and that is a point of discussion for the next and last part of this series. However, these guys don’t let anything get to them because there’s always something more important to do than to beat yourself about what just happened to you.

I know that it must be hard managing so many different things all at once but the answer to dealing with unseen challenges in your life, believe it or not, lies in perfecting your daily rituals.

How you condition your mind to react to things on a day to day and hour to hour basis has more to do with how you handle life situations than anything else. The solution lies in just doing the things you need to do right.

Successful entrepreneurs spend so much time perfecting their craft that it doesn’t matter to them that things go wrong every now and them. They just DO so much each day that it takes care of all the things that can and do go wrong.

Over time though, you keep doing things until you master the ‘learning curve’ on something and come out on the other side a supremely experienced person.

Here are few examples of top entrepreneurs and their daily routines:

  1. Jack Dorsey, Co founder of Twitter & CEO of Square

To handle the responsibilities in both his roles, Jack Dorsey actually spent a period of time working two full 8 hour work days in both companies!

That’s a 16 hour work day. Here’s his weekly routine:

Monday: Management and running the company
Tuesday: Product
Wednesday: Marketing and communications, growth
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Friday: Company culture and recruiting

To find balance in all this chaos, he made a conscious decision to clear out Saturdays for ‘me time’. Here’s what he had to say about facing interruptions in during the course of his jam packed schedule:

“There is interruption all the time but I can quickly deal with an interruption and then know that it’s Tuesday, I have product meetings and I need to focus on product stuff.”

2. Coco Chanel Fashion Designer, Chanel

The iconic fashion designer was a nocturnal being who would go to bed at 2 am and rise around mid day.

She spent a couple of hours at the beginning of her work day in food and leisure and then go ahead to spend a solid 10 hours between 2 pm and 12 am involved in her work.

3. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO VaynerMedia,

GaryVee as he is fondly called believes that if start-up founders want to make it, they should put in at least 18 hours a day for the first year of their business.

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4. Elon Musk, CEO Tesla

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”

Elon Musk believes that working hours for entrepreneurs: “Varies per person, but about 80 sustained, peaking above 100 at times. Pain level increases exponentially above 80.”

Here’s a look at how many hours some tech entrepreneurs are working each week:

“I usually work from home from 9 am-10 am, and then at the office from 10 am-7 pm. I’ll go out to dinner and then work from 10 pm-2 am, depending on workload.”

Blaine Vess, CEO & Founder, Study Mode
“During the week, I’ll work 6:30 am-5 pm and 6-10 pm (travel time in between). On the weekends, I’ll check my email here and there, and work during my daughter’s three-hour naps.”

– Len Gauger, Founder and CEO, Message Blocks

“My work days are usually split into two shifts – 11 am-5 pm, then 9 pm-3 am. In between those shifts, I like to hit the Crossfit gym.”

– Justin Zhu, CEO & Co-Founder, Iterable

Sampad Swain, Co-founder & CEO at Instamojo, says his weekly schedule includes 60 hours of work.

For Naiyya Saggi, of BabyChakra, the ideal working hours range around the 80-hour mark. Although, she admitted that she was “trying to get more efficient”.

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However, things never go as planned and that’s what forces you to compensate for the lost time and work more. That’s the point!

Working long hours is just a sure way to ensure that you have compensated for lost time and taken a buffer over unanticipated situations that can come in the way of your projects becoming successful.

The idea is to not stop to cry over how tired you are or how something went wrong and set you back a few weeks but to keep working until you reach a level of security where you can rest in the knowledge that the market won’t edge you out of the game!

But see, that’s the reason I keep highlighting the importance of doing the work you believe in and love. Ultimately as an entrepreneur you realise that working 80-100 hours a week is not a bad deal against working 40 hours a week because in those 80 hours you’re getting the opportunity to create what you believe in.

That’s what matters! Isn’t it? 🙂

Love,

Jay

Read this series from the beginning

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 5/7

The easiest way to be creative is to be original.

The biggest thing getting in the way of you thinking and acting creatively is your view about others’ opinions of yourself.

Conforming your creativity to be ‘accepted’ is like creating poison for the soul.

