Sunday, December 14, 2014

Realize your individual life and collective life

All of us have two roles in our lives. The first one is our individual life and second one is our collective life.

The individual life is what I am, what I want to be, what my life goals are, what is the purpose of my life, what are the values I stand for etc., irrespective of my circumstances whatsoever, irrespective of the preferences and opinions of our loved ones, and whoever associated with us etc. These are not basically about the tangible things that we would like to possess.

The collective life is all about my circumstances, loved ones, friends, family, pets, my house etc.

It is easy to define these two things clearly once we are able to realize and segregate these two. Especially you will be able  to define your individual life very vividly. You may write down your definition of your individual life, but without paying any attention to your collective life.

eg. When you write down what is the purpose of my life, don't define the answer as giving a good life to my kids. That's vague and it directly combines with your collective life.

Irrespective of where your collective life goes, you should have your individual life always in mind so that you can keep focused on achieving your individual life even when your collective life keeps on changing. Your collective life keeps on changing such as your family preferences, your friends, your location etc.
When you are in confusion and stuck for decisions, you may think about your individual life and then you will be able to take better decisions.

And most importantly in my opinion don't compromise individual life in favour of collective life. Especially because collective life keeps on changing sometimes in your favour and sometimes against.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are you looking at the Clock frequently? You are probably in a wrong job and career

A job that you do on a daily basis, 5 days a week, week after week should never be a chore. As an employee if you are looking at the clock randomly to close the day, you are in a wrong job and most probably in a wrong career path.
If you are doing the work that you enjoy, you will be worried about lack of time rather than plenty of time.
You shouldn't be just filling the time in your job. People who just want to spend 8 hours per day in an office are just filling the time.They are not valuable for their company and they are not fulfilling their life.
An employee is given a job function and he/she should fill the position and exceed the position which makes him valuable to himself and to the company.
When the subject is concerned regarding an entrepreneur, he follows his passion and he is supposed to indulge in his work and is not generally trying to fill his time. He will be actively indulged in his activities.
An employee who consistently exceed his job profile and he thinks that his company cannot contain him, he becomes an entrepreneur.
So review yourself whether you are trying to fill your time or trying to fill/exceed the position assigned to you.
So Identify your passion and go ahead

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Best 5 Mistakes as an Entrepreneur

I would like to call them my Best 5 mistakes instead of top 5. Even though I am listing out my best 5 mistakes, don't be ever afraid of making mistakes. So all the best for making your best 5 mistakes. Come out with your best 5 mistakes.

However don't expect to learn everything from your own mistakes. One life time may not be enough to learn everything from your own mistakes. So learn from others' mistakes as well. Just from this point of view I am listing out the top 5 mistakes I made. There might be other writers who will point out their top 5 mistakes and readers can learn from them as well. 

I have made hundreds of mistakes in my 5 years of Entrepreneurship and I do not regret any one of them since all of them were great learning experience. There are still people telling me that the biggest mistake I made was starting my own business. You also will face same allegation, but we have to realize that  starting a business is not a mistake at all. But leaving the dream halfway is the biggest mistake which you will regret for ever.

It is worthwhile to mention that it is good to have a mentor for your journey who can guide you properly so that you can master in intelligent mistakes. I am glad I did.

So here are my Best 5 mistakes, not in any particular order since I do not know which one is the best one.

1. Too many partners especially with equal power
I had couple of failed businesses in which we had at times upto 7 partners, all of them with equal decision making power.  I am unable to shortlist criteria for selecting partners, but definitely all the partners should share same vision and should match the wavelength. The partners have to complement each other in their capabilities and knowledge. Integrity and character are more important than education and capabilities. The roles, responsibilities and goals of each partner should be well defined to the minutest terms. 

2. Depend too much on a partner or employee
You may have high expectations on a partner or an employee. However as soon as you start realizing that his performance is poor, you have to seek alternatives. From the beginning you should have goals defined for every partner and employee and if he fails to achieve, don't waste time expecting that he will improve.

3. Be Frugal
Even if you have sufficient capital, be frugal. Allocate and lock funds for future expansions. It will give you good insight for tougher times. Also being frugal will give more creative ideas.

4. Money Management
Since you are the business owner and possibly the authorized signatory, don't expect that you are the best person to manage the money and cash flow. There are people who has education and experience for the same. Even if you are highly qualified in accounting have some one else do that since they'll have a better perspective.