Think about Pablo Picasso for a second.

Here’s his brand of genius:

pablo-picasso-art

And here we have the brand of genius the world could relate with on a more natural level before he came along:

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If Picasso had tried to conform to society’s standards of traditional beauty in art, we would’ve been deprived of the amazing work that he created for us.

Thankfully he didn’t because he understood what creativity was really about.

“Every child is an artist. The challenge is in staying an artist as a grown up.”

~Pablo Picasso

As an entrepreneur, consider yourself and your mission as highly as Moses considered his mission in this world. Your work has the power of freeing people from the bondage that their own outdated approach towards something has bound them in!

Could the world have imagined before the iPhone came along that you could have a phone without buttons and it would actually simplify your life?

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Could the world have imagined that anyone could accept payments from anyone else anywhere in the world just by using a simple application?

People were too busy trying to get things done as fast as they could before these inventions came along.

It’s not only the person who is creating a profitable business who is an entrepreneur, it’s the person who is showing you a new way to think and building the tools you need for it who is an entrepreneur.

Someone who has consciously made a decision to break away from the pack and build his or her own identity on their own beliefs is an entrepreneur.

I agree some of them just end up creating massive ideas with sinister underpinnings like Lex Luthor! However, look at how many of them have created value for humanity.

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If you as an entrepreneur aren’t doing the best work you believe in, you’re not creating a value in this world by while using up its abundant resources that justifies your path.

Think about it. Why would you want to leverage all of these amazing inventions such as electricity, automobiles, computers, cameras, smartphones, polyester, rubber and bluetooth, wifi, air conditioning… in pursuit of myopic ambitions that don’t serve a higher purpose or even represent the best of who you are?

Why would you engage in activity that adds no real value to people’s lives or your own when you’re building atop the gigantic contributions and the overwhelming costs at which they have been handed down to us?

The people out to destroy the world aren’t for a minute thinking about how their ‘higher purpose’ is totally out of whack. Why would you function from a place that doesn’t resonate with your highest belief?

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If you don’t love what you do you’re cheating yourself and this world of your best.

Why would you want to do that? Did you go through all of that as an entrepreneur to do mediocre work that is easy to sell?

Nothing is difficult to sell. If you believe in what you’re selling, if you believe in the value you’re creating, you’ll find that you have no problems at all in taking the necessary action to make it profitable.

But you’ll never be confident about the work you’re doing as an entrepreneur unless you are able to be creative, unhindered.

Think about the people who have made it big in this world being crazy and being crazy about being crazy. Why, you’ll always find people who endorse your brand of crazy in the world.

But if you live out this life building things that you wouldn’t want be credited for on your tombstone, you’re already dead.

I don’t know what that thing is that you want to create, I don’t know if you’re a poet, a writer, a yoga teacher or martial artist. I don’t know how you’re doing in life, if you’ve eaten, if you’ve slept well, if you’ve been able to pay your bills this month..

I don’t know what you’re going through…

All I can say is, whatever it is you want to create from the deepest of your inner truth.. that thing.. which is ready to burst out of you but you keep holding it within your heart.. telling yourself why you can’t let it…. that thing

This world needs it. I need it, You need it, We all need it.

Because love is the highest vibration in this world and when you connect with your deepest and most profound thoughts and ideas.. and you allow yourself to express your purpose unhindered.. you will never be wrong and the world will be a better place for having you in it!

I can promise you that.

Love,

Jay

Listen to this audio recording about creating your best work as an Entrepeneur and taking the right steps to make your true work profitable:

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 4/7

“Logic can take you form point A to point B. Imagination can take you everywhere.”

~Albert Einstein

Ever seen a pro make a split second decision about something and which goes on to change the course of history?

Well, I’m a fan of cricket and there’s no better place than sports to find great men with a ‘never say die’ mindset that makes regular folks go: “What the hell are you doing!”

MS Dhoni, a relative newcomer to the Indian Cricket Team, being assigned the captaincy role in a world cup tournament was far from pragmatic throughout the cup.

ms-dhoni-2006

However, what he went on to do at an extremely crucial point in the 2007 World T20 Final shocked the world.

Here’s what happened:

Thirteen runs were needed off the last six balls, and Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who had brought his side back into the game, was on strike at Johhanesburg. But for India, it was only a matter of taking that one last wicket.

For those of you unfamiliar with cricket. Think of it like this: All India needed to win the match was one strike out and all Pakistan needed to win the match were 2 home runs. Trust me in cricket the ‘home runs’ come a lot easier and this was well within reach for the batsman to achieve in 6 deliveries.

Now, instead of asking an experienced bowler to bowl the last 6 deliveries, or at least someone more ‘safer’ than a complete newcomer, MS Dhoni promptly gave the last 6 deliveries to Joginder Sharma. Everyone who was watching the match on television probably wanted to climb into their TV sets and punch Dhoni on the face for risking a match like that.

Then this happened:

1st delivery: Joginder balls a wide ball (something like a foul ball)

Concedes 1 run and the revised target was now 12 runs of 6 deliveries. (Wide balls don’t count but concede a run.)

1st delivery again: No run. Batter swings and misses.

12 runs required of 5 deliveries.

2nd delivery: 6 runs! (kind of like a home run)

6 runs needed of 4 deliveries!

3rd delivery: OUT.

Result: India win by 5 runs!

Now here’s something interesting. Upon being asked later why he didn’t get one of the most experienced Indian bowlers Harbhajan Singh to bowl the last over, Dhoni replied:

“He wasn’t pitching the deliveries in the zone I wanted and he wasn’t confident about being able to pitch them in those areas.”

The man in question Harbhajan Singh was at the time 6 years Dhoni’s senior in the team. Had Dhoni’s bold move backfired in any way that would well have been the end of his career as a captain at least.

However, the rest they say is history. In a international career spanning two and a half decades, he has pretty much been there and done that. In fact, with time MS began to symbolize a fearless brand of unorthodox leadership.

Today, MS Dhoni is one of the most famous, respected and appreciated people in India. In fact, he is an honorary Colonel in the Indian Para Regiment! Para commandos are like the Airborne Regiment in the US so.. pretty badass.

ms-dhoni-para

If you analyze the most awesome risk takers and why they are able to succeed while doing something similar is suicidal and unthinkable for most else.. it’s almost always because these people have 3 common characteristics. Just pull out the info on these guys and you’ll see it.

They all have these 3 common characteristics:

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In short, these are people who have their ‘heart in the right place’.

Let’s take a few more examples:

  1. Jack Canfield and ‘Chicken Soup For the Soul’
jack-canfield

Most brand expansions tend to fail however in Jack Canfield’s case, even after facing continuous rejections by major NY publishers, he stuck with the idea of compiling real life inspirational stories into a single book. Finally HCL, a small self help publisher in Florida agreed to publish the book and the rest they say is history. Overall the Chicken Soup series has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 43 languages and has been published in 100 countries!

In an interview Jack Canfield said that he just woke up one day expecting a lot more from life than what he had been living upto that point and suddenly an idea came across his mind that would fulfill his inner purpose of spreading hope and also provide financial abundance.

2. Azim Premji and Wipro

azim-premji

Inheriting a vegetable oil empire named Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited, Azim Premji was an entrepreneur by accident. Long term planning not withstanding, after his father’s demise, Azim had to drop out of Stanford and rush back home to take charge of the family business. However, how he built an IT company of massive proportions standing atop the foundations of an oil company is a story of a lifetime. IT vacuum in India did play a huge role in this decision however making a move this bold required a huge level of self confidence and a deep understanding of what was required in the moment of time.

Azim Premji is also famous for being a ‘philanthropist CEO’ who still flies economy class!

3. Ratan Tata and Indica

ratan-tata

Ratan Tata achieved the dream of an ‘indigeneously developed’ passenger vehicle that could compete with the level of service provided by imported cars. This task was beyond monumental as India lacked some of the most important aspects of automobile production on an ‘indingenous’ model that could compete with world standards. However, Indica became the first locally developed car and provided a huge amount of sentimental as well as tangible value to the Indian people.