5. Focus, Focus, Focus, Focus.....
Focus for One inch width in one mile depth, not one mile focus in one inch depth. This is extremely important especially in initial stages. Focus on your core values and strength and focus only on those capabilities. You should know where you are going. You should have a clear mental picture of what your company will look like in 2 years,5 years, 10 years. Have a mental picture with as much details as possible.

So go out. Make the best of your mistakes.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Use technology to your advantage; Work Smart not Hard

Do you know what is SEO, SMM, CPC etc..
I didn't know until recently. But now these are our greatest marketing tools.

Now the world has so much advanced in terms of technology, so don't stick to the conventional methods alone. Especially if you are in the middle age group, chances are high that you might be averse to technology.
Of course we have to work hard to build a business. But more important is to work smart.
For example making a short you tube video on your product will save lot of money and energy. Eg. Before visiting a customer you can send a link of your youtube video related to your product. This way customer can briefly understand whether your product meets his requirements. A visit thereafter will be more fruitful.
You can make a presentation on your company and post on your website. A visitor can understand all about all your products and services from this video.
Animations, Social Media, Listing on free directories etc. all are important. You should be around the web in as many ways as possible.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Selecting Employees; Look mainly at their Attitude, not skills

Getting the right employees is the most important and difficult task for an Entrepreneur. Keeping them with you is the next.
In my opinion, you should give more importance to the attitude of the candidate than the experience and skills of the employee. Looks for some minimum experience and skills. The CV is not much important most of the times since most of the content will be superficial. I look mainly for the age, education level, total years of experience, no. of companies changed in those years, what is his main interest of job function etc.

Once again attitude is most important because you cannot train anyone for attitude. You can train for skills. But if he/she does not have the right attitude, skills will work against the organisation in the course of the time.
By the time you meet him for the first time, he has already formed his attitude through his minimum  25 years of life. You cannot change his attitude unless he realizes his flaws and take constant efforts.
Skills can be taught in couple of weeks to months.

So the next question is how to evaluate attitude. I am also still searching for a complete answer and each new employee is a new experience for me. But basically the candidate has to match your wavelength. This can only be evaluated by spending time with him formally and informally and discussing as many things as possible and evaluate whether he has a wavelength which can match to that one of your closest friends.Can he become your close friend by means of his wavelength?
Also check through his previous colleagues.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Start with the end in Mind

It is very important that you envision what your company will be in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years etc. This will help you focus on your vision and your tasks will be aligned with this vision.
You can imagine or preferably write down every aspect of those mental pictures. eg. you can write down what your company will be in 3 years. You can write down minute details like how many employees, which countries to operate, size of your office space, your specialized area of operations, your personal role at that point of time, your organisation structure etc. You can always review and change these details. But the necessity is that you should have such a clear view of where you want to be at specific point of times in future.
When you have such a vision you can always review and align your tasks in line with those visions. If you have such a vision you are sure to achieve it. If you don't have such a vision you will not know where you are going. You will be guided by your daily tasks and even after three years you will be running behind those daily tasks.
You need to review these vision at regular intervals, but not longer than once a month. It is most likely that you will feel that you are never going to achieve those goals and you will feel like laughing at yourself. Don't worry. It is part of the process. At least you can enjoy envisioning those plans and in the course of time you are sure to achieve it.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Start Frugal. You will be more creative

There is a misconception that you will need lot of money to start a business on your own. This is true especially if you are an employee of a large company, you have been accustomed to the ways of life in an established company and you are in a mindset that this is the only way to run a company.

This is absolutely not right. In my experience if we don't have money, we can be more creative in generating more ideas on everything from saving paper to cheaper advertisements and so on.

For each of our regular activities you can find out 2-3 alternative routes saving more money. But the problem is when he have sufficient money, we don't think of alternatives.

I have been working in Multinational Companies where everything is taken for granted.Then I had to un-learn all those practices when I started on my own. But that was a great learning experience.
So Start frugal, Be Frugal and you will get lot of ideas and it will become a habit. So even when your business generates sufficient money, you will not run short of ideas.

As an example, our website was completely made just for US$ 2.00 including registration charges and we are appearing on the first pages of search results without involving any SEO companies.