Now, this was Risk number 1 that to the outer world seemed preposterous. Everyone was almost certain that Ratan Tata as CEO would fail in this endeavor. He didn’t. 

Then he went a step further and developed the World’s cheapest car the ‘Nano’:

tata-nano

Somewhere, this noble idea of making four wheelers affordable to all Indians came from the right intention however Tata failed to anticipate the deeper psyche of the Indian consumer that seeks to distance itself from ‘cheap things’. The Nano was a well designed practical commuter costing less than $1400! However, there weren’t enough takers for it in India and the car was later redesigned to be sold abroad as its compact dimensions ensured it would be something quite valuable for European consumers if it could be upgraded to European standards.

In the end Ratan Tata found an opportunity in failure and managed to not fail. Again!

As if this wasn’t enough, he went ahead and did this:

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The JLR sale at the time it took place was more or less like a time bomb or so the world perceived. The brand name is all that had remained of yesteryear’s exotic sports coupe and Ford was eager to offload it from their kitty because they just didn’t know what to do with it.

Interestingly, here’s what had happened 9 years before this sale took place:

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“They told us ‘you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all’. They said they will do us a favor by buying our car division,” a Tata Group veteran said while recalling a meeting of Ratan Tata and other top executives with Ford officials in Detroit in 1999.

“This was in 1999 and come 2008, the same Ford’s JLR was bought by us. Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Tata, saying ‘you are doing us a big favour by buying JLR‘,” Kadle said, to a thunderous applause at an awards function on Thursday night.

To take gutsy decisions some of which may well lack sufficient data at their basis, a lot of times entrepreneurs need to rely on their ‘intuition‘ or gut feeling. Here are key takeaways from the lives of some of the most amazing entrepreneurs:

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Why do you think that is? Why do you think the stereotype of the ‘good man’ is one of a brooding pensive responsible person who keeps is cool and keeps to himself?

It’s because when you’re faced with a surprisingly difficult problem to solve, quite often, it is like finding your way out of a maze. If you are just able to get in touch with the depth of who you really are, you’ll be able to feel your way out because sometimes when you don’t have enough data which you quite often won’t as an entrepreneur because you’re probably in pursuit of something that hasn’t been done yet at least in your state, country or community etc; when you are in pursuit of something that is quite vague so to speak, you need to rely on your inner guidance systems to guide you forward and help you find a way.

As always, here are a couple of great videos to help you tap into the mindset of this article and grab the essence of the concept of building a healthy and deeper connection with your ‘self‘.

I hope this series so far has been able to lend some value to your learning of entrepreneurship and providing some level of motivation with these stories. I would be amazing to hear from you! Leave me some comments! 🙂

Love,

Jay

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 3/7

People don’t buy for the value you create. They buy for the value they ‘perceive‘.

Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”.

In short, marketing is the art of creating perceptions and selling dreams.

Sounds like a total rip off doesn’t it? lol

You could be forgiven for thinking that way, unless you’re an entrepreneur. That’s when you know what I’m talking about because people don’t buy from you for the value you create, they buy for the value they perceive you create for them.

Take the example of Buffr. Heard of it? The first app ever to let people schedule their tweets?

buffer-mvp

Buffer was an idea so new for an audience so ‘narrow’ that the guys who created thought it would be a better idea to test the waters for the idea before they had even built it.

See here’s the thing, as an entrepreneur you know how to get something done. You know how long it will take and what it will take to build something. However, the predicament every entrepreneur is caught up is if it will be profitable.

Will it solve a pain point and create a tangible value for the end consumer?

Simple thing guys. Go ask them!

That’s what they guys at buffer did. They launched an MVP campaign for the idea to test out its relevance and profitability. If you guys aren’t familiar with what an MVP is, please read about it here.

The idea was simple. First, you create a landing page to collect signups for the product. Second, you figure out if people would be comfortable paying for the value provided by such a product.

buffer-1-mvp

Third, you schedule a release date, build the product and release it!

Obviously, a lot of course corrections and improvements, enhancements, tweaks etc. would need to be made in order to create the exact product the consumer wanted but in this example, by appealing to the perceived value people saw in the product, you ensured that you didn’t have to create a complete product before going out and selling it!

Amazing don’t you think?

Once again, let’s take the example of NEXT computers by Steve Jobs. I know! I can’t get enough of Steve. Can’t help it, the guy was way ahead of his time as an entrepreneur in all of the dimensions an entrepreneur can hope to expand in.

steve-next

Next was bought by Apple not for the value it was immediately generating at that point in time but for the value everyone perceived it would generate. Steve barely had the exhibition prototype up and running and virtually no idea how the actual machines would be built to cater to his standards and vision of modern computing. However, there were 2 things that helped him create this perception of value:

  1. He was Steve Jobs and had a cult following. Just having his name attached to a computer company meant there was a certain section of society that knew he was up to something better having left Apple.
  2. Apple innovation had slumped and they knew the thinking guy was out there thinking up something great and building it. They could see that he had created something that he was actively out selling and desperately wanted in. Simply because they didn’t have the right answer for ‘What NEXT?

Let that sink in for a minute.

Let’s move on to another example that never ceases to amaze me.

mlm-companies

Multi level marketing!

Some call it a scam some call it genuine products sans fancy marketing but for most MLM represents a dream that everyone is so desperate to turn into a reality:

Financial Independence.

MLM companies sell their products by selling the dream of financial independence. The very people who are the consumers are the people who buy these products not for their tangible value but the intangible value that buying these products and then selling them is the road to financial independence!

Master stroke.

Don’t get me wrong, we have all used some or the other product offering from one of these MLM companies at some point in time and most of them are good. They have to be because word of mouth is the essential commodity that they’re selling!

So if you’re an entrepreneur who is having trouble getting business, it’s because you don’t realise, that the value you are creating is not necessarily the value that will sell the product, service or idea. What will sell it is the perceived value.

How do you cater to that? Well, you sell, sell, sell and sell some more.

Then you iterate, iterate and iterate some more.

Finally, you’ll hit a sweet spot where the value you’re creating with your offering will marry the end consumer’s perceived values. Just bear in mind and i discussed this in my previous post in this series, your personal values should always be in alignment with the primary value being generated through your offering.

This is because, early adopters can see through your BS. No kidding!

Early adopters can be driven to buy based on the ‘perceived value’ but they can’t be driven to remain loyal and get other people on board to create a trend if your story seems BS to them.

As an Entrepreneur, you are looking to build a trend because you’re the pioneer, the ‘trend setter’. If you fail to create a trend, someone else will just take what you’ve built badly, improve it and sell it to the world.

This is also the biggest reason today that most successful entrepreneurs are great ‘influencers’ in the market. The proof is in the pudding guys!

Take the example of a dude I have a man crush on right now:

Here’s a man who runs a digital marketing company and who is probably a pioneer in social media influencing right now.

What’s he doing? He’s doing him. It’s that simple!

The proof is in the pudding. If you’re a digital media specialist leveraging digital media to grow your digital presence as an influencer, the value your’re selling to people is simply this:

I am doing it. This is how I do it. This is how it’s done.”

The value he is selling is getting on top of digital media influencing. The perception of that value is “Damn I can be like him if I do it like this.”

So guys just remember, you can build a nuclear reactor or a space ship in your garage bu the world will never know unless you show them!

By the way, this really happened. Here’s a dude who was actually building a nuclear reactor in his garage. I dunno, trying to become like Iron Man or something…

He only got found out when he began to dismantle the reactor after he had made the whole neighborhood radioactive!

Wow! Proves a point doesn’t it? You could be doing something beyond extraordinary in your office cubicle this very moment, in your garage, on your old laptop; writing a masterpiece on Evernote on your smartphone… the world will NEVER know it.

The bottom line is that ‘They’ will NEVER know it until you go out there and SHOW it.

So having a great idea, product, service and building it is only 50% of the job. The remaining 50% is actively engaging people to look at it, interact with it and come on board for the perceived value of the idea. In short, SELL.

As always, a couple of videos to help you tune into the mindset of selling your idea and bringing more people on board is included below.

See you tomorrow for post 4/7 of this series. Yeah and if you want to watch the entrepreneurship videos and motivational content I post and create, you can follow my facebook page. See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jay

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 2/7

The value you value is the value you create.

Entrepreneurship is about creating value. Period.

Any product, service or idea you’re selling to the world means nothing unless it creates value for them. Mind you, the biggest problem you’re going to face is convincing these guys that the value you’re creating for them is valuable enough for them to buy.

So the simplest thing to do if you’re looking to stay an entrepreneur long time or just survive the initial struggle and make it to the big leagues some day down the line…

Stick to your value system.

If the work you’re doing isn’t creating a value you don’t count as your highest value, don’t do it. Yes, I didn’t say one of your highest values, I didn’t say one your greatest values.. I said highest value as in a singular value that you could swear by or live or die proving the worth of.

Let’s take an example starting from Steve Jobs again continuing forwards from the last part.

Do you think Steve Jobs would’ve been able to build a company like Next and arm twist Apple into buying it just to have him on board if he had let’s say.. suddenly decided to go chasing profits instead of innovating? Nope.

And let me tell you in the long term, the investors and stakeholders know this and can see this and call you on your BS point blank if they see you diverging from your core values.

That has happened so many times!

Take the example of Microsoft.

lumia

Tell me why the ‘idea’ of a Windows Phone failed?

No Steve Ballmer wasn’t the Trojan Horse who supposedly invaded and subsequently drove Nokia to the ground as we would like to believe. It isn’t that simple. It was simpler.

Microsoft has always been and still is a company that caters to Enterprises and businesses. That’s what they’re good at and that’s the value they’ve been creating for decades. Suddenly people saw them focusing on mastering the consumer game trying to lap up some of the neat profits Google and Apple had their hands on with the entire ‘personal ecosystem’ thing going on and just like that.. everyone called them out.

To tell you the truth, Lumia wasn’t even that bad. Seriously, it looked good and they could’ve done a lot more with it if they had just decided to create value the way they had been creating it forever: By thinking about the enterprises as a priority.

What did they do? They went about experimenting with something completely different and way out of their market image and brand image. The whole move had ‘competition’ and ‘profit’ written all over it.

Now look at how they’ve returned to the market running as the OS in these new design ‘yoga’ laptops that are also tablets you can turn them into by unhooking the screen from the keyboard and swiveling the screen both ways.

yoga book

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but those are actually selling these days. Yes not a lot of them but quite a bit. Why?

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Now you may say to me: “C’mon Jay, India isn’t the whole world. Damn right it isn’t but we have 1/7th the population of the entire planet and we’ve got more people hunting jobs, working jobs and running around doing jobs this moment than the entire workforce on the continent of Europe!

Think about why Apple gradually shifted its focus away from the laptop segments to making better tablets?

Remember this “Computer? What’s a computer?” commercial?

Well make as much fun of it as you want, joke’s on you. My 6 year old niece may well grow up unable to recognize what these clunky things are that I’m hammering away on at the moment.

You want to know why?

Because podcasts are the future, vlogs are the future, ebooks are the future, mobile first platforms are the future and picking those things out from iTunes is the future!

Apple did the smart thing by realizing it wouldn’t always be able to adjust the size of the screens on their flagship offering to keep up the pretense of ‘innovating for the future’. Well they made other changes in that area like the airpods but you see the point I’m making?

Take the example of Jaguar being bought by TATA an Indian company.

tata-jaguar

I’ll tell you why irrespective of how well Jaguar is or isn’t doing, this move catapulted Ratan Tata, the man in this picture to be among the the most loved CEOs in India or even Asia!

The guy has not budged from the simplest focus his predecessors have laid down that creates exponential value for them across all their businesses:

“Bringing the Pride back to India”

Hear me out seriously! Studying Indian businesses today is among the best lessons in Management you are likely to find anywhere.

The TATAs basically control arterial industries in India. From salt manufacturing to car and steel manufacturing, to owning the prestigious Taj Brand of hotels, this group is practically regarded as the FIRST industrial family of India.

They gave India her first indegeniously manufactured car: ‘Indica’. Then they gave the people the cheapest car in the world: ‘Nano’. They manufacture trucks and buses on a large scale that are all the rage in African countries due to their heavy duty design and robustness.

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They bought one of the largest Steel company in the UK, ‘Corus’. Then they bought the biggest tea company in the UK, ‘Tetley’ and got Indians hooked to the taste of Earl Grey and Green Tea…. see where I’m going with this?

Buying Jaguar Land Rover practically immortalized Ratan Tata and the TATA name.

In short, purchases and acquisitions made by them in one area of their vast operations has helped them gain trust and expansion in other arms of their operations. That’s the power of sticking to the value you’re creating. How can we be sure that this value is actually in line with the core values of the TATAs at least as perceived by the masses?

Well, the TATAs practically built independent India and were arguably the only company developing capital goods after India won her freedom. JRD Tata, the father of Indian aviation and scion of the TATA group, was the first pilot of independent India.

Need I point out that the TATAs were the ones to give India her first airline? TATA airlines, which is known today as Indian Airlines.

Create the value YOU value. Simple.

Take the example of Google.

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Orkut and Google+ were both neither here nor there as social mediums and it’s a lot easier to just have a paid version of Youtube to drive the additional ‘direct’ revenue.

Facebook on the other hand has stuck to the ‘bringing the world closer’ value and it’s a lot more convenient now to just share Facebook videos on Whatsapp. The ‘picture in picture’ feature ensures that sharing videos and watching them without leaving the application is actually a ‘seamless experience’.

In the same way for Microsoft, acquiring Linkedin was once again a move to overcompensate for straying off their defined ‘value system’. However, you cannot disagree that Bill Gates was always the more ‘expansionist’ compared to his peer Steve.

Why, Bill is the reason most people in third world countries had access to a decent OS at all! You can always source used PC parts to put together a decent machine that can run Windows for you and use it to build websites, write code, do accounts or make your project but you can’t do that with a Mac.

Bill always saw the opportunity in capturing the market and making a profit out of convenience of both parties at the cost of ‘experience’. So coming back on the Linkedin acquisition, what better place to expand into than a networking platform full of people who mostly probably think the same way. Also, it’s not even that I’m sure. It’s the AI engines feeding MS the data they need to gain the lost trust with enterprises.

Does creating value and ensuring it resonates with your own core value mean you never experiment and risk being stereotyped?

Of course not. If that were the case Tesla would have had to shut shop the day Elon Musk came up with the ridiculous idea of flame thrower. However, note the word here ‘Ridiculous‘.

It’s the kind of word that best describes the idea of setting up a human colony on Mars don’t you think?

That’s the point. The proof is in the pudding.

‘Experiment’, in the right direction keeping your core value at its foundation.

Even if that core value is ‘ridiculous’.

I’m including a couple of links below to videos that will help you tap into the mindset of this article and grasp this concept from a more profound perspective.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for part number 3 of 7.

Love,

Jay

Entrepreneur Motivation Day 1/7

Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?

The most important thing about entrepreneurship is to realise it isn’t for everyone.

Why? Well, I don’t mean to discourage you but being an ‘Entrepreneur’ is a lifestyle not a job, title or frankly even a decision. After a point it sort of becomes like an addiction that forces you to separate yourself from the pack.

See the thing is, most people are lured towards the high degree of freedom, creativity, personal expression, growth, expansion and what not that entrepreneurship offers..

Darling that’s where you’re wrong.

Going after entrepreneurship for those reasons is like buying a sports car just because it’s yellow!

You are able to see how attractive it looks but have no clue about anything else that defines its primary function. You don’t know how much the spares cost, what is the cost of upkeep, the top speed, engine quality, driving modes, acceleration, transmission, handling etc. Similarly, just because someone is beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean they’re the same on the inside. For all you know, they could be a sociopath or even a kidnapper. No kidding!

After a point of time, all the things that attract the layman towards entrepreneurship such as personal freedom and creativity become integral habits that you need to consciously develop to be able to function at the highest of your ability as an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur doesn’t stop because what he’s looking for can’t be done, he finds a way to get it done even if it means inventing a way if there never existed one in the first place!

You just keep doing that day after day and year after year until you find yourself working just as you were when you started.. on a laptop.. sitting in a comfortable chair in your villa instead of the bunk bead of your dorm or your ‘garage office’.

Allow me to illustrate:

jeff-bezos-99

This is a photo from early 1999. The dude in this photograph is today the richest man on the planet. This ladies and gentlemen.. is a photograph of Jeff Bezos from the early days of Amazon in 1999.

This is his most recent photograph:

jeff-bezos-wife

Oh I’m sorry.. this is a photo of Jeff Bezos with his ex wife of 25 years who divorced him and took away $38 billion in the most expensive divorce settlement in the history of mankind!

Hmm, here’s what Jeff Bezos released in his statement:

jeff-bezos-divorce-tweet

Interesting. Seems like he took it well!

Let’s take another example:

steve-woz

In this photo you see the man considered widely to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, at work in his dad’s garage building the first personal computer!

Now look at this one:

steve-next

The same man building a company after being fired from the company he built in his garage from the ground up.. building another computer company that Apple was forced to buy for much more than what it was worth, just to have him on board to run Apple again. Phew!
Then, he went on to build something the world had never seen before, which is quite largely one of the biggest reasons that Apple became the first trillion dollar company on planet Earth..

steve-jobs-iphone

The iPhone, the first smartphone as we know it.

He also went onto build a lot of other things like the iPad, the iPod, which lead to the creation of the iTunes store, the iCloud, the iWatch and what not.

Now, let’s analyze these pictures from a more human perspective…

Building something like Amazon from the ground up starting where he started, was such an outrageous idea that you could bet Jeff Bezos probably wakes up many days thinking his past existed in an alternate reality.

The thing is, no one else but Jeff can tell you how long he waited for the future as it is now, to materialize into what it is today.

It was only visible to him.

That goes without saying because if others could have been able to see what he could see, he wouldn’t be the richest person on the planet! Other people could’ve just done what he was doing and gone ahead and made themselves a lot of that money he has.

But they didn’t. Which shows us that along the way, Jeff was probably the only person who believed in himself and his dreams as was required to make them a reality. The only other person we can imagine to have been on his side through it all must have been his wife of 25 years.

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Wait, look at this with zeroes: $38000000000!

So what does Jeff do? Flip out, get a heart attack or lose trust in relationships, go into depression or become a drunk? Nope.

A film start, celebrity or a famous athlete would’ve been forgiven for reacting that way but not on entrepreneur. Not Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon by any means.

Had he done any of that, word would get out and Amazon stocks would plummet!

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It’s really that simple.

You take the hit and you move on. Friendships, relationships, money… it all comes back many fold and you have to believe that or you can’t survive.

Take Steve Jobs’s case…

Do you think Apple would’ve bought Next computers just to get Steve on board again if he had been wallowing in self pity or lying around doing drugs?

Nope.

Here’s what Steve Jobs did after being fired from Apple:

He built a company with the sole purpose of whopping Apple out of the game because he knew that the way to create more value was to innovate and Apple wasn’t letting him innovate to take Mac to the next step!

The dream is more important than the individual. The idea is more important that anything else. Even more than personal losses or sacrifices. You need to learn to take nothing personally and just keep moving.

The truth is, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t even care about the money anymore. It just comes in on its own because of the value they’re able to provide with what they do.

If Steve had focused only on the financial aspect, Apple would’ve self destructed like the ‘boiling frog’. The board had Apple and they had Apple 2 but they couldn’t see the percentage in investing in Steve’s idea about innovating beyond what they had already had success with.

Imagine being fired from a company you founded and built from the ground up from your own garage. What would you do? How would you react?

Key takeaways:

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That’s the first post on ‘entrepreneur motivation’ for you guys! Come back tomorrow for post number 2 of the series and keep coming back for 7 consecutive posts scheduled in this series!

Here’s a motivational audio clip to go with this post:

Also, I want to leave you with a couple of important links below that are extremely relevant to this topic and will help you tap into the mindset of Entrepreneurship:

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